Every thing you want to know to plan the right 3 days in San Francisco itinerary!
Positioned within the Bay Space of Northern California, San Francisco is without doubt one of the most iconic American cities.
Recognized for its steep hills, pastel homes, vibrant tradition, and funky climate, it’s a really distinctive metropolis.
From the Gold Rush to Silicon Valley, this metropolis has at all times been on the forefront of know-how.
Among the firms that decision San Francisco residence embrace Google, Fb, Uber, and Airbnb.
Chances are high you’ll use all of them when planning a visit!
Talking of planning your journey, let’s get into it!
Lace-up your strolling footwear, cost these digital camera batteries, and prepare for an epic 3 days in San Francisco itinerary!
San Francisco Highlights
|Golden Gate Park
Sea lions at Pier 39
Golden Gate Bridge
Aquarium of the Bay
Walt Disney Household Museum
Palace of Superb Arts
San Francisco Zoo and Gardens
Napa Valley Wine Nation
The right way to Spend a Excellent 3 Days in San Francisco Itinerary
Visiting San Francisco Journey Suggestions
When to Go to San Francisco
Earlier than determining what to do with 3 days in San Francisco, you’ll must determine when to go to.
The town is known for its unpredictable climate. It may be foggy and chilly on the seashore and scorching sizzling and sunny only a few blocks away!
If that is your first journey, one frequent false impression about San Francisco is that it’s at all times heat.
That’s not the case within the Bay Space of Northern California!
It really will get fairly chilly right here between November and February.
These months additionally see probably the most rainfall, which may undoubtedly put a damper in your journey.
The heaters months are literally September and October, in order that’s a good time to go to San Francisco.
Crowds are method smaller in fall than they’re in the course of the summer time, so you possibly can rating some stable offers on lodging and actions.
San Francisco CityPASS
Seeing as the way you’ll be doing fairly a little bit of sightseeing in San Francisco, it is a worthwhile funding and one of the simplest ways to see the gems of the town.
You’ll discover that the mix ticket will get you into 5 of the next points of interest:
- California Academy of Sciences
- Blue and Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Journey
- Aquarium of the Bay or
- Walt Disney Household Museum
- Exploratorium or
- San Francisco Zoo and Gardens
The San Francisco CityPASS saves you fairly a bit of cash (upwards of 45%) because it solely prices USD$76 for adults and $56 for teenagers.
You may simply go to all of those locations as a part of your 3 days in San Francisco!
Getting Round San Francisco
The cable automobile is without doubt one of the greatest methods to get round San Francisco. You may choose up a 3-day customer passport for USD$32.
These are legitimate on the cable automobile, streetcars, and the Muni bus and metro system.
Some folks want the comfort of the hop-on, hop-off bus over the cable automobile.
A 1-day cross prices USD$49 and can get you to such landmarks as Chinatown, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Fisherman’s Wharf.
There are additionally loads of public transport choices to and from the town middle and San Francisco Worldwide Airport, which is handy.
Now that you simply’ve obtained some fundamental data on the town, let’s take a better have a look at what to do in San Francisco for 3 days.
Day 1 – Morning
Wherever you determine to remain, be sure to have an enormous breakfast and gasoline up with some caffeine.
You’re going to wish all of the vitality you will get for an enormous first day in San Francisco!
A Stroll on Ocean Seaside
To kick off 3 days in San Francisco, soar on the N Judah mild rail. Trip it till the very finish to the Ocean Seaside cease.
To be clear, this isn’t a day on the seashore. The water of the Pacific Ocean is usually fairly frigid right here and the climate can change straight away.
Ocean Seaside is gorgeous, although, and is a good place for a leisurely stroll alongside the Pacific Ocean.
Plus, you possibly can go from the seashore straight into the subsequent cease.
Golden Gate Park
Earlier than we get to the Golden Gate Bridge, it’s time to take a look at the Golden Gate Park.
Golden Gate Park covers over 1,000 acres and is definitely 20% greater than Central Park in New York!
