Are you looking for the best San Francisco things to do? With so many options, it's hard to wrap your head around everything there is to see and do here.
To simplify the planning process for you, I've created a list of the best by district and month. This will make it easy to find exactly what you need!
Are you looking for a simple list of the 10 best San Francisco things to do? If so, then check out my recommendations. They include visiting the Golden Gate Bridge, seeing the famous Painted Ladies of Alamo Square, and so much more.
Are you visiting San Francisco with the entire family? Some of the best family friendly things to do include visiting the California Academy of Sciences, heading out on a half-day city tour, or stopping by our hand-on science museum.
Do you need some advice on how to keep your teens busy during your stay? Check out my list of 20 of the best things to do with teenagers in San Francisco. They include a climbing gym, hiking around Angel Island, or catching a show.
Alamo Square is one of the most beautiful neighborhoods in the city. It's also one of the great San Francisco things to do. It sits on a hill and you can get some amazing views of downtown.
The park is the center of the neighborhood. It is also home to the famous painted ladies and a number of other colorful Victorian homes. They line up along the park and on several streets around the neighborhood.
Learn More: Alamo Square
The Castro is an world renowned neighborhood that supports the LGBT (gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender) community. It's a fun and colorful community with a lot of things to see and do.
It was also home to one of the most outspoken gay rights activists in San Francisco in the 1970s, Harvey Milk.
Learn More: The Castro
Chinatown is one of the oldest and largest Chinatown neighborhoods in the US. It is also right in the heart of the city.
A number of the main San Francisco things to do in this neighborhood are right on Grant Avenue. Most of the action is between Bush and Jackson Streets. Here you will find the majority of the Chinatown restaurants, shops and activities.
Learn More: Chinatown
Civic Center and Hayes Valley are two more SF neighborhoods alive with action. Here you will find City Hall with its gorgeous dome, the popular SF Asian Art Museum and Civic Center Plaza. These neighborhoods are also home to the San Fran Symphony, Orchestra and the Ballet. The historic Orpheum Theater is also found in this area of the city.
Learn More: Civic Center & Hayes Valley
Fishermans Wharf's is one of the most visited neighborhoods in the city. This popular district includes access to some of the best attractions in San Francisco.
Here you can stroll along Pier 39, watch the sea lions basking in the sun and grab some amazing bread from Boudin Bakery. This is also where you pick up ferries for boat cruises and trips to Alcatraz and Angel Islands.
Learn More: District overview
Additional Info: Check out my list of 50+ things to do in Fishermans Wharf
The infamous Haight Ashbury district was home to the 'free love' culture in the 1960s. Many famous people lived in or visited this eccentric neighborhood. They also used its northern border, Golden Gate Park, for free concerts and other performances.
Today, you still see remnants of its history. You can stroll along its colorful streets and see the outside of the Victorians that once housed famous residents. You can also shop along the famed Haight Street or grab a drink or two while reminiscing about the old days.
Learn More: Haight Ashbury
Japantown is a small, but thriving neighborhood in the heart of the city. Here you can spend a little time shopping in the large Japan Center Mall, relax in Peace Plaza or even take a self-guided historic walking tour of the neighborhood. Japantown is also home to one of the largest and beautiful SF festivals - the Cherry Blossom Festival.
Learn More: Japantown
The Marina district is yet another unique neighborhood. It runs along the northern part of San Francisco and borders the bay. Here you also find great views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Marina has a number of popular San Francisco things to do. Here you will find the Palace of Fine Arts - it's dome shown in the image to the left; the Exploratorium, a hands on science museum and Crissy Field, a great place to run, jog or relax on the beach.
There are also a number of great restaurants and shops in the Marina. Chestnut and Union are the two main streets in the Marina.
Learn More: The Marina District
Another fun and unique neighborhood is the Mission District. The neighborhood itself dates back to the late 1700s when explorers from Mexico settled here.
One of their first tasks was building a couple of missions in the area. One of the original missions still stands today.
The Mission is also full of unique murals. Each one tells a story and you can find them all over this San Francisco neighborhood. The picture to the right is just one example of the hundreds of murals throughout the district.
Learn More: The Mission
My neighborhood is Nob Hill and just to the north of me is Russian Hill. The top of Nob Hill is the highest point in San Francisco. These historic neighborhoods were home to some of the wealthiest residents in the late 1880s. It is also the location for the first cable car line. Here you will find Grace Cathedral, the Fairmont Hotel and Lombard Street.
Learn More: Russian Hill & Nob Hill
Just to the south of Fishermans Wharf, you will find the North Beach neighborhood. This neighborhood is known for its Italian roots.
North Beach also has a number of San Francisco things to do. Here you will find Coit Tower, the famous Beach Blanket Babylon performance and some of the best comedy clubs in the city.
North Beach is also full of Italian restaurants, great cafes and fun bars. You will also find quite a few places to shop and other fun things here.
Learn More: North Beach
Pacific Heights is an off the beaten path neighborhood with a classic San Francisco vibe. Its gorgeous mansions and historic Victorians make it one of my favorite place in the city. Here you can visit Billionaire's Row, catch the views from the top of the Lyon Street Stairs and see houses used in famous TV shows.
Learn More: Pacific Heights
Another one of the popular San Francisco things to do is visit Union Square. Here you will find great shopping, hundreds of hotels as well as a large number of restaurants and bars.
Here you are in the center of it all. Most of the theaters are right around the corner. The public transportation from Union Square can get you quickly and easily to any neighborhood in the city.
Learn More: Union Square