You can enjoy the City like a local and not spend a lot of money. Here are Chief’s and my fun free things to do in San Francisco……especially if you like to walk. Now is a perfect time to visit San Francisco! If you live here, see if you have done them 🙂
Free Things to Do in San Francisco
It’s fun to play corn hole at one of the free game locations here at Ghirardelli Square. They keep this place clean and sometimes there is music. There is some cute shopping here, too. Chief got a new vest at YAP. You can get a free chocolate sample at the Ghirardelli shops.
Not free, but notable is the new Chinese restaurant here called Palette Tea House. It’s our favorite place for dim sum now.
SF National Maritime Park
This park is in front of Ghirardelli Square. Relax on the grass with a great view of the Bay.
Pier 39 and the Sea Lions
It’s touristy but fun and free. Just past Fisherman’s Wharf is Pier 39…we love it. Walk around and enjoy the shops. To the left of the pier, massive sea lions hang out and play King of The Dock…I could watch them all day. Check out the attractions and events here.
For a cool cultural experience, walk down Grant Street and you will feel like you are in another world.
Go do a little window shopping. Check out the huge new Apple flagship store.
You can walk or drive down the curvy street for free. It’s in my neighborhood.
The Alice Marble Tennis Courts
Play tennis or basketball for free with a great view of the GG Bridge. Our son loves playing basketball here. It’s around the corner from the top of Lombard.
Cable Car Museum
There’s no charge to see the history and maintenance of the cable cars.
To ride a cable car costs $7 #notfree.
Cable Car Ride Tip:
So go as early as you can. When my husband takes it downtown to work, there is no one on it! It starts at 6 am (so if you are on East Coast time, you win). I hear it in the morning as it passes our building at 5:45 am. At least the “ding ding ding” doesn’t start until around 7 am 🙂 Also, take it from the beginning at Market St to the end at Fishermans Wharf to get the longest ride. It’s fun!
Just walk around the neighborhood and you will feel transported to Italy. Smell the coffee and pastries. Visit the beautiful Saints Peter and Paul Church. Get in line early before 12 pm for the Napolitano pizza at Tony’s.
Japanese Tea Garden
This is actually the oldest public Japanese Garden in the United States, and it’s entirely free to visit on Monday, Wednesday and Friday if you enter before 10 am.
This old military base, the Presidio always has something going on with great views of the Bay. It’s a fun place for a picnic.
Golden Gate Bridge
You can walk across it for free and check out the visitors center there.
Free Walking Tours all Over SF
We’ve been on a few San Francisco Walking Tours and they are really great. Gratuities are encouraged.
Front Entrances All Over the City
Chief and I like admiring entrances/architecture, one of the many free things to do in San Francisco when walking the neighborhoods. This town is not that big and really walkable. Wear comfortable shoes!
Best wishes to you and your family!!!