With its warm weather, historic significance, beautiful scenery, and abundance of things to do, San Francisco is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. The problem isn’t so much figuring out what to do as trying to fit as much as possible into a short vacation. It can be especially challenging for those with only three days to spend in the city. Below are suggestions for what to see when squeezing as much activity as possible into a three-day itinerary.
Golden Gate Bridge
As one of San Francisco’s most famous icons, the Golden Gate Bridge is on the must-see list of many travelers. Fortunately, several options exist for people to experience the Golden Gate Bridge for themselves. One of these ways is by foot on the pedestrian walkway. This covers the entire one-mile expanse of the bridge. A separate path for bike riders is available as well. Driving across the bridge or taking a tour bus is another option.
People can stop in the gift shop to purchase souvenirs on the Marin side of the Golden Gate Bridge. They can also learn more about the years-long construction of this famous bridge that opened to the public in 1937 and remained the world’s longest bridge until 1964.
Take a Ride on a Cable Car
San Francisco still runs three cable cars to allow people to get around and see the city the same way they did in the 1870s. It’s the only major city in the United States to do so. Besides the unique experience of riding a cable car, visitors can enjoy the convenience of it stopping in front of several popular tourists destinations. It also saves them the hassle of driving in one of the country’s most populated and hilly cities.
The Historic Haight and Asbury Streets
The intersection of Haight Street and Ashbury Street have long claimed their place in history as the birthplace of the hippie movement of the 1960s. In 1967, the infamous Summer of Love, thousands of young people gathered in this location for peaceful protests. They also experimented with psychedelic drugs.
Today, vintage book, clothing, and record stores remain on Haight and Asbury as well as many independent theaters. Visitors to the area will notice tributes to some of the great musical names of the 1960s, including Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, and The Grateful Dead.
Nestled in San Francisco’s historic Waterfront District is the Fisherman’s Wharf, an area with attractions that should appeal to just about everyone. Some examples include:
- Amusement park games and rides, including carousels
- Ghirardelli Square
- Sea lions
- Souvenir shops
Locals and past tourists have even claimed that the best clam chowder in San Francisco comes from restaurants in the Fisherman’s Wharf.
San Francisco is home to the oldest and second largest Chinatown in the United States. Tourists will enjoy viewing authentic Chinese architecture along with their shopping and dining excursions. Anyone who has ever wondered how they make fortune cookies won’t want to miss a tour of the Fortune Cookie Factory and enjoy a free sample at the end.
These are just five popular tourist destinations in San Francisco. It may be possible to see more in three days depending on the traveler’s schedule.