San Francisco is one of our favorite cities. There is so much to do in such a small area that it makes the place very vibrant and exciting. We have many favorite places in San Francisco (see bottom right corner of this blog) and recommend you give them a try if you visit.
But one thing that you REALLY should do is take a walking tour of the city. It only takes about 3 hours and you can see so much that it is well worth the time.
I discovered the best walking tour in San Francisco about 10 years ago and have walked it a few times. I have tried to look it up online again this year (to assist friends who are visiting SF) but could not find it, as mostly what you can find online now are pay walking tours offered by tour companies. For all you San Francisco tourists: don't pay these companies! It is as easy as can be to take the walking tour on your own. The neighborhoods are very safe day and night, and the route is not very complicated.
For your benefit, I will now outline the best walking tour in San Francisco - one that covers Union Square, the Shopping District, Chinatown, TransAmerica Building, St Peter and Paul Church, Coit Tower, Pier 39, Fisherman's Wharf, and the Cable Cars. All in 3 hours time!
So here goes. Start by planting yourself in the huge square-block large Union Square. Are you there? Okay, let's start walking!
1. EAST on GEARY. Shopping District
2. LEFT (north) on GRANT. Shopping District then Chinatown
3. RIGHT (east) on CLAY.
4. LEFT (north) on MONTGOMERY. TransAmerica Building
5. LEFT (west) on BROADWAY or JACKSON your choice. Broadway goes thru adult district, Jackson doesnt.
6. RIGHT (north) on COLUMBUS.
7. RIGHT (east) on FILBERT. St Paul & Peter Church
8a. At end of Filbert, take stairs up labeled "STAIRS TO COIT TOWER".
8b. Head uphill on TELEGRAPH HILL BLVD.
8c. Tour Coit Tower
8d. Take stairs down to TELGRAPH HILL BLVD.
8e. LEFT (west) on LOMBARD.
9a. RIGHT (north) on GRANT.
9b. LEFT (west) on FRANCISCO ST.
10a. RIGHT (north) on STOCKTON.
10b. RIGHT (east) on BEACH.
10c. Cross the street and visit Pier 39
11. WEST along EMBARCADERO visit shops and Fisherman's Wharf
12a. SOUTH on TAYLOR.
12b. RIGHT (west) on JEFFERSON.
12c. Catch Cable Cars at corner of JEFFERSON and HYDE.
13. Cable Cars will take you right back to Union Square!
There you have it! You've seen many of the best parts of San Francisco in 3 hours, at your own pace!
You'll have to figure out how to get to Golden Gate Park and other don't-miss spots on your own!