There’s a lot to see and do in Golden Gate Park that you may simply spend all the day there.
With simply 3 days in San Francisco, nevertheless, you’ll want to maneuver a bit faster.
The Golden Gate Park has trails, picnic areas, lakes, gardens, playgrounds, and even a Dutch windmill.
It’s residence to a conservatory of flowers, a Japanese tea backyard, a high quality artwork museum, and rather more.
There’s a golf course and a disc golf course right here. Golden Gate Park additionally has tennis courts, horseshoe pits, and a skate space for sports activities lovers.
You can too lease a motorbike or be part of a motorbike tour that can assist you cowl extra floor.
In the event you purchased the San Francisco CityPASS, you’ll need to cease on the California Academy of Sciences.
Tickets value USD$35 in any other case. You should buy a ‘Skip the Line’ ticket right here to get you in faster.
There’s quite a bit happening right here, with an aquarium, planetarium, and even a rainforest!
It’s fairly superb all of the various things you are able to do in a single park!
After making it all the size of the Golden Gate Park, sit down and relax for a bit on Hippie Hill.
It is probably not the summer time of affection anymore, however the hippie spirit continues to be alive and properly in San Francisco!
Day 1 – Afternoon
No matter you determined to do whereas visiting the Golden Gate Park, likelihood is you’re getting fairly hungry and a bit drained at this level.
Fortunately, you’ll find yourself in one among San Francisco’s coolest neighbourhoods upon leaving the park. There are many choices for lunch right here!
Again within the ’60s in the course of the summer time of affection, the Haight-Ashbury space of San Francisco was the birthplace of the hippie counterculture motion.
Younger folks from all corners of the nation flocked right here and established a group centred round liberal beliefs, music, and medicines.
The primary head store within the nation opened up right here and was a well-liked assembly place.
Whereas the unique Psychedelic Store is not round, there are many funky retailers right here to peruse.
Along with head retailers, you’ll additionally discover some fairly superior document and clothes shops right here.
You should definitely take a look at Amoeba Information, Buffalo Alternate, Many years of Vogue, and Liked to Dying.
My private favorite a part of visiting this space is seeing the home the place the Grateful Useless used to reside.
710 Ashbury was residence to the legendary band from 1965-68 and it stays a well-liked attraction for Deadheads from all around the world.
In the event you occur to be on the town on a Friday, you possibly can join the Flower Energy Strolling Tour of the Haight.
Excursions begin at 2 PM and final about 2.5 hours.
It prices USD$20 per individual and you possibly can ebook on-line upfront.
Once you’ve had your fill of the Haight, it’s time to take a look at one other native park or two across the metropolis.
The aptly named Buena Vista Park actually provides you a buena vista (“good view”) of the San Francisco skyline.
A number of blocks away, you’ll discover Alamo Sq. Park.
That is the very best spot to snap a photograph of San Francisco’s iconic “Painted Women” – a row of vibrant Victorian-style houses.
Often known as “Postcard Row,” this block of homes actually does make for some postcard-worthy photos.
If they appear acquainted, it’s most likely since you’ve seen them earlier than.
The houses on Alamo Sq. had been used within the opening credit of the well-known TV present “Full Home.”
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Day 1 – Night
It’s been a busy first of your 3 days in San Francisco so I like to recommend taking it simple in your first night.
After you discover San Francisco all day and canopy some severe floor, it’s time to relax out a bit!
Dinner & Drinks
When you end your photoshoot with the Painted Women, you’ve obtained a number of choices for dinner & drinks within the space.
You may stick across the Alamo Sq. Park space or stroll just a few blocks to the Decrease Haight or Hayes Valley.
There are many eating places, breweries, and bars within the space from which to decide on.
Take your choose from Mexican, Thai, Italian, Japanese, Greek, and extra.
There are additionally craft breweries, Irish pubs, and quirky dive bars. The choices are virtually infinite right here!
In the event you’ve obtained any fuel left within the tank and also you’re up for it, there are a number of wonderful music venues within the space.
