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HOW TO SPEND 48 HOURS IN SAN FRANCISCO

Author: Meghan Palmer
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Last updated: 2 April 2019

With Michelin starred and mom-and-pop restaurants on every corner, a vast variety of cultural attractions and a healthy arts scene, you could easily spend a full week (or more) in San Francisco. But sometimes you just don’t have enough vacation time - don't let that stop you from seeing one of the most visited cities in the US! For those trips when you only have a long weekend to get away, here’s the best way to spend 48 hours in San Francisco.

FRIDAY AFTERNOON

Start off your SF trip with a visit to Crissy Field at the Presidio. Take in the stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge, admire all those ambitious joggers and mentally prepare for all of the fun you’re about to have. Then, take a stroll to the Palace of Fine Arts to marvel at one of the most beautiful architectural displays in the city.

  • People walking towards Golden Gate Bridge
    Credit: Berkeley Running Company
  • Beautiful Garden in San Francisco
    Credit: vibeinstyle

FRIDAY EVENING

For dinner, grab a counter spot at Liholiho’s Yacht Club and enjoy some of the most inventive Hawaiian fusion cuisine, paired with a strong cocktail. 

  • Rice bowl
    Credit: Liho Liho Yacht Club
  • Table with colourful food
    Credit: liholihoyaughtclub

SATURDAY MORNING 

Start your morning off with a quick breakfast and a latte at Equator Coffee, right across the street from YOTEL. When you’re all fuelled up, it’s time to hop on a cable car and head to the Embarcadero to check out the Farmers Market at the Ferry Building.  Stock up on local goodies from vendors like Acme Bread Company and Dandelion Chocolates.

  • Small tartlets in a row
    Credit: Dandelion Chocolate
  • Wooden coffee pourer stand
    Credit: Equator Coffee

SATURDAY AFTERNOON

Next, head to Fisherman’s Wharf for the obligatory walk around. Grab lunch at In-N-Out Burger, take in the stunning views of the water and the Golden Gate Bridge from Ghirardelli Square. Finally, take a quick 12-minute walk to the “crookedest street in the world” for a killer photo op. 

SATURDAY EVENING 

There’s nothing like winding down with a nice dinner after a busy day of site seeing, so head over to Zuni Café for an impressive meal filled with fresh oysters, roast chicken and plenty of wine. 

SUNDAY MORNING

You’ll want to be up early to arrive at Tartine Manufactory at 8am to beat the long queues that form, but it’ll be worth it.  After you’ve ordered a famous croissant to go, head over to the infamous Mission street art murals to walk off your and carb coma. To finish off your walk, stop by Mission Dolores Park for some much-needed lounging, but don’t forget to bring a blanket to sit on.

  • wall art in San Francisco
    Credit: rodpasion
  • sunny day in San Francisco
    Credit: IG user usackbyrore

SUNDAY AFTERNOON

Next, head to Chinatown, one of the largest in the country.  Peruse the colourful shops, pick up some traditional Chinese dumplings and be sure to stop by the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory to snag a box of treats to take home with you.