Wednesday, September 28, 2022

14 Mistakes Tourists Make When Visiting San Francisco

San Francisco is one of the most popular cities for tourism in the United States – and for good reason. It has a top-notch food scene, gorgeous parks, iconic architecture, and more.

But according to locals, Bay Area tourists tend to do something wrong during their travels. We asked residents of San Francisco to share some of the mistakes they saw, and they eagerly obliged.

From wearing the wrong clothes to leaving items in the car, here are some mistakes tourists often make when visiting San Francisco and some advice on how to avoid these mistakes during your trip.

not wearing layers

“The one fashion mistake that most tourists make when visiting San Francisco is packing the wrong clothes. Since the weather changes frequently and it gets quite windy and foggy, layer up! Skip the shorts and mini skirts and go for a walk.” Opt for baggy jeans or trousers.” I Fashion by Ally by Ally Chen, Blogger and YouTuber

“A common question I get from family and friends planning to go to SF is, ‘What should I wear?’ Any time of year, I always recommend packing a few light layers—the weather can change quickly so it’s best to be prepared with pieces that you can easily take on and off. My go-to The combination is a casual sweatshirt under a long modern coat. Kate Ogata, content creator and style blogger

leaving things uncovered in your car

“A big mistake is leaving luggage in your car while it is unattended. If you are planning to rent or drive a car, please keep your belongings in the car, any valuables like backpack, purse, electronics, etc. Don’t give up. Car break-in has reached a disturbing and unprecedented level. I Ashley Reddy, Photographer and Content Producer

“Never leave anything showing in your car, not even clothes or a charging cable. It will break. If you want to keep luggage in your trunk, put it in before you get to your destination and don’t open your trunk after you get there. I Allie Tong, Allie Eats . blogger in

Spending full time at Fisherman’s Wharf

“Tourists flock to Fisherman’s Wharf and Ghirardelli Square in great numbers, but many are missing what really makes San Francisco special—the dozens of neighborhoods that make up the city! The pass has something special to offer. Some of my favorites are Alamo Square for all the colorful houses, Mission for the vibrant food scene and people watching, North Beach for taking a mini trip to Italy, and the food and Hayes Valley for shopping. Kelly Huibregts, blogger at A Side of Sweet

“Fisherman’s Wharf is San Francisco’s Times Square. Sure, you have to see it at least once, but the one big mistake tourists make is spending most of their time there and they’re without an authentic San Francisco experience.” After all, you can find Applebee’s and IHOP anywhere. I’d suggest budgeting a few hours to visit Fisherman’s Wharf, but when you start to get hungry, skip the touristy area and head to the city’s historic Go to the Italian neighborhood, North Beach and you can find some great cioppino and pizza here. Kara Harms, blogger at Whimsy Soul

hot summers expected

“As a San Francisco local, I know the fog will last any day now and last until September. Travelers think of California and picture hot summer days with sunshine, palm trees, and long sandy beaches. But San Francisco is in Northern California (not Southern) and is famous for its microclimate. June, July, and August have very thick fog that cools the city down to the 50s. I’m always a summer tourist. shiver in shorts and a tank top and always laugh when they’re wearing a San Francisco sweater shirt because I know they tried and bought a hoodie from Fisherman’s Wharf to stay warm. I harms

Just because it's in California doesn't mean that San Francisco is always hot and sunny.

Don White via Getty Images

Just because it’s in California doesn’t mean that San Francisco is always hot and sunny.

