48 Hours in San Francisco

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Check out this ultimate guide to a quick San Francisco visit!

Stay at the Four Seasons. 

Yorba Linda Gardens from Four Seasons San Fransisco

The Four Seasons’ location in Union Square near the Yerba Buena Gardens makes it an easy starting place to numerous locations you’ll want to visit in the city.

view from four seasons, San Fransisco

It’s not in a neighborhood that is particularly known for culinary prowess (there are well-known national chains everywhere here- for something super unique you’ll want to take a short walk or Uber to another neighborhood to try something a bit trendier), but it is fairly central to attractions across the city, and no point you’ll want to visit is more than a 10 minute ride away.

Also worth visiting: The Four Season’s in-house restaurant and bar, MKT.


We loved all of the dishes we tried:

Charred Octopus


Lobster Ceviche


Artichoke and Arugula Salad


Chicory and Little Gem Salad


Seared Scallops over quinoa


Sustainable Chilean Seabass




Berry Crumble

Explore the Palace of Fine Arts.

Palace of Fine Arts, San Fransisco

The Palace of Fine Arts was built in 1915 for the Pan-Pacific Exposition to display fine art – and re-built in 1965. It is a grand, statuesque park that winds around a small lagoon, and is incredibly picturesque (there are often weddings there.)

Palace of Fine Arts, San Fransisco

It’s a perfect spot to take photos, people watch, or just quietly explore – and totally free. You can walk there, or have an Uber drop you off right at the entrance.

San Fransisco Palace of Fine Arts

Then walk towards the ocean through the park for a nice long afternoon !

Wander through the Presidio and see the Golden Gate Bridge.

Golden Gate Bridge, San Fransisco
Golden Gate Bridge, San Fransisco

Taste test Taquerias.

La Taqueria – crowned by 538 to have the best burrito in the nation – but we’re a bit torn on this one.

They have the best fillings (the meat and cheese is amazing in their burrito) – but the carnitas flavor is a bit more subdued.

Other picks: The agua fresca is heavenly, and great to quench a thirst on a hot day. Don’t shy from lengua (tongue) and cabeza (head) tacos – they are spectacular here!

Taqueria de Cancun – my pick for the best burrito. Get it smothered . The carnitas will make you think you’ve taken a wrong turn and ended up in heaven – they are intensely crave-able.

Carnitas Mojado Burrito, Taqueria Cancun San Fransisco
Carnitas Mojado Burrito, Taqueria Cancun San Fransisco

If you’re getting a burrito, order up one Mojado-style – smothered in red and green chile sauce with cheese and sour cream – just like the Mexican flag! 

You can’t carry this one, but it is crazy delicious. And since Cancun’s line is a bit shorter, you can easily grab a spot at one of the picnic benches inside to tuck in with a cold cerveza! 

The Lengua tacos at Cancun are also incredible – don’t miss them! 

Carnitas Mojado Burrito, Taqueria Cancun San Fransisco's Mission District
Carnitas Mojado Burrito, Taqueria Cancun San Fransisco

Visit Little Russia.

Holy Virgin Cathedral

If you’re looking to explore one of San Fransisco’s many ethnic neighborhoods, but want something a little different than the insanely crowded ChinaTown, head to Little Russia (on Geary) for tons of delicious Russian and Georgian treats.

Moscow and Tbilisi Cafe – head here for poppyseed bread, khachapuri, and tons of delicious Eastern European treats!

Holy Virgin Russian Orthodox Cathedral, San Fransisco

Holy Virgin Cathedral – this stunning Orthodox Cathedral is covered in vibrant icons and is a must-see if you’re interested in the Eastern Orthodox Church. 

Holy Virgin Cathedral, San Fransisco

Tips for visiting: They do ask you to not take photos when services are being held, but welcome photos of icons at other times.

There is a bookstore adjacent to the building offering a large amount of icons, holy books, Russian texts, as well as prayer ropes and pins. 

Please note – many Orthodox churches ask women to cover their heads inside churches. This wasn’t enforced on our visit (I’m Orthodox and expected this – I simply tossed the scarf I was wearing for chilly weather over my head), but it is a great sign of respect to cover your head especially if there is a service. Don’t be offended if you’re asked to cover your head while exploring the church. 

Get Baked at Mr. Holmes.

This Tenderloin hotspot packs a massive crowd on the weekend – be prepared to stand in a VERY long line for the famed cruffin (croissant muffin, with piped fresh cream in the middle).

Hop in the other line for other baked goods including bear claws, doughnuts, savory bread puddings, and croissants. We didn’t get to try the cruffin – but the rest of the pastries were delicious.

My husband and I were least enthusiastic about the savory bread pudding when ordering – which ended up being our absolute favorite once we tasted it. It is rich and meaty, with delicious cheese and herb notes that make for an amazing breakfast.

I also really loved the churro croissant and doughnuts!

Eat through the Ferry Building.

Jam and Chevre sandwich, Cowgirl Creamery San Fransisco
Mushrooms, San Fransisco Ferry Building
Mariposa, Ferry Building
Proscuitto Cone, Ferry Building

Grab Literary Themed Cocktails from Novella.

Novella is in short walking distance from the Four Seasons and other Union Square hotels, as well as ATT Park – making it an easy spot to slide into a cozy chair or booth and sip some deliciously themed cocktails.

Don’t miss out on their punches – you can even do a punch tasting flight!

Be sure to book a table on weekends if you’re stopping by after 6pm, as it does fill up fast.

Sip Tea and People Watch at Samovar

Samovar, right in Yerba Buena Gardens, is a delicious teahouse full of gourmet delights and tea services!

Our trip to San Franciso was following out quick visit to Salt Lake City and we flew from there to Brisbane, Australia click to read along with the trip.

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style at lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs. Sweet C's devoted to finding the best food and drinks you'll want to make or find, around the world!

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