There’s the San Francisco Symphony when you really feel like classing it up a bit.
Different choices embrace SF Jazz, the Fillmore, and the Invoice Graham Civic Auditorium.
I at all times examine Jambase to see what’s enjoying after I’m travelling.
Day 2 – Morning
Our 3 days in San Francisco journey planner rolls on with day two.
Hopefully, you bought some stable sleep and had a considerable breakfast as a result of we’ve obtained one other massive day!
Lyon Avenue Steps
For many who prefer to kickstart their day with somewhat train, a go to to the Lyon Avenue Steps is a stable alternative.
They’re situated on the southeast nook of the big Presidio Park the place you’ll be spending the morning.
You’ll should stroll up 332 steps right here, nevertheless it’s properly price it for the epic views of the bay.
You should definitely convey your digital camera for this one!
Whereas it’s price a go to on a transparent day, I ought to word which you can skip out on the Lyon Avenue steps if San Francisco’s notorious fog rolls in.
READ NEXT: Contemplate taking a visit to the close by mountains after studying our put up on all the nice issues to do in Lake Tahoe!
Whether or not you stroll up the steps or not, the remainder of your morning needs to be devoted to exploring the Presidio, particularly if it’s your first time visiting San Francisco.
As soon as the positioning of a US Military put up, it’s now a nationwide park.
There’s quite a bit happening right here and the park is sort of massive. So that you’ll have to choose and select what you do right here.
In the event you begin with the steps, you possibly can then stroll alongside the scenic Lovers’ Lane path.
Close by is the Letterman Digital Arts Heart. It’s residence to Lucasfilm, the legendary studio behind the Star Wars collection.
You may drop into the foyer throughout working hours to snap images with life-sized statues of Darth Vader and Boba Fett.
Plus there’s additionally a Yoda Fountain out entrance. It’s undoubtedly a crucial cease for all of the Star Wars followers on the market!
Subsequent up is the Palace of Superb Arts. This lovely Greco-Roman palace was initially constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exhibition.
The Palace of Superb Arts is now a well-liked occasion area and an incredible spot for photographers to take a look at. It additionally showcases a number of, you guessed it, high quality arts!
The venue is open from 10 AM-5 PM from Tuesday to Sunday and also you’ll want about an hour to examine all of it out.
An alternate method to the Lyon Avenue steps is beginning your go to off on the coast at Baker Seaside.
From right here, you possibly can entry the great Batteries to Bluffs path alongside the shoreline.
That’s not all, although. The Presidio can be residence to a couple museums, a number of public artwork, loads of scenic overlooks, and some seashores.
Among the finest views of the Golden Gate Bridge is feasible from the Golden Gate Overlook.
You might undoubtedly spend all day right here, however we’ve obtained a busy San Francisco itinerary forward of us nonetheless!
Day 2 – Afternoon
So far as lunch goes, you’ve obtained just a few choices.
There are just a few cafes and eating places within the park, together with the Presidio Social Membership and The Commissary.
In the event you’d moderately sit outdoors and avoid wasting cash, you are able to do that as an alternative!
There are many picnic areas within the Presidio, so you possibly can at all times simply pack a lunch.
Golden Gate Bridge
Subsequent up is probably the most iconic picture of the town – the Golden Gate Bridge.
It’s listed as one of many Seven Fashionable Wonders of the World and attracts over 10 million guests every year!
To be taught extra about this engineering marvel, you possibly can drop into the Golden Gate Bridge welcome centre.
They’ve obtained some informative reveals on the Golden Gate Bridge and a few nice views of it as properly.
When you can simply take within the views from an overlook, one of the simplest ways to essentially expertise the Golden Gate Bridge is by strolling throughout it!
This could undoubtedly be excessive in your listing of what to do in San Francisco.
It takes about 45 minutes to an hour to stroll throughout the 1.7-mile bridge.
You might additionally decide to lease a bicycle from a close-by store and journey that throughout.
When you get to the opposite aspect of the Golden Gate Bridge, you’re in Marin County.
