Hi all----going to San Fran for the first time this spring and looking for any musts while I am out there, it looks like we are going in March for 4-5 days group of 4-6 girls, any advice would be great! Esp any little off the beaten path type of joints
The Golden Gate Bridge
Alcatraz [very popular so I recommend reservations as soon as you can]
Spring is a great time for SF - I lived there for 25 years. I suggest you walk down Haight Street (this was Hippie Central in the 60's) stopping first at Buena Vista Park (walk up to the top for an excellent 360 degree view of SF), continue down Haight to Golden Gate Park. Directly across from the GG Park, there are several bike stores where you can rent one for the day - a great way to see the park, Golden Gate Bridge and even into Sausalito in Marin County (you can take the ferry back to SF or bike back). Be sure to see Twin Peaks (another 360 degree view) and the Gay Castro Ghetto. Then down to Mission Street/24th to have the best Mission Burrito in California. Take the BART light rail downtown to Union Square (Powell) or continue to SF Bay (Embarcadero). If you get off at Powell, suggest you walk through the Square to Chinatown to North Beach and down Stockton St. to Fisherman's Wharf. If you go all the way to Embarcadero, turn left at the waterfront and Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39 is about 1/2 mile further down. I prefer the walk through Chinatown - more to see and buy. Ask the locals where the best ethnic food is currently. Stay out of touristy restaurants - they're ripoffs with terrible food. SF is a true gourmet paradise for Asian food of all sorts. I advise you stay off of Market Street and the Tenderloin - can be downright filthy and somewhat dangerous.
Visit the Cliff Hotel bar for a drink ... its great and very different!!! I loved it last year.
Top of the Mark (Mark Hopkins Hotel)
Cable Cars and Cable CAr Museum
Golden Gate Bridge
Palace of Fine Arts
Pac Bell Park (for baseball games)
Bella Vista Restaurant (for an irish coffee)
California Academy of Sciences
Golden Gate Park
Winchester Mystery House (San Jose) and the Santana Row mall across the street
Santa Cruz and it's boardwalk
Big Basin State Park
Monterey and its Cannery Row
Check out the Red Victorian for a really cool place to stay in Haight Ashbury. Very cool and off-beat, as well as affordable! www.redvic.com
I suggest you check out the nighttime hot spots as SOMA, South of Market, Marina esp. Union and Chestnut and Noe Valley. Cafes are a great spot to take in the visuals, very Euro. Weather should be mild but watch for rain, maybe. Museums are very good here as the Asian, Legion of Honor, Palace of Fine Arts and Museum of Modern Art. Special exhibits abound. Keep in mind fine ethnics: Chinatown, Mission - Latin, Japantown and North Beach - Italian. A day in Golden Gate Park hiking on the paths and having a picnic or small lunch and finish west on the Great Highway, the Pacific Ocean! Twin Peaks is a great place to snap some panoramic vistas. Consider a doubledecker bus for a 1.5 hour tour with guide. Even locals learn and enjoy.
Feliz Navidad y prospero año nuevo!
San Francisco, CA./Puerto Vallarta, JAL.