Guess the restaurant will open late

“The one mistake tourists make is trying to get to a restaurant late. We are a city of morning risers, hikers and yogis. We like to sleep and catch the sunrise.” Safia Jihan, fashion designer and style consultant

It’s called ‘San Fran’

“Tourists often call it ‘San Fran,’ or worse, ‘Frisco.’ But locals call it San Francisco, SF, or The City. I Anna Alexia Basil, photographer

wearing the wrong shoes

“San Francisco is an extremely walkable city, but not if you’re wearing the wrong shoes! Too often I see tourists in flip-flops or sandals (especially during the ‘summer months’). The first thing to notice is that our summer is usually colder than winter, because of the fog in the city the inland heat. If you wear flip-flops during the ‘summer’, your toes to freeze Prepare. Second, because our city is so walkable and has many hills, it’s smart to wear comfortable walking shoes so you can really explore the city on foot. If you go to San Francisco and you have all day walking around If you don’t plan, you’re definitely making a mistake.” I Chandamahir Stacker-Chung, blogger at Pancake Stacker

Not being strategic about the cable car

“Riding a cable car up a steep hill in San Francisco is iconic, but it can also take you hours to get into a very crowded car and stand in line for a frustrating experience. There’s a better way to do it.” And it will require a little strategy but the payoff is fantastic. First, set your alarm early and aim for a cable car ride before 9 a.m., instead of the market or the Powell-Hyde cable car at Fisherman’s Wharf Which are the most crowded stops, head to Van Ness and California Stop. This stop is further away from tourist areas and thus has a fraction of the ridership that comes here. Last time I looked at cars So we went here and kept the whole car with us for a few stops, which meant we had to snag the coveted front-row seats with all the good views.” harms

Golden Gate Park is missing

“Did you know that Golden Gate Park is bigger than Central Park? There’s also bison out there (for real), Dutch windmills, secret public art spaces, rose gardens, redwood groves, a conservatory of flowers, a tea Plantation, the country’s first playground, and much more remains. Golden Gate Park is fast bursting with hidden gems and fun outdoor things to do. Sadly, tourists don’t visit the western half of the city either , or they go to the Cal Science Museum and call it a day. I wish more people took the time to explore the park; it’s one of the places that makes San Francisco unique.” I harms

not making reservation

“If you’re a foodie, make a reservation a month in advance. SF has a high amount of incredible and delectable restaurants. But if you’re anything like me and want to check out some of the newer or more popular restaurants that have a little buzz (Penny Roma, Good Good Culture Club, Che Fico), make reservations at Reci’s or directly through the restaurant’s website.” I Amy Ranser, blogger at Ohio Transplant

“I highly recommend that visitors do their research on their favorite restaurants and make reservations to avoid being turned away at the door.” I Cynthia Cole, blogger at Sin Eats

too much brewing stops

“Another mistake I often see tourists make is packing too many winery visits in one day. Pace yourself, visiting one to two wineries during your day trip from San Francisco to Napa or Sonoma. Enjoy the scenery, wine and food. Jihano

living downtown

“A mistake is staying in the Financial District opposite our more attractive neighborhoods, such as Hayes Valley, Bernal Heights, Inner/Outer Sunset, or the Mission. Although there are excellent hotels in downtown, I recommend booking an Airbnb in a more walkable neighborhood. Would recommend where you can get an authentic taste for local life.” I Tiffany Wang, Writer and Digital Producer

“Union Square is full of beautiful architecture, great museums, shopping, and restaurants, but there’s more to it than that! Some of my favorite parts of the city are outside the city: pastries at Tartine in the Mission (to sun yourself in Dolores Park). After), hiking up to Marshall Beach (the best view of the Golden Gate Bridge in my opinion) and doing a sunset neighborhood crawl where you explore Irving, Judah and Noriega Streets!” I rancher

lack of affordable hidden gems

“I would say that the biggest mistake tourists make when traveling to SF would be eating out at very famous and popular restaurants. Although eating out is mandatory when traveling, I think it is important to know that San Francisco has a lot of There are hidden gems. From mom-and-pop diners to hidden teeny-tiny pubs in Maiden Lane, I think balance is key when eating out in San Francisco. That is, if you don’t want to go broke!” I Chanel Butler, blogger at ChannelFiles

to blow out

“Plan ahead! While you can always ‘wing it’, I’d map out every area you want to explore so as not to waste time driving back and forth. For example, if someone first Have been checking out North Beach since then, so walk a block to Chinatown to get some delicious dumplings before making your next stop. Cauliflower


Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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