Seeing as the way you walked all the way in which throughout the bridge, you could see the view of San Francisco from that aspect of the water.
There are just a few trails and viewpoints on the Marin aspect of the bridge, in addition to Kirby Cove Seaside and the Presidio Yacht Membership.
The latter is residence to Travis Marina, a chilled-out bar with low-cost drinks and superior views throughout the San Francisco Bay.
Day 2 – Night
After that massive day, you would possibly need to relax again at your lodging for a bit.
With simply 3 days in San Francisco, you want to squeeze in a break once in a while!
Have a bathe, get modified, and head out for an enormous evening out in town.
In terms of nightlife, few areas do it higher than the Mission District in downtown San Francisco.
Earlier than we get to the partying, although, you’re going to wish some meals in your stomach.
This a part of the town is residence to a big Hispanic group, and meaning loads of superior taquerias to select from.
Truly, there’s a particular number of burrito that originated proper right here!
Burritos are greater than meals right here. They’re part of the tradition. You should definitely come hungry, as a result of these Mission District burritos are not any joke!
La Taqueria is without doubt one of the hottest spots to do that well-known burrito.
With a stomach stuffed with scrumptious burrito goodness, it’s time for a drink.
The Mission District is stuffed with wonderful bars, from elegant cocktail lounges to old-school dives.
In the event you’re feeling a bit too full for beer, a few of the greatest locations to get a cocktail embrace ABV, Dalva, and Trick Canine.
The latter has obtained the honour of “greatest cocktail menu on the planet,” so that you’ll undoubtedly need to test it out!
So what else is there to do within the Mission District?
You may stroll round and take a look at the road artwork as you do a little bit of bar hopping.
There’s at all times reside music doing on right here, so pop into wherever sounds good and rock out.
In the event you’ve obtained room for dessert after burritos and drinks, this neighbourhood can be well-known for its ice cream.
Bi-Ceremony Creamery, Smitten, Backyard Creamery, and Xanath are all inside just a few blocks of one another, so take your choose!
Day 3 – Morning
This 3 days in San Francisco itinerary has been large to this point, and we’ve nonetheless obtained yet one more day to go.
For the ultimate day, you’ve obtained some necessary selections to make.
Not like different days, I’m going to suggest a lightweight and fast breakfast right now.
Belief me, you’ll need to be hungry for an early lunch right now!
Yerba Buena Gardens
After a lightweight breakfast, head over to the Yerba Buena Gardens.
That is the right place to ease into your third and ultimate day in San Francisco.
The gardens characteristic a memorial waterfall to Martin Luther King Jr., loads of public artwork, an ice skating rink, a bowling alley, and extra.
There’s undoubtedly one thing for everybody right here.
Museum of Your Alternative
When you’re over right here, you would possibly as properly take a look at one of many many museums across the backyard.
In the event you purchased the San Francisco CityPASS, a go to to the San Francisco Museum of Fashionable Artwork is already included.
If not, it’s USD$25 for adults and free for teenagers.
Talking of youngsters, when you’re travelling with little ones you would possibly need to head to Youngsters’s Creativity Museum.
This interactive museum is enjoyable for the entire household and a good way to spend a morning.
Different selections embrace the Modern Jewish Museum, the Museum of the African Diaspora, and even the Museum of Ice Cream.
Subsequent up, hop on the cable automobile and journey it as much as San Francisco’s Chinatown.
That is the oldest Chinatown within the US and it’s additionally the biggest Chinese language enclave outdoors of Asia.
After all, one main motive to return to Chinatown is for the meals.
I suggested you to take it simple at breakfast for a motive right now!
Noodles, dumplings and extra await you right here in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
Snap a photograph of the Dragon Gate, do a little bit of window purchasing, and take a look at the Transamerica Pyramid. It’s undoubtedly one of many funkiest skyscrapers round.
In such a hilly metropolis, there are many locations to go for some superior views in San Francisco.
