3 Days in San Francisco: Everything You Should Know
If you are planning on visiting San Francisco, you will probably have a long list of things that you want to do when you are in this lovely city. There are many things that you can do when you visit San Francisco, but what if you are only there for a long weekend? Many people have trouble condensing their three-day vacation plans down to a reasonable amount of things to do and see. If you have been planning to visit San Francisco for three days, don't worry. This guide will help you to plan the best three-day trip ever!
No matter what your plans are for your 3 days in San Francisco, you will need to put your luggage into secure storage first. Make sure to use one of our San Francisco storage locations to store your luggage safely. Once your bags are safe and tucked away, you will be ready to make the most of your brief time in San Francisco!
You should always consider visiting San Francisco in the fall since this is when you get mild temperatures and fewer crowds. You will find that fog and rain can happen during any season in this city by the bay, but you will have the nicest and most enjoyable weather when you pick the fall for your visit. If you are going to be in town for music events, festivals, or some other planned occasion, you might not be able to choose the season that you are traveling. Make sure that you bring a jacket and some long pants no matter when you plan your San Francisco trip since the water can make it cold and foggy even during the summer.
San Francisco Itinerary - Day 1
If you have arrived in San Francisco, you have probably already imagined heading out for some excellent street food or world-class shopping. Thankfully, you can accomplish many of these goals in the same sections of town. San Francisco offers a lot of unique areas that are influenced by specific cultures or certain kinds of stores. Each of these unique areas will give you access to benefits that other parts of the city might not.
For your first day, you are probably ready to head right to downtown San Francisco where all the hustle and bustle takes place. However, if you are in town and the weather is clear, this might be the perfect time to head to the Golden Gate Bridge. This landmark can be hard to see when the weather conditions are not right or the fog is too thick. If you have driven into the city, you might have seen the bridge or even crossed it before seeing the San Francisco Skyline. No matter what your plans are for seeing the Golden Gate Bridge, you will need to try and be flexible as the weather dictates or you might miss out on seeing it.
If the weather is foggy, you will probably want to start your first day of the trip with a specific location. San Francisco's Chinatown can be a really good place to start and you will be close to the business of downtown San Francisco without being dropped right into the hustle and bustle of the Union Square area. Union Square is a great companion adventure to tack onto a stop in Chinatown and the best shopping in the city can be had in this area. If you are here in the winter, you will love the festive atmosphere and you will also be able to ice skate in the park in Union Square itself.
For a fancy lunch near Union Square, head to Sons & Daughters or you can easily enjoy a lunch in Chinatown that is full of flavor and delightful options that you likely won't find in other places in the US. There are so many dining options in this area that you might not be sure which kind of food to pick! San Francisco's food scene is excellent and you will never go hungry when you are in this city.
Once you have eaten, you might want to go visit the Painted Ladies around Alamo Square. This is one of the most photographed places in the US and the colorful Victorian architecture here is worth seeing in person. Once you have dropped by this part of town, you can choose to visit The Mission district which offers Spanish-influenced charm or you can elect to head to Haight Ashbury where the hippie movement was born.
Have dinner at Sam's Grill & Seafood restaurant or you can choose to explore San Francisco and find something that looks great while you wander. San Francisco's dining scene is amazing and there is good food of all kinds in almost all parts of the city. There are so many vegetarian and vegan options in this city and you can find food from every single country on offer all over the city.
You might be tired and ready for bed, but you can also seek out one of the many really fun nightlife options that are offered in all parts of the city to close out the night. Make sure that are least one of your days in San Francisco is spent out on the town and taking part in this city's enjoyable nightlife.
San Francisco Itinerary - Day 2
If you have chosen to see the heart of the city during your first day in San Francisco, you will want to enjoy the bay area for what it's most known for. The area surrounding the bay is what San Francisco is all about. You will not be making the most of your visit to San Francisco without making sure to spend at least one of your days in San Francisco near the water. If you are in the city in the winter, you might not be able to partake of all of the options that are open to you in the warmer months of the year, so keep this in mind.
