San Francisco is a city in California, United States. We are pretty sure that almost all of you reading this blog right now have at least once seen the famous Golden Gate Bridge on the TV. This famous bridge in San Francisco is captured in many Bollywood (Indian) movies as well! There are so many amazing things to do alone in San Francisco that you’ll not find a second to miss someone.
For those who are new to Bruised Baggages, we are Indian Travel Couple, currently living in United States and exploring it together one at a time. Say Hi to us on our Instagram and be a part of our 10K Instagram family.
We visited San Francisco on a road trip from Seattle to California enjoying the coastline views via the popular National Highway 1. There are many amazing things to do in San Francisco alone too if you are planning for a solo trip or do not have a company available. Deepanshu loved the experience to drive on the coast. Seattle to California road trip was our first ever road trip together and it turned out to be really fun. If you live in Washington or Oregon, you should definitely go on this road trip to enjoy the coastline views.
21 Things To Do Alone in San Francisco
- Take Napa Valley Castle wine tour
- Drive around Napa Valley wine fields
- Enjoy Brunch at most Instagrammable restaurant
- Watch Golden Gate Bridge
- Visit the Most Crooked Street in the world!
- Enjoy a Beach Day at Baker Beach
- Enjoy Greece vibes at Crissy Field
- Visit a shop with most unique architecture
- Taste Michelada: Spiciest beer cocktail
- Watch sea lions
- Go on a food tour
- Enjoy the rides at Pier 39
- Take Alcatraz prison tour: An abandoned jail turned museum
- Enjoy the San Francisco 49-mile scenic drive
- Drive a GoCar
- Take San Francisco Helicopter tour
- Visit famous pubs in San Francisco downtown
- Enjoy live music
- Take a cable car ride
- Hike at Land’s End Lookout
- Watch live performance on the street
1. Take Napa Valley Castle Wine Tour: Relaxing Things to do Alone in San Francisco
Did you know that California has a castle? Many people do not know about this amazing castle winery right in the heart of Napa Valley. The entire tour is very engaging and one of the best things to do alone in San Francisco.
Castello Di Amorosa is the most scenic winery in Napa Valley. We booked the Diamond Tour from Castello’s website and the tour was very detailed, fun and engaging. We also had a guided tour of the castle which was included in the tour package and we tasted some of the best award winning wines! We also tasted wines from the barrel for the first time! Napa Valley is known for it’s best selling wines in the world!! If you are looking for relaxing things to do in San Francisco, take one of the wine tours and also enjoy the secluded stays they offer.
2. Drive around Napa Valley Wine Fields
Napa Valley is a place full of vineyards. Visit the fields, watch how the grapes giving tastiest wines are grown. The entire route is very scenic; you will be surrounded by greenery and open skies.
If you are looking for free cheap SF things to do, go a on a scenic Napa Valley drive. Make a stop at the Instagrammable spot: Welcome to Napa Valley sign and get those beautiful pictures. Also, vineyards are a great place for a quick photoshoot, especially during the golden hour.
3. Enjoy Brunch at most Instagrammable Restaurant
Without a doubt, one of the best things to do in San Francisco alone is to enjoy tastiest foods; at least you will not miss the company much LOL. Visit Son & Garden restaurant in San Francisco and enjoy some of it’s most unique dishes and drinks.
Son & Garden serves every dishes and drinks in a very unique way. They look so beautiful that you would not want to mess it up by eating them, Haha! The most popular drink they serve is the drink with clouds and they also serve amazing pancakes. If you are looking for relaxing things to do in San Francisco, make brunch reservation at one of the famous restaurants and enjoy drinks and food on your table!
4. Watch Golden Gate Bridge
Best places to visit in San Francisco for free are all the beautiful beaches, mountains, view points and drive which have the scenic view of the world popular Golden Gate Bridge. Golden Gate Bridge is visible from many viewpoints and the most beautiful ones which we found were Crissy Field and Baker Beach.
Golden Gate Bridge is a something you must not miss in San Francisco. Best way to explore it is to take a drive through the Scenic Golden Gate bridge during the day and watch the dancing lights from different viewpoints at night.
5. Visit the ‘Most Crooked’ Street in the World: Lombard Street
San Francisco is home to the most crooked street in the world. Driving down the Lombard Street is one of the best things to do alone in San Francisco. That street is around a residential area which was made initially to reduce accidents but later became a scenic point. Even today, there are residents around the Lombard Street.
There are millions of visitors just to view the Lombard street every year. If you do not have a car or are not comfortable driving, you can still visit the Lombard Street and watch the cars going down the wavy lanes. Lombard street is the best free cheap SF spot where you can also watch the city views.
