72 Hours in San Francisco
Written by: Emilee Morehouse
Vacations come in all shapes and sizes. There are long ones, short ones and those that just never seem like enough time. But, while most people may think the longer the better, I’m an advocate for the short, sweet and simple vacations as well.
A couple of weeks ago I was able to take three days off and fly down to San Francisco for, what turned out to be, one of the best vacations I’ve ever had. Since I’m from the west coast originally, I didn’t feel like a “great experience” would be possible in a place so close to home. But San Francisco proved me wrong. I never knew how many beautiful places; people and experiences were waiting for me, just a short plane ride away!
I never would have guessed that in 72 hours I would be able to enjoy my vacation so much, and come back with so many stories. And since I’m a huge fan of sharing experiences to enable other people to have as great a time, I thought I would share some of my favorite places to save you all the legwork on your next mini (or not so mini) vacation to the The City By The Bay.
To start off your adventure, you might want to hit some of the main attractions, such as the “Painted Ladies” of Alamo Square, a collection of Victorian houses that grace the fronts of more than a few postcards from the city. The houses were under construction when we reached them, but the park across the street was still lovely, and so was the amazing elevated view of the city.
Next stop is a building that looks like it should belong in ancient Greece, but is, in fact, a monument to art. The Palace of Fine Arts was built for the 1915 Panama Pacific Exposition and will take your breath away with its massive size. Tucked away from busiest parts of the city, but close enough for a day of exploration, this beautiful structure is surrounded by a waterway, gardens and is the perfect setting for an afternoon picnic.
The Walt Disney Museum was a treasure I didn’t find out about until I arrived in San Francisco. I had never heard of it, and had I before coming; I would have assumed it would have been somewhere farther south near Disneyland. But the museum is a separate entity, made up from private collectors and families committed to preserving the Walt Disney legacy. This museum is a must see for any Disney fan, and is extensive – with almost 20 rooms of memorabilia, original sketches, videos, documentaries, and figurines. Make sure to cut a good chunk out of your day to make this visit!
The Golden Gate Bridge might seem like a given, but be careful when planning your trip to it. The bridge is notorious for “hiding” from visitors, and can be covered with a heavy curtain of fog, making it nearly invisible. The best time of year to see the bridge, according to the locals that I spoke with, is during September or October.
Finally, one of my favorite spots to stop by was the Mission Dolores Park. Built on a hill, it has an impressive view of the city, as well as plenty of grassy area that is ideal for sketching, having a picnic or simply laying in the sun. I spent a lot of time at this park with a snack and my sketchpad. It was simply the best.