Five (Awesome) Annoying Touristy Things To Do in San Francisco

February 10, 2015

Like I warned you, I went back to San Francisco for a couple of extra days. I’m not even sorry. I JUST CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF THAT CITY.

I went as a tourist this time as opposed to an unwashed band-groupie (no shame). Tourists get a bad reputation. Tourists are annoying, unwanted and in overwhelming abundance in some places. They take your parking spots. They infiltrate the cross-walks so your local commute to work is impossible. They buy selfie sticks that can be seen in every museum/street corner/bar/restaurant/grocery store.

I try to avoid looking like a tourist as much as possible. It’s one of my biggest fears is being considered “not a local.” Even when I’m not a local. I don’t know why it gets to me, but it truly does. I wear highly insensible shoes just so I can’t be assumed to be walking around a city all day.


Little me as a sensible-shoe wearing tourist, circa 2007.

But when I went to San Francisco, I became the tourist of all tourists. I’m not even going to apologize. But if anyone visits that city for pleasure and says they didn’t look like a tourist, they’re 28390% lying. There’s too much to that city. Don’t be ashamed. Own that shoe-wear. Work that updo. (50 points awarded to whoever caught that reference.)

I’m not sorry. I did so many touristy things that would have made fathers everywhere look like they blend into the city. THAT’S how much I was a tourist.

So for all of you, near and far, I have compiled a nice little list of things to do while visiting San Francisco, since it’s one kick-ass city with way too much to experience. Whether you live there or you’re just visiting, you NEED to do these things. Because being a tourist really isn’t that bad.


Walk the Golden Gate Bridge. That’s the obvious one. That’s essentially what San Francisco is most known for, I’m pretty sure. Maybe also housing convicts on a small island in the bay. I’m not sure. But regardless, there’s nothing quite like walking this bridge. Especially in the early evenings, right when the sun is starting to lower. It is seriously one of the most magical things I have ever seen in my entire life. The color of the bridge with the sun setting into the bay… I don’t think I’ve seen anything quite like it. (TIP: Don’t wear a skirt while walking it. Just take my word for it. It’s breezy, but not in the easy, breezy, beautiful CoverGirl kind of way.)

Take the Big Bus Tour of the city. Seriously so touristy. I love it. It’s very London-esque. You can sit up on the top level and “hop on, hop off” at whatever neighborhood you want. You can see all the sites: Chinatown, Golden Gate Park, Union Square. It goes all day, and the buses come through about every 10 minutes or so. I highly recommend stopping at Haight-Ashbury. Yeah, it smells like weed literally everywhere since it’s essentially the 60’s in a neighborhood. But if you’ve never mentally left the 60’s, can you survive without weed? I think no.


Have a picnic in Alamo Square. Do yourself a favor. Visit the Painted Ladies. Have a picnic. Lay out in the sun. Bring your puppy. I don’t know what other people do at parks. There were plenty of selfie sticks, though. So I guess you could do that.  We did get lucky, and it was about 65 degrees in our January visit. It’s such a beautiful park. There are views of every side of the city and it’s hard to not appreciate the beautiful homes. This should be on any tourist’s list.


Visit the Aquarium of the Bay. And Fisherman’s Wharf. I feel like that’s the epitome of tourism. The wharf has killer clam chowder in a bread bowl and loaves of bread in the shape of turtles. Yes, please. Anyway. The aquarium is wonderful. They’ve got it all. And if you say that you don’t/won’t enjoy touching a manta ray, you’re a downright liar. It’s so satisfying. We also saw sharks. I love sharks. Love. I LOVE SHARKS. They have those. Go there.


Walk Union Square. They have everything I’ve ever wanted when I win the lottery. It appears to be all high-rise buildings, which is 100% true. But I had some killer coffee, which we all know is my favorite thing, and there are a bunch of classy stores. There’s a Tiffany’s. Enough said.

Have any more awesome San Franciscan tourist destinations you’re sad I missed? Comment below!

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  • Reply patpotter53 February 12, 2015 at 5:53 am

    I love you for following the dream!!

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  • Reply Ren March 2, 2015 at 6:47 pm

    One of my infinite suggestions is to hike Land’s End park around the coast. Free access, free parking, and priceless views of “the bridge”!
    Selfie sticks!?! I prefer asking the opposite sex to take a photo of me, opening the door to praising her photo-taking skills! 😛

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