Posted May 20th, 2017, 12:55 AM
Having lived in SF for 40 years, I can echo that you can see a lot. Also, let me add that it is as much a city of lifestyle and mood as of sights - so bring your walking shoes and work in time to stop for a meal or a drink.
Some things I'd probably skip
- The view from Twin Peaks or the rotating restaurant at the Hyatt. (besides the aforementioned Coit Tower, I'd recommend cocktails at the Top of the Mark, or if you're up for a little hike [not bad at all] the next hill down from Twin Peaks, Corona Heights, via Roosevelt Way.)
- Our art museums used to be totally underwhelming, but the SFMOMA downtown has recently come into its own (The deYoung has a new building but still a spottly collection, and the Palace of Legion of Honor is hard to get to.)
- Fisherman's Wharf. San Franciscans regard it with the same enthusiasm as New Yorkers do for Times Square. ESPECIALLY avoid Pier 39.
- Ocean Beach (Brrrrr!)
- The Castro is historic and the walking tour is recommended to learn of its history, but otherwise it's just a few blocks of not-terribly-interesting bars and shops
- I haven't taken one, but I'd think that the tour busses would be a no-go with the way traffic crawls in SF these days and because many streets and sights ban them. If the weather is nice, far better are the Bay tours. They cover the history of the city and all the sights on the water and they sail around Alcatraz and the bridges.
DO see (semi-random list)
- North Beach (Home of Beach Blanket Babylon, which is a hilarious revue that has been packing them in for 45 years or so - they keep it topical an fresh)
- A walk along the Embarcadero at the foot of Market St. (a block or two is fine - also fits with the Ferry Building)
- Dolores Park on a sunny afternoon. (Easy to get to on the J-Church metro and also close to the historic Mission Dolores)
- ...and all sorts of stuff I can't think of now