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10 Best Things to Do in San Francisco

Wondering what to do in San Francisco on your next visit? From tourist classics like eating chowder-filled sourdough bread bowls at Pier 39, walking the length of the Golden Gate Bridge, or taking a cable car down steep streets to more off-the-beaten path fun like browsing boutiques in Hayes Valley or heading to the Mission District in search of San Francisco’s best burrito, there’s no shortage of things to do in San Francisco for first-timers and frequent visitors.

The Best Things to Do in San Francisco

Here are 10 things to do in San Francisco that deliver iconic sights, great eats, and fun all around. You’ll be hard-pressed to fit everything into one visit, but the nice thing about leaving your heart in San Francisco is that it gives you the perfect excuse to visit again.

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Editor’s note: This story was originally published in 2016. It has been updated to reflect the most current information.

Christine Sarkis is a San Francisco Bay Area native. Follow her on Twitter @ChristineSarkis and Instagram @postcartography for more advice about what to do in San Francisco. 

By Christine Sarkis

There's a 95 percent chance Senior Editor Christine Sarkis is thinking about travel right now. Follow her on Instagram @postcartography and Twitter @ChristineSarkis.

Christine Sarkis is an SATW-award-winning journalist and executive editor at SmarterTravel. Her stories have also appeared on USA Today, Conde Nast Traveler, Huffington Post, and Business Insider. Her advice has been featured in dozens of print and online publications including The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and People magazine. She has also shared travel tips on television and radio shows including Good Morning America, Marketplace, and Here & Now. Her work has been published in the anthologies Spain from a Backpack and The Best Women's Travel Writing 2008. She is currently working on a travel memoir.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: The Trtl Pillow. It's easy to pack and comfortable, and makes it so I can actually sleep on flights.

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Seeing the Aurora Borealis from the comfort of somewhere warm, like a glass igloo or hot spring.

Travel Motto: Curiosity is an amazing compass.

Aisle, Window, or Middle Seat: Aisle all the way.

Email Christine Sarkis at

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