Two days isn’t enough for any city, but this goes double for somewhere as action-packed San Francisco. If you’ve only got 48 hours in the city, unfortunately you won’t be able to see it all. However, it’s possible to hit the highlights in such a short period of time if you plan ahead and prioritize what you want to see and what can wait until next time.
You may want to relax and turn in early, especially if you’ve been traveling all day. However, if you feel like knocking some sights out, there are night tours for Alcatraz, meaning a visit won’t take up valuable time on another day. There are plenty of restaurants around the pier, allowing you to grab dinner at the same time. Hillstone is right off the pier and offers a high-class dining experience with a full bar. It will also give you a chance to wander around Fisherman’s Warf.
If you’re artistically inclined, there are plenty of art museums in and around San Francisco that feature pieces from all around the world. The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco are a pair of museums with a huge variety of pieces on display in each, carefully curated for even the most distinguished visitor. Both have on-site cafes for your dining pleasure, as well as being situated near many more restaurants. If art’s not your thing, the local zoo and aquarium are fantastic places to spend the day.
San Francisco hosts America’s oldest craft brewery. If you’re booking early enough, you might be able to book a tour at the Anchor Brewing Company, but if you don’t have time, they have a taproom open until 9 p.m. While they don’t serve food on site, there’s usually a food truck nearby to grab a bite to eat.
Okay, so you have a little bit of time before you head out. You’ll likely not have time for a full museum or tour, but it’s the perfect time to catch a ride down to the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s about a half hour from the airport in good traffic conditions, so plan accordingly. Honestly, have you even been to San Francisco if you haven’t gotten a good look at the bridge?
You’ll definitely want to book a hotel ahead of time. Location will be crucial to getting the most out of your quick trip. Whether you want something close to the attractions or close to the airport, there are plenty of online tools to help you find the best hotel in San Francisco.
When you only have 48 hours in a city, you do the best you can to hit the sights. It can be tempting to try and see it all, but then you won’t get a chance to appreciate everything. It’ll be easier on you to pick one or two sights and enjoy them, while making a list of what you want to see if you ever get the chance to go back.