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San Francisco is such a busy city, you won't know where to start. Do you go cycling throughout San Francisco? Or shop at Union Square? But what about visiting the popular gay hotspots too? In truth, there's a lot to look forward to in San Francisco. There's so much to see and do here that even one day isn't enough. Of course, if you only have 24 hours—technically even less—to spend here, you'll want to make sure that you don't waste even a single second. You can always do the aforementioned activities or do something else entirely! The many things to do in a day in San Fransico further prove just how exciting of a city it is.
Go Cycling Throughout San Francisco
Public transport isn't the only reason why you ought to ride your bike in San Francisco. Going cycling is also a great way to explore the city, not to mention get some exercise too. Since there are many hills all throughout San Francisco, riding your bike here can be pretty strenuous. In fact, it's such an exhausting workout that you won't even need to go to the gym ever again. Cycling throughout San Francisco is enough to keep you in tip-top shape. All the amazing sights you'll see are practically just bonuses!
Source: Wikimedia Commons
See The Famous Movie and TV Locations
If you're going to San Francisco, you ought to know that you're visiting a city where many movies and TV series were filmed. Famously, memorable films like 'Vertigo' (1958), 'The Princess Diaries' (2001), and 'Always Be My Maybe' (2019)' were either set or filmed in San Francisco. As for TV shows, there's 'Charmed' (1998 - 2006) and 'That's So Raven' (2003 - 2007), among many others. If you fancy yourself as a movie and TV buff, you'll want to visit all the spots featured in these films and series, many of which are the actual places while some are only alluded to.
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Shop at Union Square
Consider yourself a shopaholic? Then there's only one place you'll want to spend a day in San Francisco—Union Square. This one-block plaza is surrounded by shopping malls, luxury retailers, interesting boutiques, and more. At times, there's even a flea market on the square itself, offering up all sorts of fascinating finds. If you're a local, the high living costs in San Francisco might not make you want to shop around here. However, if you're a tourist with enough pocket money to spend, go all out in retail therapy here! There's no one to stop you!
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Lordsamp
Visit The Popular LGBTQ+ Haunts
It's no secret that San Francisco is one of the main gay capitals of the United States. In fact, it's even become a stereotype that if you're part of the LGBTQ+ community, you'll want to live in this city. A short visit will do too! Even if you only have half a day in San Francisco, you'll still want to visit its many LGBTQ+ haunts. Castro Street is a pretty famous example, especially its much-photographed and Instagrammed Rainbow Honor Walk. This area has many drag bars and gay nightclubs on offer. You'll want to visit during Pride Month too!
Source: Wikimedia Commons/ Burkhard Mücke
Go on The Flower Power Tour
Regarded as the center of hippie culture in the city, Haight-Ashbury is among the most popular neighborhoods in San Francisco. Think vintage clothing stores, hipster coffee shops, bohemian bars, and the like. You can visit this place on your own or take the famous Flower Power Walking Tour, a guided tour that follows the footsteps of late rock icon, Janis Joplin. The legendary singer-songwriter lived in San Francisco and was a pioneer of its hippie culture back in the late 20th century. Unfortuantely, her house-turned-museum has permanently closed but the Flower Power Walking Tour still goes to many of her former haunts.
Source: Flickr.com/ Shelby L. Bell
Explore North Beach
Contrary to its name, North Beach isn't a beach. It's San Francisco's Italian Quarter, home to many restaurants, boutiques, and vintage-styled houses. Since the place looks like it hasn't changed since the 1930s, it's one of the most picturesque places to visit in San Francisco. It's definitely rich in history and heritage, especially since many of the decades-old establishments here are still run by the same families. You can get a good sense of what San Francisco was all about through the years, as well as listen to fascinating stories about the many exciting things that have happened in the city
Finally, what better way to end your day in San Francisco than to watch a beautiful light show? Every year, The Illuminate SF Festival of Lights brightens up the city unlike any other. All throughout San Francisco, beautiful light fixtures are installed that light up come sundown. Think giant flowers that belong in 'Alice in Wonderland,' water fountains with amazing lights shows, big trees that twinkle with fairy lights, and more. You won't want to miss a second of this sparkling festival which shows a new side to San Francisco you've probably never seen before!
Source: San Francisco Travel YouTube Channel
San Francisco is such a fun and exciting city that spending just a single day here isn't enough. But still, even if you only have 24 hours to spend in the Bay Area, there's so much you can do in a day in San Francisco!