Hop again on the cable automobile from Chinatown and head north to Columbus & Lombard Avenue, the well-known crooked avenue of San Francisco.
From right here you’ve obtained just a few choices for taking within the surroundings of San Francisco.
Head west and also you’ll discover the stretch of Lombard Avenue that’s well-known for its hairpin turns.
Stroll up the steep Lombard Avenue which is stuffed with landscaped flower beds and also you’ll get to George Sterling Park, the place you’re rewarded on your efforts with an incredible view.
If in case you have a automobile whereas exploring San Francisco, don’t miss the chance to drive alongside Lombard Avenue. Simply drive fastidiously, after all!
In the event you’d moderately take the straightforward method out, head east from the cable automobile station to the Coit Tower. Stroll out to the statement deck to get pleasure from 360-degree panoramic views of San Francisco.
Tickets for the Coit Tower value USD$9 for adults and $6 for youngsters.
Once you head down from the tower you possibly can stroll down the Greenwich Steps for much more views.
One other scenic spot in San Francisco is Union Sq.. As the center and soul of the town, Union Sq. has a number of accommodations, leisure, retailers, and eating places within the space.
Day 3 – Afternoon
How your afternoon goes on day three will depend on your pursuits and whether or not or not you got the San Francisco CityPASS.
Those that picked up the CityPASS will need to make sure that to get their cash’s price.
You’ve nonetheless obtained two objects left to examine off, they usually’re conveniently situated proper subsequent to one another.
Aquarium and Cruise
Head on over to Pier 39 on the perimeter of Fisherman’s Wharf. Right here is the place you’ll get to observe tons of sea lions sunbathing on the pier.
After observing the ocean lions, you possibly can pay a go to to the Aquarium of the Bay.
There’s quite a bit to see right here, with the spotlight being their Underneath the Bay exhibit.
This immersive exhibit takes you thru lengthy tunnels full of rays, sharks, and extra.
Tickets run USD$28.25 for adults and $18.25 for teenagers when you don’t have the CityPASS.
Skip the strains on the Aquarium of the Bay with this ticket!
Subsequent up, you possibly can embark on a Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise.
This narrated hour-long cruise takes you across the bay and Alcatraz Island.
Talking of Alcatraz, that’s one other day journey choice for this afternoon.
In the event you’re questioning what iconic issues to do throughout you 3 days in San Francisco, this subsequent one is for you.
It actually doesn’t get a lot cooler than taking a day journey to Alcatraz Island.
As soon as upon a time, this island within the San Francisco Bay was residence to a maximum-security jail.
It was right here that those that brought about hassle at different prisons had been despatched.
These included infamous criminals like Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly.
In the event you’re taking the Blue & Gold Cruise and have a San Francisco CityPASS, you’ve the choice of simply paying 5 bucks additional for a tour across the island.
In any other case, you’ll need to take a look at the totally different excursions out there from Alcatraz Cruises.
Their day journey is a stable alternative to essentially take within the sights of Alcatraz. It features a round-trip ferry, an audio tour, and optionally available packages & reveals.
Among the finest methods to finish this a part of the day is to pop into Ghirardelli Sq. for some world-famous scrumptious chocolate concoctions.
Guide your Alcatraz cruise upfront on Get Your Information
Wine Nation (Various Day Journey Possibility)
If Alcatraz doesn’t actually curiosity you, however vineyards and wine does, you may additionally take into account a day journey to Napa Valley or Sonoma Valley.
These are two of the USA’s most well-known wine areas, and they’re each solely about an hour away from the town. So they’re nice day journeys!
Napa Valley particularly is extraordinarily well-known around the globe for its Cabernet Sauvignon wine and its scenic, rolling inexperienced hills.
However Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley each are beautiful and have a mess of gorgeous vineyards for wine tasting.
Reserving a guided tour is greatest for wine tasting journeys, except you’ve a chosen driver. You need to have the ability to pattern all of the wine with out worrying about driving!
There are many wine tasting day journeys from San Francisco that go to each Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley.