6. Enjoy a Beach Day at Baker Beach
San Francisco has many beaches to visit but we loved Baker Beach the most! Baker Beach is one the best places to visit in San Francisco for free. Visiting a beach has always been exciting for us, doesn’t matter how many times we have visited it in the past.
The best things about Baker Beach is that it is very scenic. You will find many birds in the sky, view of mountains on one end and Golden Gate Bridge on the other. The beach is absolutely safe for kids; there were many kids playing when we visited. Also, swimming is allowed at Baker Beach if there are no strong currents. Parking is limited at the beach, so reach before sunrise or at least 2 hours before sunset. Enjoying a day at Baker beach is one of the best things to do alone in San Francisco.
7. Enjoy Greece vibes in San Francisco
Many visitors do not know about this place in San Francisco which will make you feel like you are in Greece. That scenic area is around the Crissy Field. Best time to visit Crissy Field is during the noon, when sun is out to get the best view of white buildings, palm trees, open sky, a beautiful beach and view of Golden Gate Bridge.
Crissy Field has Crissy Field Beach which is also loved by the visitors. Visiting Crissy Field beach is one of the fun things to do alone in San Francisco for free. You can either grab some lunch and spend half a day at Crissy Field beach, enjoy fishing or you can just stop for soaking in the view and continue to go on the same route for a very scenic drive in San Francisco.
8. Visit a shop with Most Unique architecture
You might have seen many different kinds of architecture but have you seen a shop with legs? Yes, legs!! This unique shop is free cheap SF must see which is loved by the visitors. The area is known as Haights-Ashbury and has got a hippie vibe. This places is full of restaurants and shops with weirdest things to buy.
9. Taste Michelada: Spiciest Beer Cocktail
You might have tried many sweet cocktails, but have you tried a spicy cocktail? If no, then try one of the spiciest cocktails in San Francisco known as Michelada. You will find many street vendors on Pier 39 serving this cocktail Michelada.
Michelada has has one ingredient which you cannot image in a cocktail; that’s chilli sauce! Pier 39 is one of the best places to visit in San Francisco for free. Enjoy the spicy drink with snacks from other street shops around which serve burgers, hotdogs, fries etc. Do not forget to take cash with you as you might need to pay in cash to these small street vendors.
10. Watch Sea Lions
If you do not visit this place, your visit to San Francisco is incomplete. Watch a big group of sea lions at Pier 39 enjoying in the sun. The sea lions of Pier 39 have been at the same place for generations now, so it was officially announced a home for Sea Lions.
Best things to do in San Francisco alone is to enjoy watching these sea lions. Sea lions at Pier 39 are very playful and you will find them doing lot of activities like taking dip once in a while, making small fights with each other or just simply making noise. They are so loud and you’ll get to know well in advance when you are about to reach the location.
11. Go on San Francisco Food Tour
Doesn’t matter how old you are, you will always enjoy eating delicious food, that too when there are many varieties of it! Visit Pier 39 and go into the restaurants you like; they will have a large menu displayed at the front.
Also, there is one very popular candy shop around that area. In the candy shop, you’ll find candies of different sizes, flavors and unique shapes. Some one as big as you won’t be able to actually eat them! Best places to visit in San Francisco for free is this candy shop and the gift shops around where you will easily spend half a day.
12. Enjoy the Rides at Pier 39
Best things to do alone in San Francisco is to enjoy the rides at Pier 39. The Pier 39 seaside area is surrounded by many restaurants, shopping complex, street shops, food stalls, spas and what not! Pier 39 street is one of the most crowded tourist streets which is free cheap SF must do!
Pier 39 has both thrilling and dreamy ride options for the visitors. If you are a movie lover, you will definitely love to ride on the magical ride which has appeared in many popular superhero movies. Also, there is a thrilling free-drop ride around the area.
13. Take Alcatraz prison tour: An abandoned jail turned museum
Alcatraz Prison was once known as the most secure prison in the world! Taking a guided Alcatraz prison tour is the best things to do in San Francisco alone. It is literally built on an island in the middle of the ocean. Even if you break free from a jail, you will never be able to actually get out of the prison, LOL.
After sometime, it became too expensive to run Alcatraz prison due to increasing transportation charges, hence it was shut down. Now, Alcatraz prison has turned to a museum which visitors want to visit to see the prison life, it’s history and the displayed artifacts.
14. Enjoy the San Francisco 49-mile Scenic Drive
Scenic drives turn out always amazing and the SF 49-mile drive is one of the best things to do alone in San Francisco. This scenic drive will take you across all the popular must-see spots of San Francisco like St. Mary’s Cathedral, Japan town, Union Square, Chinatown, Cable car museum road, Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, Palace of Fine Arts, Golden Gate Bridge, Legion of Honor and many more!
