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Free (or cheap) things to do in San Francisco

   I LOVE San Francisco.  It’s such a cool, diverse and beautiful city.  It can, however, be expensive.  So I’ve put together a list of cool and FREE things to do.  A lot of these are walkable.  Be prepared the hills of San Francisco are no joke but just think of it as a booty workout! However, some of these may require an uber (you can use my code to get your first ride free) or some form of public transportation.
    WALK THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE-  This was AMAZING! At the beginning there is a free outdoor museum that gives you a lot of the history and tells you all about the construction of the bridge.  I don’t have an engineering mind so I find things like that fascinating.  We discussed renting bicycles to ride across but I am so glad we didn’t.  The bridge was pretty crowded and the bikers couldn’t take in the views.  It was a lot of fun to stop and look in all directions.  The views of the water, Alcatrez, the city and the Marin County.  It was pretty special.  We wanted to explore Sausalito a bit so we took an Uber into town and had lunch.  Our original plan was to take the ferry back to the city but it was crazy crowded.  I ended up calling us an uber from the ferry line.  It ended up saving us money.  The ferry would have been $25 for both of us and our uber was only $18.  Not quite the same experience but we still got to look out the window at the views.
   COIT TOWER-Our uber dropped us off here.  We didn’t go up because the wait was about two and a half hours but the view from the bottom was pretty phenomenal.  There are several monuments and historical plaques to see.  Not to mention a self cleaning bathroom, pretty interesting.  To the left of Coit Tower are the Filbert Steps.  This is a “street” of steps that connect the homes there.  It was lush with plants, trees and flowers.  It was beautiful, empty of people and unexpected.
   LOMBARD STREET-From the Filbert Steps we walked to Lombard Street.  This is also known as the crooked street.  Fun fact-it started off straight and was made crooked on purpose to stop speeders.  There is definitely no speeding now.  It was really fun to watch the traffic jam of cars trying to maneuver their way through the turns.  I felt bad for the people who live there.  We watched one car trying to leave their driveway for a good ten minutes.  The homes on this street are quite beautiful.
   GHIRADELLI SQUARE-This is a public square of shops and restaurants in the Fisherman’s Wharf area.  There were street performers that were pretty good and it had a great vibe.  We didn’t stay long but it could be worth more time.
   THE PAINTED LADIES-These Victorian homes are beautiful.  They are so well kept and ornate.  It looks just like it did in the opening of Full House.   The downtown skyline is visible behind them.  I read that it is the most photographed location in San Francisco. It’s easy to see why.
   FISHERMAN’S WHARF-It’s a pretty major tourist attraction.  There’s TONS of people watching to do.  There’s an aquarium if you have little ones.  Lots of food vendors for an inexpensive meal (we found a delicious food truck right around the corner) and some cute souvenir shops.
   UNION SQUARE-This is an upscale shopping district with a long history.  There’s a cool plaza in the middle with performers.  An art show was set up when we were there.  The cable car has a large stop there.  I don’t really recommend the cable car unless it’s an experience you HAVE to have.  The lines are outrageous and people can stay on as long as they want.  So the car may pull up and only let three or four people on.  The window shopping in Union Square is fun.  You’ll see brands that aren’t available everywhere.  There are several restaurants to eat in if you don’t mind paying a bit more (keep in mind you are in a tourist area so it can be pricey).
   16TH AVENUE MOSAIC STEPS-These are a bit away from the center of San Francisco but so worth the trip.  The mosaic steps took two years ad three hundred people to put together.  It connects a neighborhood. It is really cool.  There is a view from the top of the bay and the view from the bottom of the complete mosaic is beautiful.
   TONGA ROOM AND HURRICANE BAR-This restaurant/bar is located in the Fairmont Hotel.  You can make a reservation and eat at the restaurant.  We opted to just go to the bar.  Although it might seem a bit cheesy it was a lot of fun. There’s a cover band that plays on a boat in the middle of the pool and periodically it rains.  The cover band was fun and the drinks were good.  There wasn’t an official dance floor but people were dancing and singing along.  Definitely worth the experience.
    These are just a few of the things we were able to experience on our trip to San Francisco.  Do you have any other must dos?  Please leave any info in the comment section.  We will definitely go back. Although, that last picture is my hubby exhausted on the FLOOR of the airport!   Please, join our community of travel minded people and hit the follow button.  You’ll get an email when a new post is up!


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