Skip to content

10 Best Things to Do in San Francisco in 48 Hours

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!

Golden Gate Bridge

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.

SF Trolley

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.

Palace Hotel San Fran Guest Room

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.

Palace Hotel Lobby

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.

Palace Hotel Lobby High Tea

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.

Union Square 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!

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco

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.

Liz Walking Golden Gate Bridge 1

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.

Yank Sing Dim Sum San Fran

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.

Yank Sing San Fran

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.

Tribe San Francisco Workout

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!

Fresh Crab at Fishermans Wharf 1

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.

Anchor and Hope San Fran 1

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.

La Mar Peruvian Restaurant San Francisco

A few of my favorite spots for seafood in San Francisco include Anchor & Hope, Fisherman’s wharf (get it from the food stalls!) and La Mar.

Liz and Abby in Park

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.

Liz in San Fran Ferry Building

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.

Olive Oil Tasting

It’s the perfect place to stop, try samples and pick up a few souvenirs or goodies for yourself to take home.

High Tea Palace Hotel

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.

Lands End Trail Water

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.

Lands End Trail Liz San Fran

The only reason the hike took me so long was because I kept stopping to take in the incredible view.

Lands End Trail View San Francisco

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.

Rooh San Francisco Restaurant

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,

The Riddler San Francisco Liz

For a fun night out or happy hour, head to The Riddler, a champagne bar in Hayes Valley, a super fun and trendy neighborhood.

The Riddler San Fran Champagne

I highly recommend the bubbles flight so that you can try a variety of different bottles.

Riddler San Fran Food

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!

Liz Eating Tacos in The Mission

Last but not least, you can’t visit San Francisco without heading to The Mission district for tacos!

Tacos at La Taqueria Mission

While there are endless options to choose from, I got suggestions from locals who steered me to La Taqueria and El Farolito. I’m pretty sure you can’t go wrong anywhere you go in The Mission.

San Francisco Boats Fishermans Wharf

Well friends, there you have it! My list of the ten best things to do in San Francisco in 48 hours.

Liz Ferry Building San Francisco

What are your favorite things to do in San Francisco? Anything I missed for next time?

San Francisco Travel Guide

Your passport is waiting.

Disclosure: Hotel accommodations were provided by The Palace. All thoughts are my own.

Want more travel inspo? Check out my Pinterest board!

nv-author-image

Liz DellaCroce

Liz Della Croce is the creator and author of The Lemon Bowl, a healthy food blog. Since 2010, Liz has been sharing delicious recipes that just so happen to be healthy. By using real ingredients with an emphasis on seasonality, Liz has built a growing audience of loyal readers who crave good food for their families.

1 Comments

  1. Be sure, you won’t be able to explore all these things during such a short time! The city is really full of amazing places to visit, and I think it would be a good idea to take 3 or even 4-days trip!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.