If you only have 24hours in an amazing city (I hope my pictures do her justice), what would you do? San Francisco was the last stop of our West Coast road trip – and we had only 24h left before our flight. So this was how we spent it:
1. WALK UP POWELL ST ALL THE WAY TO THE PIER.
We started our day by walking around Market St near the Powell St BART Station and did a bit of shopping. It was a Sunday, so some stores weren’t open at all (i.e. Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s), but major international stores were still open in the morning (i.e. Sephora, Gap, F21). People usually start to queue up here for the cable car up the hill to the pier, but the queue was way too long so we decided to walk up instead.
Along the way, you’d past by Union Square (Powell St and Geary St intersection), where you can chill around and absorb the atmosphere or go to Cheesecake Factory to have brunch.
Find them at
251 Geary St, San Francisco, CA 94102, United States
Breathe, you’ll do fine. 😉 You’d also get a view of the cable car passengers that looks like this:
Does this remind you of somewhere else in the world? Well, truth is, this works everywhere! It’s all about the efficiency, eh?
2. BUY A CUPPA BUBBLE TEA FROM CHINATOWN.
By the time you reach Chinatown, please give yourself a pat on the shoulder and treat yourself to a cup of bubble tea (or boba tea as the Americans like to call it). You’re almost halfway there. Get some boost of energy!
This bubble tea from Quickly was a humble store that we walked past. I don’t usually recommend people to drink bubble tea in North America because 1. they’re overpriced and 2. they’re really not so nice even though they may be situated in Chinatown. But this particular one proved me wrong; it’s both good and cheap (about a dollar plus).
3. CLAM CHOWDER AT PIER 39.
You can’t miss out on Pier 39 when you’re in San Francisco. It’s the whole idea of being at The Bay Area. There are many piers in that region as you walk along, but Pier 39 is that tourist attraction that you would love to see: sea lions, street performances, waterfront dining, aquarium, shopping and well, clam chowder!
What’s coming to The Bay Area without eating clam chowder?! This is a must, unless you’re allergic to seafood. But even the soup itself without the clam is so, so good.
All of us ordered the bread bowl with clam chowder. The bread bowl is usually made of sour dough, which is how the original and famous one should be. So, if you’re not a fan of sour bread, you may choose to order without the bread bowl. But I’d say, give it a try!
After your meal, you could walk around to shop and chill at the pier, just like what the sea lions were doing:
“Oh the weather’s so good Imma just lie here a little longer.”
“Yeah, us too! Let these humans snap away, who cares?”
4. CYCLE ACROSS THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE.
Want to get to the Golden Gate Bridge within the shortest possible time and yet not miss a glimpse? Cycle. It’s much more efficient than walking and you get to see so much more than driving.
And when we finally reached with aching butts, the view was breathtaking.
And nothing beats watching the sun slowly sets at the Bay.
However, please leave quickly before the sun really goes down because it’s gonna turn really windy and cold. (I’m speaking from experience in April though. Summer probably won’t be that bad.)
It’s famous for having a steep, one-block section with 8 tight hairpin turns. If you want to challenge your driving skills (and how good your S course is), please drive there! We rented a car but weren’t driving so we didn’t get to go through the path ourselves, but I guess the drivers were all pretty stressed out because so many tourists were watching them! 😛
Finally, before we left, we treated ourselves to fine dining with fresh crab legs to indulge in. There are many seafood restaurants in that area, so you could decide which to choose based on your budget and your likings. 🙂
There are way too many things to do in San Francisco, but with only 24h, we chose to spend our day at the Bay Area and indulge in the food they’re famous for. If we had an extra day, we’ll definitely go for the Alcatraz tour (which you should really book beforehand during peak periods)! What would you do if you were us?