9 Must-Do Experiences in San Francisco

San Francisco Insider Guides
by Kate Sep 30, 2016

1. Head north for great views and more nature.

It’s easy to ride across the bridge, or take a city car share for the quick trip. There’s also Muni line 76X which goes to the Headlands.

Hawk Hill

Sausalito, United States

Best Bang for your buck bike ride and view of SF and the Golden Gate. Avoid Sunday afternoon. Sunrise and sunset are best.

Mickey’s Beach

Stinson Beach, United States

Rock climbing spot right off of hwy 1 near Stinson Beach. Climbing right on the water so close that you get the ocean spray – can’t beat it! #climbing

Cataract Falls

Stinson Beach, United States

Easy and extremely scenic 2.7 mile hike in southern Marin. You hike up through the redwoods until you reach the falls. I went when it was raining and it was even more magical. #hiking #marin #bayarea

Parking Lot for Rock Springs Trail Head

Stinson Beach, United States

Epic hiking and mountain biking trails with spectacular views of Stinson Beach and Bolinas. #hiking #mountain-biking #MTB #stinson

Marin Headlands

Sausalito, United States

An awesome view of the bridge and a great place to catch the sun rising or falling. Tip? Parking is impossible on the weekends, so try to go at odd hours or on a weekday #sf #photography

Tennessee Valley Trailhead

Mill Valley, United States

Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge is a short and flat 1.7 mile trail to Tennessee Valley Beach. Great for families. For a more rigorous trail you can venture off one of the other trails that lead up in the hills. #hiking #beach #marin #california

2. Have a Mission burrito.

While there’s wide disagreement about who’s the best, make sure to have at least one, any one. Or try more and wade into the unresolvable “best burrito” debate.

La Taqueria

San Francisco, United States

I just did terrible things to a carnitas burrito.

Gordo Taqueria

San Francisco, United States

Gordo is one of my favorite taquerias in the city. Get the super burrito or “crispy tacos” (not on the menu).

Taqueria Vallarta

San Francisco, United States

Top three tacos in SF. Lot’s of competition, but this has been thoroughly vetted. Open till 3am. #cheap-eats #open-late

3. Summit one of San Francisco’s many hills and ridges to get your bearings.

San Francisco’s geography can seem confusing. Head for the hills and get a better sense of where you are.

Twin Peaks Summit

San Francisco, United States

Amazing San Fransisco ! #history

Immigrant Point Overlook

San Francisco, United States

#hiking great butt blaster stair climb and view.

Presidio of San Francisco; Arguello Gate

San Francisco, United States

San Francisco’s Presidio is an amazing place for a walk or run. Check out the trail on the ridge above the golf course for great views of both the Bay & the Ocean. Oh, and an Andy Goldsworthy sculpture. #hiking

4. Try a cuisine you’ve never had before.

SF’s long history as a crossroads and melting pot leads to a huge list of cuisines. The Tenderloin is an especially great neighborhood for small and unusual eateries.

Shalimar Restaurant

San Francisco, United States

Great Pakistani / Indian food. Be prepared to hustle for a table, BYOB from the market on the corner. #cheap-eats

Mensho Tokyo

San Francisco, United States

Duck Chashu Tsukemen, Get it while they got it! The Best Ramen in SF. New bowls daily #cheap-eats #open-late

Cinderella Bakery & Cafe

San Francisco, United States

All the Russian classics ie Peroshki, Borst. Great food, excellent taste of Russia in SF. Endless variety of cookies too! Outdoor seating and wifi, winner! #cheap-eats #free-wifi

La Mar Cebicheria Peruana

San Francisco, United States

Get your Peruvian grub on! Beautiful drinks, food, and people! Grilled octopus and a prickly pear margarita with Pisco!

Kokkari Estiatorio

San Francisco, United States

Greek food at its best and an SF favorite. Pricey and always slammed so make a reservation well in advance! #fine-dinning

Burma Superstar

San Francisco, United States

Best Burmese food in SF and worth the wait! The tea leaf salad is a must. #cheap-eats

5. Specifically, have some dim sum.

For a true SF experience, join the hordes in line for dim sum brunch in the Richmond District.

Dragon Beaux Restaurant

San Francisco, United States

Bomb dumplings! Tip? Try everything. #eats #sf

6. Get out on the Bay.

The Bay Area is all about, well, the bay. The longer you’re here, the more you’ll see how much the bay itself changes with the light and seasons. Get out on the water for a broader perspective — whether it’s a trip to Alcatraz (make sure to make reservations ahead of time) or a ferry ride across the bay (easy to do spontaneously), make sure to get out on the water.

Alcatraz Island

San Francisco, United States

I loved Alcatraz! We were first to arrive and the audio tour is on point. Very interesting place, don’t miss it.

San Francisco Bay

San Francisco, United States

Get out on the bay by ferry or kayak to see SF from a different perspective.

7. Check out San Francisco’s rich history captured in murals.

Coit Tower’s lobby features murals from the 30s.

Coit Tower

San Francisco, United States

Coit Tower, also known as the Lillian Coit Memorial Tower, is a 210-foot (64 m) tower in the Telegraph Hill neighborhood of San Francisco, California. The tower, in the city’s Pioneer Park, was built in 1933 using Lillie Hitchcock Coit’s bequest to beautify the city of San Francisco; at her death in 1929 Coit left one-third of her estate to the city for civic beautification. #history

For more contemporary murals, head to the Mission District, where art tells the story of the neighborhood that persists beneath the recent changes.

Clarion Alley Street Art

San Francisco, United States

Cool stuff. Worth swinging by if you’re ever in the mission. #streetart #gallery

8. Visit North Beach, one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods and former haunt of the Beats.

North Beach

San Francisco, United States

Explore SF’s literary past and present in North Beach. #history #free

Washington Square Park

San Francisco, United States

Great spot for tranquility and peace!

Molinari Delicatessen

San Francisco, United States

Traditional Italian grocery and deli in North Beach. #cheap-eats

9. Get cultured at one or several museums.

From one of the premier Asian Art museums to the Exploratorium, there’s something to fascinate everyone.

Asian Art Museum

San Francisco, United States

Located in the old Main Library of San Francisco’s Civic Center, this impressive building houses one of the largest collections of Asian Artin the US. Roam the galleries for free the first Sunday of every month. #free #history #gallery #art #museum #asian

de Young Museum

San Francisco, United States

Visit the de Young museum for rotating exhibitions, an interesting permanent collection, and a snack in the cafe.

California Academy of Sciences

San Francisco, United States

Every Thirsday night the Academy of Sciences, which is like a natural history museum, hosts “Night Life” a giant cocktail mixer inside the museum. It’s 21+ and a lot of fun.


San Francisco, United States

This place is mind blowing and we are so lucky to have it here in the Bay Area. So many things to do and so many things to learn about the world. It’s great even for small kids because everything is hands on.

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