The song says “I left my heart in San Francisco.” Boy oh boy to I resonate with those lyrics now that I no longer am living there. This city is unlike any other…and as you know I have been to quite a few. I grew up just thirty minutes from this incredible city and lived in the heart of SF for three years during nursing school. With only one week in this city, I will give you the best tips on what to avoid and what to make sure you don’t miss!
First things first, know when you are traveling. San Francisco is notorious for Indian Summers. June, July, and August are foggy and cold then September through November (sometimes) the weather heats up to the 80’s. Pack with layers. You never know what San Francisco could surprise you with! If you are in San Francisco on a lovely day, prepare to have everyone outside enjoying the weather at a park. If you travel to San Francisco during the holidays, you are in luck. It is one of the most beautiful times of the year. Union Square has a massive Christmas Tree with ice skating and people shop up a storm!
Parking stinks in San Francisco, BUT public transportation is incredible. There is BART (the train system), busses, and the metro. Not to mention that a Lyft will be there within two minutes of you ordering it. If you are capable, walk this city. There is not better way to experience San Francisco then taking on those hills yourself.
Try to stay somewhere central. My suggestions are Russian Hill (my old stomping grounds), North Beach, or Nob Hill. These areas are a quick walk to downtown yet far enough away from the craziness.
Always pack a down jacket. You may be the perfect temperature in the sun, but the second you get some San Francisco shade, you’ll be praying for a puffer jacket! They are packable and lightweight so pick one of these up before your trip.
Prepare for the greatest food in your life. I am so spoiled after living in San Francisco. Nowhere’s food is as good as San Francisco’s. Venture out and try new things!
This city is for ALL ages. There are incredible museums, day trips, musicals, parks, and sites that everyone can enjoy. It is a family friendly city!
Buy your tickets early. Alcatraz books out months in advance! Avoid missing out on top sites by purchasing your tickets as soon as possible!
Give yourself plenty of time here. A week is nowhere near long enough but it is a solid place to start. Check out my Local’s Guide to San Francisco for the perfect week-long itinerary!