Some info from a frequent visitor.:
You probably can’t go wrong referring to San Francisco as ‘’The City”. It used to be the most important place on the west coast. All of that silver and gold went to the banks and the Mint.
There are neighborhoods your going to get robbed in if you go there. Sorry but that’s a fact. If it feels scary. Leave! Where the tourists are so are the San Francisco Police. By the way the police all carry pistols. SFPD can and will use force on criminals. Sometimes too much. Be polite to them. The police have a tough job. They all understand tourism is important. Politely ask and they will tell you where not to go. So will the local residents. It’s generally best to not engage the homeless. Your not there to solve anyone’s problems and your begging for trouble.
The Golden Gate Bridge is gorgeous! Sadly it attracts suicidal people from all over the world. The bridge itself isn’t the Golden Gate. That’s the water underneath. The bridge spans an underwater canyon which the prehistoric Sacramento river created to get to the sea when sea level was lower than it is now. If you go to the Veterans Hospital at Fort Miley the view from the cafeteria dining room, of ships entering and leaving port, is worth a million dollars! And it’s free.
The museums in San Francisco are a treat. Buy one ticket (Pass) to see as many as you want. Definitely visit the California Academy of Science in Golden Gate Park.
Speaking of Golden Gate Park. If you visit the AIDS Memorial Grove, be careful because there are used hypodermic needles in the grass. Keep your eyes open.
The Legion of the Palace of Fine Arts is my favorite art museum in town. It also has excellent outdoor views.
Public transport is inexpensive. Do not rent a car. Finding a free parking place seems impossible. If you do rent a car drive to Mount Diablo. The views on top are spectacular. Bring binoculars. Much of California was surveyed from atop Mount Diablo. Best view is right after a storm has gone through.
San Francisco has so many microclimates its astonishing. Keep a light jacket, pullover, or sweater with you. On the hottest days there are cold places in San Francisco.
Don’t eat at Fishermans Warf and Chinatown. There are much better restaurants nearby. As people who work in San Francisco and they’ll provide their favorites.