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flowerchild's avatar


Asked by flowerchild (221points) June 12th, 2008

Going to San Francisco with 2 teenage girls for vacation. Any suggestions on activities?

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12 Answers

jlm11f's avatar

i don’t but i hope shilolo and nikipedia answer this question

wildflower's avatar

take me with you?

breanne's avatar

Go to Twin Peaks for a good photo op overlooking the entire city, as well as the Golden Gate Bridge of course. Union Square is always good for posh shopping.

The Japanese Tea Garden is beautiful and cheap to get into. Sit down for some Japanese snacks and tea. It’s probably my favorite spot in the city. The Palace of Fine Arts is beautiful too. Girls like to get their photo taken in front of things together, don’t they? ;)

AstroChuck's avatar

Go to Telegraph Hill (that’s where Coit Tower is) for the best view of the city. Also you can see all the feral parrots that live there.

hannahsugs's avatar

Take a trip to Alcatraz! Totally worth it, you get great views of the city and the Golden Gate, plus a really cool audio tour of the old prison block. Make a reservation though, the ferry fills up!

nikipedia's avatar

Message me if you want my Greatest Hits. They’re a well-guarded secret.

babygalll's avatar

Must see Alcatraz, but if you decide to go you have to purchase tickets in advance. (let me know and I can email you a site)

Telegraph Hill
Treasure Island for nice pictures of the city.
Japanese Tea Garden
Vista Point
Union City
Golden Gate Park

Beautiful city. I am sure you will have lots of fun.

shilolo's avatar

Will you have a car, or will you be using public transportation? If you have a car, you can get to some awesome places within 20 minutes of the city as well. Also, for how long are you staying? In addition to the wonderful ideas suggested above, I would add some local flavor to your stay:
1. The Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building. Awesome views, great food, window shopping awesome local vegetables, people watching.
2. Stairway walks. I hate to put this out in public, since these secret stairways are a treasure, but since we fluther together, I feel obliged to share.
3. Mural walks in the Mission district. Not only will you see some beautiful local murals, but the Mission district is definitely an area to explore and experience on foot.
4. No visit to San Francisco is complete without a visit to Chinatown. Eat at a restaurant without an english menu… Do some tea-tasting at a teashop.
5. If this is your thing, you can visit the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. It has become somewhat commercialized and gentrified, but still, it is a window back to the 60s counter-culture movement. Also, conveniently located next to Golden Gate Park and the Japanese Tea Garden (word of warning, the tea here is very expensive, and frankly, weak and watered down).
6. Hiking the Land’s End Trail in the Outer Richmond. The has the best views of the bay, and is a beautiful walk to boot (more info here). At the end of Land’s End is the Sea Cliff neighborhood. If you like to walk around imagining what it would be like to live in a $10 million dollar home with views of the bay, this is the spot.

You will notice that most of these things are not tourist spots per se. You might want to mix and match seeing the so-called main attractions like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz with more local events. I would add that the advantage of the walks is that they come at just the right price… free! Have fun!

nikipedia's avatar

@shilolo: You never fail to deliver—excellent list. Will be testing some of those out this weekend. As an addendum, though, I much prefer the Alemany Market to the Ferry Building, and if you do the Mission mural walks, pay close attention to the sidewalks…

shilolo's avatar

The Alemany Markey is nice (and definitely cheaper than the one at the Ferry Building), but, it is not trivial to get to it, and it isn’t in the greatest spot in the world. The advantage of the Ferry Building for tourists is that it is in a very central location, and, you can go there for breakfast, then walk down the Embarcadero towards Fisherman’s Wharf, or hop on the subway and go to Union Square (and elsewhere).

Ooh. I left out another favorite activity, riding the cable cars. Here’s another useful tip. If you take the one that starts at Powell and Market (which is a common one to take since it starts near Union Square), there is often a huge line at the turnaround where they load the car (especially on weekends). But, they never fill the cable car since they have to pick up more passengers en route. So, unless you want to ensure a spot on the rail so you can lean out and smack some people on the way up, you can avoid the line by walking up Powell to the very next stop. Few people know to do this, but it can save you an hour in the line.

marinelife's avatar

If you have a weekend and a car, one of my favorite things is to go early (like 8 or 8:30) in the morning across the Golden Gate bridge to Sausalito and have Sunday brunch at the Alta Mira. It is a down-at-the-heels grand dowager of a B&B that was the hip and happening place in the 1920s. You are at treetop level on the deck with great views and good eggs benedict. Sausalito is very self-conscious and try-to-be arty and gets crowded later.

After brunch, head to my favorite church in the world, Cathedral Grove at Muir Woods. Early in the morning you can walk the trail and commune with the redwoods without many other people. The light filtering through the trees is fantastic. It is a gift to be with them.

Shilolo mentioned Chinatown. I think dim sum there is a marvelous experience. If you do dinner, be sure and try abalone if you have not had it.

The Cliff House restauant is a great spot to observe sunset. I don’ usually eat there, but the beach below is nice to walk on (or with little ones run on).

Jill_E's avatar

Ditto on the cable cars. Its fun. You can stay to the end of the line and walk to Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39. Have clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl. And see the lazy seals on the Pier 39 (left side of the pier 39)

From Pier 41? or nearby. Take the ferry to Tiberon…or Angels Island. Tiberon have a nice mexican Guymas right on the waterfront. And can stroll around town.

Ditto on Cliff House, it is nice as well.

If you like ice cream, Ghiradelli Square is great. They have an ice cream place. And you can see how they make chocolate.

And if you plan to drive around S.F. take the crookest street on Lombardi. Its fun. And drive on California street. Big hills.

Have fun!

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