48 Hours in San Francisco
3rd March 2018 by Jamie Fisher
What's a trip to San Francisco without heading to the waterfront? If it's a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday take yourself over to the Farmers Market at the Ferry Building Plaza, Embarcadero. Peruse the various stalls and artisan crafts or enjoy a coffee outside the Port of San Francisco before you take the brisk stroll along the waterfront to Pier 39. Make sure to take your time exploring each of the piers on your way up - there are sights and activities all the way before you get to the more touristy Pier 39.
Stop by the Fog Harbor Fish House for a lip-smacking fish and chips before you spend some time with the locals: the Pier 39 sea lions. Tourists have been known to spend hours watching these guys clown around.
You have two options: either take a boat tour out to Alcatraz and stroll around the prison - this haunting and shocking experience is both poignant and fascinating. Or, go sample the chocolate and ice cream delights of the world-class, original Ghirardelli's on Ghirardelli Square - a 15 minute walk from Pier 39 with plenty of shopping along the way.
The Castro is an essential stop-off either by night or by day. The theatre itself plays host to some of the biggest, best and campest that cinema and theatre can offer - Disney singalongs and Bette Davis marathons are frequent. For fans of the iconic Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City, grab a drink in the iconic Twin Peaks Tavern, just outside the Metro exit. In need of some fine dining? Treat yourself to some exquisite grub at the beautiful Fable on Castro Street.
Blow away the cobwebs with a walk in Golden Gate Park. Be sure to take in the Japanese Tea Garden for an unforgettable experience of tranquility in the city. Blue jays frequent the immaculate landscape in harmony with passers-by.
Lunch at the de Young Cafe is a delectable treat after a gentle tour around the de Young Museum.
Back to the Castro for some last minute souvenir shopping for your furry friend back home - we LOVED Best in Show pet boutique on Castro Street. Looking for a unique treat for yourself? Dog Eared Books is a veritable heaven of collectable and vintage books as well as the latest releases - including local interest and cultural interest books, from natural history encyclopedias to Harvey Milk biographies.
Take one last look at the city from the stunning heights of Top of the Mark at the InterContinental Mark Hopkins Hotel - by no means the cheapest bar in San Francisco, but an essential place to enjoy a cocktail or a light bite looking out over this incredible city. Booking essential for food.