With breathtaking natural beauty, vibrant neighborhoods, and a bit of a hippie spirit, San Francisco is a city like no other. It’s a city that has it all, from spectacular views, arts and culture, and plenty of amazing food. So much to see, so little time…sure, 48 hours isn’t quite enough to do it all, but it’s still plenty to soak up some of its highlights and here’s how.
10 AM – Bike the Golden Gate Bridge
Experience San Francisco’s most iconic landmark — the Golden Gate Bridge — by biking across it. This will allow you to see some of the city’s most popular sights, as well as its stunning natural beauty. Start at Fisherman’s Wharf, then along the waterfront, Aquatic Park, Fort Mason, Crissy Field, and the Presidio, one of the most beautiful parts of San Francisco. From here, you will cross the Golden Gate Bridge, and admire stunning views of the San Francisco skyline and Bay. Continue towards the charming seaside town of Sausalito before taking a ferry back into the city.
1 PM – Lunch at Ferry Building
Hungry? All that biking means you’ve probably built an appetite, so head on over to the Ferry Building to take a lunch break. Here, you will find an array of vendors selling everything from fresh produce, artisan cheeses, gourmet coffee, and much more. You’ll find plenty to satisfy your hunger here, and to fuel you up for your afternoon adventures.
3 PM – Art afternoon at the SFMOMA
Spend the afternoon soaking up some art at the SFMOMA, the first museum dedicated to 20th century art on the West Coast. The museum boasts 7 floors of exhibition space, with over 33,000 works in its collection. Some of the famous artists whose works are on display here include Frida Kahlo, Andy Warhol, Richard Serra, Cindy Sherman, Frank Stella, and more. Also be sure to check out the sculpture garden, the living wall, and shop for unique souvenirs in the museum store.
6 PM – Chinatown food tour
Explore some of San Francisco’s most vibrant neighborhoods like Chinatown and North Beach. You’ve probably built up an appetite after today, so why not take a food tour? It will allow you to learn about the history and culture of some of the city’s most famous neighborhoods. In Chinatown, sample dim sum, fortune cookies, and herbal teas as you learn about the oldest Chinatown outside of Asia. In North Beach, taste locally made pizza, freshly baked bread, and artisanal chocolates.
9 AM – Morning walk at Muir Woods
Discover the magical redwoods of the famed Muir Woods, the only coastal redwood forest in the San Francisco Bay Area. This is one of the most beautiful places you will see during your 48 hours in San Francisco! You will have 1.5 hours to explore the forest and walk through the towering redwoods, some of which are over 1,000 years old. You’ll feel tiny here amongst some of the world’s largest trees, which are over 250 feet tall. Enjoy the peace and tranquility offered by being in nature before heading back into the city.
2 PM – Filming locations at Alamo Square
Check out Alamo Square, one of San Francisco’s most famous sights. You may recognize it from the opening scenes of Full House. The postcard-perfect view, with the beautiful Painted Ladies, is one of the most iconic in San Francisco. Want to see more filming locations? This tour will take you to more places that you may recognize from famous movies shot in the city, including Mrs. Doubtfire, Vertigo, the Princess Diaries, and more.
7 PM – Sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge
Get a different perspective on the Golden Gate Bridge — by sailing right under it! One of the best ways to see San Francisco (and some of its most famous landmarks) is from the water. Take a sunset cruise on a luxury catamaran for an experience you’ll never forget. Sail by Alcatraz, get up close and personal with the Golden Gate Bridge, and get a stunning glimpse of the San Francisco skyline as you watch the sun dip below over the Pacific Ocean.
8:30 PM – Dinner with a view
Time for dinner and a cocktail — with a view! There are plenty of restaurants that dot the San Francisco waterfront, many of which boast a gorgeous view to boot. Enjoy an al fresco meal while admiring the twinkling lights of the Bay Lights on the Bay Bridge — a perfect way to end the evening, and your 48 hours in San Francisco.
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