What to do in a 48 hour visit to San Francisco

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On our last California vacation, we had 48 hours in San Francisco before heading over to Monterey, California. San Francisco is a beautiful and busy city. There is so much to do! Here are a few ways we were able to maximize our short time at San Francisco.


1) We booked our hotel stay at through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts. By using our Amex we got a room upgrade upon check in, we extended our stay by receiving late check out at 4pm and early check in at 11am, free breakfast for 2, free Wifi and a $100 credit.


2) We booked our room at Taj Campton Place, and our stay was beyond excellent. The service is amazing, our room was gorgeous. This hotel is located withing walking distance to Union Square, Cable Cars, Alcatraz, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Golden Gate Bridge. A car is not needed and helped get to all of the sites quickly.


In these 48 hours in San Francisco, we were able to visit Ferry Building Marketplace, Union Square shopping area, Christmas tree Display, Fisherman’s Wharf, Golden Gate Park, and even had time for a quick work out at the gym.

During our 48 hours in San Francisco, we did get a lot accomplished and did not feel rushed. Upon arriving at SFO from Miami, Fl, we picked up our rental car and headed straight to the hotel. We checked in, dropped off our luggage and walked over to The Ferry Building Marketplace for lunch and sight seeing.

At The Ferry Building Marketplace, we did our sightseeing and customary selfies before getting in line at Hog Island Oyster Company Restaurant. At first sight of the long line, I actually wanted to find a different choice for lunch, with a shorter line, but after seeing the delicious plates of food and the smile on the customers as they took their first bites, I opted to stand in line. It was a great thing we decided to wait. The line moved quickly and the food iwas amazing.

After lunch we did catch a quick Uber to Union Square, and of course that also was complimentary. As American Express provides all Platinum members a $15 free Uber credit monthly. At Union Square we visited Neiman Marcus. It is such a gorgeous store. We did our shopping and headed to see the Christmas Tree display at Union Square.

The Christmas tree is gorgeous and there is also an ice skating rink right next to it. They play beautiful holiday music while you ice skate. The perfect way to get into the holiday spirit. After taking pictures and spending sometime soaking it all in we headed to the hotel to shower and get ready for our special dinner at Michelin-starred restaurant Campton Place.


The following day we woke up, had a quick work out in the hotel’s roof top gym and had our complimentary breakfast at the hotel. We then went to the Golden Gate Park. The park is gorgeous, we spend a few hours at the Japanese Tea Garden. A must for anyone visiting San Francisco.

Since we did have a $100 credit at the hotel, we returned to the hotel and had lunch at The Campton Bistro. The lunch was as amazing as our previous night’s dinner. We also had cocktails at the bar, all compliments of Amex. We then checked out and headed to our next stops, Monterey and Napa where we spend an amazing week.



On our return back to San Franciso Airport, we had a few hours before our flight. We finished our San Francisco vacation by visiting the famous Fishermen’s Wharf. We stopped at Pier 39 to visit the cute Sea Lions. Visited the Wharf, did a bit of shopping and exploring and had lunch at the famous Fog Harbor Fish House.

You can visit San Francisco in 48 hours, there is so much to do and see. We do think that our American Express card helped us make the best of our vacation. If you do not have an American Express and are a traveler, we recommend that you apply for one. You can earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you use your new Platinum Card to make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. You will be able to choose from all available American Express Personal and Business Card offers.  For this special offer, please apply here link.



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What to do in a 48 hour visit to San Francisco
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What to do in a 48 hour visit to San Francisco
Do you have a stopover in San Francisco? This will help you see a lot of the main attractions in 48 hours. Visit Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, Union Square, Alcatraz and still have time for a Michelin-Starred dinner. Our 48 hour San Francisco itinerary will help you make the most of your short trip.
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  • Anindya

    Posted 2018-12-04 12:57 pm

    Lovely post on San Francisco trip…..our pictures and write up made your trip come alive…..nice share..

  • Priya Florence Shah

    Posted 2018-12-04 6:04 pm

    That seafood looks delicious. Nice to know about the Japanese Tea Garden also.

  • Renee Theresa

    Posted 2018-12-04 8:20 pm

    Beautiful and I love these pictures! Hope to visit sometime!

  • notquitesupermommn

    Posted 2018-12-04 8:49 pm

    This looks like such a fun trip, my husband and I have been considering a trip to San Francisco. I’m definitely bookmarking this for reference.

  • jennybhatia

    Posted 2018-12-04 9:23 pm

    I spent some time in San Francisco years ago. My favorite place was Chinatown. The city is beautiful. It looks like you were able to see quite a bit in a small amount of time. How fun, and your images are lovely.

