One Day in San Francisco is a guest post that has been written by Shelley Pittman. She blogs about her journey at

San Francisco is a city full of exciting choices. Chinatown, Height Ashbury, Fishermans Wharf, cable cars, theaters, operas, a gastronomy paradise, or shop to you drop, how is one to choose? Or more importantly, with millions of tourists each year, where can you go that is not filled with long lines or crowds of people?

If you just have one day in San Fransisco and are looking for a list of things to do in this city, you have come to the right place. For your benefit, we have divided this list in 3 sections, with information about Golden gate park museums, gardens and lake. For information about hotels in san Fransisco and where to eat, you can scroll towards the bottom of this article.

San Fransisco Drone shot - Skyline at Sunset - Panorama

San Fransisco Drone shot – Skyline at Sunset – Panorama Photo by derviki [CCO] via Pixabay

One Day in San Francisco –

Visiting Golden Gate Park Museums in San Fransisco:

The Golden Gate Park is the perfect place to relax and reconnect with natures beauty and serenity It’s a day filled wonders, amazing art, breathtaking flora, quiet moments, unique creatures, and all in the middle of a big city. Bring a picnic to appreciate nature in it’s entirely and explore like a local. Your camera is a MUST.

California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences is a captivating science museum complex that is home the San Francisco aquarium, a planetarium, a rain forest and other captivating and numerous fascinating displays to play with and learn from. Remember to visit their ‘ Living Roof’ that offers an excellent view of some of the park. This place is fantastic. You’ll want to spend the whole day there but save time for some of the other choices.

DeYoung Museum

Directly across the street from the California Academy of Sciences is this favorite art museum. This museum showcases a mix of contemporary art, History Sciences and a few pieces of Fine Art. They also have “guest” displays that change seasonally. Even if you do not have time to check out the exhibits, you should take the time to ride up to the top floor gift where an observation deck shows you an even better view of Golden Gate Park, at no charge.

How to Get to Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park is located in the western half of the city, bordered on the north by Fulton Street and on the south by Lincoln Way. You can get there using several MUNI buses including the 5 on Fulton and the 71 on Lincoln (both of which you can catch near Union Square if you are staying at a centrally-located hotel). You can also take the underground MUNI N line to get quickly from downtown to just a few blocks away from the park. If you are driving then, you can look for street parking in or around the park or pay to park in the Music Concourse Garage located between the DeYoung and California Academy of Science museums.


Visiting San Fransisco’s Gardens

Japanese Tea Garden

There are more than fifty acres of exotic plants here from all around the world that have been organized by region. These five acres of lovely gardens, Buddhist statuary, replicas of old temple houses, lily ponds, half moon wooden bridges, and offer a serene place to sit down and drink a cup of tea. There’s a nominal entrance fee, and you can purchase tea and snacks inside of the garden.

Tulip Garden

On the west end of the park is a giant old windmill and a beautiful tulip garden. Check out the northern windmill here as well, which is one of two windmills established in 1903 that initially fed water to landscape the park.

Rose Garden

The Golden Gate Park rose garden is another popular spot with visitors. Late spring through early fall offer the best rose displays although a pruning demonstration each January is also interesting. Besides its beauty, this place is a wonderment of fragrant scents that instantly calms the mind.

Garden of Shakespeare’s Flowers

This beautiful area is covered with more than 200 different flowers varieties which are adorned with quotes from the famous plays and poems of Shakespeare. A perfect spot to test your knowledge.

Conservatory of Flowers

This is one of the world’s largest indoor greenhouses built entirely out of wood and glass and both the exterior and interior of the building area eye-catching. This place is like visiting a tropical Island. You absolutely shouldn’t miss this indoor garden, especially if you like orchids.

Visiting San Fransisco’s Lakes

Stow Lake

Come take a paddleboat ride at this lake and feed the ducks. It’s a picture perfect backdrop. This lake is in the center of the park.

Spreckels Lake

On the north side of the park is where the model yacht clubs meets. If you are lucky, you may witness to them showing off their stuff when you visit. Sailboats in the park and in the bay.

Where to stay in San Fransisco

The streets of San Fransisco

The streets of San Fransisco by suyashdixit [CCO] via Pixabay

I have stayed at the Best Western Tuscany Hotel, now Hotel Zoe, numerous times and have always been delighted by their hospitality, cleanliness, convenient location and helpful concierge. Your front door opens onto a large sitting room before your sleeping area.

Their refined, elegant rooms and suites offer free Wi-Fi, desks, 40-inch flat screens, as well as minibars, mini-fridges, and coffeemakers. The only downfall can be when you are on the street-side rooms; it can be noisy from the traffic, so either get a room higher up or away from the streets.

Free perks include daily morning tea/coffee in the lobby, evening fireside wine receptions, and an area shuttle. The cost for parking overnight is $42.00 and is an additional charge if you use this service. This traditional downtown boutique hotel is 0.2 miles from both the Fisherman’s Wharf and North Beach and 6.5 miles from Golden Gate Park.

FYI: San Fransisco is very Uber friendly.

Where to eat in San Fransisco

Pescatore is a Tuscan-American restaurant influenced fare restaurant is bright, airy, open kitchen concept, a wood burning pizza oven, and has a beautiful bar area. I have eaten here many times, and their steaks were always perfectly prepared. Rustic yet chic is their decor. They have delicious Martini’s too! Their wine list offers a enticing bottle selection and a variety offered daily by the glass.

Their full breakfast offerings are varied, delicious, filling, and cooked to order. If you need to shop for that picnic basket, Traders Joe’s is located right behind the hotel.

The Franciscan Crab Restaurant is the place to go if you are in the mood for seafood. My favorite is to sit in the bar area, enjoy their specialty of the day and watch the boats go by. The whole restaurants seating has been designed so every table has a breathtaking view of the bay. And is within easy walking distance from the Hotel Zoe. Now you are in the Fishermans Wharf area, so stroll along the boulevard and witness the traveling musicians, Mimesters, freshly caught seafood in enormous bins, chocolate shops, Jelly Bellies, souvenirs, and characters of every variety.

Come experience San Francisco like a local. Visit a captivating park filled to the brim with beauty at its finest, eye opening insights into different worlds, abundance of calmness and a little oasis that is steps from the marine side of San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, where seafood is the game. It’s a perfect to spend 24 hours in San Francisco!

Cover picture: by tbsdave [CCO Public] via Pixabay

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