We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

2-3 Day draft San Fran itinerary - too much/too little?

Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
3 posts
13 reviews
Save Topic
2-3 Day draft San Fran itinerary - too much/too little?

Hi

San Fran is looking like the start of our trip - flying from Brisbane - LAX - SFO. Current flight schedule should see us arrive SFO mid morning and after a huge flight I'm thinking an easy'ish day or two to recover will be in order so don't want to cram too much in.

How does this look for a rough itinerary for the first leg of our trip?

Day 1 - Lunch, wandering & shopping around Fisherman's wharf, Pier 39.

Lombard St, Coit Tower.

Day 2 - Alcatraz tour, Twin Peaks (not completely sold on making the trip out yet), Cable Car museum, Alamo square, Union Square and a spot of shopping.

Day 3 - Lucasfilms to see Yoda (son is a huge Star Wars fan), walk part of GGB (would have loved to have ridden over to Sausalito/Ferry Back but think it would be too far for the kids). Just after lunch pick up hire car and hit the road bound for Monterey.

Logistically I think/hope this make sense? Does any day look too light on?

Exploratorium or Academy of Sciences were both on our possible lists but we have lots of theme park/activity type visits planned later in the trip so I would be okay with missing, but if there is time without making one of the days too busy then would look to add one.

Many thanks

Sydney, New South...
Level Contributor
347 posts
58 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: 2-3 Day draft San Fran itinerary - too much/too little?

My only advice is book Alcatraz ASAP- the first tour of the day is great because no-one else is there yet so its the least crowded it will be all day (once there you can stay as long as you like)

Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
4,974 posts
Save Reply
2. Re: 2-3 Day draft San Fran itinerary - too much/too little?

How old are the kids? Why would the great ferry ride be too much for them compared to dragging them out on the bridge?

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
52,061 posts
149 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: 2-3 Day draft San Fran itinerary - too much/too little?

The kids are mentioned in passing and I would not have guessed this is a family itinerary except for the yoda statue. I don't know how going to theme parks would equate to getting a Physics/ Chemistry/Biology hands on experience in SF -- but it is your vacation

Have you thought of taking a tour that covers the areas you want to see -- Dylans or Best Bay Area or others listed in the Top Questions would be a good way to spend half a day and cover many of the spots you mentioned. I like the first day given you will have jet lag and getting into a bus or vehicle would be a way to fall asleep

have you read the Top 10 questions and trip reports ?

Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
4,974 posts
Save Reply
4. Re: 2-3 Day draft San Fran itinerary - too much/too little?

The bridge is huge, cold and can be scary. In addition, there is constant heavy traffic whizzing right by you. Take the ferry!

San Francisco...
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
2,567 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: 2-3 Day draft San Fran itinerary - too much/too little?

I probably also wouldn't prioritize going to Twin Peaks on such a short visit. If you take a tour that goes there as one of its stops, then I'd go. But going on your own by public transportation will take some time and some walking up the hill. The view can be nice, but given your short time in town, I probably wouldn't go out of the way and take the time.

I think you have short enough time you could move that time to going someplace without quite so much travel. Maybe golden gate park (nice views from the top of the view tower at the de Young museum for free), or the Exploratorium or even a possible ferry ride--though you'll get a ride to Alcatraz and back if you're going there so maybe it's not necessary.

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
62,507 posts
67 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: 2-3 Day draft San Fran itinerary - too much/too little?

Not sure what sort of shopping interests you but I'd only expect to find tourist trinkets at a place like Fisherman's Wharf. If you want real stores you'd have to be around Union Square or in local neighborhoods to find them.

San Francisco...
Level Contributor
1,757 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: 2-3 Day draft San Fran itinerary - too much/too little?

it's more helpful it we were to know date of travel and ages of kids and where you are staying.

coming from such a long haul. i think you may want to sleep when you get there for day one. day 2 you may want to book an alcatraz tour that would work with your oz schedule, so it will be easier to wake up for it. if you are coming this summer you will need to already have bought your alcatraz tickets. i feel you really don't have much time b/c of the jetlag. may i suggest. on your last day, assuming you are staying at fisherman's wharf and feel confident driving. you could leave FW, drive to Yoda - watch parking rules, (go to GGB, park and take pics), have a good map/GPS, go up divisadero street, you'll get a kick at the steepnes of the hill (esp. since it's mostly flat I assume in Brisbane), stop near or before the crest, park and admire the views, homes, this is an expensive part of town. then go to Alamo Square - if no parking, take turns taking pics, while 1 person stays in the car, drive down to Market st., go up 17th st. drive to Twin Peaks - get on freeway 280 or 101 depending on time of day, date, if you want scenic freeway (280) or see 101, then Monterey.

now, depending on when you are here. if it's foggy you may not see the GGB, or at least not all of it. if foggy then no point to go to TP.

just recently there was a thread on neighborhood stores/shopping.

please look at TQ to the right --> so much there to help with your planning and logistics. you really have less than 2 days.

Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
4,974 posts
Save Reply
8. Re: 2-3 Day draft San Fran itinerary - too much/too little?

We have to agree with Rachel. So many people just look at the clock and the calender and don't factor in their "body clock". You can cram an entire day's worth of activities in and not remember a thing. Slow down and take in what you can. When you start to feel the jet lag, think what it is doing to the kids.

Edited: 18 July 2013, 18:38
San Francisco...
Level Contributor
1,757 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: 2-3 Day draft San Fran itinerary - too much/too little?

<<We're a family of 4 from Brisbane, Australia - 2 Adults & 2 Kids, a girl 9 & boy 7 - and we're about to pay the deposit for our trip to California late 2014.>> i found this. so OP has time to plan. think about adding 1 more day to SF if you can.

Scottsdale, Arizona
Level Contributor
4,974 posts
Save Reply
10. Re: 2-3 Day draft San Fran itinerary - too much/too little?

So the OP wants to walk out on the bridge in "late" '14 with two preteens. You couldn't pay me to do it.