Planning out a weekend in San Francisco itinerary? Check out this detailed local’s guide on what to do in San Francisco in 2 days!
San Francisco is an incredibly fun weekend destination, and locals from the surrounding Bay Area counties often find their way into the city for short visits. And if you can nab a great deal on flights to San Francisco, the city is easily accessible even from the farthest corners of the world!
But, if you look through TripAdvisor you’ll discover *thousands* of restaurants. Hundreds of tours. And what seems like a seemingly endless array of fun cheap events in San Francisco. How do you navigate through all of them to plan the perfect weekend in San Francisco itinerary? With a little help from Dylan’s Tours!
We’ve mapped out breakfast, fun San Francisco tours, unique things to do around town and some incredible restaurants. Keep reading to discover some ways you can spend a weekend getaway in San Francisco.
Want to make an early start planning your trip? Our Private Tuk Tuk Brewery tours combine the best city sights and tastes and are a must-do for a short trip to San Francisco!
SATURDAY IN SAN FRANCISCO ITINERARY
Explore the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park
Plan to arrive right when the Japanese Tea Garden opens at 9am. The garden itself has been an incredible attraction since it was first created for the California Midwinter International Exposition of 1894.
The real hidden gem of the Japanese Tea Gardens is the surprisingly overlooked Tea House. We think in a rush for the perfect photo, people pass the Tea House without realizing just exactly what they are missing out on! Just check out the Japanese Tea Gardens Tea House menu for a glimpse of what awaits!
Spend a lazy afternoon on a San Francisco champagne brunch cruise
Hornblower San Francisco, one of the best San Francisco boat tours, hosts brunch while sailing around the San Francisco Bay. You will get some incredible views of the city skyline, Alcatraz Island and a ride beneath the Golden Gate Bridge! Can you think of more fun weekend getaways in the Bay Area?
The boat you’ll be on, the California Hornblower, is spacious both inside and outdoors. Pop outside to get one-of-a-kind photos of the Golden Gate Bridge from the waters of the Bay. Then, if it gets to cold you can easily head back inside to escape the winds. Back inside you can enjoy the impressive array of food and champagne.
Go beer tasting in San Francisco on an electric Tuk-Tuk
After you get your land legs back from the brunch cruise, hop on the historic F Streetcar and ride along the Embarcadero until you reach the end of the line at Fisherman’s Wharf. From there it is less than a five minute walk to Ghirardelli Square, where a San Francisco brewery sits in an former chocolate factory.
Every Saturday at 2pm Dylan’s Brewery Tour meets at San Francisco Brewing Co to begin a three hour tour around San Francisco and a couple of our favorite breweries. Dylan’s unique electric rickshaws from e-Tuk USA are the most fun way to travel between the best breweries in San Francisco and one of the fun Bay Area activities this weekend and every weekend.
Enjoy dinner at Ayesha Curry’s restaurant International Smoke
Ayesha Curry is a bit of Bay Area royalty. Curry is more than a cooking star in the area who helped usher in one of the best BBQ restaurants in the San Francisco. She also happens to be married Steph Curry — one half of the Splash Brothers duo on the local Warriors basketball team.
Curry collaborated with celebrity chef Michael Mina to open International Smoke, a BBQ joint that beautifully fuses traditional American BBQ with BBQ styles typically seen internationally. Carnivores will delight in these innovative dishes that will likely end up being the highlight on your trip.
International Smoke is a can’t-miss for anyone spending a romantic weekend in San Francisco and looking for a memorable restaurant.
Catch a movie at the historic Roxie Theater
In the heart of San Francisco’s Mission District you’ll find an unusual movie theater that has beautiful neon marquee that is so big there’s no room for movie titles — the Roxie Theater.
This non-profit movie theater first opened its doors well over a hundred years ago in 1913. The building has survived a few name changes (and the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake) over the past century. But, the Roxie is dedicated to screening features you’d never find at your local movie theater and is a truly unique San Francisco experience.
