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April 12, 2021

Our Gate is Open: Spend Three Days in San Francisco

The wait is over! It's time to satisfy your pent-up desire to travel. And what better way to do that than with a long weekend in San Francisco? Follow our custom, three-day itinerary for the best way to explore the City by the Bay while still doing your part to keep yourself and our residents healthy.

How to Travel Safely

Whether you're coming from near or far, it's best to follow the new rules of travel safety. Here in San Francisco, we're doing our part to keep our city clean and our residents healthy. You can help us and protect yourself by wearing a mask, maintaining social distancing, and practicing good hygiene. Better still, you can show your commitment by signing our Safe Travel Pledge.


Day 1 / Friday

Sign off from work and leave your luxurious home office (i.e. the couch) behind.

Check In to Your Hotel

San Francisco's hotels are ready to welcome you again. Pamper yourself in their luxurious accommodations. Most of the city's 30,000+ hotel rooms are located near its most popular attractions. You'll be able to explore easily on foot and then return to a comfortable room with a scenic view of San Francisco.

Dine Out

If you arrive in San Francisco by dinner time, you can sample some of the city's excellent cuisine. There is delicious food to be found in every neighborhood, and most restaurants have created safe and charming outdoor environments where you can sit down and enjoy your meal. Plus, our temperate, dry weather means that al fresco dining is always in style. 

Try authentic Chinese dishes in Chinatown. Choose a slice of prize-winning pizza in North Beach. There's fresh seafood at Fisherman's Wharf and mouth-watering burritos in the Mission. With nearby local breweries and the vineyards of Napa Valley and Sonoma County keeping us well supplied, there's no limit to the pairings you can create.

Take In the View

From wherever you decided to dine, it won't take you long to find yourself at one of San Francisco's many inspiring vantage points. Along the water, you can look across to the Bay Lights of the Bay Bridge or admire our other landmark bridge. Out in the Sunset or the Richmond, you'll get incredible views of colorful skies and the expansive Pacific Ocean. Dining in Noe Valley, the Castro, or Pacific Heights? Just find the nearest, steepest block to climb (you'll feel less guilty about dessert) and observe the city from a new and breathtaking angle.

One of the best ways to see the city sights is on a Big Bus hop-on, hop-off bus tour. Enjoy the flexibility before and after dinner as you explore the treasures of Golden Gate Bridge to Fisherman's Wharf, Haight-Ashbury to Chinatown. Book a tour.

Day 2 / Saturday

Enjoy the Outdoors

We've all been cooped up for so long that the great outdoors has never been more appealing. Lucky for you, San Francisco is one of the greenest cities in the country, with acres of protected land for you to explore.

For a leisurely stroll, you can walk the Embarcadero from Oracle Park in SoMA all the way to Fisherman's Wharf. This flat, paved promenade gives you gorgeous views of the Bay Bridge, Treasure Island, and Alcatraz.

On the west side of the city is Golden Gate Park. This 150-year-old marvel of landscape engineering is bigger than New York City's Central Park! With much of it closed off to vehicles, you can amble along both footpaths and roadways while giving your fellow urban explorers plenty of space. Within the park, you'll find hidden treasures like a peaceful lake, a herd of bison, and towering Dutch windmills.

To the north lies the Presidio, a former military base turned national park. Filled with trails made for both hikers and bikers, as well as some fascinating American history, the Presidio is a must-see if you're looking to snap a jaw-dropping photo. Its views of the bay, the ocean, and the Golden Gate Bridge can't be beat.

See Public Art

You don't have to visit a museum to see beautiful art in San Francisco (although we do recommend it). All around the city, you'll find proof of San Francisco's creative spirit.

There are big sculptural works like "Cupid's Span" on the Embarcadero or "Venus" at Trinity Place.

The Mission is famous for its murals, which you can find along almost any side street. Known for encompassing both neighborhood history and social justice campaigns, the most visited of these murals can be found in Balmy Alley and Clarion Alley.

And when the sun goes down, you can see how much light art can be found around San Francisco. From North Beach to City Hall to the famous "Bay Lights" across the Bay Bridge itself, some of San Francisco's most dazzling art only comes alive at night.

Explore Other Icons

Alcatraz may be closed to visitors for now, and our famous cable cars may be resting their weary wheels in the barn—but that doesn't mean there aren't more perfectly iconic, uniquely San Franciscan things to see. You can always take the perfect selfie along the winding turns on Lombard Street. Coit Tower is nearby, and a hike up to its base on Telegraph Hill is great exercise rewarded by great views. PIER 39 is another man-made wonder, full of shops and restaurants and home to San Francisco's most famous non-human residents, the California sea lions. San Francisco's parks have remained open, meaning you can take < a href="/article/best-places-have-picnic-san-francisco">a picnic lunch to Alamo Square and have your "Full House" moment in front of the Painted Ladies. And who can forget our Golden Gate Bridge, which you can always walk, bike, or drive across for a quintessential California experience.

Day 3 / Sunday

Shop Unique Local Businesses

Many of San Francisco's unique neighborhoods have their own special shopping districts. Sure, the flagship luxury retail of Union Square is a treat, but what about finding something that says "only in San Francisco"?

In the Marina, you'll find charming boutiques along Union and Chestnuts streets. Up the hill from there, Fillmore St. runs through the Pacific Heights and Fillmore neighborhoods and offers designer clothing, stylish home furnishings, and indulgent self-care items. Hayes Street near Civic Center has great clothes shopping in close proximity to excellent cafes. Haight Street between Masonic Avenue and Stanyan Street is where to go to get your fix of San Francisco's Summer of Love wear. And in the Mission, a walk down Valencia Street offers everything from antique furniture to independent bookstores to vintage records.

Take A Tour

With Airbnb Experiences, you can get the inside scoop on San Francisco by exploring it with local guides. Take the 70s/80s Castro Walking Tour with activist Ken Jones and learn about the history of the fight for LGBTQ rights. Explore the lifestyles of the rich and famous with a tour that takes you to some of San Francisco's most palatial homes. Or determine once and for all which pizzeria in North Beach is serving up the best slices with a Pizza & Bar Crawl. The opportunities are endless and they all come with that local knowledge no visitor should be without.


Once you've spent a weekend here, it's time to plan your next San Francisco trip, because we all know three days is never enough.

Looking for more travel ideas? Look no further than across the bay at Oakland and the Mt. Diablo Region.

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