San Francisco is not only filled with famous landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Square. The Golden City is packed full of places you may never have heard of, but I am here to help you unearth them.
Read on for my ultimate 4 night guide to San Francisco!
San Francisco is made up of many neighbourhoods, each with their very own distinct flavour. Therefore, I have picked apart the city to deliver you an undiscovered side to San Fran.
Where to stay
Union Square or Fisherman’s Wharf are two of the most popular areas to stay. While not undiscovered, they are a great place to base yourself.
When I stay in a city, I adore being surrounded by restaurants, nightlife and having easy access to the biggest names in retail, and Union Square ticks all these boxes. My go to hotel is The Handlery Hotel because it is family owned and run which makes the service as incredible as the location. I also love Hotel Spero for their design and Hotel Zeppelin for a younger crowd.
You will find Fisherman’s Wharf on the waterfront and it is brimming with places to explore, such as the famous Pier 39. Try out the impressive circular suite at Hotel Vitale (The other rooms are fab too), Hotel Zephyr or The Agronaut.
If you follow me on Instagram, you know of my obsession with boutique hotels, and hands down, my new favourite property in San Francisco is the Proper Hotel. Seriously, I asked if I could move in! The design is uber cool and I fell in love with every aspect of the hotel. The neighbourhood itself is still a little grungy, so I recommend taking an Uber over walking if you’re solo. However, they are about to get a Wholefoods nearby which you know screams gentrification of the area.
Eat your way through the city
San Francisco is one of those cities where the food is as important as the landmarks and you could easily spend a lifetime here, exploring the flavours of each neighbourhood.
My number one tip is to book yourself on a food tour with Avital Tours. You can taste your way around three areas; North Beach, Mission District or Tendernob. Over three hours, your guide will engage you in the history of the area by telling its story through the cuisine of four different eateries.
Fancy a drink?
Lock yourself in for a walking craft brewery tour through one of four neighbourhoods with SF on Tap. I sipped more beers than I could count, yet still managed to retain some knowledge, while soaking up the historic hippie vibes of Haight – Ashbury.
Hotel San Francisco is my new favourite cocktail lounge! A hot tip from me to you; If you stop by on a Monday from 5 – 8pm you can partake in Mani Mondays. That’s right, A free mani when you buy a drink.
All this talk of drinking is making me thirsty, which probably means you’re ready for your next drink too. Coincidentally, I will leave this list of my new favourite bars here for you; Wilson & Wilson Detective Agency,The Bar at Hotel Kabuki, Anina & The Snug.
What to do?
Are you a music lover? It would be a crime not to have a drink and catch a show at the historic Fillmore. This venue is an institution! The band posters that line the walls tell a tale of all the greats that have graced the stage.
If you only have time for one night out in San Francisco, make it an immersive roaring 1920’s experience at The Speakeasy SF. I will not give you any of the details or it will ruin the adventure, but I can promise you, you will not regret it! Make sure you go in full character and dress to the nines to amplify your fun.
San Francisco’s Exploratorium is a hands on exploration of human perception, science and art. On Thursday evenings they run an after dark event for adults only. Therefore, you can grab a drink from the bar and play till your hearts content.
Take a stroll through bustling Chinatown and pay a visit to the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Company. They have been hand making these since 1962 and you can sample the deliciousness while watching how they create them. Top tip… Buy yourself some of their adult themed cookies for a laugh.
Beyond the Fog curates private tours through the romantic city which range from shopping with a stylist to touring the tech industry with a pro. I chose to spend two fascinating hours exploring the cities buildings with renowned architectural designer, Briggs Macdonald.
After all these city delights, stretch out your time and head down the coast to Monterey for a few days to recharge in nature.
How to get here
An Uber can take you downtown in 15 – 20 minutes or take the BART for around $10 in 35 minutes.
San Francisco Airport is easy to navigate and has a host of cool amenities to make travel more fun. In possibly the most awesome move ever, they introduced The Wag Brigade. An initiative to bring dogs (and now one pig called Lilou) to roam the terminals and make travel more enjoyable. I got to play with Wrigley when I was leaving and he seriously made my day!!! They currently have around twenty dogs on their team… You HAVE to leave me a comment and let me know who you meet.
Looking for more info?
I have been a Personal Travel Manager for over ten years and love nothing more than tailoring holidays for my clients and making travel dreams come to life. Contact me HERE to discuss your trip and book with an expert.