San Francisco

Things to do in San Francisco

Visitors to the city by the bay will be hard pressed to run out of things to do in San Francisco. From the lively nightlife scene, to the multitude of delicious dining options, to the cultural wonders and outdoor attractions, it’s a hard vacation destination to top.

Beer-lovers wondering what to do in San Francisco will be delighted to learn that the metropolis boasts more microbreweries than New York City. Anchor Brewing Company is located in the city, and tours are available by appointment every Friday afternoon. Most bars serve a rotating list of craft beers from nearby breweries.

Because there are so many things to do in San Francisco, it’s wise for visitors to start their trip by taking a walking tour of the city. These tours, which are led by local volunteers well versed in the city’s history, are free and cover a wide swathe of the metropolis, from well-known landmarks to more out-of-the-way hidden gems. If you are still overwhelmed after the tour, these knowledgeable guides can help you craft a list of options for what to do in San Francisco before you leave the foggy city by the bay.

A naturalist and Sierra Club guide, Tom Martell gives informative tours of Muir Woods—a 1908 national monument that preserves old-growth redwoods. The day starts at 8 a.m. with a hotel pick-up so that the group (of up to six) arrives during the cool early morning.

Even the sign that hangs out from the Recchiuti Confections storefront in the Ferry Building Marketplace along Embarcadero is a glossy chocolate color. Inside, chocolates and other products are displayed against walls.

From rock to rococo, Madrone is art gallery, lounge, and dance club all-in-one. Patrons can browse ever-changing exhibits of artwork on the walls, which ranges from sculptures to paintings and photographers, even mixed media.

Offal-worshipping celebrity chef Chris Cosentino is the cofounder of Boccalone, a salumeria that proudly celebrates its slogan, "Tasty Salted Pig Parts." It's not surprising that the enterprise offers up a pig-based wiener; however, the fact that it's a mortadella dog makes this snappy sucker dec

Selling high-end clothing in Union Square since 1966, Wilkes Bashford is one of the most renowned fashion icons in the nation.

Given its location steps from the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, it's fitting that Culinaire maintains its narrow focus on farm-to-table antiques.

A diverse local crowd, ranging from young hipsters to multi-generational families, packs the homey, mismatched tables at this bustling corner-café/bakeshop. The atmosphere is convivial, the coffee and teas are fair trade, and the sweet pies are topped with Straus' organic whipped cream.

A chance meeting with a four-wheel, multi-passenger surrey cycle in Italy 24 years ago was Brian McInerney’s inspiration for this shop. Wheel Fun Rentals is a franchise based on a philosophy of supporting active lifestyles and maintaining a healthy environment for all.

Those who have a ReadyMade sensibility—but lack the skills—gravitate toward this little store’s indie, locally designed clothing, accessories, jewelry, cards, and gifts.

Located in a Bernal Heights building that housed various neighborhood markets for most of the 1900’s, Avedano’s is an old-fashioned butcher shop that’s also part takeout restaurant and part marketplace.

Although its collection is a tad out of balance (strong on New Guinea art, historical American paintings, and Anatolian kilims; light on anything contemporary) and critics carp that the current director opts for style instead of substance, this museum itself is definitely an eyeful.

Floor-to-ceiling windows and a great view onto Market Street make for relaxed people-watching at this unpretentiously hip Hayes Valley bar.

At this family-owned bike shop in Fisherman’s Wharf, a variety of 24-hour rental options are available, including comfort, performance, and electric bikes in six different pedal styles.