A wonderful little book I picked up in Mountain View is Frommer’s “San Francisco Day by Day“. Inside is a list of 25 recommended walks of the city, along with 3 or 4 suggested itineraries along with transportation directions between each item.
It’s really different from sight-seeing with the help of a Rough Guide or Lonely Planet. These monster guides expend loads of pages on accomodation, arrival, eating out and entertainment. Thing is, accommodation is easy to find, I’m already here and there’s good cheap restaurants on every single block in the city.
The trick to visiting a city is discovering which bits of the town to see and in what order. You never know which parts are really worth seeing and/or how long it takes to get there. Frommer’s does this adn points out a few notable shops and restaurants. No more detail than necessary to wander about enjoyably.
So, I entrust myself to Frommer’s…they recommend starting at Union Square, a few minutes walk from the hotel. Then it’s a cable car up to the waterfront, walk down Lombard Street and explore Fisherman’s Wharf. There’s actually a lot more lined up for today but Mr. Frommer obviously has more energy than I do – his three-day itinerary will take me the rest of my trip to complete.