  • Vimal Bhatia

    Posted 2018-12-05 12:35 am

    Not sure if I would be able to visit SF some day. But you have helped me know about the place in great detail. Thanks.

  • John Mulindi

    Posted 2018-12-05 6:46 am

    For someone planning to visit San Francisco, this post is a good guideline for them. Thanks for sharing your story with us.

  • Shirley

    Posted 2018-12-05 12:36 pm

    My daughter lives in San Francisco so I visit fairly often. Great itinerary!

  • john miler

    Posted 2018-12-05 12:50 pm

    Very good tips to do in San Francisco, thanks for sharing

  • mrhappywork

    Posted 2018-12-05 11:41 pm

    I was in San Francisco for a week for business travel a few years ago. It was a big regret I didn’t take some time to explore the city more! (I had the down time). Definitely plan to explore more next time I travel there!


    Posted 2018-12-06 5:25 pm

    San Francisco is on my list to travel . I always make plan to go there as I have a college friend there but could not go. Your pics are beautiful. Hope my plan become successful one day. Thanks for sharing,

  • Delux Designs (DE), LLC

    Posted 2018-12-06 7:05 pm

    Great post. I hear San Francisco is very nice.

  • Chelsea

    Posted 2018-12-06 10:12 pm

    I still haven’t been, but I love super jam packed short trips so this sounds perfect to me!
    xo Chelsea | https://completelychelsea.com

  • Bites ‘N Pieces

    Posted 2018-12-08 3:20 pm

    San Francisco was one of our favorite vacations. You’re really making me want to go back…

  • Kristen

    Posted 2018-12-09 12:35 am

    great information! I love how you took advantage of all of your time!

  • munniofalltrades

    Posted 2018-12-09 1:50 pm

    San Francisco looks like a lovely way to spend your weekends. I have never been to the USA but would love to in the future. Loved your pictures 🙂

  • Pets Naturally (@dogtrainer4ever)

    Posted 2018-12-09 6:50 pm

    This sounds like such a fun trip. I’ve never been to California. San Francisco sounds like a lot of fun!

  • Safia

    Posted 2018-12-09 11:39 pm

    Very nice itinerary for a quick escapade in SF. I’m definitely adding the Hog Island Oyster Company Restaurant to my list of places to visit, thanks for the recommendation!

  • momi berlin

    Posted 2018-12-10 2:26 am

    you pretty much gave us a quick yet full review of the city. Great to have stumbled upon this post.

  • simplysensationalfood

    Posted 2018-12-10 4:33 am

    You have really made use of the time you had to pack in so much to see and do. Excellent idea.

  • Sundeep

    Posted 2018-12-10 4:49 am

    I would love to visit San Francisco. I love knowing about new places.This place is already in our bucket list.

  • ❄ Moonlight Mel ❄ (@_moonlightmel_)

    Posted 2018-12-10 5:21 am

    What a great post on your trip to san franciso! I have always wanted to go, my nana loved it when she visted, shes been like 4 times

  • Okorie Gideon Akachukwu

    Posted 2018-12-10 12:36 pm

    A whole lot of fun in a short space of time, San Francisco is on my wish list.

  • Kelly

    Posted 2018-12-10 5:28 pm

    Lots of great ideas! I have been there before but never really knew the best things to do


    Posted 2018-12-10 7:17 pm

    I keep telling my friends a weekender in SF is very affordable and fun. You def showed it here!

  • Makito

    Posted 2018-12-10 11:11 pm

    Great article! As a traveling photographer these kinds of tips and advice are very helpful to me.

  • Jonah

    Posted 2018-12-11 3:08 am

    Seems to be a wonderful place. San Francisco always fascinates me. I hope I can go someday. Thank you for sharing information about this place!

  • Neri Ann

    Posted 2018-12-11 3:39 am

    Wonderful place to visit! And there are a lot of food to discover!

  • Rosey

    Posted 2018-12-11 5:18 am

    My son is going to Cali right after Christmas. I cannot wait to hear his perspective, I’d love to visit, especially San Fran.

  • Andy

    Posted 2018-12-11 9:04 am

    I can’t wait to visit San Francisco! Love your itinerary, so many great tips and suggestions!

  • Annalisa Fran

    Posted 2018-12-11 10:14 am

    Sea lions in San Francisco??? Had never heard of that! It’s on my bucket list, hopefully will be able to stay longer than 2 days. I’d love to explore the music and art scene for a while!

  • Sparky

    Posted 2018-12-12 1:41 am

    I love San Francisco! It was the first place I moved the second I moved out of my parents house. Pro tip: Mission Chinese can’t be beat!

  • Binge on Basics

    Posted 2018-12-13 2:48 pm

    Bookmarking this for reference. San Francisco has always been on my list and I am thinking of going there super soon.


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