Going to San Francisco for a quick trip? Here are a few things you can do in 3 days while exploring the bay area.
How did I get to San Francisco?
My flight was a little over $265 round trip from Orlando, FL to San Francisco, CA on American Airlines. This was a weekend trip so a carry-on was all I needed.
Where Can You Stay?
This was my first time in a city by myself, therefore, I thought it would be safe to get a hotel that was close to the airport but still within proximity to all the activities I wanted to do. So I decided to stay at the Residence Inn which was approximately 8 mins from San Francisco International Airport (SFO), and it was also about 20-30 mins from just about everything I wanted to explore for the short time I was there. I also love the fact that breakfast was included and that would eliminate another expense. For a weekend at the Residence Inn, it cost me less than $180 for the entire weekend which also included parking. My room was a studio with a queen bed, a kitchenette, an office desk area and a beautiful view of the bay.
How did I get around?
I rented an eco- friendly car from Fox Rental that included toll sticker for a total of $78.89. I drove the entire weekend and only had to fill up once ($16.89), on the Sunday I brought the car back. I was blown away because I drove about the same as I would back in Orlando, FL and I would have needed to fill up at least twice, so I was very pleased. They are a gas saver!!
Quick Side note; if you are not used to driving in San Francisco, be careful going down those hilly roads!! Let me tell you how I sent up some STRONG prayers while driving!!!! It was like I was on a rollercoaster while I was driving. Also, watch out for those side street lights, I blew through a red light. I did not see those side street lights at all. But thank God for officer Mike, who gave me a friendly warning. I’m sure as he ran the rental plate, he could clearly tell I was not a local and had no clue how to drive in San Francisco. So a friendly reminder, if you are going to have a rental, be prepared for those hilly roads and watch out for those side street lights.
What Did I Do?
Golden Gate Bridge
I went to the Golden Gate Bridge which was less than a 30min drive (28mins to be exact) from my hotel. There’s a parking area just off Golden Gate NRA and I parked there for free. It is first-come, first-serve, so be sure to come a little early to avoid the crowd and get some great views. The bridge was a breathtaking view.
Side note, please bring appropriate shoes if you plan to walk the bridge, or you can also rent a bike. I opted to walk and I think I closed all my circles on my Apple Watch twice, lol, plus lost like 10 pounds and left with a foot ache!
Less than 10mins from the Golden Gate Bridge is Baker Beach. It’s a very good spot for a picnic and to just relax on the beach with a beautiful backdrop of the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s the perfect spot to get some really cool beach shots. If you are into fishing and have a fishing license. I did see a few guys out fishing and also a few surfers as well. I did want to add, I was notified that Baker Beach is open to nudist so be aware of that.
A little less than 15mins from Baker Beach is Fishermans Wharf, It’s the tourist spot so I had to check it out. I spent about 3hrs there walking the strip, watched some interesting street performances, saw a dude dislocate his arm and then popped it back into place (Youtube video below). It was grossly crazy!! I am on a pescatarian diet so Fishermans Wharf was the perfect place to try some great seafood. I had some delicious crab cake burgers for $8 and change and then walked to Pier 39.
At Pier 39, you’ll find a variety of food options, mostly seafood. There you can also watch the sea lion encounter, which is pretty cool as you can watch the lions bask in the sun or fuss at each other. Just a caution, try not to feed the sea lions as they’re some very aggressive seagulls who will swoop in and attack. Listen, let me tell you how I was minding my business watching the sea lions fuss at each other and without a warning got attacked by a seagull!!! Apparently another guest was feeding the sea lions and I happened to be in the path where she threw a piece of bread, therefore resulting in a seagull attack.
Where can you eat?
There’s that delicious crab cake I spoke about earlier. It was delicious and I enjoyed every single crab chunks I tasted!
Fishermans Wharf has a variety of food choices but the most popular one you’ll find is seafood of all kinds.
Don’t forget to leave your lock on the gate.
Honestly, when I walked up to the pier and saw all these locks, I wasn’t sure the reason or purpose behind the display so you know I had to ask. According to one of the veteran restaurant works at the pier, the locks are left there from guests as a memoir that they’ve visited the pier, why you ask, no clue. But hey, join the tradition and leave your lock and time stamp the date. I guess it’s something cool to do.
After reading this section, if you happen to know of another reason, please share. I’d love to know. 🙂
Ever been to San Francisco? How was your experience? Share them below.