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San Francisco

Top 3 Must-do/eat/sees - Touristy Stuff!

I'm in SF through Monday midday, and would love to know your Top 3 must-do/eat/sees in the city. I've already got some super touristy things like Fisherman's Wharf, riding a street car, and seeing the Painted Ladies. What about food? Other sights? Budget is pretty small, but I'm open to ideas of things I haven't thought of yet!

Also, I've done the Golden Gate Bridge, so that one is one I'm willing to skip this time!

8 Answers

top answer by
Krista from San Francisco

Hi Valerie,

Top 3 is TOUGH! But here goes:

Three things to see:

  1. [free] + Ocean Beach (this is really a single stop)
  2. [free] Bridge to bridge view from the top of Twin Peaks
  3. [free] Palace of Fine Arts + Crissy Field

Three things to eat:

  1. [$5-15 pp] If you venture to the beach area, Outerlands $5 best cheese is the best thing to have for lunch! The line can be crazy long though, so don't go hungry :)
  2. [$5-10] The olive oil ice cream at Bi-Rite Creamery is to die for! The brownie sundae is also fantastic.
  3. [$10 or less] Papalote has the best burrito in SF. :)

Three things to do:

  1. [$18] See a show at the The Castro Theatre
  2. [free] Walk the Lands End trail
  3. [free - unless you buy something!] Explore the shops on Valencia St in the mission, Hayes Valley or Union StChestnut St.

I've put together a few more of my faves here if you need extra ideas. Have the best time! :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ocean Beach (attraction)
  2. Twin Peaks (attraction)
  3. Palace of Fine Arts (attraction)
  4. Crissy Field (attraction)
  5. Outerlands (restaurant)
  6. Bi-Rite Creamery (restaurant)
  7. Papalote (restaurant)
  8. The Castro Theatre (attraction)
  9. Lands End (attraction)
  10. Valencia St (attraction)
  11. Hayes Valley (neighborhood)
  12. Union St (attraction)
  13. Chestnut St (attraction)
3 thankscomments (4)

answered by
Scott from San Francisco

Go to the Ferry Building and eat a sandwich at Boccalone Salumeria, and an ice cream at Humphry Slocombe.  You can also get a grilled cheese sandwich at Cowgirl Creamery.  The Ferry building is certainly touristy, but those are world class culinary options that are inexpensive and happen to be in a tourist attraction.  Also, if you're there on a Saturday, the Ferry building has a good farmer's market in front of an behind it.  Another inexpensive local option, that isn't touristy but it's in a touristy area Union Square, is Super Duper Burger.  Good high quality burgers and fries, that won't break the bank.  Just don't compare their pricing with fast food, it's expensive compared to junk from a chain but worth it, instead compare it to other restaurants and you'll be thrilled.  

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Boccalone Salumeria (restaurant)
  2. Humphry Slocombe (restaurant)
  3. Cowgirl Creamery (attraction)
  4. Union Square (attraction)
  5. Super Duper Burger (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
Filip from Bertem

For beer Lovers Toronado and Zeitgeist

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Toronado (restaurant)
  2. Zeitgeist (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
Jacey & Scott from Fort Collins

Half touristy/half local, give the views and history a try at Cliff House-and the popovers are amazing too.  Love the SoMa StrEat Food Park-the trucks change daily.  And for an hour long wait with your newest best friends, try Tartine bakery-the best croissants, coffee, quiche and desserts.  Great for weekend brunch.  We are also big fans of the fun experience at Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar-make sure to stay long enough to see the thunder storm.

For excellent food in China Town, try peking duck at R & G Lounge or anything at Oriental Pearl Restaurant.

Scott also requested that Beach Blanket Babylon be mentioned.  We had a great time there on New Year's Eve.  So funny!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Cliff House (attraction)
  2. SoMa StrEat Food Park (restaurant)
  3. Tartine bakery (restaurant)
  4. Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar (restaurant)
  5. R & G Lounge (restaurant)
  6. Oriental Pearl Restaurant (restaurant)
  7. Beach Blanket Babylon (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Tiffany from Corvallis

Ditto on the Sutro Baths.

FREE to see/do:


Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Sutro Baths (attraction)
  2. Coit Tower (attraction)
  3. Twin Peaks (attraction)
  4. Lombard Street (attraction)
  5. Golden Gate Park (attraction)
  6. Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden (attraction)
  7. Clarion Alley (attraction)
  8. Ghiradelli Square (attraction)
  9. San Francisco Chinatown (attraction)
  10. Gaspare's Pizza (restaurant)
1 thanks

answered by
Shawn from Presidio

Go to "Off the Grid" on Sunday afternoon in the Presidio (if the weather is nice) - From there, you could do some hiking - whether its on Crissy Field, Baker Beach (beware of old man nudity), Presidio trails or across the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin County.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Presidio (neighborhood)
  2. Crissy Field (attraction)
  3. Baker Beach (attraction)
  4. Golden Gate Bridge (attraction)
  5. Marin County (region)

answered by
liberty from San Francisco

Hang out in Golden Gate Park or Dolores Park. Hike along Lands End

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Golden Gate Park (attraction)
  2. Dolores Park (attraction)
  3. Lands End (attraction)

answered by
Nick from Madison, New Jersey

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Alcatraz (attraction)
  2. Haight-Ashbury (attraction)
  3. Ferry Building (attraction)

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