In may of this year, my husband came home and declared by surprise that he had purchased tickets and booked a hotel. “Cancel everything! Me and you are going to San Francisco for 5 days.” A lovely surprise. Here are my top most favorite things to do in San Francisco. I hope it inspires you to visit this magical place.
Eating Clam Chowder out of Sour Dough Bread
Of all things to do in San Francisco, this has to make it on your list. San Francisco is famous for sour dough bread and clam chowder. When the two are combined into a single meal … it’s pure heaven. First you eat the soup and then you have the delight of the soaked bread to tackle afterwards. You won’t have much room for anything else after this meal. Make sure you are hungry.
Riding the San Francisco Cable Car
I made the mistake of calling it a trolley. The concierge at our hotel seemed offended when I called it a trolley. It’s a cable car and you better call it by the right name. This is of those unique things to do in San Francisco that you won’t experience anywhere else. A fun trip through a beautiful city. People hopping on and off. The conductor making entertaining commentary as you ride along. That is lots of entertainment for a few dollars.
A Visit to Alcatraz
The Alcatraz Island and former prison is the most visited tourist monument in all of San Francisco. This means that it makes to the list of things to do in San Francisco for many people. I have been to Alcatraz during a previous trip. My husband didn’t want to go but we got a glimpse of it during a ferry ride in the bay. It’s a foreboding place to visit. You can spend a half day walking around the place.
A Visit To SFMoma
I was so impressed by my visit to San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. The entry fee is $25. I feel I got my money’s worth and more. So much great art concentrated in one place. Seven floors of it. Among works by Paul Clee, Kandinsky and Andy Warhol I was in heaven. I was particularly impressed by the installation art I saw at the gallery. A dark room decked in rows and rows of identical light bulbs. While walking through them I felt like I was floating in outer space. A second is a maze like installation with leaning walls. As I walked though it I felt unbalanced. I felt an urge to lean one way and then another, even though there was plenty of room for me to walk straight. An odd experience. But the thing that made me most happy was seeing the word Palestinian on a placard in the museum. Discovering the work Emily Jacir was a lovely surprise. If you are into art then you should definitely visit SFMoma. If you are not into art then you should read my story on art appreciation.
Ice cream at Ghirardelli’s
Ghirardelli is a chocolate factory in San Francisco with shops all over the city. Go ahead and sample the chocolate. But for an extra super special treat you have to try the ice cream. They make these elaborate sundaes that probably have 10,000 calories. Even though my husband and I shared one we both walked away feeling full. No lunch was consumed that day. It was chocolatly gooooooooooooood.
Visit The Bison at the Golden Bridge Park
While taking a walking through the Golden Gate Park we came across live bison kept in an enclosure. This was a fantastic surprise to encounter these majestic animals and sped a few minutes observing them. Of all the things to do in San Francisco this one left me most awestruck.
Discover On-House Art Installation
While taking a walk along Marina Blvd I saw this house with giant circles painted on the outside. Perhaps somebody has a form of polka dot obsession more severe than mine. You expect to find art in an art gallery, but not while walking along the street. The house looking like it’s covered in bubbles propelled by some mysterious energy. I just love it when a city offers a surprise such as this.
Walk On Poetry
Speaking of surprises, I discovered these poems written on the pavement as we walked along the bay. This one said.
— Roberto Torres
Of all the things to do in San Francisco, this was the loveliest.
Have you been to San Francisco? What would make it on your list of “things to do in San Francisco”? I would love to know.