15. Drive a GoCar
One of the unique things to do in San Francisco is to ride a GoCar. GoCar is a 2 person small car- like vehicle which is battery operated and has a quite unique color as well, it’s completely yellow! Go Car also has a guided audio which you can play using earphones while taking the SF tour.
You can book this experience and enjoy on SF streets even when you are alone in SF. There are many tour providers online which provide GoCar booking services. Compare the price before booking, we suggest to go with the cheapest as it’s exactly the same in all services.
16. Take San Francisco Helicopter Tour
Best things to do alone in San Francisco is to enjoy the views from the sky. If you are alone and still want to see everything without getting bored, book a helicopter experience. We got to enjoy this experience from Tinggly company which sells experiences.
The San Francisco helicopter tour will have views of the popular Golden Gate Bridge, Oakland Bay Bridge, Santa Clara Stadium, Palace of Fine Arts, Alcatraz, floating hoses of Sausalito and shorelines of San Francisco bay. If you are looking for relaxing things to in San Francisco, don’t miss this. You can just sit and enjoy the views from the sky.
17. Visit Famous Pubs in San Francisco Downtown
It is always fun to enjoy different cocktails and pub hopping in San Francisco Downtown is one of the fun things to do in San Francisco alone at night. Some of the must try pubs we recommend from our personal experience of pub hopping in San Francisco are Johnny Foley’s Irish House, SWIG, Bottle Club Pub, Owl Tree.
18. Enjoy Live Music in San Francisco
We have always enjoyed going to the places with live music. If you are a music lover too, the best things to do alone in San Francisco is to visit of the the restaurants which hosts live performances, singing nights, karaoke etc.
There is one very famous pub in San Francisco downtown is Johnny Foley’s Irish House which hosts fun nights where multiple singers sing popular songs live and also on demand! You just need to pass your favorite song name on a piece of paper to the singer (and with some tip if you want to get picked sooner, LOL). There is cover charge to enter this pub, check the cover charges which ever pub you visit.
19. Take a Cable Car Ride
San Francisco cable car is the world’s last manually operated cable car system and is one of the best things to do in San Francisco alone. The cable car rides are very cheap, it costs $8 for the round trip for everyone and you can use the cable car website to track the stations from where you can board the cable car. Also, an amazing thing to watch is how it turns. Cable cars are turned manually at the end of the rides.
Powell-Hyde line is the best route to take the cable car experience. On this route, you’ll enjoy views of Coit Tower, Alcatraz Island, and San Francisco Bay and the streets of San Francisco. There is also a Cable Car museum which you can visit to know the mechanics of cable car, how it runs, turns etc.
20. Hike at Land’s End Lookout
One of the best things to do alone in San Francisco is to take a hike at a very beautiful sunset spot, Land’s End Lookout. The entire area is very scenic, full of flowers, fresh air, open skies and ocean views. Land’s End lookout hike is 3.4-mile loop trail and is a moderately challenging route. It will take you around 2 hours to complete this trail.
This epic shoreline hike is free cheap SF best spot you can enjoy anytime throughout the day whether you have a company or not. he area has ample parking space. Best time to visit in during sunrise or sunset.
21. Watch live performance on the street
Best places to visit in San Francisco for free is the street shows around Fisherman’s Wharf. There is a live performance everyday on Smartwater stage where the performer is seen juggling fire sticks, balancing, walking on rope etc. It is so fun to watch live!
There are seats at the front of the stage and the show is completely free! When you come outside of the area, you will see other street dancers, singers performing on the street which is again, completely free. Be generous, and leave some tips at the end of the show to support small street performers.
Is it safe to go San Francisco alone?
Yes, absolutely. San Francisco is very safe for solo travelers both male and female. There are a ton of places to visit in San Francisco for free and a variety of different amazing restaurants.
What is there to do in San Francisco at night alone?
There are many things to do in SF at night. Some of the most popular ones that visitors love are: Bay Area Lighting watch, Alcatraz Night Tour, Comedy Bus Night Tour, Eating Dimsums in Chinatown, pub Hopping in Downtown, Evening Boat Cruise and many more.
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This looks like a great list of ideas. I often travel alone, so thanks for this list.
I would love to have a sunset or sunrise view on the Golden Gate Bridge but Castle Amorosa looks so beautiful! I would love to take a wine tour there! A go car experience also sounds fun! thanks for sharing these great ideas to visit San Francisco!
What amazing tips! Honestly, I love traveling solo and San Fran is the perfect place to go solo 🙂
San Francisco is so beautiful that one might never run out of ideas even if alone! I´d love to drive around Napa Valley Wine Fields next time I visit! Thanks for the inspiration
This is an amazing list! I ticked off many from this list in my recent SF trip. Would love to try the Land’s End Hike next time!! 😄