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San Francisco RECOMMENDATIONS See all

3 Days in San Francisco: Suggested Itineraries

By Viator, July 2014

4.5 1107 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

3.5 star rating: Worth doing 4 Reviews

See San Francisco's most famous sights aboard a double-decker Big Bus that loops around the city. This 24-hour pass makes it easy for you to check out Union ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Varies

From USD $30.00

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

4.5 star rating: Recommended 167 Reviews

Beat the crowds to Alcatraz and experience San Francisco aboard an authentic cable car with a modern twist. This exclusive tour puts you on the first ferry to ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 6 hours (approx.)

From USD $149.00

Madame Tussauds San Francisco

Madame Tussauds at San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf isn't your typical old wax museum. Sidle up to Elton John on the piano, or strike a pose next to Marilyn ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 90 minutes (approx.)

From USD $26.00

San Francisco Dungeon General Admission

San Francisco Dungeon, the first North American outpost of Europe’s popular attraction chain, is open and ready to shock and surprise visitors at Fisherman’s ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 60 minutes (approx.)

From USD $26.00

San Francisco Gold Rush Era Walking Tour with Cocktails

Discover historic buildings and saloons on the old San Francisco waterfront, and learn about the city's notorious reputation during and after the Gold Rush ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: 3 hours (approx.)

From USD $69.00

Alcatraz and Private Segway Tour of San Francisco

4.5 star rating: Recommended 3 Reviews

See the best of San Francisco all in one exciting day with this private Segway tour coupled with admission to Alcatraz. Get personalized guidance from your ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Segway tour: 3 hours; Alcatraz: varies

From USD $144.99

San Francisco Combo: Alcatraz and City Segway Tour

5 star rating: Highly Recommended 22 Reviews

Explore Alcatraz and take a city Segway tour to see top San Francisco attractions such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, Fisherman’s Wharf and the ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Alcatraz: varies
Day Segway tour: 3 hours
Sunset Segway tour: 2 hours

From USD $90.00

Skip the Line: California Academy of Sciences General Admission Ticket

4.5 star rating: Recommended 329 Reviews

Skip the line as you visit the California Academy of Sciences - the only place on the planet with an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum and a ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Flexible

From USD $29.95

San Francisco Helicopter and Alcatraz Tour

See the best of San Francisco by combining a helicopter flight above the spectacular cityscape with a tour of one of its top landmarks. Spend up to 20 minutes ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Flexible

From USD $215.00

San Francisco CityPass

4.5 star rating: Recommended 272 Reviews

For the best deal in San Francisco, go for the CityPASS! Your pass to the City by the Bay includes tickets to world-renowned attractions, discounts and seven ...  Read more

Location: San Francisco, California
Duration: Flexible

From USD $86.00

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