The ultimate travel guide, here are the ten best things to do in San Francisco, California in 48 hours including where to stay, what to eat and how to stay active!
San Francisco is one of my favorite cities in the US. In fact, we visit at least once a year to see my dad’s side of the family who reside in Berkeley and throughout the Bay Area.
Whether it’s your first visit to San Francisco or your 50th, the city is constantly changing and evolving so I wanted to share my TEN BEST things to do while visiting this beautiful city by the bay.
Before we get into my Top 10 list, let’s start with where to stay! Home base for my visit to San Francisco was Palace Hotel, part of Marriott’s luxury hotel collection.
It won’t take long to figure out where The Palace got its namesake. You will feel like royalty from the moment you step foot inside this beautiful, luxury property.
Despite the historic quality and ornate features, I was blown away by the modern updates and freshly renovated guest rooms and public spaces. Be sure to check out this beautiful hotel when you’re in San Francisco.
Now that we’ve covered where to stay, let’s get right into my list of the top ten best things to do in San Francisco in 48 hours!
While I’ve driven across the Golden Gate bridge MANY times, I had never walked across this beautiful landmark until my recent visit. Start to finish the entire walk took just 45 minutes with many stops along the way to take in the view.
While you can start from the San Francisco side of the bridge, I suggest taking an Uber to the Sausalito side then walking towards the city so you can take in the beautiful skyline views.
My second recommendation is to enjoy traditional Chinese dim sum at Yank Sing restaurant. With various locations throughout the city, I have vivid memories of dining here as a kid with my Papa Leo and all of his children and grandchildren.
There were probably 20 of us and it was so much fun picking out our dishes right from the push carts that rolled alongside our table. Don’t miss the Chinese broccoli – it’s one of my favorite dishes to this day.
Whenever I travel, I like to take a fitness class at a local boutique studio so that I can maintain my healthy lifestyle while away from home. (Read: eat more food without guilt!) If you love circuit training and/or yoga, be sure to pop into Tribe SF. The teacher was very hands-on, motivating and welcoming. The music was great too!
Of course, no visit to San Francisco is complete without getting your fix of fresh seafood. Now that I live in the midwest, I always take full advantage of cities that have easy access to different types of seafood.
This San Francisco seafood calendar is a great way to see what seafood is in season during different times of the year including Dungeness crab, halibut, sablefish and more.
Pro Tip: If you grab fresh crab from the food stalls at Fisherman’s Wharf, walk up a couple blocks afterwards to enjoy it at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
The next thing you must do in San Francisco is visit the Ferry Building! This indoor marketplace is lined with incredible, world-renowned vendors including Cow Girl Creamery.
It’s the perfect place to stop, try samples and pick up a few souvenirs or goodies for yourself to take home.
The next must do in San Francisco is the infamous High Tea at Palace hotel. A long-held tradition, The Palace Hotel beloved Signature Tea celebrates the exquisite ritual of an elegant menu that is perfectly paired with every pour. There’s really nothing quite like it anywhere else.
Next up: hike Lands End trail! A 3.4 mile loop, you won’t believe the breathtaking views of the ocean and the Golden Gate Bridge along the way.
The only reason the hike took me so long was because I kept stopping to take in the incredible view.
Hands down, the Lands End trail is not to be missed. Pro Tip: Take an Uber from your hotel – it’s only about 10 minutes and easier than dealing with driving/parking in a big city.
This leads us to number eight: have dinner at Rooh, an Urban and Indian inspired restaurant and cocktail bar. Hands down, this was the best meal of the entire trip. I couldn’t believe how well balanced yet bold the flavors were in every single bite of every dish. Do not miss this one, friends,
For a fun night out or happy hour, head to The Riddler, a champagne bar in Hayes Valley, a super fun and trendy neighborhood.
I highly recommend the bubbles flight so that you can try a variety of different bottles.
Don’t forget to order a couple apps. I am still dreaming of the yogurt dip with toasted sesame seeds, the tater tot waffle and the chocolate pudding caviar!
Last but not least, you can’t visit San Francisco without heading to The Mission district for tacos!
Well friends, there you have it! My list of the ten best things to do in San Francisco in 48 hours.
What are your favorite things to do in San Francisco? Anything I missed for next time?
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Disclosure: Hotel accommodations were provided by The Palace. All thoughts are my own. Photography by Alejandro Photography.
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