The Ultimate Day in San Francisco

From nostalgia to innovation, San Francisco has something for us to enjoy any day of the week.

About Dirt Road Travels

City guides for adventurers, based on famous locals recommendations. We believe that the best way to discover new places is by getting off the beaten path and taking suggestions from local musicians, chefs, and brewers. We've got 15+ city guides live here and you can get recommendations from 50+ other cities sent straight to your inbox by clicking here

colorful san francisco homes lined along the sidewalk

The Ultimate Day in San Francisco

"A city for the weirdos, where you can let your freak flag fly."

With the help of local entrepreneurs, musicians and outdoor enthusiasts, we have out together a city guide for the epicenter of Northern California. The iconic scenes of the Golden Gate Bridge and colorful Victorian houses make for a beautiful backdrop as you wind through the streets and get a feel for the culture that has created so much hype.

Take a look at our nearby Ventura, Ojai, San Diego and Oakland City Guides also.

Sunrise Hike in Lands End

Get an early start to your morning with an unforgettable sunrise hike to Lands End. Enjoy the rocky coastline as you gaze at the Golden Gate Bridge. Tom Stewart, founder of Sunski Sunglasses, loves the hike for the old Sutro Bath ruins that lay in the stony outcrops that line the trail.

Read what Tom has to say about the hike to Lands End.

View of the Golden Gate bridge from Lands End Hike

Coffee at Andytown

Reward yourself with a cup of coffee at Andytown Coffee Roasters. Lauren Crabbe and her husband opened this special spot as an embodiment of their dreams. The original location in Outer Sunset is small but intentional. It has the feel of a local coffee shop but the expertise you can only find with true afficionados. You have to try the soda bread, they are straight from her husband Michael’s grandmother.

Read more about Lauren's adventure becoming an entrepreneur and her favorite spots in San Francisco.

Lauren, Co-Founder of Andytown Coffee Roasters
Lauren, Co-Founder of Andytown Coffee Roasters
soda bread, muffins and coffee from Anytown Coffee Roasters

Breakfast at Outerlands

Next, head on over to Outerlands for brunch. The complete hardwood decor will have you feeling calm and collected in no time. Lauren, owner of Andytown, says that their soup and grilled cheese is one of her favorite meals in the Outer Sunset neighborhood.

See more of the Outerlands and check out the co-owner of Outerlands, Lana’s, favorite spots in the neighborhood.

Lana, Co-Founder of Outerlands
Lana, Co-Founder of Outerlands
waffle with whipped cream, strawberries, pecans and syrup

Wander The Mission

Go absorb the eccentric culture of The Mission District by walking around Dolores Park and visiting Mission Dolores, the oldest standing structure in California (built in 1776). Full of specialty chefs and music for every taste, The Mission, as locals call it, is truly the area to "let your freak flag fly."

picture of The Mission neighborhood with colorful houses on a slope down to the water
Source: San Francisco
Check out the full San Francisco city guideSee where the founders of Oru Kayak like to hang outEat the best meals San Fran has to offer

Head to North Beach to Stop at City Lights

Continue your afternoon at North Beach to witness the classic San Francisco landscape. Alyssa Ravasio, founder of the online outdoor guide HipCamp, insists you go by City Lights Bookstore to feel the energy left by authors like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. With 4 stories to explore, you are sure to find something to read in the Golden Gate Park later this afternoon

City Lights Bookstoore shelves with man reading

Lunch at Swan Oyster Depot

Chef Evan Allumbaugh of Flour + Water is a huge proponent of Swan Oyster Depot for lunch. You will find the freshest oysters and seafood in the Bay Area. Locals say this is the place to come for good food and good people, no frills.

Co-owner Kevin Sancimino is a third generation employee. Check out his story and pretty amazing San Francisco recommendations.

Kevin- Co-Owner of Swan Oyster Depot
Kevin, Co-Owner of Swan Oyster Depot
Kevin fileting fresh salmon

Afternoon Coffee Fix at Cento

Alex Bell, owner and founder of Snow White Coffee, recommends Cento for coffee anytime of the day. This little coffee shop offers incredible espresso and locals recognize this gem as staple in the San Fran coffee community.

See more photos of Cento- the decorations inside are crazy cool!

Baristas at Cento fix up some delicious espressos as part of Dirt Road Travels Ultimate Day in San Francisco
ecclectic decorations at Cento Coffee

Take in the Evening at Golden Gate Park

Lester Koga, co-founder of Barebottle Brewing Company, says that in order to really appreciate San Francisco you need to walk across the Golden Gate Bridge and take in the serenity of the Golden Gate Park. You can pass into Marin Headlands where there are no buildings and look back onto San Fran’s beauty! A little fresh air and wind on your cheeks is always a good idea.

beautiful dusk photo from golden gate park
The golden gate bridge is one of the things you have to do on your visit to San Francisco according to Dirt Road Travels

Dinner at Pizzetta 211

We spoke with many local chefs who spoke very highly of the food at Pizzetta 211. This intimate spot creates fantastic personal thin crust pizzas. There are only tables for two so pull up a chair for you and a couple friends and enjoy a nice meal in the Outer Richmond.

street view of pizetta 211

One of a Kind Ice Cream Dessert at Pineapples

Justin Wiguna, co-founder of Kuju Coffee, pointed us to this special spot. Justin claims that the Dole Whip pineapple soft serve is one of his favorite things. Period. It’s only sold at Pineapples, Disneyland, and the Dole plantation in Hawaii so don’t pass up on this opportunity while you’re nearby!

colorful pineapples creations

Beers at Cellarmaker

Cellarmaker Brewing is making some of the best beer in the region right now." -Lester Koga, co-founder of Barebottle Brewing Company. It takes a certain reputation to have brew masters claiming for a different brewery to be making the best beers. But that is just how good they are!

Kelley Caveney- Co-Owner of Cellarmaker Brewing
Kelly Caveney- Co-Owner of Cellarmaker Brewing
carious beers from cellarmaker brewing
Check out the full San Francisco City Guide
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