Travel & Day Trips

9 Things to Do In San Francisco Reddit Users Recommend for 2023

Planning to visit San Francisco? Reddit users have got you covered!

We love checking Reddit because the popular social media site often includes raw, unfiltered opinions from real users. In an Internet that’s full of hype and paid ads, Reddit is a great reality check!

In this blog post, we have compiled some top recommendations by seasoned travelers and locals from the platform about the things Reddit users say you should do in San Francisco in 2023. Check them out!

1. Exploring Nature

Yosemite National Park

It’s almost unanimous – if you’re willing to venture beyond San Francisco itself, Yosemite is a must-see!

This beautiful national park is located about 3-4 hours East of San Francisco, depending on the traffic. It has stunning waterfalls, world-class hiking (hi there, Half Dome), and more.

However, as Reddit user onomatopoeiahadafarm warns, trying to cram into one day can be exhausting due to the 4-hour one-way drive. They suggest considering an overnight stay or, if that’s not possible, opting for the enchanting Muir Woods as a closer, more manageable alternative.

If you are going to venture to Yosemite in a single day, we recommend letting someone else do the driving by booking a formal tour.

Similarly, users calljo also endorses Muir Woods if a trip to Yosemite isn’t feasible. Users also recommend Land’s End, Golden Gate Park, and the Presidio for beautiful walks. We agree! You can visit Muir Woods without a car by booking a bus ride, which is generally under $100 round trip, with park admission included.

2. Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz is worth it, but book well in advance!

Another big hit among Reddit users is the infamous Alcatraz Island. Yes, visiting Alcatraz can feel a bit touristy. But the prison island is popular for a reason.

And it’s a national landmark, which means it’s run in a responsible and educational way–not as a campy tourist attraction.

Aegiale and TealSharkss both shared their experiences, assuring future visitors that the attraction is just as captivating now as it was pre-COVID. Many users recommended booking a visit well in advance, as boat rides and tours to the island can sell out weeks before your visit would actually happen.

You can book tickets here.

Pro tip: if online tickets are sold out, don’t lose hope – you might find some at the ticket booth on the day of your visit! Check out the booths for various tour companies along the Embarcedero near Fisherman’s Wharf.

3. Golden Gate Park

The Conservatory of Flowers is only one awesome Golden Gate Park attraction

The expansive Golden Gate Park is a recurring recommendation.

According to k_a_i_l_y_n, the park’s Conservatory of Flowers is a must-visit for nature enthusiasts, offering a mesmerizing view of plants and flowers in one of the oldest buildings in the park.

We also love the DeYoung Museum, the Japanese Tea Garden, and the California Academy of Sciences, all of which are conveniently within the park.

Golden Gate Park is the Central Park of the West, but with even more museums and attractions. Don’t miss this green oasis in the middle of a bustling city.

4. The Sea City: Sausalito

Head across the Bay to visit Sausalito

Recommended by FelisCantabrigiensis, taking the ferry to Sausalito provides a pleasant change of pace with its laid-back atmosphere.

Enjoy the local art galleries, caf├ęs, and picturesque views. You can even walk across the Golden Gate Bridge and use public transport to get there!

Many of our readers have booked this one-day Sausalito tour that also visits Muir Woods. The two are close together, and our readers seem to love this one. Again, book well in advance, since this specific tour tends to sell out.

5. Scenic Views & Foodie Heaven

Get close to the bridge for amazing views

For breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge, calljo suggests visiting Baker Beach, Marshall’s Beach, and Battery Spencer.

Also recommended are Ghirardelli Square for its irresistible sundaes and Chinatown for delectable Chinese food – especially Dim Sum!

Dim Sum in Chinatown has been popular among both locals and tourists for about a century! In fact, we recently found a 1943 menu advertising tourist-oriented Chinese food in SF’s Chinatown.

So you’ll be joining a long-standing tradition of visiting the unique neighborhood.

The Best of the Rest

Reddit users shared a variety of other must-do options for San Francisco:

  • Visiting Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Renting bikes and going to Sausalito
  • Exploring the Mission District for its food and murals
  • Visiting Musee Mechanique, an old arcade.

In conclusion, San Francisco and its surroundings offer a wealth of attractions and experiences to make your visit unforgettable.

Whether you’re a nature lover, foodie, history enthusiast, or adventurer, there’s something for everyone in the City by the Bay. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to ask – groups like the Bay Area subreddit are always ready to help!

Thomas Smith

Thomas Smith is a food and travel photographer and writer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His photographic work routinely appears in publications including Food and Wine, Conde Nast Traveler, and the New York Times and his writing appears in IEEE Spectrum, SFGate, the Bold Italic and more. Smith holds a degree in Cognitive Science (Neuroscience) and Anthropology from the Johns Hopkins University.

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