It’s no wonder Super Bowl 50 will be played in San Francisco. The City by the Bay is a perennial favorite of well-traveled folks the world over and a city of rabid football enthusiasts to boot!

super bowl 50, san francisco

Now, if you do happen to find yourself lucky enough to be traveling to San Francisco’s Levi’s Stadium for Super Bowl 50, we’d like to suggest some additional must-see attractions in the city – and as a bonus, most are wallet-friendly!

japanese tea garden, golden gate park

Experience a Next-Level City Park
Except for New York’s Central Park, there really is no better city park for our money than Golden Gate Park. Whether you take in one of the many concerts, get your zen on in the Japanese Tea Garden, climb Strawberry Hill (an island in the middle of Lake Stowe), let the kiddos ride the carousel & visit the Buffalo Paddock, or just chill on a blanket and watch all of the people going by, there are far more activities to participate in than we have room for here. The Bold Italic does a bang-up job of describing all there is to do for newbies.

vintage arcade games

Quirkiest Family Fun
Taking the kids to Fisherman’s Wharf is an arguably overrated experience, but if you’re making the trek anyway, you should really check out the awesome Musée Mécanique, which bills itself as San Francisco’s Antique Penny Arcade. Admission is free, but you and the kiddoes can try your hand at a bunch of old-timey arcade games and hand-cranked musical instruments from the 20th century. Individual fees vary from as little as a penny to .50 for the privilege.

the mill, san francisco
credit: kim phil photography

Let ‘em eat toast!
San Francisco rivals New York for setting food trends. So would you believe that the next big thing in your neighborhood if San Francisco has anything to say about it might be – ahem, toast? It’s true. A little hole in the wall out on in the Sunset started the brouhaha a few years back, but now, hot spots all over the city vie for “Best of” bragging rights. We like the toast at The Mill. The coffee is also delicious and the location smack dab in the center of town on Divisidero is a great stopff from a day of sightseeing.

bar crudo, san francisco

Best Happy Hour in Town
Just up the road from The Mill is Bar Crudo, where you can eat $1 oysters on the half shell and herb & jalapeno-marinated mussels with your $4 beers and $6 glasses of wine. Trust us. This place is the real deal (food is to-die for) and we bet the happy hour prices will be the gateway to their more inspirational culinary stylings.

work house, alcatraz island
credit: kenkistler/

Best Tourist Trap
Alcatraz Island  is still a creepy-awesome tour every visitor should put on the agenda. Whether you stick to the straightforward day tour, or spring for the uber-spooky night tour, this page out of U.S. prison history will not disappoint.

chinatown, san francisco

Take a Walking Tour of Chinatown
Whether you’re a do-it-yourselfer in the walking tours department, or you prefer a bit of assistance, you mustn’t miss Chinatown, which is both the largest Chinatown outside of Asia and the oldest in North America. The best Dim Sum in the city, a fortune cookie factory, open markets, and numerous important cultural institutions and temples are all part of the experience. We don’t often recommend tours, but the homegrown walking tour outfit, All About Chinatown (owned by local Linda Lee and her family for over 33 years), does an amazing walking tour choc full of history you can’t get on your own and it ends with a traditional dim sum brunch (which is best served with someone who knows their way around dim sum, trust us).

golden gate bridge, san francisco

There are so many world-class attractions in San Francisco that to cover all of them would be impossible in our humble little blog. We hope this gave you a taste of what the city has to offer whether you’re in town for the Super Bowl, on a family vacation, or on a romantic getaway with your significant other. We’d love to hear your “must-see” list for San Francisco. As always, happy travels!

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