How to Spend 24 Hours in San Francisco

Friday, 9 October 2020

San Francisco is still one of my favourite cities in the world. No matter how many places I've travelled, there is something about SF that will forever hold my heart. There is so much to do, so much to see. I honestly feel like even if I lived there, I would not be able to take in all the incredible places the city has to offer.


I'm not going to lie, this post is going to cover a lot of touristy areas of San Francisco. If touristy places aren't your jam, make sure to check out some of our other posts on San Francisco. However, if you've never been to San Francisco, and you only have 24 hours to spend, I've come up with a fun itinerary that will allow you to hit some of the most iconic spots of SF. 



The Golden Gate Bridge

It does not matter how many times I've been to San Francisco, I always love catching a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge. I highly recommend starting or ending your day here, so you're able to see the sunrise or sunset. If you're an early bird, get up and watch the sunrise over the bridge. You can grab an on the go brekkie and walk across the bridge. If walking really isn't your jam, go down to the beach and get some incredible views of the Golden Gate that most tourists skip out on. 




Treat Your Self at the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company

Now I may not be the biggest chocolate fan, but I would never skip a trip to Ghirardelli. It's only about an hours walk from the Golden Gate Bridge so you'll definitely have earned some yummy chocolate. The gorgeous brick facade of the buildings sets a beautiful backdrop if you want to snap the perfect Insta photo. Make sure to take one of the chocolate tours, so you're able to try some of the chocolatey goodness. If you want a bit more of a rest, there are a few different restaurants but a lot of outdoor seating. Ghiradelli Marketplace is located relatively close to the water so you could always grab a treat and sit and people watch or continue your San Francisco tour. 


Eat Come Clam Chowder

From Ghiradelli Marketplace, I highly recommend walking through Fisherman's Wharf on your way to Pier 39. Fisherman's Wharf is one of the most iconic spots in San Francisco. You'll find a ton of souvenir shops, tons of fresh fish and crab, and some of the best clam chowder you've ever eaten. Hear me out on this one. So before I learned I was celiac but well aware I was allergic to seafood, I would always indulge in a delicious cup of chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. They are a must-have when in SF! If clam chowder isn't your thing, there are still many places to eat so you'll definitely be able to find something you love. 




See the Sea Lions at Pier 39

After indulging in some more incredible food (this 24 hours may be turning into an eat your way through SF itinerary), make you way down to Pier 39. 


Catch a Ride on the Historic Streetcars 

At this point, you're probably getting a little walked out. So now is the perfect time to hop on the historic SF trolleys and get a better view of the city. If you're lucky enough to snag one of the spots on the outside of the trolley, you'll not only get some incredible views but some stunning photos as well. 



Just make sure you plan your route before you head to your next spot. Not all the trolleys take the same route. And depending on where you're headed, you may have to transfer a couple of times to get to your location. Even if you have nowhere in mind, the trolleys are always a pretty cool experience. 


Roll Down (or Drive) the Crooked Road 

Now, pending you did your research and got on the correct trolley, you can travel to the base of Lombard Street. Lombard Street is one of the most iconic places in SF because it is one of the most crooked streets in the world. 




If you decided to skip the trolley ride, it is an easy walk from Pier 39. It should roughly take you a half an hour to reach the base of Lombard Street. From there, you can decide whether or not you want to hike up to the top of the street and roll your way down. 


Do Some Shopping at Union Square

Before y'all come for me, I know there isn't any real shopping AT Union Square. But getting to Union Square before starting your shopping spree is a bit easier than going to any specific shop. There are a number of shops surrounding Union Square but if you want more of a mall experience, simply walk down towards Market Street and splurge at the Westfield Shopping Centre and the surrounds shops. 


Heading towards Union Square also puts you close to Chinatown and Dragon's Gate. This way, if you're really not much of a shopper, you're still able to take in some of the rich cultural heritage of SF. Chinatown is actually the largest Chinatown outside of Asia. There is so much to do and see so you won't be disappointed stopping here. 


Catch Some Incredible Views at Coit Tower

Another great place to either start or end your San Francisco trip. This tower offers impressive panoramic views of the city. It's a bit pricey to get to the top; however, the views will help you to truly appreciate the beauty of San Francisco. If there is a line to get up to the top of the tower, you'll have plenty of murals to help keep you distracted. 




It is hard to get a true taste of just how incredible San Francisco is in 24-hours, but you can at least try. Have you ever visited San Francisco? If so, share your favourite part in the comments below!


And until next time...

Stay curious!



15 comments

  1. That's my dream location to visit someday. Really a beautiful place to spend some quality time with my hubby.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've always wanted to visit San Franciso, and this post just cemented that. I need to get a trip going out there.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I cant wait to start traveling again, and San Francisco is absolutly on my bucketlist! :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. San Francisco is such a great city! I've been there a few times for work and to visit friends, and it never gets old.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I haven't been to San Francisco since I was a child and I've been dying to go back for years! It looks like one can accomplish a lot in just 24 hours!

    ReplyDelete
  6. This is one of my dream destination! I would love go there omg! It's such a nice city!

    ReplyDelete
  7. San Fran is awesome! I grew up 50 minutes south of there. There are so many things to do there, definitely Pier 39, Golden Gate Bridge, and Alcatraz! Oh and if you like chocolate, Ghirardelli square. And definitely have to ride a cable car, so fun.

    ReplyDelete
  8. You got it girl!!! It's a beautiful city and so many things to do. Great job in choosing the activities.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've always wanted to go, I love that spot where everyone takes a photo of the bridge

    ReplyDelete
  10. San francisco is such a beautiful place! I wish I can visit it someday

    ReplyDelete
  11. its on my dream list of places to visit , once covid is cleared hopefully we be able to fly over kind regards Pati Robins at style squeeze blog

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh San Francisco is on my wishlist for so long. I somehow never managed to visit the city, I'm happy to read your article! I see that I could do it in weekend, why not 😁🤗

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thank you for this lovely guide... and virtual tour. San Francisco is definitely amazing city. It's on my bucket list for long time.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Man, I would love to spend 24 hours in San Francisco again. I absolutely love that city! Great tips on things to do while there!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I spent 10 days in San Francisco when I was 18. It was an awesome time! I got to see most of the things you featured here. :)

    ReplyDelete