48 hours in San Francisco the ultimate travel guide via thefashiontofollow.com

What To Do

48 hours isn’t much time to experience all that San Francisco has to offer, but I hope the following list helps give you an overview of what you can see if you’re really planning to maximize your time -which you should! For us visual folk, I created a map to mark the hotspots, photo ops, restaurants, and hidden gems that are mentioned below. Pin this post.

Tourist Hot Spots

    • Pier 39: Very touristy


    • Fisherman’s Wharf


    • Ghirardelli Square


    • Cable Car Ride


    • In-N-Out Burger: If you’re a fan of the iconic burger chain, stop by on the way to the airport – but be sure to leave plenty of time because lines are long. There is also one right by the piers.


    • Chinatown



Photo Ops

    • Civic Center Plaza


    • Coit Tower


    • Grace Cathedral


    • Cable Car Ride: We rode the California line


    Lombard Street: The world’s crookedest street is gorgeous in the spring and summer when flowers are in bloom. 8 hairpin turns paved with Victorian mansions and hydrangeas (visit in the spring!) will make for some great photos.

Hidden Gems

    • 16th Avenue Tiled Staircase: This is a beautiful staircase that has a tile mural on the steps.


    • Palace of Fine Arts Theatre


    • Lands End Labyrinth


    The 39th floor bar of the Marriott Marquis – great city view!


    • Alamo Square and the Painted Ladies: If you’re a Full House fan like me, make sure to stop by Alamo Square and see the Painted Ladies, the four beautiful Victorian houses featured in the opening credits and pictured above.


    • Golden Gate Park: Larger than Central Park, this oasis is filled with activities, including the de Young Museum, Legion on Honor, and the San Francisco Botanical Gardens.


    • Crissy Field – Right by Golden Gate (and where I took most of the pictures in this post.)


    • Union Square: Union Square is in the heart of downtown and it gives you a great sense of the city, and probably the best area to shop in.


    • Mission Dolores Park


    • Yerba Buena Gardens:


    • Last time I went to Yerba Buena Gardens, I stopped at awesome tea house called

Samovar Tea

    • and had the BEST iced tea.


    Muir Woods and Beach

Where To Eat


    • Bar Tartine


    • Park Tavern



Coffee and Specialty Shops

    • Mr. Holmes Bakehouse – Have you seen pictures of that neon sign that reads “I got baked in San Francisco”? They were taken here. Come in early because these baked goods sell out quickly.


    • Arizmendi


    • Liguria Bakery – for 8+ flavors of focaccia bread


    • Salt &S Straw – Ice Cream


    Sightglass – Coffee


    • Little Gem (Gluten-, dairy-, refined sugar-free)


    • Lavash


    • Tacos Cala


    • Gracias Madre (Mexican – Vegan)

Beach Chalet

    : I have not been here, but found it when writing this post and it looks stunning. It overlooks the ocean and has great reviews. Definitely going next time I’m there!


    • Wayfair Tavern (American)


    • Cadence (plenty of Vegetarian options)


    • Panhandle (Mexican)


    • Del Popolo (Neapolitan pizza)


    • NOLA – in Menlo Park. If you’re going to Mountain View during your trip, check out a place called NOLA. I had such a great meal there.


    • Here’s a

full list

    of hot restaurants.

What To Pack

The weather tends to be mild, but with fog and wind from the Bay, you may want to bring a few pieces to layer. A casual dress + leather jacket + sunnies = a great combo that’s easy to pack. Keep a scarf in your bag for chillier parts of the day.

Where To Stay

If you’re only there for 48 hours, I would suggest staying downtown and being within walking distance from the most notable attractions. You can’t go wrong with Marriott and there’s a great Marriott Marquis in SOMA. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to find a last-minute stay, you can use Hotel Tonight to book a steal of a deal. How that works is if a hotel doesn’t fill their rooms, Hotel Tonight features them for a fraction of the regular room rate. From what I’ve found, the rates are often unbeatable and all of the hotels are top quality brands and boutiques.

Travel Tips

Bring a scarf: Since it’s by the water, it can get windy and bay fog comes and goes. Keep a scarf in your bag to deal with temperature changes.

Bike when possible: San Francisco is such a fun city to see by biking – particularly in the flat areas of downtown and by the piers. Last time I was there, it was $9 to rent a city bike and you could use it as many times as you’d like within 24 hours, with each use being no longer than 30 minutes at a time – which is plenty of time to get from point A to B downtown. That sure beats an Uber!

Bring cash: The cable cars and many other attractions require cash. A cable car ride costs $6 and it’s totally worth it.

Wait for the fog to roll through before visiting Golden Gate.


San Francisco viewpoint via TheFashionToFollow.comFull House house in San Francisco red doorAlamo Square Full House San Francisco viewpoint via TheFashionToFollow.com

Near Alamo Square Full House San Francisco viewpoint via TheFashionToFollow.com

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco viewpoint via TheFashionToFollow.com

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco viewpoint via TheFashionToFollow.com

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco viewpoint via TheFashionToFollow.com

Embarcerado Street hill view in San Francisco viewpoint via TheFashionToFollow.com

Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco viewpoint via TheFashionToFollow.com






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