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San Francisco

What would you do if you only had 1 or 2 days in this amazing city and you've already been to Alcatraz and Fisherman's Wharf?

Date weekend with Hubby, using only public transportation, prefer FREE or very inexpensive attractions, nature, gardens and architecture, BEST photography spots.

7 Answers

answered first by
Tiffany from Corvallis

Ok for FREE places with great views go to:

1.  Coit Tower.  There is a small fee to go up inside the tower itself, but you don't need to go to the top.  The views from teh bottom are amazing too.

2.  Twin Peaks.  Here's another great viewpoint.  It can be foggy here, but sometimes that's pretty too.

3.  16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project at 16th and Moraga.  The stairs themselves are beautiful, but you can also walk up them and then to the right you'll see another staircase that takes you to the top of the hill for more amazing views.

4.  Marin Headlands .  There's a long stretch of road with places to stop and take pictures and trails to hike.  It hugs the hills across the Golden Gate Bridge, so the views of the city are phenomenal.  Bring your zoom lens if you have one.  On a clear day you can see down the coast to Pacifica.

You may also want to check out (more free stuff, less views):

6.  Painted Ladies at Alamo Square.  Free, colorful Victorian homes, nice walk, and actually a decent view too.

7.  The Presidio.  Another free park that was once a military base.  Great place to bike. There are beaches here too.  Check out Baker Beach nearby.

8.  Golden Gate Park.  Unless you're going into a museum, this park is free.  You can bike, rent a paddleboat, walk, or bring a picnic and just lounge somewhere pretty.  Locals love this too.  It isn't just for tourists. 

9.  It may see odd, but the Haight-Ashbury is fun to walk around.  It isn't nearly as strange as it once was, but is still kitchy and fun to see.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Coit Tower (attraction)
  2. Twin Peaks (attraction)
  3. 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project (attraction)
  4. Marin Headlands (attraction)
  5. Painted Ladies (attraction)
  6. Alamo Square (attraction)
  7. Presidio (neighborhood)
  8. Baker Beach (attraction)
  9. Golden Gate Park (attraction)
  10. Haight-Ashbury (attraction)
4 thankscomments (2)

answered by
JR from Manhattan Beach

Teresa, if you've never been to the Ferry Building, spend a couple hours there. It's a historic building, in fact the only building over 4 stories tall that survived the 1906 earthquake. They have redone it into the coolest retail center in the country IMO. Tons of boutique stuff to smell, taste and drink. I love stopping in here everytime i can. I feel like I find something new every time.

Here are some of my favorite places in the Ferry Building:

  • Blue Bottle Coffee -- the coolest hipster coffee in San Fran. They have a few locations in SF and one of them is in the Ferry Bldg location. Prepare to wait in line as it's ALWAYS a long line.
  • Acme Bread Company -- A lot of people go to Fisherman's Wharf for sourdough, but since you've already been, you can skip that and just go to the Ferry Building...They have an AMAZING bread bakery inside the Ferry Bldg if the sourdough is calling you!
  • Gott's Roadside -- This is in the ferry building and they make a mean burger. on a nice day, it will be packed with a bunch of people sitting outside on their picnic tables. 
  • Slanted Door -- This one's a little more pricey, but I love it. reservations are a must for lunch or dinner. I always end up fighting for a seat at the bar because i don't get a reservation. Get the green papaya salad, shaking beef and clay pot chicken... those are the staples. after that, experiment a bit... you can't go wrong. 
  • Ferry Plaza Farmers Market -- If you are there on a Saturday, then you MUST go because they have an amazing farmers market too!

If the weather is nice, you can take the fFerry to Sausalito. This is a lot of fun. it's $12 each way, but imo worth it to get out on the bay. You'll cruise by Alcatraz and you can walk around shop/eat in Sausalito. If you only have 1 day, you might not be able to fit this in though, but maybe 2 days.

Have a good time! San Francisco's great.

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ferry Building (attraction)
  2. Blue Bottle Coffee (restaurant)
  3. Acme Bread Company (restaurant)
  4. Gott's Roadside (restaurant)
  5. Slanted Door (restaurant)
  6. Ferry Plaza Farmers Market (attraction)
  7. Ferry to Sausalito (attraction)
  8. Alcatraz (attraction)
  9. Sausalito (city)
3 thankscomments (2)

answered by
Kenin from Florida

Japantown Peace Plaza is a  neat attraction and completely free and strolling down  Haight Street Market and  Market Street is fun as well. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Japantown Peace Plaza (attraction)
  2. Haight Street Market (attraction)
  3. Market Street (attraction)
3 thankscomments (1)

answered by

The San Francisco Botanical Garden is beautiful - located in the Golden Gate Park which is also gorgeous itself.  You can go through the Haight-Ashbury area on the way which is also worth doing anyway!

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. San Francisco Botanical Garden (attraction)
  2. Golden Gate Park (attraction)
  3. Haight-Ashbury (attraction)
1 thanks

answered by
Debbie from San Francisco

Fun!  Most people who live in the city don't have cars, so public transportation is great here.  Here are my list of favorites:

  • Ferry Building: Try to come here on your Saturday morning in SF because that's when the famous farmer's market is!  It's not just for buying fresh, local produce.  There are also a ton of great gourmet food stands (a lot of which have actual restaurants), so you can experience the awesomeness of San Francisco food.  Inside the Ferry Building itself is also great to experience.  If you like cheese, got to Cowgirl Creamery.  And if you like coffee, you have to go to Blue Bottle Coffee.
  • Cupid's Span: While at the Ferry Building, walk over to Cupid's Span for a great photo op of the sculpture and the Bay Bridge.
  • Waterbar: If you like oysters at all, walk a little further down to Waterbar.  It's a gorgeous restaurant with a beautiful view of the Bay Bridge and the water.  It's a pricy restaurant, but they actually have an awesome happy hour menu.  From 11:30 AM to 5:30 PM every day, they have $1 oysters!  Try to go earlier in the day though, because they don't take reservations and they get packed.
  • Palomino Restaurant: If Waterbar is packed, go across the street to Palomino.  Around lunch time is when the sun hits their patio the most, so try to go there then.  Another gorgeous restaurant that looks pricy, but actually has an awesome all-day happy hour menu.
  • Justin Herman Plaza: If you walk across from the Ferry Building to the right, you'll see the Justin Herman Plaza.  Their egg head sculptures are fun to photograph and there's an amazing industrial-looking waterfall structure that you can actually climb and also walk through (just discovered this the other weekend!).
  • Golden Gate Bridge: Something else that's fun to do is to rent a bike and bike across the Golden Gate Bridge.  You can also walk across it.  It's typically an all-day thing, though, if you can allot the time for it.
  • Golden Gate Park: There are tons to photograph here because it's a huge park!  De Young Museum is beautiful on the outside even if you decide not to go in.  Stow Lake is gorgeous, as are the Japanese Tea Garden and the San Francisco Botanical Garden.  The outside of the botanical garden is beautiful, and if you want to go inside, it's only $7.

Have fun, Teresa! :)

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. Ferry Building (attraction)
  2. Cowgirl Creamery (attraction)
  3. Blue Bottle Coffee (restaurant)
  4. Cupid's Span (attraction)
  5. Waterbar (restaurant)
  6. Palomino Restaurant (restaurant)
  7. Justin Herman Plaza (attraction)
  8. Golden Gate Bridge (attraction)
  9. Golden Gate Park (attraction)
  10. De Young Museum (attraction)
  11. Stow Lake (attraction)
  12. Japanese Tea Garden (attraction)
  13. San Francisco Botanical Garden (attraction)
1 thankscomments (2)

answered by
jack from California

If I get a chance to go again to San Francisco  for only 2 days then I would like to explore my favorite destinations of this city. Moreover, I would like to enjoy the ride of San Francisco cable car system. 

Mentioned in this answer:

  1. San Francisco (city)

answered by
Noel from The Big Island

There is so much to do in the city based on what your interests are and how much you want to pack in your days. I typically love going to more off the beaten path areas and even new hangout spots. Here is a detailed post of some of my favorites and I'm sure you can get to most of these easily with public transportation.

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