Time: 4 Night/5 Day long-weekend
San Francisco is truly one of the most beautiful cities in the United States. It is the perfect in-land summer destination. The summers are cool with an average temperature of just 68 degrees in the summer. There is also so much to see for pretty much any group of travelers; from friends, to couples and families you’ll understand just why Tony Bennett, “Left his heart in San Francisco.” The culture is vast. The streets are pristine, and this city of the bay makes most any tour you’d book a home run. San Francisco truly speaks for itself. This itinerary is suitable for summer travel (prices relevant to the months of June-August). Travel Tip #1: The more the merrier. San Francisco hotels are pretty roomy and can accommodate 4 persons/room rather comfortably. So if you need to save a few bucks, this is a pretty viable options.
Day 1| Hotel $272.50/pp for 3
This beautiful city has hotels at almost every block. However, Travel Tip #2: Perhaps the most convenient area for stay is Union Square. When booking tours shuttles, it’s important to ensure that these services make stops in your area. If you’re in Union Square, you won’t have to give that a second thought. We stayed at Parc 55 Wyndham. Located in the heart of union square, we were within walking distance to major malls, eateries, bars and the infamous cable cars. On our first afternoon, we unpacked slightly and made our way down stairs. We walked along union square and made our way to China Town for an early dinner. The restaurants in San Francisco are among the very best of what our nation offers, to be risky, browse the menus lined up along the street and try anything. There’s an 80% chance you’ll be satisfied. Later that evening we waked to Lombard street and made our way along the winding hill. Travel Tip #3: Comfortable shoes are an absolute must, and not “I always wear my wedges comfortable” but “thank God I brought my Toms comfortable”. You’re going to be doing a reasonable amount of walking, no matter what you chose to do, so be comfortable. The walk down Lombard street is also rather steep. It all looks rather easy at first but easily gets tedious.
Day 2| Budget: Alcatraz Tour $30 | Hop on Hop Off Tour $44.99
Staying in a central location has several perks. One of which, is the use of a HOP-ON HOP- OFF bus as you’re own personal taxi. For just about $45 you can see all the major sites and get dropped off a few steps from your temporary home. You can then plan what sites you’d like to just pass by, and which you’d like to hop off and enjoy. It’s a pretty cool way to spend two days of your holiday. On our second day we went to Fisherman’s Warf/ Pier 39. As we got there we were greeted by the smells of sea salt and fresh rising bread. It’s a pretty great setting and there are tons to do and see there. If you’re gonna be there a while be sure to have a fresh fish snack from the market.
Travel Tip #4: It’s a must to book your Alcatraz trip days in advance. They’re always packed and no one cancels. If you try to get tickets the day of it will hardly ever happen. If your by the pier, you must try Scomas. The food is absolutely delicious. Seafood doesn’t get much better.
Day 3| Golden Gate Park, free| Japanese tea garden, $7
On day three we made the most of our hop on hop off passes. We visited the Alamo Square, and reveled in a our corny sing along of the Full House (you remember it!) theme song. If you have the time it’s a lovely place to enjoy a picnic. The painted ladies are in true form and with your tour guide you would have learnt nifty facts about each home. We opted to pass by and enjoyed most of the day at Golden Gate Park. The entrance is free. The park is just spectacular and is the only park in the United States that is comparable to New York’s central park. Within the park is the Japanese tea garden. It’s $7 dollars which can be somewhat off-putting with all the wonderfully free things the park has to offer but it’s pretty nice. If you’re in a rush it may not be worth it, but if you have the time to take it in, it’s a beautiful and calming setting.
Additional sites to enjoy within the park include The conservation of flowers (featured here), Stow Lake, Shakespeare’s Garden and the Windmills. Just a few blocks from the conservation is what some coin the parks entrance, Haight-Ashbury. This neo punk scene is highly under-advertised and is a culmination of culture. In this beautiful art/fashion district you’ll find tons of quaint shops and exceptional eats. The neighborhood is a bit shady and reminiscent of its hippie days but the authenticity of the puritans who uphold is definitely worth a visit.
Day 4| Wine country, $75.95
On our last day we spent the day touring the wine country. The All Francisco Tours group is very welcoming and runs a well orchestrated tour. They’ll pick you up right from your hotel and make maybe 2 or 3 stops to get others. It is in no way tedious and the groups are small and well catered. For just $76 you enjoy wine tastings at an average 4 wineries, learning a great amount about each vineyards process and good tips for pairings. They also have a more extensive tour for $126. Be sure to click on the link above for details about the tours and their wineries.
Total Budget: $772 excluding meals