San Francisco in 36 Hours

It honestly feels like its been forever since I’ve been able to sit down with my computer and just write. Between the craziness of work and life, I haven’t had much free time… but since spring has officially decided to not show up in New York City, it’s the perfect day to curl up with my computer, binge on Netflix, and reminisce on our travel adventures!

This past September, Alex and I had a whirlwind of a trip to Northern California, where we stopped in San Francisco for 36 hours. And in the 36 hour period, we walked, saw, and ate until we could do no more. If you’re heading to San Francisco — and especially if you have limited time — here’s my list of things you absolutely cannot miss!

Lands End & The Golden Gate Bridge
The number one thing I wanted to see while in San Francisco was the Golden Gate Bridge. (Super touristy, I know!) We stayed with our friend Corey, and he had the perfect place in mind for us to view the bridge. We made our way to Lands End, a coastal trail that winds in and out of the woods and along the edge of bluffs, and oh my, the views of the Golden Gate Bridge were picture-perfect! (Not to mention all the San Francisco fog that made my pictures even better!)

Lands End is definitely a hidden gem, away from all the crowds. If you plan to visit, be prepared for a semi-strenuous hike and lots of dirt. (And, I don’t recommend wearing sandals and a skirt like I accidentally did!)

After hiking all morning, we were starving, so we headed to Chinatown in search of the best dim sum. Corey’s girlfriend, Grace (who we missed on our trip to California!) told us we absolutely could not miss Good Mong Kok Bakery. And oh man, she was so completely right. The dim sum was amazing and we left craving more. If you plan to visit, expect a line, but it moves quickly!

After filling our bellies, we headed to the Embarcadero to explore the Ferry Building, Pier 39, and Fisherman’s Wharf — all touristy, but must-sees when visiting San Francisco. The Ferry Building is a marketplace, featuring local farmers, artisan producers, and independently-owned businesses. This is a good spot to pick up a snack or small souvenirs for friends and family. Pier 39 is overrun with tourists, but Alex had never seen the sea lions, so of course we had to stop! Here, we also enjoyed views of Alcatraz Island, wishing we had more time to take a tour. But, we’ve added this to our list of things to do when we visit again!

Fisherman’s Wharf
Hungry again, we made our way through Fisherman’s Wharf (warning: so. many. tourists) to Ghirardelli Square. (We may or may not have walked through the store more than once to get more free chocolate samples!) By now, our feet were tired, so we enjoyed happy hour at San Francisco Brewing Co.

Lombard Street
Refreshed, we made our way up Hyde Street to check out Lombard Street, one of the steepest streets in America famous for its sharp switchbacks. Warning!!! Hyde Street is so incredibly steep, there are actual steps in the sidewalk to help you make it to the top. Despite all the sweat (and tears) shed, the views did not disappoint.

Painted Ladies
Having grown up in the era of Full House, there was no question we would not be visiting the Painted Ladies. We made it to Alamo Square Park around sunset, snapped some photos, soaked in the views, and headed to dinner.

Even though we only had 36 hours, we had so much fun in San Francisco, and we can’t wait to visit again! Next time, we plan to slow down, take a trip to Catalina Island, enjoy lots of wine, and eat lots and lots of dim sum!


Leave a Comment