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California Weekend Get Away: San Francisco in Three Days!

Travelers Today       By    Katherine Hewitt

Updated: Nov 06, 2014 06:01 PM EST

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We can all be pushed for time with work or school to take off time and travel.  Weekends are our only chance to really escape it all.  The problem is where to go for a weekend.  You want a destination that will keep you busy but not rushed to visit every sight, but you don't want to see everything in one day. 

San Francisco offers a great weekend get away.  Yes, it is a big city with much to do, and you could probably spend a week or so there. But a weekend trip would give you a good feel of the city.

The main area of downtown, which is centered around a main through fare Market Street, is a great place to stay.  It is a five minute walk from the famous tram stop for the Powell-Hyde and Powel-Mason trams that will take you to the Wharf.  Granted the line is several hours long at the busiest times, you might want to take a taxi to where you want to go!!!  This is also the area that all the shopping and restaurants are in as well.

The most popular attraction in San Francisco would be the tram and a great thing to do on your first day.  As with the Powell-Hyde and Powell-Mason tram the line is long, but it is an integral part of your trip and makes for great memories.  Though you may not feel so great when you may have to wake up early to get in line! 

You can also jump on the tram at one of the stops in between the end and start of line, where the lines are the longest.  These interim stops usually only have a handful of people waiting in line.   The most famous line, the Powell-Hyde line, travels thorough Russian Hill, Lombard Street, and down a 21% sloped hill, which gives an amazing view of Angel Island, The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Mount Tamalpais until they reach the Wharf.

At the Wharf, you can walk along the different piers, the most famous being Pier 39.  The most well known visitors to the piers are the sea lions that waddle up to shore or lounge out on rocks to sun bathe.  They are quite entertaining to watch as they play and frolic in the waters.   In addition, there are street performers all along the pier providing entertainment to tourists.   A boat tour is a great way to see the bay including the Golden Gate Bridge!

By this time you are probably pretty hungry.  My favorite places for food are the Boudin Bakery Café and the fruit market!  At the Boudin Bakery Café, they make their own bread fresh several times a day.  The entire block smells like bread! The best item and probably most popular is the soup in a bread bowl. The fruit market provides a delicious little snack for the afternoon.  Not much beats eating fresh fruit and looking out over the bay with the salty Pacific breeze blowing in your face!!    

On your second day visit Ghirardelli Square, where the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory is located.  Not only is there the factory with plenty of chocolate to buy in the gift shop, there are restaurants and shops.  If traveling with kids, this is great place to visit on Saturdays.  They offers kid friendly activities all morning.

In the afternoon visit Lombard Street, the "World's Most Crooked Street".  At the top of the street the tram runs by, dropping people off there.  Walking down (more like meandering down), the street provides an amazing view of the bay and the city!

Another great spot to visit for the third day is Chinatown.  The tram also conveniently stops on the outskirts of this area.  There are plenty of shops with tokens of Chinese life, food markets, and restaurants.  Even if you don't go into any of the stores or restaurants there is a vibrant culture there, especially in the center square where the elders have meet ups, play cards and just chat with one another. 

And of course to finish off your trip, drive across the Golden Gate Bridge.  On the other side you can park, get out, and enjoy the view.  Even walk across the bridge, unless you are afraid of heights! You might just want to stay on land and enjoy the view!

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

Tags
California, San Fransisco, golden gate bridge, Pier 39, lombard street
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