First Time in San Francisco



Description:

The best thing about visiting San Francisco is that the city has a little something for travelers of every stripe. World-class museums and performing arts? Check. Glorious, gorgeous nature? Check. Outstanding food? Check. Cool neighborhoods to explore? Check. Fun for the whole family? Check. And if you’re the kind of traveler who likes it all, taking in the following sights is a surefire way to have an unforgettable first visit. Note that while we've packed a lot into four days, you can easily spread out the fun to last a week or more!

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Author: Jessica Mordo


Day 1 - San Francisco


Your first day of your first SF visit takes you on a tour of the most famed sights. Take a Cable Car from Powell and Market streets up, up, up through the hilly climes of elegant (and aptly named) Nob Hill, all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf. Tons of good, clean, touristy fun can be had in the way of The Wharf’s maritime history, unique museums, abundant seafood (we recommend Scoma’s), and souvenir shopping. The Wharf is also the jumping off point for visiting the notorious former penitentiary on Alcatraz Island, a definite can’t-miss SF experience. After “escaping” from Alcatraz, journey along the twists and turns of the “crookedest street in America,” Lombard Street, and then explore the Italian and former Beat-poet enclave of North Beach, followed by a romp through America’s oldest Chinatown. End your day with a fantastic Chinese meal at Yank Sing.


1

Cable Cars

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Location:

401 Van Ness
(between Golden Gate and Grove Sts) Admin Offices
San Francisco, CA 94102

Contact:

tel: (415) 673-6864


2

Nob Hill

Location:

Sacramento and Taylor
San Francisco, CA 94109


3

Fisherman's Wharf

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Location:

The Embarcadero
Fisherman's Wharf
San Francisco, CA 94133

Contact:

tel: (415) 956-3493


4

Scoma's

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Location:

Al Scoma Way
Pier 47 and Al Scoma Way (between Jefferson and Jones sts.)
San Francisco, CA 94133

Contact:

tel: 800/644-5852
fax: +1 415 775 2601


5

Alcatraz Island

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Location:

Embarcadero and Powell St
(Pier 39)
San Francisco, CA 94133

Contact:

tel: (415) 705-5555


6

Lombard Street

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Location:

Between Hyde & Leavenworth streets
Above Ghirardelli Square
San Francisco, CA 94133

Contact:

tel: (415) 391-2000


7

Chinatown

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Location:

Bush St. and Kearny St.
San Francisco, CA 94108

Contact:

tel: +1 415 391 2000


8

Yank Sing

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Location:

101 Spear Street
Rincon Center
San Francisco, CA 94105

Contact:

tel: (415) 541-4949
fax: (415) 541-0308


Day 2 - San Francisco


First-timers to SF will discover that Golden Gate Park may very well be the best urban park in America, as it truly affords visitors the best of both indoor and outdoor worlds. Take a leisurely romp through the Japanese Tea Garden for East-meets-West splendor, and go on a horticultural world tour at the Strybing Arboretum & Botanical Garden. The California Academy of Sciences boasts amazing educational exhibits and architectural marvels to delight people of all ages, while the de Young Museum features impressive contemporary art and indigenous artifacts collections. Then explore the city’s hippie legacy in nearby Haight-Ashbury, a great neighborhood for window-shopping and affordable dining.


1

Golden Gate Park

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Location:

Stanyan & Fulton Sts
(Great Highway at Fulton St)
San Francisco, CA 94118

Contact:

tel: (415) 831-2700
fax: +1 415 581 2540


2

Japanese Tea Garden

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Location:

At the corner of Tea Garden at Martin Luther King, Jr.
(Golden Gate Park)
San Francisco, CA 94117

Contact:

tel: (415) 752-4227


3

Strybing Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

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Location:

9th Avenue at Lincoln Way
San Francisco, CA 94122

Contact:

tel: (415) 661-1316
fax: +1 415 661 7427


4

California Academy of Sciences

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Location:

55 Music Concourse Drive
Golden Gate Park
San Francisco, CA 94143

Contact:

tel: (415) 379-8000


5

de Young Museum

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Location:

50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr
(Golden Gate Park)
San Francisco, CA 94118

Contact:

tel: (415) 863-3330


6

Haight-Ashbury

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Location:

Haight and Ashbury Streets
San Francisco, CA 94117

Contact:

tel: +1 415 391 2000 (Tourist Information)


Day 3 - San Francisco


Explore the gourmet offerings of the San Francisco Ferry Building Marketplace and, if the timing is right, at the Farmer’s Market (only open on Tuesdays and Saturdays). Then take a ferry to the quaint Marin town of Sausalito, where you can stroll in the sun, check out art galleries and funky shops, and have a leisurely lunch. A first visit to the Bay Area would be incomplete without making the journey across the Golden Gate Bridge. Hoof it or cycle across the iconic bridge back into San Francisco for an unparalleled, up-close experience that also affords you amazing city and bay views. That night, catch a show at the legendary Fillmore Auditorium concert venue, located in the historic Fillmore District.


1

Ferry Building Marketplace & Farmer's Market

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Location:

Ferry Building Marketplace
One Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

Contact:

tel: (415) 693-0996


2

Golden Gate Bridge

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Location:

Lincoln Blvd & Hwy 1
Hwy. 101 N
San Francisco, CA 94129

Contact:

tel: (415) 921-5858


3

Fillmore Auditorium

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Location:

1805 Geary Boulevard
(at the corner of Fillmore Street)
San Francisco, CA 94115

Contact:

tel: (415) 346 6000


Day 4 - Mill Valley, San Francisco


Yesterday you checked out Sausalito, but much more of Marin County begs exploring—and any first-timer to the Bay Area shouldn’t miss these Marin marvels. Behold the majesty of California redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument and then take in gorgeous coastal views at Stinson Beach. The beautiful drive back to the city on Highway 1 will blow you away. Save the best for last—have a swanky, final SF dinner at one of the city’s finest eateries, Gary Danko.


1

Muir Woods National Monument

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expert pick

Location:

Muir Woods Rd and Camino Del Cyn
(Follow signs from Hwy 101 N)
Mill Valley, CA 94941

Contact:

tel: (415) 388-2595
fax: (415) 389-6957


2

Gary Danko

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Location:

800 North Point Street
(at the corner of Hyde Street)
San Francisco, CA 94133

Contact:

tel: (415) 749-2060
fax: (415) 775-1805


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