I lived in San Francisco for 4 years, and I believe it is possible to see “all” of San Francisco in 24 hours.
What are the must sees in San Francisco?
- Alcatraz (Opens at 9:00 am)
- Golden Gate Bridge
- Bike Ride to Sausalito – 8.6 miles
- Cable Car
- Union Square (Cable Car starts at Union Square)
- Fisherman’s Wharf
- AT&T Game
- Alamo Square (Where Full House was Filmed)
- Coit Tower in North Beach (10:00 am to 5:00 pm)
- Ghirardelli Square
Some people would likely add Golden Gate Park and de Young Museum to the must see list. In my opinion, it isn’t the end of the world if you miss them.
7:00: Alamo Square
8:30: Ferry to Alcatraz
9:00 – 11:00 Alcatraz
11:00 – 1:00: Fisherman’s Wharf / Ghirardelli’s Square (Grab Lunch in Fisherman’s Wharf)
1:00 – 4:30: Bike Ride to Sausalito (Stop at Golden Gate Bridge)
5:30: Cable Car to Union Square
6:30: Union Square
7:30: Baseball Game
10:30: Fairmont Hotel for Drinks or head to Marina for the night
If you missed Coit Tower, it would not be the end of the world. The bike ride and ferry back from Sausalito could take as short as 2 hours, which would give you time to visit Coit Tower.
If you do spend an extra day in the city, I recommend renting the little yellow cars (GoCar Tours). They are a ton of fun, and you can see other parts of the city.
The two most common day trips are Muir Woods and Napa/Sonoma.
Napa/Sonoma can easily be a full day event. Muir Woods is more likely a half day event. If you have limited time, I would skip Muir Woods if you are heading to Redwoods National Park.
On the way out of city, I would stop at Lombard Street (The Crookedest Street) in the world.
I hope those heading to SF with limited time realize that they can see it all in 24 hours.