San Francisco Travel Tips: What First-Time Visitors Should Know

With its fresh-from-the-field food, towering landmarks, extensive green spaces, clanking cable cars, and architectural treasures, San Francisco enchants travelers from around the world. You wouldn’t be wrong to say San Francisco is the most beautiful city in the Western U.S. And yes, it’s build on more than fifty steep hills. You want to make sure you have the best trip, weekend getaway, or vacation in San Francisco. Here are important tips every first-time visitor to San Francisco should keep in mind.

You Can Walk Almost Everywhere in San Francisco

One thing you want to avoid is driving when in San Francisco. You’d rather use one of the many public transportation options. The last thing you want is to spend hours trying to find a nonexistent parking spot. Walking San Francisco’s streets is the best way to explore the city and experience its historic neighborhoods. Bring some comfy shoes. Many neighborhoods are relatively flat.

Always Dress in Layers

The weather in San Francisco changes quickly depending on the cloud cover, wind, and fog. You’re likely to experience the coldest winter here in San Francisco. Even the summer months can be very cold. This isn’t a tropical destination where you’re coming to spend your days on the beach. Make sure you bring a jacket and sweater.

Check out the Ferry Building Marketplace

If you’re looking for some amazing wine tasting opportunities and walking tours during your San Francisco trip, the Ferry Building Marketplace is a must visit. After a busy day exploring the bustling city of San Francisco, find your way to the Ferry Building Marketplace for a relaxing evening at the AT&T Park or Pier 39.

Wear Extremely Comfortable Shoes

As mentioned, San Francisco is a pedestrian-friendly city. You should bring with you comfortable walking shoe, therefore. You just can’t avoid walking across the city and climbing the hills here. You may need sunglasses when walking through the streets.

Stay in the Right Place

It’s important that you find accommodation in a hotel that provides easy access to most parts of the city. Choose a hotel that’s within six to eight blocks of Market Street. Avoid hotels along Lombard and Van Ness Streets as they can be inconveniencing and noisy. Consider staying around the Convention Center, Union Square, or Fisherman’s Wharf.

Go beyond Fisherman’s Wharf

Of course, every visitor wants to get to Fisherman’s Wharf and spend some time watching the famed sea lions, take the ferry to visit Alcatraz, or just watch people. It’s, however, important to note that San Francisco has more to offer away from Pier 39. Enjoy spectacular views of the Golden Gate and surrounding landscape from Coit Tower, explore the exhibits at the contemporary museums around the city, and visit the clubs South of Market. Be sure to also explore the wonderful neighborhoods in the city and experience the real San Francisco.

Get on the Cable Car Faster

It’s not uncommon for first-time visitors to waste time standing in the endless line at the stop below Ghirardelli Square. If you’re looking to get to Union Square, avoid the hassle and save time by waiting at Mason and Bay streets. The lines here are shorter. Visitors looking to just have fun and enjoy the ride can get on the California line near the Ferry Building.