If you recall my 5 Ways to Make the Most of Your Weekend post, one of my suggestions was to pack a bag and get on the road right after work. This weekend I took my own advice and did just that heading to San Francisco. I lived in northern California briefly but although my time there was short-lived I made lifelong friends that I wanted to visit before the summer was over.
In addition to seeing my friends, I also got the chance to play tourist for the day. When you live in a city that draws a lot of visitors, you tend to shy away from those areas which is exactly what I did. But I didn’t repeat that mistake this weekend. I got out there and explored San Francisco so here are 5 must-see San Francisco attractions you should fit into your itinerary.
1) View the Golden Gate Bridge
What would a trip to San Francisco be without seeing the Golden Gate Bridge? I’ve visited the famous bridge before but it was cold, foggy and not a day to remember. This time, the weather couldn’t have been better and the skies couldn’t have been clearer. I did a quick Google search for areas in the city that provided the best view of the Golden Gate Bridge and Battery Spencer came highly recommended.
But here’s the funny part, I missed my turn. Oops! Since that was the last turn off, I was stuck and had no choice but to just drive across cursing the whole way because I thought I missed my chance to get the perfect shot of the bridge. But someone in the heavens must’ve been looking out for me. At the end of the bridge you arrive at the welcome center and if you bypass that parking lot and head towards the wooded area (these directions could be better, I’m SO sorry! lol) you’ll come across an unpaved FREE parking lot and here you will stumble upon an amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge!
Aside from being a great vantage point to view the bridge, this location also holds a lot of history as a former army post so it was also pretty cool taking a look around. I ended up spending more time here than I planned, but it was well with it because I was able to get some amazing photos if I do say so myself! 2) Palace of Fine Arts
Less than 5 minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge you’ll find the Palace of Fine Arts. I only found out this place existed about a month ago, but I am so glad I did! The staggering columns, ornate rotunda, and sculpture in the fashion of Greek art are a sight to behold. I strongly suggest stopping here and taking a stroll throughout the grounds. You’ll be glad you did. 3) Lombard Street
How could you not go and see the most crooked street in the world? Whether you drive down or walk alongside it, you should make it a point to experience Lombard Street, the beautiful homes that line it, the flowerbeds full of hydrangeas and let’s not forget the view! *BONUS* Roam Artisan Burgers
If you love good, old-fashioned burgers like I do then you should definitely grab lunch at Roam Artisan Burgers. My friend picked this spot for lunch and I had to give it two thumbs up. May I recommend the Classic Burger with blue cheese? And be sure to tell them not to skimp on the pickles!
5) Mosaic Stairs @ 16th & Moraga
The 16th Avenue tiled steps are a hidden gem definitely worth a few minutes of your time. Aside from the sheer beauty of these steps, I love that they were created as part of a community project with over 300 community members contributing to the effort. From the bottom of the stairs looking up, it is like watching a story unfold that you never want to end. 6) The Painted Ladies
*cues Full House theme song* You may recognize these homes from the opening credits of Full House but even if you don’t that’s okay because they’re still a must see. The Painted Ladies are colorful Victorian styled homes in San Francisco. You will find the ones pictured here in Alamo Square across the street from Alamo Park. If you’re as lucky as I was to experience good weather, grab a blanket and camp out in the park for a little while and take it all in.I’m an LA girl through and through but San Francisco has a certain charm that LA lacks. It’s inviting and welcoming and moves at a pace that’s not frantic or rushed which is why it’s my go to city when I want to get out of town for a day or two. In addition to being able to cross an item off my end of summer bucket list, this time around I had the chance to get to know a city I love a little better and I can’t wait to find out more.