San Francisco walking around advice

I’m heading to San Francisco for a week (next week) and will have some down time during the day. What should I do that’s walkable in the city?

Some helpful facts:
-late 20s female
-well traveled
-likes quirky, interesting things
-enjoys people watching
-love to walk around cities and experience non-touristy things (that being said, I am obviously going to seek out the Full House house)
Thanks in advance!

Guide to SF Neighborhoods

San Francisco is generally a very walkable city. If you’re hitting the Full House house, you’re pretty close to Haight Ashbury and the eastern edge of Golden Gate Park.

Don’t forget Lombard Street, the “crookedest street in the world”

SF is a very walkable city. Things look far on the map, but the city is pretty compact, only like 49 square miles.

In case you’re not aware SF is basically ONE BIG HILL, and oddly enough, no matter where you are, where you’re going is, somehow, always UPHILL.

I can’t remember going downhill, everytime I go to SF, I walk around and it’s always uphill


On a recent trip, my favorite walking-around neighborhood turned out to be Fillmore Street between Jackson and Bush. This is only a few blocks north of Alamo Square. I enjoyed shopping in various home accessory shops, but there were a wide variety of other shops and restaurants. Another very interesting shopping street these days is just south of Alamo Square, along Haight from Divisadero to Market.

Another of my favorite walks is from Coit Tower down the east side of Telegraph Hill via the Filbert Steps. You can take the 39 bus from Fisherman’s Wharf or Washington Square up the hill.

Bring a coat. I don’t care if you’re planning on being here in the middle of August. If you’re going to be walking around San Francisco, bring a coat.

I recommend walking tours. Most are 1.5 to 2 hours, cover a mile or so, and are free (although donation gratefully accepted.) I would start with Gold Rush City and Golden Gate Bridge and then select whatever neighborhoods or topics that appeal to you.

Although off the regular tourist beat, the west side of the city is worth checking out for Golden Gate Park, the Presidio, the Legion of Honor, Sea Cliff and Ocean Beach, as well as the Golden Gate Bridge.

The Castro and Noe Valley and the Mission make a nice trek as well. Mission Delores is in the same area.

Almost any neighborhood will lead to unexpected surprises. It all depends on what your interests are.

If you want to ride a bike around, they rent them at the pier for a very reasonable hourly rate.
I remember they had maps showing how to get to the Golden Gate and then where to find the ferry from Sausalito to come back (I didn’t want to ride back all that way).

I guess that’s a little bit touristy, but at least it’s healthy touristy!

And one thing I always recommend when visiting cities with limited time: Consider taking cabs where it might save you time.
Your limited time might just be more valuable than the cab ride, and you will be fresh when you get to the destination.

Wall Street is the crookedest street in the world. Lombard Street isn’t even the crookedest street in San Francisco. Vermont Street is. But it’s not as pretty.

Layers. Sunblock. Umbrella. Year round. Camera. Flowers for your hair.