The Crepe Cafe is a great place to have breakfast near Fisherman's Wharf. This is an iconic part of the city and you can head here for so many really uniquely San Francisco experiences. This is one of the endpoints for the cable car system, so you can have your fun in this part of the city and then head out on a cable car to finish out your day. When you are in the Fisherman's Wharf area, you can enjoy shopping, see amazing views of Golden Gate Park, or choose to take a walking tour to learn all about this part of the city.
You can also leave from the nearby Embarcadero to get on a boat to see Alcatraz Island. This is one of San Francisco's most famous places to visit and you will need to reserve a few hours for this experience. Plan to have warm clothing with you because it is really cold on the island even in the summer. If you only have a couple of days in San Francisco, the trip to Alcatraz Island might take too long but if you have 3 days in San Francisco you will have time to take part in this unique tour.
You will probably be ready for dinner at this point, and you can now get on the cable car and ride into the city. You can ride almost all the way to the Tenderloin which is a great place for dining options that are more casual. You can find food here from all parts of the world and there are also lots of shopping options if you are not quite ready to end your day. The bar scene is also excellent in this part of the city and you can easily enjoy a quality nightcap here.
You can also spend the night in the swanky North Beach area instead. This location has a heavy Italian influence and you will be able to eat a filling Italian meal or enjoy wine and aperitifs. This is a great place for Italian food that will rival the kinds of excellent food you can enjoy on the East Coast.
San Francisco Itinerary - Day 3
For the last of your days in San Francisco, you will have lots of choices to pick from. You can grab a coffee and a pastry to go, or head to one of the many really excellent sit-down breakfast places in the city. Mazarine Coffee is a great choice for an excellent pick-me-up before you move on to other exciting options for your day.
This is a good day to go see some of the museums in the city like the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. You might also choose to head to see Coit Tower or ride the cable car line if you have not done so already. The Golden Gate Bridge or Golden Gate Park might still be on your list of things to do and if you love San Francisco, you will want to make sure that you make time to walk along some of the steep streets taking in the sights and sounds. You can also enjoy the Ocean Beach area on this day of your trip.
There are some other really fun places that you can visit to enjoy the famous Lombard Street with its eight tight, hairpin turns, or you might want to check out the Ferry building marketplace. California Street offers you access to all kinds of San Francisco landmarks and you can wander along the length of this street looking for street art, enjoying snacks like delicious ice cream, or stop in for some amazing food for lunch at any of the eateries that line this famous street.
California Street is just as essential to the San Francisco experience as the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and you can combine your visit to Lombard Street and Coit Tower with some time spent in this famous part of the city. The Vault Garden is a great place to have dinner if you are looking for a chic and upscale dining experience, or you can head to Perbacco for some casual and delicious Italian food.
You will have lots of options to enjoy this last night in the city before you head to the Oakland International Airport or the San Francisco International Airport. Why not enjoy a night out at the various dance clubs in the city? Or, maybe you will want to head to a wine bar instead. Being able to reflect on everything that you saw and did during your stay can be really satisfying if you find the right place to hang out for your last night in town.
Whether you have come to San Francisco to enjoy North Beach or Ocean Beach, or you want to shop in Union Square or along Fisherman's Wharf, you will have plenty of time to see all of the things that you wanted to experience while you were in town. You can enjoy many of San Francisco's unique spaces like Chinatown, or you might want to make sure that you get to ride a cable car or see the row houses along Alamo Square. There is no wrong way to spend your 3 days in San Francisco, and you can easily add more fun adventures to your itinerary if you end up with extra time while you are visiting.
Make sure that you always take the time to put your luggage into secure storage when you arrive in San Francisco. Taking the time to store your luggage properly will make sure that you will have the peace of mind to enjoy your trip fully. We can take care of your luggage storage needs so that your days in San Francisco are relaxed, fun, and truly memorable.