A 3-day guide to San Francisco

San Franciscos famed Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory is a recommended sweet treat in the Fog City. Creedit: Danielle Draper/The Foothill Dragon Press.

Danielle Draper

San Francisco's famed Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory is a recommended sweet treat in the Fog City. Creedit: Danielle Draper/The Foothill Dragon Press.San Francisco is a destination for people across the globe and although a week, much less 3 days, isn’t enough time to truly appreciate one of the most diverse and interesting locations in the United States, it is worth the trip.

A city of hills and fog, San Francisco is not only an exciting place to tour,  it’s chilly too.

A jacket is a must-have because the bay area is on the cooler side. Comfortable walking shoes are also necessary as walking and public transportation are popular modes of transportation.

San Francisco is most notable for their cheap five-dollar cable cars that run throughout the city. All of the cars are outfitted with benches that face the urban scenery. One of the more extravagant routes would be from Powell and Market to Fisherman’s Wharf. A ride on San Francisco’s steep hills is especially pleasurable for those brave enough to stand holding the guardrail.

Powell and Market is near Union Square, and although the square is not that big, it is a great place to get some food. In particular, there is an amazing Thai food place with low prices, King of Thai Noodle House. It is a great spot for lunch or dinner, and even though it gets really busy, don’t worry, they do take out. After eating, you can walk around the area, there are plenty of stores, such as a 10-story tall Macy’s and a three-story Forever 21.

Union Square offers many nice hotels so it is also an easy place to stay. Since its close to the public transit it is convenient, and I highly recommend staying somewhere near Union Square. Splurging is nice, and so is the Union Square Hilton, but fret not, there is a wide variety in costs between hotels.

After getting a feel for Union Square, you can take a cable car down to Fisherman’s Warf and after a slightly terrifying but exhilarating ride, walk along and enjoy the ocean, seals, and some sourdough bread.

Fisherman’s Warf is only a couple of blocks away from Boudin Bakery, where the most authentic sourdough can be found in fun shapes such as trollies and rabbits. If you’re hungry, grab some clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl,  it’s not only delicious but environmentally friendly as well.

With stores such as Krazy Kaps and Lefty’s, there’s a chance for some silly shopping, or a ride on a two-story carousel.  Also, you could buy a kite and fly in it in the rather windy weather that is common in the area.

All this walking may make you pretty hungry so why not have some sweets? Ghirardelli Square sells some fantastic chocolate and is within walking distance. The best part about going to Ghirardelli, other than the free chocolate they hand out, are the sundaes. The best way to eat a sundae is to share it with a friend, not only is it cheaper and makes you feel less guilty about eating all the calories. It makes for a great bonding experience.

If you are feeling guilty about all the chocolate, do not fret, there is plenty of healthy food in the Ferry Building, and it is a bit of walk from Ghirardelli Square so you will burn some calories en-route.

There are a lot of healthy stores, and even a gluten free one, but the most interesting one is Boccalone Tasty Pig Parts and a stand that has fresh oysters on the half shell. If you are brave try eating one of those fresh oysters, you might hate it like I did, but it is still a great experience and at least your friends can enjoy the expressions you make while you eat it.

Now, no trip to San Francisco is complete until there is a venture into Chinatown.  Although many people have mixed feelings about it, it is an iconic place in San Francisco. The best thing to do is shop in a bunch of the gift shops, and then grab some dim sum in a Chinese restaurant.

Dim sum are little Chinese appetizers, ranging from dumplings to chicken feet.  A lot of the places are similar so just go to whichever scene looks the best and order some pork buns, they are delicious.

Now the real reason you are probably on a three day trip to San Francisco is to tour colleges. San Francisco State is actually in San Francisco and is a short twenty minute MUNI ride from Union Square. UC Berkeley is across the bay so unless you have a car it is harder to get to, and Stanford is a ways away too.

The most important thing to do if you go to San Francisco does require a car though. If you go to San Francisco, drive over the Golden Gate Bridge, even if you have no reason to go to the other side. The view is amazing, even if there is traffic.

What do you think?