48 Hours in San Francisco, California

October 24, 2017

San Francisco is a beyond beautiful city in the California Bay Area, with hills covered in Victorian buildings and unique sights. I decided to visit the city on a whim to visit a friend of mine and ended up having a fantastic time during this short 48 hour trip.

We found a budget-friendly Air BnB to stay at conveniently located between the downtown area and SFO airport, and were able to explore most of the city within those 2 days.

Here’s how we spent our 48 hours in San Francisco:

Day 1:

Breakfast at Joe & The Juice

We started off the beginning of day 1 with breakfast at Joe & The Juice downtown. I later find out that this adorable little coffee shop is a chain that actually originates in Europe, and was later brought over to the U.S. starting in New York. One of their specialties was a ginger latte, which of course I had to try.

Ghirardelli Square & Pier 39

After breakfast we walked towards Ghirardelli Square and Pier 39, which were two of my must-see stops on my list for this trip. Ghirardelli Square is an adorable collection of shops and eateries, and since we were there on a Tuesday morning, it was completely empty.

Bike Rentals

While walking around Pier 39, we knew we wanted to eventually end up at the Golden Gate Bridge, naturally. After walking past a few different bike rental shops, we caved. Our bike route took us from Fisherman’s Warf all the way to Sausalito, and took us about 2.5 hours to complete, making stops along the way to sight-see and take photos.

By the time we finally reached Sausalito, we were hungry and exhausted and found a restaurant on the water called Barrel House Tavern and ate dinner while the sun was setting. The most perfect way to recharge. However, we may have enjoyed our time there a little too much because we missed our ferry ride that was supposed to take us back to Fisherman’s Warf. We ended up having to call an after-hours taxi service to haul both of us and our bikes back to the rental shop, which was completely over-priced, but worth it. I’d do it all over again for that sunset view.

Day 2:

The Castro District

We started off the beginning of our second day with breakfast at The Kitchen Story café, located in the heart of San Francisco’s gay community. Walking around The Castro and seeing rainbow flags on everything made my heart so happy. I also loved how uniquely diverse each district of SF really is.

Mission Dolores Park

I’ve heard many great things about this spot before my trip. Dolores Park sits in The Castro District and provides you with a view that overlooks the entire city. The weather on this day could not have been more perfect with it’s clear skies. Not to mention, you can openly drink here, so of course we popped open a bottle of wine and spent most of our afternoon here drinking and laughing and taking silly pictures. I remember saying if I lived in the area, I would be here all the time.

Grandview Park & Kirby Cove

These two locations were on our list solely because both locations have a swing tied to a tree with a scenic background – perfect for photo opts. We took an Uber from Dolores Park to Grandview Park, and hike up a hill of stairs to the top, only to find that the swing was broken! Total let down. Luckily the view of the city made up for it (perfectly named, if you ask me).

Onto Kirby Cove. We take another Uber over the bridge and get dropped off at the entrance to the mile-long trail leading down to Kirby Cove. We were walking down the trail for maybe 2 minutes when we decided to stop a couple going past us back up if the swing was still intact. It was not. Such an unfortunate day for tree swings. We ended up not deciding to hike the rest of the way down because at that point we were tired and bummed we wouldn’t be getting our tree swing pic. Nonetheless, still got another cool view of the Bridge. Life’s good.

Were there any other must-see’s in the city that we missed? I would love to hear your own stories in the comments below!

About the Author

Hi I’m Rylie – Welcome to my corner of the internet!

I’m a solo traveler & photographer based in Southern California, on a mission to explore the world and inspire you to do the same.


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