San Francisco

San Francisco, Frisco

Currency: US Dollar

Language: English

Tax Refund: The United States of America does not have a national or federal sales tax system, which means that the government does not levy a sales tax. But instead each states have their own sales tax that is being levy to the resident and tourists. The sales tax varies. For example, Alaska, Delaware, Montana, New Hampshire and Oregon do not levy a sales tax, while California has the highest state sales tax rate at 7.5%.

One of the most popular place to shop, New York charge a 4.375% sales tax on all sales. However the city of New York waives the sales tax of 4% on all purchases of clothing and footwear if the item is under $110.

From Airport to the City

BART are a train service in the bay area and provide transport to major selected area in the Bay. Bart also connects both the international airport, SFO and Oakland airport, from SFO it cost around $8.95 to downtown, taking 30mins. The downtown San Francisco have 4 stations, Civic Centre, Powell St, Montgomery St and Emarcadero. You can pay using a clipper card.

While a taxi to downtown San Francisco will cost around $50. A uberX will cost around $25 – $32. If you are travelling in a party a uber might be more worth it.

The metro in San Francisco, it is pretty extensive and can take you to most of the places in town. Tickets cost $2.50 for 90 mins, you can make unlimited amount of transfer.

Attractions

Golden Gate Bridge

Of course being the most famous attraction in the city of San Francisco, it is a must visit. The suspension bridge is a mile wide and 2.7km long bridge, it is built for vehicles, cyclist and pedestrians. Besides visiting the visitor centre near Fort Point and Crissy Field, one of the best lookout and photo taking spot will be near their welcome centre at Marine Dr. Here you can get some nice pictures, for the opposite view, head to Battery Spencer and Vista Point, Kirby cove is also another good place, but is quite inaccessible without a car.

Crissy Field Beach

Not really you’re kind of white sandy beach for sun tanning or other activities. But it is a nice recreation place and offers amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge. It is a short walk from the visitor centre and you could get pretty decent photos here.

Kirby Cove

Located opposite the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge, this cluster of viewing point, Kirby Cove, Vista Point and Battery Spencer are some great spots for viewing and taking pictures. However they are pretty hard to get to unless you have a rental car. The views are especially amazing during sunset or sunrise.

Union Square

The main central district in town, here is the place where you can find all sorts of shops and restaurants. Most of the brands are here as well as popular eateries such as cheesecake factory. It can be said as the most bustling area.

Fisherman Wharf

The neighbourhood at the northern tip of central San Francisco, this is a popular area and many tourists are here. Catch the gorgeous view of the waterfront area, dine in one of the best restaurant also. Nothing beats walking the streets here with a bowl of clam chowder. The famous Pier 39 here is also a key feature, with many sea lion on it.

Powell Street Station

Here is where you can get on the world famous iconic San Francisco cable car. It runs the whole long stretch from market St to Fisherman Wharf. A ride isn’t cheap though, although it is worth the experience. Do note that on the weekends there might be a long wait. It is famous being the last world manually operated cable car system.

Lombard Street

A famous street in the city that is famous for its steep hairpin turns. It is considered to be the ultimate test for drivers even if you dare to drive on it. It consists of 9 tight corners. It is worth seeing it once and taking a picture.

City Hall

A turn of Market St, this city hall is worth a visit to view the grand dome of its exterior. It is built in the 1915 in Beaux-Arts style. The exterior is grand and imposing. If you would like to have a tour of the interior it is also possible. They are open from 8am to 8pm on weekdays.

Misión San Francisco de Asís

Known as one of the oldest building in San Francisco, it is built in the 1700s and of Spanish colonial style. It is located in the 16th street near Market St.

Alacatraz Island

Once a max security federal prison it is now a tourist attraction. It is one of the hardest to escape prison in the past as it is located on an island off the shore. It is now a museum and you can visit while taking a ferry there. It is super popular and tickets should be bought in advance. It allows you to have a feel of a prison life. Ferries depart from Pier 33. The day tour cost 37.25 dollars while the Behind the Scene tour cost 89.25. The night tour is also pretty engaging. Tickets can be book 90 days ahead.

Baker Beach

A public beach on the northwest of the city it leads you directly to the mightiness of the Pacific Ocean. If you are thinking of white pristine beach with a view of the Golden Gate Beach, here you get killer views. The cliffs and trails also add to another dimension of the place. However it is inaccessible without a car.

Muir Woods National Monuments

Located north of San Francisco, part of the Golden Gate Bridge Recreation Area, it is a scenic, forested park featuring giant redwood trees, long hiking trails, a visitor centre. It is established since 1908 with many of the red wood trees being as old as well. It is open year round from 8am till sunset. The fee is 10 dollars per person and you could enter using the federal pass as well. It is about a 30 mins drive from San Francisco, be early as parking lots are limited.

Shopping

Walmart

West Gate San Leandro, 1919 Davis St, San Leandro, CA 94577, USA

Located in West Gate, it is the nearest Walmart store to San Francisco, it is also open daily from 6am to 12am. A great place to get all you need, located nearby is also a Nike Clearance Store if you are interested.

Trader Joe’s

10 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA

One of the best grocery store in San Francisco, there are multiple branches around the city but this one is most convenient located in Market St. check out the variety of signature items. It is open daily from 8am to 9pm.

Market St

Can be said as the main street in the whole of San Francisco, it is also one of the longest in the city. Lined up with numerous stores and restaurant, especially in the Union Square region there are many huge departments store like Macys. The street ends at the Ferry Building Marketplace.