Day 3 – Night
Similar to that, 3 excellent days in San Francisco is coming to an finish.
Fortunately, you don’t should go far to succeed in our subsequent cease when you get again on land.
Probably the most well-known locations to go to in San Francisco is Fisherman’s Wharf within the North Seaside neighborhood.
This San Francisco Bay waterfront space alongside Jefferson Avenue is the centre of the town’s fishing business and is residence to a number of wonderful seafood eating places.
After a whirlwind tour of San Francisco in 3 days, I’d say you’ve earned a pleasant seafood meal at Fisherman’s Wharf with views of the San Francisco Bay.
There are many locations to select from, together with Scoma’s, Pier Market, and Fog Harbor.
The latter is the primary 100% sustainable seafood restaurant within the space and an incredible place on your final dinner on the town.
Sure, Fisherman’s Wharf is touristy and sure it may be somewhat on the dear aspect. Nevertheless it’s price making the journey right here no less than as soon as.
In the event you’ve obtained any vitality left after dinner, the world is your oyster so far as nightlife goes.
You may hit a comedy membership close by Fisherman’s Wharf, take a look at some extra reside music, go bar hopping, or simply get pleasure from some good quaint folks watching.
There are few locations higher than San Francisco to try this!
The place to Keep in San Francisco
Now that you simply’ve obtained a jam-packed itinerary for 3 days in San Francisco, it’s time to determine the place to remain.
Among the greatest neighbourhoods to remain embrace Nob Hill, Union Sq., Haight-Ashbury, South of Market (SoMa), and the Mission District.
San Francisco has hostels, low-cost motels, quaint B&Bs, luxurious accommodations, and all the pieces in between.
And you’ll simply get to all lodging utilizing the cable automobile and a little bit of strolling.
There’s one thing for each model and finances relating to lodging.
Listed here are just a few suggestions to swimsuit all budgets:
Finest Hostel in San Francisco – USA Hostels
Our choose for the very best hostel for the place to remain in San Francisco goes to USA Hostels.
With over 7,000 opinions and a score of 9.1 on Hostelworld, you understand that this place is doing one thing proper!
There’s quite a bit to like about this hostel.
To begin with, their dorms are solely 4 beds, so that you don’t have to fret about sharing a room with 15 loud night breathing strangers. They’ve obtained tremendous comfortable beds right here as properly!
Assembly folks is straightforward right here because of their massive lounge space and the assorted actions they run.
From free strolling excursions to karaoke nights, to hostel dinners, it’s a really social place.
Finest Mid-Vary Lodge – Hayes Valley Inn
If you need a spot in an incredible location with out breaking the financial institution, Hayes Valley Inn is a stable alternative.
Hayes Valley Inn is situated close to Union Sq. within the metropolis middle, so it’s an incredible base for all of the San Francisco points of interest talked about on this itinerary.
This can be a true B&B the place company are served breakfast every morning.
It’s a really homey place and undoubtedly has extra character than your generic chain accommodations.
You’ll discover fundamental however comfy rooms and the bogs are shared.
For the worth (underneath $200 an evening) and the placement, this place is a steal in San Francisco.
Finest Luxurious Lodge – Lodge Drisco
The folks have spoken, and Lodge Drisco is the best choice on Journey Advisor this 12 months.
It’s situated within the Pacific Heights space of the town, only a quick stroll from the Presidio.
Visitors right here get to get pleasure from Egyptian cotton linens, a connoisseur breakfast buffet, chauffeur service, and rather more.
That is undoubtedly a spot to remain in case you are trying to splurge and revel in a few of the finer issues in life throughout your 3 days in San Francisco!
As you would possibly anticipate, staying on this lap of luxurious comes with a reasonably hefty price ticket.
That is San Francisco, in any case. Rooms begin at simply over $400 right here.
That about wraps it up for this information to an ideal 3 days in San Francisco itinerary. I hope it helps you’ve a tremendous journey to the Bay Space.
It’s undoubtedly one among our favorite cities to go to within the US!