Starting during my senior year of high school and up until the year before I got married I would drive from Utah to California at least once a year to stop in Roseville and visit family and then head on to San Francisco for a weekend of fun.

I found myself walking the same route as soon as I arrived in the city, only after I completed this did I head off in different directions. This tour is a great way to see San Francisco on foot for the first time and you don't have to buy a book or pay a tour guide to have fun and get acquainted with the city.  Do invest in an up-to-date map or map app for your smart phone.

Warning: I haven't been to San Francisco for a little while, some of this information may have changed but most of it should still be good.

San Francisco Walking Tour: 

It is important to remember to hit the main spots but don’t forget to check out all the little hole in the wall shops, shrines, and other cool stuff not in the tourist books.

Start out at the Chinatown Gate on Grant, head up the street and have breakfast at one of the dim sum restaurants along the way, check out the chinese apothocary shops and the buddhist temples, stop at the fortune cookie factory for a “free” tour followed by a high pressure sales pitch on a giant bag of fortune cookies.

Head towards North Beach/Little Italy. See the St. Peter & Paul Cathedral, it is where Joe Dimaggio and Marilyn Monroe got married. There are a lot of Beatnik landmarks there too if you are interesting, City Lights is on the corner of Columbus and Broadway.

From there head over to Telegraph hill and Pioneer Park and Coit’s Tower. Just spend the couple of buck and take the elevator to the top, the view is worth it. Don’t forget to walk around the inside of the base of the tower, there are great murals done in the style of Diego Rivera depicting life in the bay area during the depression.

After you are done checking out the hill I suggest taking the Greenwich steps down (you could also take the Filbert steps for the different view and outlet), either route is lined with beautiful homes and gardens. Go slowly and quietly, there are wild parrots that live all over the hill and if you are lucky you will see a couple. The Greenwich steps come out at the bottom of the hill near Levi Strauss square. From there it is a short walk over to The Fog City Diner for lunch at 1300 Battery which is just off the Embarcadero.

After lunch stroll up the Embarcadero and visit Fisherman’s Wharf, go shopping, check out the sea lions and then head up the Embarcadero a little farther to Jefferson Street.  Turn left and head West on Jefferson until you get to Hyde street.  Go South on Hyde for one block until you hit Beach street, turn right on Beach street and go West until you get to Lankin street and Ghirardelli Square.  Explore the shops and don’t forget to have a Trolley Car sundae in the ice cream shop for dinner.
After you’ve had your chocolate fix head East back to Hyde street and turn right onto Hyde, head South until you get to Lombard street and take a stroll down one of the most famous streets in the world, don’t forget to take a picture from the bottom.  Walk to the Trolley depot and catch a ride.  When you are done you can walk back to your hotel or call a cab.


Good eats in The City:

Fog City Diner, Swan Oyster Depot, Dotties, Ike's Place, Knead Patisserie, any mexican or vietnamese restaurant in SoMa, Taqueria La Cumbre, La Ciccia, El Mansour, Hot Cookie, Ferry Building Marketplace, La Folie, The Stinking Rose, House Of Prime Rib, Benu, Tartine, La Boulange, San Francisco Creamery, Aziza.

Eats in San Jose area...Iguana Burritozilla, Henry's World Famous Hi-Life, Smoke Easters, Indian Joze.

Points North...Grace's Table in Napa, Morimoto in Napa, The French Laundry in Yountville (but save up for this one, it ain't cheap)

There are dozens more restaurants, bakeries, and coffee houses that I love, those are just a sort of intro to the greatest hits, besides how many restaurants can you hit during a weekend vacation?  Be careful there are a lot of family run restaurants in the city that are cash only, be prepared.

Other stuff to see/do in the area:

*Giants Game
*49ers Game
*Wave Organ @ Golden Gate Park
*Winchester House Of Mystery
*Alcatraz (buy tickets at pier 33 or over the phone)...this is fun once, not really worth the price the second time.
*Palace of Fine Arts
*Conservatory of flowers
*Art museums in South Beach
*Cliff House and Seal Rocks
*Golden Gate Park (museum, botanical gardens, observatory)
*Japantown and Japanese Tea Garden

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