SUNDAY IN SAN FRANCISCO ITINERARY
Line up early for brunch at Mama’s
Hands down, one of the best brunches in San Francisco near Fisherman’s Wharf has got to be Mama’s. You can ask just about any San Francisco local, and even a few in-the-know travelers, for brunch suggestions and Mama’s will almost always be mentioned.
Mama’s is an amazing start to any girls weekend San Francisco. This brunch spot sits on the corner of Washington Square Park and has only a handful of tables in the intimate breakfast joint. The kitchen serves up hearty, classic American breakfast dishes from the savory to the sweet. The line for Mama’s is notoriously long, but well worth the wait if you ask anyone who has been before!
Bike the Golden Gate Bridge with a San Francisco bike rental
Around the corner from Mama’s is Dylan’s Tours Bike Shop, a perfect spot to pick-up San Francisco bike rentals to ride across the Golden Gate Bridge. Seeing San Francisco in 2 days is no problem with the help of a bike rental!
There are only two hills on the way to the bridge, but if you want pedaling to be optional we always suggest upgrading to a Pedego electric bike.
From Dylan’s Bike Shop it takes most travelers about an hour to leisurely wind through dedicated bike paths to the Golden Gate Bridge. At just over a mile and a half, it won’t take very long to bike the Golden Gate Bridge.
Local’s Tip: For the least-crowded photos, bike to the second tower! The tourists on big bus tours of San Francisco usually only walk to the first tower. This means the second, most northern, tower has much more room to snap the perfect picture of San Francisco’s skyline.
Have lunch while sitting on the dock of the Bay
About a mile down hill from the Golden Gate Bridge is the quiet waterfront town of Sausalito, a perfect place for a scenic lunch along the San Francisco Bay. The bustling downtown area is only a few blocks long. Still, you’ll find endless option for lunch. Our personal favorite are the big sub sandwiches from Venice Gourmet Deli since you can grab them to go and eat them near the docks of the ferry.
Fans of Otis Redding can’t help but think of his classic song, “Sittin’ on the Dock of the Bay” when visiting San Francisco. Knowing that Otis Redding actually wrote this song while in Sausalito will ensure you’ll be singing this during lunch!
Enjoy a leisurely ride on the ferry to San Francisco
Since you had to bike down hill to get into Sausalito, that means you’ll have to bike uphill to get out of Sausalito. Unless you take the scenic route back — the ferry boats.
The views from the ferry are an amazing addition to anyone spending a long weekend in San Francisco. Sausalito’s ferry terminal might be small, but these boats will shuttle you past stunning views of Alcatraz Island and the Golden Gate Bridge. As the ferry pulls into Fisherman’s Wharf you’ll hear and see the nearby wild sea lions at Pier 39.
From here you can continue exploring by bike along the Embarcadero to explore the San Francisco Ferry Building, down to Oracle Park where the San Francisco Giants play or even the brand new Chase Center for the Warriors! Or, if you’re ready to return your bike rental it’s only a few short blocks back to Dylan’s Bike Shop.
Unwind with craft cocktails and San Francisco themed mini golf
Mini golf in San Francisco is not your typical affair. At Urban Putt the typical windmill has been replaced with the infamous TransAmerica Pyramid from the city skyline with the wind turbines you’d find at a wind farm. And, traditional snack foods have been replaced with foodie versions of your favorite guilty pleasures.
Think Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory, but with San Francisco’s flair for whimsy.
Chow down on Kung Pao Pastrami for dinner
Mission Chinese offers a whole new take on the idea of Americanized Chinese food. First of all, the sign out front still reads Lung Shan Restaurant. A not-so-subtle tribute the Mission Chinese’s humble beginnings as a pop-up restaurant working alongside Lung Shan.
The idea for the restaurant came after the success of selling classic PB&J sandwiches — pork belly and jicama. After seeing how well this unique fusion dish sold, the idea has become three restaurants on each coast of the United States.
Fun fact: Mission Chinese also has the claim to fame of having captured video of someone trying to steal Serena Williams phone (and Williams chasing the thief down)!
Let’s explore San Francisco together! Hop on one of our brewery tours to see and taste the best of the best.
For more ideas on how to fill your weekend in San Francisco itinerary check out these posts on our San Francisco travel blog: