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What to do With a Weekend in San Francisco

What to do With a Weekend in San Francisco

I lived in southern California for five years while I was in college and never made it up to any parts of northern California.  When I moved back last year, I made it a priority to explore more of the state that I call home.  With a full time job big, long trips can be a little tricky to plan and make work.  My boyfriend and I try to make the most of weekend adventures to appease my wanderlust.  Over Columbus day weekend, we decided to make the trip up to San Francisco.  (For those of you in the military, check out the Marine Memorial Museum hotel.  It is right in the middle of the city in a great location and its discounted if you become a member.)  I have compiled a list of what I think are must do activities for a weekend in San Francisco, in no particular order.

  1. Visit Muir Woods

    Something that has been on my bucket list for a very long time is seeing the Redwoods, so we went to Muir woods to see the amazing giants.  The park is about 40 minutes from  downtown San Francisco. Parking is very limited in the actual park, so if you are planning on driving yourself you need to get there very early (around 8:00 am).  Otherwise, you can take the Muir Woods Shuttle service.   We used the Pohono Street park and ride.  It was very simple and took away the stress of trying to find parking.  Be aware, if you get car sick at all this may not be the best option for you.  The road is very curvy, narrow and steep.  I got a little nauseous on the way down to the park.  Once you get there, there are multiple trails you can hike.  At the front of the park, there is a small restaurant if you want to get lunch or you can bring your own food for a picnic!  The park does not allow dogs.

    alt="tree hugging"
    Tree Hugging
  2. Hike Land’s End Trail

    We started the trail at the visitors center.  There is plenty of parking.  The trail is 3.5 miles long, and although it is a very easy trail it does get very busy! This trail is a photographers paradise!  The views got more and more beautiful around every corner.  About three quarters of the way through the trail there is a lookout spot with perfect views of the Golden Gate Bridge.  Pets are allowed on the trail.  Along the trail there is a stop where you can check out the USS San Francisco memorial (a World War II Cruiser).  You can also explore the historical ruins of the Sunto baths.  This is not a round trip trail.  You will either have to hike back once you get to the other end or get a ride back to your vehicle if you parked at the visitor’s center.

    alt="golden gate bridge"
    Golden Gate Bridge

    alt="through the tunnel"
    Through a tunnel at the Sunto Baths ruins
  3. Fisherman’s Wharf

    OK, now I know this is a very touristy area, but it’s a must if you’re in San Francisco.  The bay is beautiful and the food is AMAZING!  Soup in a bread bowl is one of the most popular options.  We ate upstairs with a great view at the famous Boudin Bakery.  The view was amazing, and the food was great.  There is also really good vendors on the street so you can try a little bit of all the San Francisco classics.  There is a great view of Alcatraz from the wharf also.  A stop at the wharf wouldn’t be complete without hitting up Ghirardelli.  My personal favorite is the cookie bottom sundae!  The chocolate shop looks beautiful up on the hill all lit up at night.

    alt="ghirardelli San Francisco"

  4. Alcatraz tour

    If I’m being honest, I’m not really into museums, so when we decided to go to the tour of the old prison on Alcatraz Island my expectations were low.  I was very pleasantly surprised!  The tour was really interesting!  I wasn’t bored for a minute of it.  It’s a self guided tour with headsets so you can go through at your own pace.  There are actual prior inmates that talk and tell stories during the tour.  It was very cool to hear their perspective of the prison, as well as the guards.  I would highly recommend this tour if you are planning a trip to the San Francisco area.

    The cells of Alcatraz

These were the four big stops on our quick weekend adventure, but there is so much more to see and do in San Francisco!  You can have a picnic in the park in front of the “painted ladies” (or better known as the Full House houses), you can wind down Lombard street and get the iconic picture from the bottom, or rent bikes and ride across the famous Golden Gate Bridge.  San Francisco has so much to offer!  So go explore!!


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