Ferry Building Marketplace

One Sausalito – San Francisco Ferry Bldg, San Francisco

Located in a restored 1898 building, vendors and farmers here set up stalls and sell fresh produce as well as prepared food, it is a delight to stroll through them. The place itself is also quite gorgeous. On Tuesdays, Saturdays and on Thursday evenings a year round farmers market take place. It is open from Mon-Fri 10am – 7pm, Sat 8am – 6pm and Sun 11am – 5pm. Go hungry.

Safeway

145 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA

Another great grocery store in town, this place is the go to for good American products. There is also a deli on site. It is open from 6am to 12am daily.

Macy’s

170 O’Farrell St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA

Located right in the heart of Union Square, this famous department store has one of its largest branch right here. It is open daily from 10am to 9pm, Sun from 11am to 7pm.

San Francisco Premium Outlets

2774 Livermore Outlets Dr, Livermore, CA 94551, USA

One of the largest outlet malls in the region with more than 180 stores in the mall including some unique ones like DSQUARED2, Longchamp, Stance and Timbuk2. It is open daily 10am to 9pm and Sun 10am to 7pm. If you don’t mind the trouble it could be reached via Bart and Bus too.

Restaurants

The First Swensen’s Ice Cream Store

1999 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA

Located on the corner of Hyde St and Union St, it is also the original store of the chain restaurant. It is known as the first store of this popular chain. The restaurant is also located near to the iconic Lombard St which makes it perfect for a stroll after some ice cream and milkshakes. The place is open daily from 12 to 10pm with extended timing to 11pm on Fri and Sat.

IHOPs

200 Beach St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA

Located right on the wharf near to the pier, this long standing American chain location is perfect. It is also great for getting some food before a visit to the Alcatraz. It is open daily, 5am to 10pm with 24hrs operations on Fri and Sat.

 

Cheese Cake Factory

Macy’s, 8th Floor, 251 Geary St, San Francisco

Found in the Macy’s department store on the 8th floor, a trip to the US can’t be without the taste of the classic American Cheesecake. This place sells numerous variants and kind of them. It is a must visit for any sweet treat. It is open daily from 11am to 11pm with extended hours till 12.30am on Fri and Sat.

Taylor Street Coffeeshop

375 Taylor St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA

A small joint near Union Square that is always packed with people and serving up decant breakfast and lunch. The hollandaise hash and millionaires’ bacon is especially popular. It is only open daily from 7am to 2pm, so be early.

Sears Fine Food

439 Powell St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA

A local favourite among the diners. This place is perfect in the morning where you definitely have to try their Swedish Pancakes. This fine establishment has been around since 1938s. It is open daily from 6.30am to 9.30pm with extended hours till 10pm on Fri and Sat. Breakfast is till 3pm. Prices here may be slightly higher.

Boxed Foods Co

245 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA

A hype quick serve eatery that caters to the office crowd for lunch. As mentioned by the name, it mainly caters to takeaway boxes and serves up a variety of salads and sandwiches. It primes itself of using local organic product and also sustainable ones. It is open from Mon to Fri, 10.30am to 3pm.

Honey Honey Café & Crepery

599 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA

A causal and cherry spot for those with a sweet spot. This café serves up some of the city best crepes. It is also great for breakfast with the waffles making good news. It is open daily from 7am to 10pm.

Mr Holmes Bakehouse

1042 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA

The best bakery in town and definitely a must visit. The place neon lights also make it a rather famous place for pictures. When you are here, you definitely have to try the croissant which is legendary. It is only open from 7am till 2.30pm on weekdays and from 8am to 3.30pm on weekends. The Cruffins are a must try.

Franciscan Crab Restaurant

Pier 43 1/2 Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco

Located on Pier 43, this is a long lasting well known place to get seafood. The restaurant boost view of the waterfront and also the Alcatraz, a window/outdoor seat is a must. It is open from 11.30am to 10pm daily. Try the whole Dungeness crab, crab cakes, steamed mussels and fresh oysters. Prices are fair.

Over The Moon Creamery

2144 Chestnut St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA

One of SFO oldest brand of ice cream, they make their ice creams daily and with the best ingredients from the local regions. Each day there are 24 flavours to choose from, it cost around 3 bucks. It is also located near the best viewing spot of the Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Field. Open daily from 12pm to 10pm with extended timing till 11pm on Fri and Sat.

Mama’s

1701 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA

Mama’s is a raved, cosy restaurant in the wharf area serving up comfort American that came highly recommended, especially the Banana Nut French Toast. It is open from Mon to Sat from 8am to 3pm serving their best breakfast. Expect lines to form outside the area. A must try.

Swan Oyster Depot

1517 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA

A no fails counter serving up some of the freshest seafood straight out from the bay. Prices are fair and the stuff is fresh. It is open from Mon to Sat from 10.30am to 5.30pm. Expect to wait. Try the chowder, cocktails and Hot Lobster Salad.

Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe

4081 Hollis St, Emeryville, CA 94608, USA

On the way while enroute to the San Francisco Premium Outlets. This modern diner is recommended by Diners, Drive In and Dives. They serve authentic American grub and best of all they have long hours. They are open from 7am to 1am daily. The menu is huge and prices are affordable.

Chowder and Crab Sidewalk Stands

200 Jefferson St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA

On the side of the fisherman wharf, this place has numerous stalls selling crab and clam chowder, it is best holding a cup of piping hot chowder while strolling down the wharf enjoying the views. Opposite to it is Boudin which has the perfect classic sourdough breads and creamiest clam chowder. Boudin is open from 8am till late daily.

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