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david
Mayfield, Pa

San Francisco

Best things to see for one day in San Francisco?

In town one day only. Don't want to spend too much and want to see and do some things with my adult daughter. What do you suggest?


4 Answers

answered first by
Krista from San Francisco

Hi David,

Awesome that you're visiting San Francisco with your daughter! :)

I recommend picking 1-2 neighborhoods and sticking to the area. Here are some options:

North Beach area:

Marina area:

Western SF:

Other:

  • Twin Peaks for spectacular views of the city (bridge to bridge!) on a clear day.

I wrote a bit more about my favorite things in SF here. Have the best time!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ferry Building Marketplace (attraction)
  2. Lombard Street (attraction)
  3. Transamerica Pyramid (attraction)
  4. Coit Tower (attraction)
  5. Pier 39 (attraction)
  6. North Beach (neighborhood)
  7. Palace of Fine Arts (attraction)
  8. Chestnut St (attraction)
  9. Union St (attraction)
  10. Presidio (neighborhood)
  11. Crissy Field (attraction)
  12. Lyon Street Steps (attraction)
  13. Ocean Beach (attraction)
  14. Sutro Baths (attraction)
  15. Coastal Trail (attraction)
  16. Baker Beach (attraction)
  17. Golden Gate Park (attraction)
  18. California Academy of Sciences (attraction)
  19. Japanese Tea Garden (attraction)
  20. De Young Museum (attraction)
  21. Tile steps (attraction)
  22. Grand View Park (attraction)
  23. Twin Peaks (attraction)
2 thanks


answered by
Kristal from San Francisco

Hi David, 

I'm not sure if you have been here before, but some of the more touristy things might take up too much time (ex. Alcatraz), I would suggest you enjoy SF like a local and just take in the great neighborhoods and city vibe. 

Some neighborhoods that have things to do and things to eat:

Hayes Valley - there's a great laid back yet energetic vibe here. PROXY is an area with rotating food and shopping options that is super cute. It has an industrial vibe and there won't be many tourists. There are great eateries in the area: 20th Century Cafe (for an amazing honey cake), Otoro Sushi (if you're a sushi fan), Chantal Guillon Macarons (for great macaroons), Smuggler's Cove (for drinks), La Boulange de Hayes if you want a very San Francisco lunch (or coffee in the morning with a bread pudding - huge and only $3). Blue Bottle Coffee if you're looking for some strong coffee or a great affogato.

The Embarcadero, Chinatown, Financial District and Little Italy are all close to each other (walking distance) making it easy to take it all in. For attractions in those areas: Transamerica Pyramid - just to see the famous building, San Francisco Chinatown itself is a great site, walking around and finding hidden gems in small stores is a great way to pass the time. If you want a great cheap eat in the area, head to Good Mong Kok Bakery for dim sum - hardly anyone speaks English but the point and count method works just fine! For desserts, the egg tarts from Golden Gate Bakery are loved by A LOT of people. North Beach (essentially Little Italy) has great food options: The Italian Homemade Company cooks the pasta made in house in front of you (it's delicious and simple), Molinari Delicatessen has great sandwiches, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana is known for their pizzas if you want to just grab a slice on the go, Cavalli Cafe has good tiramisu and cannolis. In the Financial district there's Sushirrito - FIDI Transamerica if you like handrolls - they call them sushi burritos, but you're essentially getting a large hand roll and it's delicious! The Ferry Building Marketplace is a great place to go for food - they have a lot of options, some of my favorites are: Hog Island Oyster Co., IncBoccalone Salumeria (great salami sandwich or meat cone), Cowgirl Creamery for their brie cheese and Acme Bread Company for their bread (cash only). There's also Humphry Slocombe ice cream and a ton of other treats! From this area you can see Coit Tower

If you want to spend a more relaxing time, the Golden Gate Park is a great way to spend some of your day. The park is huge, but you can choose to see however much you like. It's also a very different feeling than being in the center of downtown (the Financial District).

If you're a little more adventurous and a big foodie, I would say the Mission District is a great place to go, with bakeries like Craftsman and Wolves and Tartine bakery and burritos at La Taqueria, you really can't go wrong! Plus, there's Dolores Park to get a great view of people in SF enjoying the sun (assuming it's a nice day).

Enjoy your trip! 

If you are looking for any in depth reviews of the places I mentioned, you can check out my blog, Eat and Escape

- Kristal


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Hayes Valley (neighborhood)
  2. PROXY (attraction)
  3. 20th Century Cafe (restaurant)
  4. Otoro Sushi (restaurant)
  5. Chantal Guillon Macarons (restaurant)
  6. Smuggler's Cove (attraction)
  7. La Boulange de Hayes (restaurant)
  8. Blue Bottle Coffee (restaurant)
  9. Transamerica Pyramid (attraction)
  10. San Francisco Chinatown (attraction)
  11. Good Mong Kok Bakery (restaurant)
  12. Golden Gate Bakery (restaurant)
  13. North Beach (neighborhood)
  14. The Italian Homemade Company (restaurant)
  15. Molinari Delicatessen (attraction)
  16. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana (restaurant)
  17. Cavalli Cafe (restaurant)
  18. Sushirrito - FIDI Transamerica (restaurant)
  19. Ferry Building Marketplace (attraction)
  20. Hog Island Oyster Co., Inc (restaurant)
  21. Boccalone Salumeria (restaurant)
  22. Cowgirl Creamery (attraction)
  23. Acme Bread Company (restaurant)
  24. Humphry Slocombe (attraction)
  25. Coit Tower (attraction)
  26. Golden Gate Park (attraction)
  27. Mission District (neighborhood)
  28. Craftsman and Wolves (restaurant)
  29. Tartine bakery (restaurant)
  30. La Taqueria (attraction)
  31. Dolores Park (attraction)
1 thanks


answered by
Kelly from Los Angeles

If you're in SF for a day, I would avoid the tourist traps. Keep away from Pier 39, wave hello to Alcatraz from the shore, and don't -- please don't -- wait in line to ride a crowded cable car. Instead, I'd wear good shoes and take off on foot. When you want to take a break, hop on a cable car on your own, seek out a BART station, or order an Uber. 

Wake up a little early and head across the Golden Gate Bridge by bike or on foot. When you get to the Marin Headlands, seek out the best spot for a photo. If you're lucky, the fog will just be rolling in, and you'll have the place a little to yourself. You could grab breakfast in Sausalito, or you can head back to the city and get a famous Irish coffee at The Buena Vista Cafe. Later, stop by the California Academy of Sciences before lunch, and then see if you could grab some sandwiches to take to Alamo Square. Depending on where your walking takes you, you can get a pick-me-up inside the Ferry Building at Blue Bottle Coffee or at Sightglass Coffee in SoMa. If it's the later, and the Giants are playing, head to AT&T Park for the game. If baseball isn't your thing, then go to North Beach for dinner at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Pier 39 (attraction)
  2. Alcatraz (attraction)
  3. Golden Gate Bridge (attraction)
  4. Marin Headlands (attraction)
  5. Sausalito (city)
  6. The Buena Vista Cafe (restaurant)
  7. California Academy of Sciences (attraction)
  8. Alamo Square (attraction)
  9. Blue Bottle Coffee (restaurant)
  10. Sightglass Coffee (attraction)
  11. AT&T Park (attraction)
  12. Tony’s Pizza Napoletana (restaurant)
1 thanks


answered by
Jeffrey from San Francisco

Check out the view from Twin Peaks, it's free!


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Twin Peaks (attraction)




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