Seems like a really short time for such a long flight from Malaysia? Well, it sure is! You should spend at least a week in this beautiful hilly city with some of the warmest and friendliest people. There’s just so much to see, do and eat. But we’ll skip the eating part for now and focus on our to-do list if you really only had 48 hours in San Francisco!
1. Take an Alcatraz tour
Yes, we’re refering to the federal penitentiary that housed some of the most famous and dangerous criminals in the history of the United States of America. Today, it’s a popular tourist destination but in our opinion, not over hyped or too “touristy”. It’s definitely worth a visit. Let your imagination take over as you follow the audio-guided tour by foot around the prison vicinity. It can be quite an interesting experience and an educational one at that. We weren’t brave enough to do the night tour but if you’re keen on getting the chills and love being spooked, why not? But the day tour is just as worth it. Book your tickets online (make sure it’s with the official site), print them and remember to check the ferry times so that you can plan your trip to and from the island accordingly. You may want to allocate half a day for this tour because once you get to the island, the area for you to explore is quite vast so make sure you also wear comfortable shoes. Even if you’re not into history and tours, the breathtaking view of San Francisco city from the island alone is enough to make the trip worthwhile.
2. Shop around Union Square
This area is truly a shopping haven and the list of brands available here are endless. You’d find your favourite American brands and departmental stores so make sure you bring enough cash or your credit card works too and take note of the opening hours. You do not want to be disappointed.
3. Take as many landmark photos as you can
We believe that if it’s your first time in any city, it is a must to visit the landmarks and prove you were there! Afterall, memories fade but photos last a lifetime. They serve as a reminder and help you relive the wonderful moments you spent in that particular city. When it comes to San Francisco, the first place that comes to mind is definitely the Golden Gate Bridge. There are various spots for you to take a shot of the bridge but we went to Baker Beach. Here, you’d get a pretty clear view of the bridge but bear in mind that the winds are quite strong and it can get very chilly especially in the winter so layer up! The famous crooked street, Lombard Street is also a worthy shot. Why not take a drive down that street too! It’s one thing to be driving up and down the hilly roads of San Francisco which is quite an experience, kinda like being on a slow rollercoaster ride but there’s nothing quite like Lombard Street. Painted Ladies is another pretty sight in San Francisco especially if you are a fan of the hit TV series Full House. Think you might geek out on this one!
4. Drive up to Twin Peaks at night
When night falls, San Francisco is quite a magnificient sight especially during Christmas for there were lights everywhere and our personal favorite, Christmas trees peeking through the glass windows of the hall of every household. And if you want a great view of the entire city, we reckon that the best place to view the city skyline is Twin Peaks. Take a drive up and you’ll see what we mean. Make sure you have a good camera ready! Everything looks spectacular and it is incredibly romantic.
That was all we could manage in 48 hours. If none of these tickles your fancy, we’d suggest you take a cable car ride through the city like in the movies, go for a bike tour which includes riding along the Golden Gate Bridge or perhaps take a drive to Napa Valley if you’re into wineries.
If you’ve visited San Francisco, we’d love to hear your to-do/must-do list in the comment section below! Cos we’re pretty sure we’ve missed out on plenty of fun/cool stuff.