So many of my friends, acquaintances, even strangers on the Internet (😂) been coming out to the West Coast, specifically SF to visit lately! I LOVE when we have friends in town, since we’re still building our friend base here and it’s a little piece of home. I love being able to show them around town to all our favorite local spots! It’s also a great opportunity for us to try new places that have been on our list!
Lots of our friends will ask me what we do, where we eat, where we shop. It’s so true- when you go on vacation you want to go where the locals go and get a true feel for the city you’re traveling in.
Here are some of our favorite “non-touristy” sites in SF!
The Parks: They’re all over the city and they are so beautiful! Some of my favorites are: Fort Mason, Lafayette Park, and Duboce. Bring what my girlfriend, Jodee likes to call it an adventure pack- a backpack with blanket, some canned wine, maybe some cards and a portable speaker and you’re good to go! My favorite thing to do is stop at Say Cheese in Cole Valley and pick up some sandwiches or even bread and cheese will do the trick! I’d say skip the very popular Dolores Park that becomes a complete circus on the weekends filled with crazies.
Skip the bike ride over the Golden Gate bridge and opt for a bike ride from Crissy Field to the Bay Bridge! The view of the GG is better from below and less wind/tourists= way more enjoyable. Also, I promise the bridge is longer than it looks, you’ll thank me later.
If you’re in town during baseball season AT&T Park is a must see!!! The first time we went to a Giants game was when we were in town to look at apartments. We had looked at over 20 apartments in 2 days and decided to cancel the 3rd day and just have some fun in the city. We went to a bottomless mimosa brunch, then to the SF MOMA, and finally found some super cheap Giants tickets. You’re probably wondering why I’m telling you all this but long story, short I got some awful food poisoning at brunch that caught up with me once we got to the stadium. I’ll spare you the details but it was the most insanely gorgeous day and even though I was back and forth in to the bathroom I didn’t want to leave the stadium! We are blessed with Fenway but this place was something else. It’s right on the water with unreal food and drink options and you can get tickets for cheappp.
Skip out on the touristy areas like Union Square, Financial District, and SOMA. Instead check out the neighborhoods with charm like North Beach, Noe Valley, Cow Hollow, and Cole Valley. There’s beautiful architecture and fabulous shops and restaurants in every neighborhood. You’ll get a much better local feel for the city this way!
Off the Grid is one of our favorite weekend activities. Every Friday night (in March-Oct) from 5-10pm Fort Mason fills up with dozens of food trucks, live music, and craft cocktails. Our favorite thing to do is go with a group of people so you can get all the things and split them! There are so many options here so it’s hard to choose- come hungry! Last time we went we got the short rib koja from Koja Kitchen, dumplings from Happy Dumpling, and donuts from Johnny Doughnuts. If you’re not around on Friday, try the Presidio Picnic on Sundays!
If Alcatraz is on your list, opt for the night tour instead of the traditional daytime tour! While you’re over on the Embarcadero, check out the Ferry Building for some high end food vendors as well as their farmer’s market on Saturdays!
Check out some more of my recs on a piece we contributed on at KAYAK! Also, please let me know if you’re ever in the city- I love to play tour guide!