Day 1 You'll See:
Day 2 You'll See:
All the very best San Francisco has to offer packed into 2 days? Yes, please!!
Adventure Student Travel has put together what we (and our groups) consider to be best two-day San Francisco itinerary possible, showing you the most iconic San Francisco landmarks, immersing you into the local culture, and allowing you to have a really great time while doing so! Get ready for the trip of a lifetime!
Golden Gate Bridge -
The bridge, a breathtaking arc of high-visibility *international orange* cable and Bethlehem steel, holding a comfortable 5th place on a list of America’s Favorite Architecture and declared one of the modern wonders of the world, spans the three-mile-wide channel between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, firmly lashing Marin County to the City. In all her Art-Deco glory, the Golden Gate yawns, flexes and curves across the water, shrouded in the woolen morning fog, bathed in ethereal California afternoon sunlight, and glowing, golden and elegant, after dark. She’s even more awe-inspiring in person than in any postcard depiction you will ever see; a visit here should find a place on every Northern California travel itinerary.
Cable Car Museum -
Running since 1873, the iconic and beloved San Francisco cable car system has remained in operation more for nostalgia than practicality. That being said, there's something special about hearing the cable cars coming over the next hill, clinging and clanging as excited visitors hop on board. Though only 17 miles of track remain, the cars running up and down the city streets are as much a part of San Francisco as the Golden Gate Bridge. Locals continue to utilize the service as convenient transportation and a cable car ride is on just about every visitor’s to-do list so a stop in at the Cable Car Museum is a must during your San Francisco getaway! Best part? It's free!
The largest Chinatown outside of Asia and the oldest in the United States, San Francisco’s landmark district was established in 1848, dating back to the original Chinese immigrants who settled in the area. This microcosmic enclave preserves the culture, traditions, languages, and history of the original immigrants and their descendants. Today, Chinatown draws more annual visitors than the Golden Gate Bridge. Attractions in Chinatown range from cultural events to authentic Chinese restaurants, shops, visually stimulating architecture, and more.
Lombard Street -
One of the most photographed landmarks in San Francisco, Lombard Street is labeled as the “crookedest street.” This iconic avenue is famous for the steep incline and eight hairpin turns that travel up the hillside in the Presidio region of the city. Come by and take pictures of the twists that pass by flowerbeds that always seem to be in bloom whatever time of year you visit. This free attraction is the perfect destination for a selfie. Ride to the top in a cable car and take some photos of the view. From the top, you can see the San Francisco Bay Bridge, Alcatraz Island, and Coit Tower among other attractions. After that, walk down the hill and lookup. Though you’ve only walked a few blocks down the hill, the view is even better as you look up at the zigzagging rainbow of flowers.
Pier 39 -
Located along the historical and breathtaking San Francisco waterfront, just two blocks East of Fisherman’s Wharf, this lively 45 acre complex is a favorite gathering place for locals and visitors; enjoy many of the deliciously delightful sights, smells and tastes of an old-fashioned amusement park with a spectacular view of the colorful 300-berth marina by the bay, the busy Bay Bridge, glorious Golden Gate and ominous Alcatraz, in addition to a front-row seat to wriggling and vocal herds of lounging sea lions stationed on K-Dock. 14 full-service restaurants, most featuring a wide variety of fabulously fresh seafood, and scores of wonderful eateries and snack shacks ensure no one in your travel group goes hungry as you explore this landmark waterfront wonderland! Numbering amongst the 90+ popular attractions here, dozens of wonderfully eclectic locally themed gift shops offer galaxies of mementos of your San Francisco experience; specialty stores like The Fudge Shoppe, Chocolate Heaven, San Francisco Sock Market, The Left-Handed Store, The Pearl Factory and Club Tattoo tempt even the die-hard no-souvenir types to duck inside.
Red and White Fleet Bay Cruise -
Get ready for one of the most exciting ways to see the city with a Red and White Fleet Bay Cruise, a highly popular tour experience providing the best views of the city skyline, Alcatraz, and both the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges. What better way to immerse yourselves in local scenery than with a seaside view of it all? Choose from the options below:
California Twilight (November - March) - Especially popular during the holidays, when the city is aglow with festive cheer.
Golden Gate Bay Cruise - The original, and many walk away saying the best, the tour offered by the Red and White Fleet. - 1 Hour
Bridge to Bridge - A voyage from Golden Gate Bridge to Bay Bridge, with glimpses of Alcatraz, ATT Park, and the Ferry Building along the way - 1.5 Hours
California Sunset Cruise - Food, music, and great ambiance come with this delightful cruise, as well as views of Angel Island and Sausalito.
NYE Firework Cruise - A truly spectacular display of pyrotechnics from the water.
Fisherman's Wharf -
For a pure San Francisco experience, one must visit the Fisherman’s Wharf. Built on the ruined buildings destroyed by the devastating 1906 earthquake, Fisherman’s Wharf was born out of a renewed love of the sea and the traditions surrounding ocean-side living. Many of the iconic boats docked at the wharf belong to the descendants of San Francisco’s original fishermen who populated, and even built, the area. They are an aesthetic yet practical reminder of this entertainment district’s origins and true meaning. The food stops at Fisherman’s Wharf are the highlights of the area. From Alioto’s to Boudin at the Wharf, Castagnola’s, and the Fog Harbor Fish House, Fisherman’s Wharf serves only the best food.
Want to extend your trip? Check out these additional attraction options: