I got an email from a reader the other day asking if I’ve ever been to San Francisco. She’s heading out there for vacay and wanted to know if I had any recommendations on what to do/see.

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Indeed I have been, and do! Ben and I spent a week in the bay city a couple years ago, pre blog, and it ranks as one of my all-time favorite places in the entire country (just behind NOLA…maybe…eek, they might be tied!)

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With spring break just around the corner, I thought I’d share my top 10 things to do in San Francisco in case any of you are headed there! I’m leaving out popular and trendy restaurants, because honestly SF has thousands of them and we had great meals wherever we went. What made my list is a mix of touristy sights, outdoor activities and stuff you won’t find anywhere else except this fabulous, NoCal gem! :)

My Top 10 Things To Do in San Francisco

1. Hike around Sausalito Island.

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Sausalito island is located at the non-San Francisco end of the Golden Gate Bridge and is home to some incredible homes and views.

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We took a ferry there from Fisherman’s Wharf and spent the afternoon hiking in the sunshine and peeking over the sheer cliffs to the ocean below.

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2. Rent a car for the day and drive to Muir Woods.

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Muir Woods is home to the world’s oldest and tallest redwood trees. It is impossible to capture how. freaking. huge. they are with a camera.

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Walking amongst them will seriously blow your mind and make you want to cry.

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In a good way!

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3. Drive along the coast.

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The views and beach pit stops will have you asking, “Wait, so WHY don’t I live  here again??” Get some good friends to show you around too, if you can! ;)

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4. Visit Alcatraz Island.

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This is simply a San Fran must-see and I learned so much about the island. Like how the guards and their families including their children lived on the island with the inmates!

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Make sure to play a fun game of “I won’t talk to you until you say ‘Welcome to the Rock!’ in a Sean Connery accent” like Ben did to me.

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5. Go to Bourbon and Branch for a cocktail.

Look up the secret location and entrance password on the Internet, then ask them to take you to “the library!”

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6. Shop at the Ferry Plaza and Ferry Plaza Farmer’s Market.

THE best outdoor Farmer’s Market and indoor market, um, ever. Just go. Trust me!

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7. Lombard Street

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They don’t call it the crookedest street in the world for nothin’! (poor Ben being blinded by the sun light but still smiling his little heart out!!!)

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If you still have that car from Muir Woods and your coastal drive, give driving down it a shot. Hey, it’s a rental! ;)

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8. Eat at the Fog City Diner.

Ok, so there IS a restaurant on my list! My Dad told Ben and I about this place. It’s an old diner with white tablecloths and INSANE food. Best meal of our trip.

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9. Visit Ghirardelli Square for free chocolate, then visit the little wine/beer tasting place in the same square for a beer while overlooking the bay.

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FREE CHOCOLATE!!!!! ’nuff said. And get the Anchor Steam Beer – mmmm.

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10. Explore, explore, explore!

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Get off the beaten path and find your own discoveries,

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restaurants,

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and fun!

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And for Heaven’s sake – have some candy. You’re on vacation!

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Gosh there’s like a MILLION other things I could tell you about – but this should get you started!

What are your San Fran favorites?

Where’s your favorite city to travel to in the US? (or in your country if you’re outside the US?)