TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN SAN FRANCISCO We have had a blast in San Francisco and there’s so much to do even if you have just a short amount of time. Here’s our

TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN SAN FRANCISCO

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#5. Walk The Streets of San Fran

What better way to get a feel for a city than to hit the pavement! We covered miles of hilly terrain, from The Presidio to Chinatown to North Beach. One thing that stuck out to me was how pet-friendly the city was. Everywhere we went there were dogs (usually off the leash). The relaxed dog laws, coupled with seemingly relaxed weed laws (there always seemed to be a hint of it in the air), and beer/liquor stores on every other corner makes for a pretty laid-back city…my kind of place!

TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco Trolley

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#4. Fisherman’s Wharf

While I would equate a walk through the wharf to a walk through Times Square (something I would go to great lengths to avoid while living in NYC), this is a must-do for a visit to San Fran. From delicious (and affordable) seafood and chowder, to ice cream shops and fudge, to the famous barking sea lions at the end of the pier…Alisa and I enjoyed our strolls through the Wharf.

TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN SAN FRANCISCO - Fisherman’s Wharf   TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN SAN FRANCISCO - Fisherman’s Wharf   TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN SAN FRANCISCO - Fisherman’s Wharf

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#3. Picnic in the Park

TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN SAN FRANCISCO

It’s hard to walk too far in SF without finding a park filled with kids, dogs, and families enjoying the weather (again, caveat that we had some unusually great weather for our trip). Our picnic in the park was actually not by choice…we bought a Groupon to have a nice lunch ($15 for 2 salads and a bottle of wine), however, they failed to mention that the restaurant (which was more like a greek mini-mart) didn’t have a liquor license (so they could only sell the wine but not serve it). So we took our lunch (and wine, of course) to go and booked it for the nearest park. Nothing like a red solo cup lunch!

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#2. Running Across The Golden Gate Bridge

TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN SAN FRANCISCO - Golden Gate Bridge

 Half the fun is actually getting to the bridge. It’s about 3-4 miles from the Wharf area where we were staying. I’m not a huge fan of jogging, but Alisa loves it and the weather was pretty amazing for it…so off we went. The run from the Wharf to the bridge was pretty incredible, filled with amazing scenery, some outdoor workout stations (for sit-ups, pull-ups, etc.) and the image of the famous bridge looming nearer and larger with each step. Many pictures were taken as well…each better than the last. Then finally at the bridge it’s a windy walk/run across but the views of The Rock and the city itself are well worth it.

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#1. Night Tour of The Rock

I cannot compare our experience to a day tour of Alcatraz since we only did the night tour, however, I cannot recommend the night tour more highly. The boat ride from Pier 33 to and around The Rock was great, and then once on land the night was filled with guided tours/presentations, an audio tour throughout the cell blocks, and some incredible sunset views. It’s hard to really envision what life was like on The Rock (for inmates and officers alike), however, the tour does a pretty great job of conjuring up some eerie feelings and makes you never want to end up behind bars. Of course, I spent the whole tour replaying the movie The Rock, although Alisa and the rest of our tour group didn’t enjoy my movie quotes as much as I did:

Tour Guide: “Does anyone have any questions?”
Me: “WHERE’S THE LAST ROCKET!?!”

Speaking of movies…I also found it fascinating to learn of a successful escape that mirrored many aspects of The Shawshank Redemption. Three Alcatraz inmates dug holes in the back of their cells using steel spoons, deposited the pieces of the wall outside (in the yard I suppose), then tunneled through the walls, up the roof, and out to freedom. Pretty incredible.

TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN SAN FRANCISCO - The Rock

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Did we nail the list of the top 5 things to do in San Francisco?
Let us know in the comments below!

TOP 5 THINGS TO DO IN SAN FRANCISCO - San Francisco cityscape at night