Things to do in San Francisco

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Much to see, lots to do, plenty of parks, local spots, bay views, and a whirlwind of things do in San Francisco's if you're looking to get a feel for the local life. San Francisco is a dense city, and there's likewise no shortage of fun activities to try during your visit.

Top Things to do in San Francisco

Mission Dolores Park I The Castro

Spanning nearly 16 acres, Mission Dolores Park is one of the most popular parks in San Francisco. Exemplary of the culturally diverse and lively neighborhood that surrounds it, sunny days fill the park with local crowds looking to play, picnic, relax, and enjoy the encompassing view of the city's skyline. Mission Dolores Park also boasts a soccer field, six tennis courts, one basketball court, a multi-use court, a playground, and two off-leash dog play areas. Check your travel dates for possible festivals and cultural events being held at the park, and pick a sunny day to visit and enjoy some essential local life in San Francisco.

Ferry Building Marketplace I SoMa

The Ferry Building Marketplace is located within the historic Ferry Building at the foot of Market Street. Both a local and tourist hotspot, this waterfront farmers market offers up a great way to while away the day in a historic area while sampling artisanal treats and enjoying the breathtaking bay views. Drop by on a weekend to explore the shops and cafes, eat fresh oysters, and watch the Bay Bridge light up at sunsent.

Golden Gate Park I San Francisco

San Francisco is packed with beautiful parks, as is the example of its most famous one. There is a lot to see and do at Golden Gate Park so plan accordingly, we recommend renting a bike and exploring the park's many museums like the California Academy of Sciences, or the de Young art museum. This sprawling park also houses San Francisco’s Botanical Garden. Visit on a Sunday when most roads are closed to cars and plan a picnic after exploring the rest of the park.

Ocean Beach I Outer Sunset

Ocean Beach is an awesome spot to visit any time of the day, and there are more than a few activities to take on. We'd recommend visiting around midday, walking past the Golden Gate Park and onto Sutro Baths and the lush trails of Lands End. After, grab a bite around the area and wait out the sunset to watch the locals swarm the beautiful shores for a stunning golden hour view you won't forget.

The Independent I Alamo Square

This local favorite is one of the best live music venues in San Francisco. Regularly hosting small shows in a cozy and accommodating space, The Independent packs an intimate feel, great live music on the weekends, and a friendly staff. Stick around after your show and you might get in a chat with the artists.

Wine Tours Near San Francisco

Wine Country Tour Shuttle | Napa Valley

The Wine Country Tour Shuttle starts and ends at the Ferry Building, where you'll shuttle across the Golden Gate Bridge on Hwy 101 for a wine tour day trip. You'll sample regional varietals at popular wineries ranging from well-known brand names to quaint, family-run vineyards. Leave the kids at home for this popular tour.

San Francisco Helicopters Wine Country Tour | Napa Valley

See the wine country like a country baron on a Napa Valley Tour from San Francisco Helicopters. Jump on the shuttle from the city in the morning, Wednesdays through Sundays. Limited to six people, your VIP flight gives you spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, San Francisco Bay, and the rolling vineyards of Napa Valley. Once on the ground, you'll get expert guidance in wine tasting.

Green Dream Tours | Sonoma Valley

Napa Valley gets a lot of press, but Sonoma has many great wineries as well. You'll get picked up and dropped off at your hotel in San Francisco with Green Dream Tours to Sonoma Valley. Once over the Golden Gate, you'll head to Sonoma to visit three quaint wineries, tour the town of Sonoma, and get free chocolate and cheese tastings.

Day Trips From San Francisco

Santa Cruz Day Trip | Santa Cruz

The counterculture spirit has moved south to Santa Cruz. Nestled on the Pacific Ocean just 90 minutes south of the city on US-101 and CA-17, this day trip will take you to a laid-back surfing center and college town. Stroll along the boardwalk, or take a ride on the wooden roller coaster. Grab a bite at a local eatery like Cafe Gratitude or hit the beach.

Russian River Day Trip | Russian River

Head north on U.S. 101 for a two-hour jaunt to Russian River for a great family trip. This popular river offers kayaking, fishing, swimming, and pleasant beaches. One of the great things about Russian River is you get all the benefits of a day on the water without the fog that is so prevalent along the ocean's edge.

Monterey Peninsula Day Trip | Monterey Peninsula

Take Highway 1 south from San Francisco to explore this beautiful stretch of California's coast. The whole family will love the rich history of Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea. Learn about California's Mission Trail, stroll along Fisherman's Wharf, or eat lunch at legendary Cannery Row.