San Francisco in 3 Days
Once my husband and I landed, we caught the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) train out of San Francisco International Airport. The BART train took us to the Financial District, where we had about a 15 minute walk to our hotel in Chinatown. Chinatown is a neat area. On a nice sunny, weekend day it gets crowded fast, but it is definitely a site to see.
If you stay in this area, I would definitely recommend going to Union Square. There, you will find plenty of restaurants, including fast food, trolleys and shopping. If you are into Burgers, Super Duper Burgers is worth the stop.
Spend this day exploring and taking in the area. From here, you can check out the Painted Ladies houses a.k.a. "The Full House" houses and have a picnic in the park while people watching.
My husband and I booked an Alcatraz, Sausalito and Muir Woods tour through Viator.com (this you will want to book at least 2 weeks in advance). With this tour, free morning pick up is complimentary and the tour will last about 8 hours, so eating a good breakfast and having a light snack and a bottle of water is highly recommended. I really enjoyed the convenience of having a tour planned out, but since Viator has so many tours, you'll really want to pay close attention to where you were dropped off and times of pick up and be prepared to wait for transportation between the destinations. Alcatraz is historical and includes an audio tour, Muir Woods is beautiful and tranquil and Sausalito is relaxing and a chance to stop for some good eats.
Once you are back in San Francisco, you can be dropped off at the Pier. At Pier 39, you'll see sea lions basking in the sun and swimming. You can not help but to hear them, so you will know when you are close. From there, enjoy Fisherman's Wharf. There are a lot of restaurants and things to see and do, but the bread bowls alone are worth it.
By this time, you will most likely be ready to relax and call it a day.
*Alternatively, you can morning tour at Ghirardelli in Ghirardelli Square and do the Alcatraz night tour instead of day.
kOn the last day, the Golden Gate Bridge and Lombard Street are the focus. My husband and I chose to ride bikes to the bridge, which can be rented at several locations, but we chose Blazing Saddles. Something to be aware of at Blazing Saddles is that they will give you tickets in case you want to take the ferry back from the bridge and if you choose not to use them you turn them back in. I would highly recommend deciding whether or not you are going to take the ferry are make sure you put the tickets in a secured location, because if you do not take the ferry but you do not bring your tickets back then you will be charged for them.
Though we chose to peddle to the bridge, Warning: San Francisco is very hilly. There are a few routes to get there, but please do not go by the time Google Maps states you will arrive unless you are used to biking up and down hills and are sure you will not get lost. Once at the bridge, there is a pedestrian side and a side for cyclists. The scenery is gorgeous and it will make the journey worth it.
Next, you have to see Lombard a.k.a. "the curvy street." Warning: Lots of tourists and steep hills will be in this area so just be cautious.
Now it is time to head back. The BART train lines can be confusing, so you will want to allow enough time to read the schedules and know the different lines.
I hope you have a great time in San Francisco like I did. Enjoy!