I recently had the opportunity to visit San Francisco. Although it was only my second time going, I can easily say it’s one of my favorite places.
Being in college is challenging on many levels but one of the hardest things is finding time to get away. Here is my advice: pick a weekend, get a group of friends together, and take off.
If you’re like me, you go from class to work to sorority meetings from 8 am to midnight. A getaway might seem impossible, but it will ultimately benefit you.
Whether you live in California or are looking for a spring break trip, I want to share some SF adventure ideas.
- Visit Muir Woods. Put on workout clothes, pack water and a few snacks, and hit the trails for fresh air and beautiful scenery. Fair warning, you do have to pay a small entrance fee (I believe it’s $10) and parking is very limited. I would consider arriving early especially if you’re visiting during a holiday weekend or try visiting on a weekday to avoid any issues with parking.
- Go to Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s very busy and tourist oriented, but there’s so much to see including souvenir shops and the famous sourdough bread bakery Boudin. Start at Ghirardelli Square and walk down to Pier 39 for sea lion sightings, shops, food, and other entertainment. You can also start at Boudin (160Jefferson Street) for a shorter walk.
- Conquer the Lyon Street Steps. This is definitely a popular workout spot but it’s also an amazing view for sunrise and sunset. The top of the steps begin at Lyon and Broadway Street. Start at the top and walk down to the Palace of the Fine Arts. It takes about 20 minutes (little less than a mile) and is great early in the morning.
- Check out the Palace of Fine Arts for cool photos. You’ll feel like you’re suddenly in Rome. I would suggest going in the morning and walking through to Crissy Field Beach. You can also bring a picnic and sit on the grass in front of the Palace.
- Walk along the Crissy Field Beach while getting an impeccable shot of the Golden Gate Bridge. Depending on when you go, you can sunbathe on the sand or walk and enjoy the scenery. Parallel to Crissy Field is a 2 mile trail known as the Golden Gate Promenade which is biker, jogger, dog walker, saunter (etc.) friendly.
- Experience stunning views at Lands End whether it’s of the Golden Gate Bridge, the rocky shoreline, or Sutro Bath ruins. This is another place with difficult parking but is a great area to walk around/get away. Lands end is located at 680 Point Lobos Ave. There’s a new visitor center with a small cafe for coffee and pastries called the Lands End Lookout.
- Get dessert at Ghirardelli Square. I would suggest a hot chocolate but the options are endless and so delicious. Order a sundae and share it with your significant other and/or bff or follow my lead and get a hot cocoa on a cold night. Your sweet tooth will definitely be satisfied.
- Chestnut Street. The street is full of restaurants and inviting shops ranging from book stores to craft stores to bakeries, etc. Go for a late lunch and walk the streets afterwards for some shopping. Quick Tip: I highly recommend eating at Squat and Gobble for a tasty meal. I ordered a hot chocolate and croissant sandwich but they also have dessert crepes and other things.
- Go “Off the Grid”. If you have a little money, I would suggest checking this out. It’s the largest network of gourmet mobile food markets and has hundreds of vendors each week around the Bay Area. Be sure to look up where the food trucks are and go hungry. You may be overwhelmed at first with all the choices but I promise you’ll find exactly what you’re craving.
- Wrecking Ball Coffee on Union Street. This place has beautiful wallpaper but more importantly amazing coffee and treats. It’s small with a really great environment and if you’re a coffee drinker it’s worth a shot. Even if you’re not a coffee drinker it’s worth a shot. Sleep in, grab a drink and head over to brunch at Rose’s Cafe across the street.
- Enjoy brunch or dinner at Rose’s Cafe. I went for brunch and the place was full of half-marathon finishers coming from their morning race. If you’re not looking to spend a lot of money, go with friends, order 2 or 3 things and split the dishes. The french toast is amazing as well as the house-made granola.
- Joe’s Taco’s. After going to Muir Woods, stop by this taco shop for amazing enchiladas, burritos, tacos and more. The portion sizes are huge and so yummy. It’s about a 15 minute drive from Muir Woods and is a great post-hike carbo-load.
Wrecking Ball Coffee & Joe’s Tacos
Boudin Bakery & the Palace of the Fine Arts
Lands End & Chestnut Street
Lands End & Crissy Field Beach