Insider's Guide to San Francisco

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3 Days in San Francisco: Suggested Itineraries

By Viator, May 2015

4.5 2273 Reviews | Add your review

A lot is said about San Francisco, both by visitors and locals alike. Foreigners often dub it "the most European" city in America. W.H. Taft called it "the city that knows how," and Rudyard Kipling was known to have said "San Francisco has only one drawback: 'Tis hard to leave." Needless to say, it is one of America's pride and joys, a quirky cultural hotspot, a city of seven hills, one bay, and many fun and fun-loving people. Must be something in the air.

Day 1: See the City

San Francisco proper might not be that big of a city in terms of its geographical square footage, but it is larger-than-life with things to do. Consider one of the many tours available to get your bearings and see some of the traditional “must-sees” like the Cable Car, Alcatraz, and Fisherman’s Wharf. Afterwards, walk, bike, or Segway through Panhandle Park to the beach (try and spot the windmill) and down to the waterfront. Water recreation is a great way to spend the afternoon, and from there you can relax into an evening dinner cruise with a beer or cocktail while the sun sets over stunning views of the rippling Pacific.

Day 2: Local Flavor

Part of the joy of San Francisco is simply being in the city, absorbing its culture of hippies, hipsters, business men and women, the sites, the smells, the fog. Today, take time to see the colorful neighborhoods while sampling some local fare. Many wonderful museums and parks are easily accessible as well. Drive over the Golden Gate, or cruise the Bay with champagne-filled glass to get a good sense of the waterways that define the city.

Day 3: Day Trips from the Bay

San Francisco is a million things to a million people, but an important one of those things is its close proximity to so much. Having run around the city in a day or two, many visitors can't wait to get to Wine Country. And who can blame them? Less than an hour from town awaits many a gorgeous vineyard, wine-tasting galore, culinary delights and fresh country air. Head to the Napa Valley and see where those famous California wines are grown. Or perhaps you want to see the amazing coastline south of San Francisco visiting Monterey and Carmel. A constant favorite, the notorious Alcatraz Island, is a fun way to spend a day and see what all the fuss is about.

Tours & Tickets

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Big Bus San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 212 Reviews

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Varies

From USD $30.00

San Francisco CityPass

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 313 Reviews

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Flexible

From USD $94.00

Viator VIP: Early Access to Alcatraz and Exclusive Cable Car Sightseeing Tour

4.5 star rating: Recommended 641 Reviews

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 6 hours 30 minutes

From USD $190.00

San Francisco Helicopter and Alcatraz Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 33 Reviews

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Flexible

From USD $225.00

Skip the Line: California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket

4.5 star rating: Recommended 416 Reviews

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Flexible

From USD $34.95

San Francisco Waterfront Segway Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 236 Reviews

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 2.5 - 3 hrs

From USD $69.99

San Francisco Champagne Brunch Cruise

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 105 Reviews

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 2 hours

From USD $96.67

Private San Francisco City Tour

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 4 hours

From USD $57.78

Yosemite Trip from San Francisco with Overnight Stay at Ahwahnee Hotel

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 3 Reviews

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 2days/1night

From USD $299.00

San Francisco Urban Adventure and Alcatraz Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 19 Reviews

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 4 hours

From USD $170.00

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