I recently took a much needed trip to San Francisco and much to my surprise it wasn’t a perfect Pinterest trip like I planned! Don’t get me wrong I had a blast, but I usually plan for trips based on things I find on Pinterest (lame I know). So, unlike other guides for trips to San Francisco I am going to give you a list of 5 things I think any newbie to SF should know!
- HILLS. I’m sure you’re thinking, “of course there’s hills in San Francisco everyone knows that”. Well I was informed of the hills, but I wasn’t prepared for what was to come. There are hills at every turn, and some of them are really STEEP hills! So, if you are planning to walk everywhere like I did, good walking shoes are a must!! And get ready to have your calves screaming at you.
- Transportation. On my trip my best friend and I decided against renting a car. It was expensive to rent and it is costly to park anywhere in San Francisco. So, we decided we would walk or use public transportation everywhere. This worked out fine! We bought a 3-day city transportation pass for around $32 and it was money well spent. This gives you unlimited use of any city ran transportation. This includes the famous cable cars (usually a 7 dollar trip)! It wasn’t too hard to figure out which bus or cable car, nothing google maps can’t help you with!
- Biking. Do I recommend biking around this city? Yes, it is a wonderful way to see San Francisco. Do I recommend biking three days in a row? No…unless you’re an avid biker. I’m gonna be honest here, biking our way around and across the golden gate bridge was amazing, but not biking all that much in my day to day life wasn’t enough to prepare me for biking all three days of my trip. My butt was killing me, and my thighs hated me every time I encountered a hill….which is often in this city. So, if you want to bike I highly suggest biking across the golden gate bridge into a town called Sausalito. It is the cutest little town you ever did see! Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to spend there because you’ll want to walk around and explore.
- Planning. I know I said I “plan” trips based on things I see on Pinterest, which is true, but I really mean I see all these things I want to do and expect to do them all. This didn’t happen. We kind of half planned this trip out? We knew the major things we wanted to do and the days we would do them on, but we really didn’t plan on how much time everything would take. I would recommend really sitting down and researching how much time it takes to bike across the bridge, and stuff like that. We were just always running out of time it felt like! Also, it helps to plan ahead if you plan on taking ferries between bays. They are kind of on a weird schedule!
- Hotels. This is especially important if you don’t plan on bringing a car or renting one. My first instinct is always to find the most reasonable/decent hotel. I never look at location, which is why I am glad my best friend does. We first booked at a hotel near the airport, which is pretty far from all of the touristy stuff. That would mean we would have to taxi or Uber to and from the heart of the city. We weren’t down for that. So, we decided spending some extra money each night to stay closer into town would be worth it. IT WAS. We stayed in Union Square which is close to tons of food, shopping, and transportation options! It was more expensive then I had originally planned to spend on a hotel, but I would recommend it to everyone. Also, be careful when booking because a lot of these hotels are so small they have communal bathrooms, so if you aren’t down for that be sure to check that the hotel your’re looking at has private bathrooms.
This was such a fun trip and I had an amazing time wandering around this city! There is a lot to explore and tons of fun to be had! Also, lots of yummy food and cute shopping!