24h in San Fran
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.
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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

If not, keep on walking and don’t lose the momentum ‘cos the route looks
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like this when you look up,
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and like this when you look down.

Breathe, you’ll do fine. 😉 You’d also get a view of the cable car passengers that looks like this:
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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.
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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!
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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).

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The hills all around were such a spectacular sight, and I kept risking my life by standing in the middle of the road trying to capture these images (yeah I almost got hit by a car once, oops).

3. CLAM CHOWDER AT PIER 39.
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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!

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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.
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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!

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After your meal, you could walk around to shop and chill at the pier, just like what the sea lions were doing:
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“Oh the weather’s so good Imma just lie here a little longer.”
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“Yeah, us too! Let these humans snap away, who cares?”

4. CYCLE ACROSS THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE.
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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.

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“Oh, talk about that Californian life.”

And when we finally reached with aching butts, the view was breathtaking.
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And nothing beats watching the sun slowly sets at the Bay.
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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.)

5. LOMBARD STREET.
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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! 😛

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And yes, it’s also the most popular postcard!

6. SEAFOOD DINNER AT FISHERMAN’S WHARF.
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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. 🙂

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Thereafter, we boarded the cable car to head down back to Market St and left for the airport.

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?

keep travelling,
J

  • After this review I really feel bad that I did not see much more than this by visiting the city for full three days 🙁 Gratz for your awesome planning skills!

  • Really? Where did you go? hahaha thank you! We didn’t start the day too early so we thought we could have done more. I would love to return! It’s my favourite city in USA 😀

  • Well, I’ve seen all places you mentioned in your review (apart from the bubble tea store :D) but staying at the Taj Campton Place in downtown I just ran around to “get a feeling” of the city. I’ve seen pretty much everything in downtown and all the “important” sights but I felt like I could have done more^^

    I’ll definetly return as well. I did like Toronto (yeah, it’s not the US but at least it is close to the US :P) as well. Be sure to visit Canada, too 😉

  • Oh that sounds nice!! I wish I had time to “get a feeling” of the city too 🙁 My friend did summer studies in UC Berkeley so she spent a lot of time in SF and she said there’s so much to do. It’s so chill compared to NYC haha.

    Oh tell me about it! I stayed in Canada for 4 months last winter 😉 I’ve been to Toronto lots of times! My favourite’s Quebec City 😀

  • Wow, 4 months in Canada. That really makes me jealous…

    It’s your favorite one in whole Canada as well or is there anything else you’ll recommend to visit?

  • I was there for my university exchange programme 🙂

    It’s my favourite city out of those I’ve visited in Ontario and Québec! I haven’t been to the Banff in Alberta, but I’d totally recommend you to go there ‘cos it’s so so amazing!! (it’s considered one of the wonders of Canada.)

  • I should consider Canada for my exchange year for my Master’s degree as well…

    The thing with Banff is the location, it’s kind of hard to reach when you’re only visiting the “major spots” in Canada. I’ll try to get it on my flight itinerary though. I heard a lot of positive things about the city and the National Park as well 🙂

  • omg you should! Canada is such a beautiful yet underrated country! hahaha 😀

    yeah, it’s better if you rent a car sadly. 🙁 or you can do the scenic train travel from toronto all the way to vancouver which takes a few days haha! hahaha hope you do soon 🙂 all the best!!