There is something special about San Francisco — maybe it’s the depth of its culture, its vibrant nightlife or its fascinating street art and architecture.
More likely it is a combination of all of these that makes San Francisco the Golden City of the Golden State and one of America’s top tourist destinations.
The city has layers upon layers of history, a myriad of cultural scenes and endless unique neighbourhoods to explore — it would take a lifetime to truly experience everything San Francisco has to offer.
If you don’t have a lifetime, don’t worry — we have picked out some of our favourite places to help you explore the Golden City. These aren’t your typical suggestions — everyone knows you must visit the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman’s Wharf.
Get Hip in the Mission District
San Francisco’s Mission District, or The Mission, is one of the oldest and most culturally unique neighbourhoods in the city. The neighbourhood is known for being the Hispanic district of the city and is home to some of the best Latin food around. Grab a traditional style burrito at La Taqueria on Mission St.
The neighbourhood is also known for its incredible street art and trendy nightlife. Head to the Valencia Street area for a wide range of bars and nightclubs.
Take in a show at The Fillmore
Certainly not off the beaten track, this venue still deserves a mention. The Fillmore is legendary. If you enter through the mezzanine, you can view an incredible collection of rare concert posters and flyers collected throughout the decades — a testament to the longevity of this establishment.
This psychedelic venue is usually standing only and shows take place in the main theatre which boasts high ceilings and low-hanging chandeliers. The acoustics are amazing here — seeing your favourite act in this classic room will transport you to a different time.
Yet, for all its old deco and a ballroom feel, this venue is still the hippest place in town. If you are lucky enough to catch a show while in the city, The Fillmore San Francisco will not disappoint.
Get lost in Chinatown
San Francisco’s Chinatown is the largest Chinese enclave outside of Asia. Stepping into this downtown neighbourhood truly feels like stepping into another country. Beginning in the mid-19th-century, Chinese immigrants began to settle in San Francisco. The population continued to grow, and many settled in this newly founded Chinatown.
Today, the area is home to some of the best, and most authentic, Chinese food in America. Try Michelin-star restaurant Mister Jiu’s for a delectable and authentic Chinese treat.
Be sure to enter the neighbourhood from Grant Avenue through the Dragon’s Gate. The gate was gifted to the city by the Republic of China to symbolise the most important street in the neighbourhood.
From here follow your eyes, and your nose, there is no end to the sights and sounds which make up this incredible San Franciscan neighbourhood.
Although these are just a few of the attractions that make San Francisco worth a visit, they are a great place to start when planning your weekend getaway to the Golden City.