This travel blog acts as a travel guide that helps you to discover the best things to do in Daly City. You will find the most popular and best places to visit in Daly City. Also, you will read the best time to visit in Daly City, shopping spots, best cheap restaurants, best hotels in Daly City and also our travelling tips.
If you are a person who enjoys the nightlife, then read the places marked as “Things to do in Daly City at night”. In case, if you are travelling with kids, then make sure that you read places marked as “Things to do with kids in Daly City”
You don’t need to search for “tourist destinations near me” on google once you land at Daly City, because you can find the nearby tourist attractions/places in this post itself.
So let’s get into it.
Table of Contents
- Video On “Things To Do In Daly City”
- Things to do in Daly City
- Shopping spots in Daly City, California
- Places to eat in Daly City
- Best hotels in Daly City, California
- The climate in Daly City, California
- Transportation in Daly City, California
- Conclusion To “Things To Do In Daly City”
Video On “Things To Do In Daly City”
Things to do in Daly City
Daly City, a city in California in the San Francisco Bay Area, sharing the south borders with San Francisco. It is a small city compared to other cities in California State with different indoor and outdoor activities for everyone to enjoy.
The west border of the city is all a coastline making the best places to visit in Daly City involve beaches and sea.
The city bears the name of John Donald Daly who is well-known in the city and usually named the father of Daly City.
John Daly came from Boston, Massachusetts. He was a worker at a dairy farm in the area, he married the farm owner’s daughter and managed to acquire 250 acres of land. Years after years, Daly grew his business and became a known political figure in the area.
His marked deed, which made him among the historical figures of Daly City, was when a devastating earthquake hit the city in 1906. Refugees whose houses were destroyed sheltered in temporary housing as Daly’s one. He also donated milk and food from his land to help those refugees.
In 1911 the city was incorporated and named after John Daly honoring him. He subdivided part of his property to build houses and for Daly’s residents, he also opened the first bank at Daly City.
Every city should have a place to preserve its history. That’s why Daly City History Guild Museum & Archive is there.
The museum is located in a vital area on the east of Mission Street easily accessible via public transportation and near to the main station of Daly City’s subway.
You may visit the museum any time from Tuesday to Saturday from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. but not on holidays.
Opening hours are so limited, just 3 hours daily, which means you should plan ahead before visiting this museum. This may be because the museum is entirely staffed by volunteers who probably have other things to do rather than staying for long hours in the museum.
You won’t pay a ticket for entering the museum, thus, you have one interesting venue from the free things to do in Daly City. Yet, they will appreciate it so much if you can leave a donation in the donations box they placed on the entrance gates of the museum, so they can continue running the museum freely for everyone.
Another kind of contribution you can make is to buy a nice gift or some history books from the museum gift shop. The profit coming from this shop is dedicated to keeping the museum open for free all year round to all visitors.
Inside the museum, you will find old photos of Daly City, documents related to the history, old maps of the city, and other artifacts.
One interesting thing you can see is an old cowbell which was used at John Daly’s farm in old days.
Want to go way back in history? See the timeline exhibit at the center of this little museum. It will give you a 12,000 years back tour.
The museum is open for field trips and group tours, you will need to contact them first for such arrangements. You can also stay up to date and know about events and working hours from their Facebook page and see if there are any changes.
Mussel Rock park
Mussel is actually a large rock and smaller ones scattered around forming a steep cliff suitable for hiking and walking.
The area is made into a public park where people can enjoy a short hike, nearly one hour to go through the whole hiking trails.
The park is dog friendly, your dog can enjoy this trip with you breathing in fresh air for a considerably short time suitable for a dog, or you can play Frisbee or something like that with each other.
Entrance is free, you can also enjoy playing football or any other game inside the park.
If you are going there using a car, you will find the parking lot of the park in the south, you will walk a few minutes to reach the hiking trail or the beach.
Speaking of the beach, the park has a nice view of the ocean. It has a beach where you can enjoy sunrise or sunset, but bear in mind that this is not a place to stay for hours as it has no shade.
So, basically you have a park and a beach in one place. You either choose to play and do park-like sports and games or stay on the beach and enjoy the sounds of the ocean and the smell of the air.
Thornton state beach
Head to the north for another beach with more activities and much fun to have.
Thornton state beach is just south of San Francisco borders. On the beach, you can walk, jog, bike, and horse ride. In front of you, you have the whole ocean to swim and surf.
The view from Thornton beach is magnificent, you will see a wide endless view of the ocean and behind, you can see the houses and the city.
This beach is not the right place to sunbath or gather for a barbeque. The beach has no chairs, umbrellas, or any kind of shade. You come there for doing beach activities or enjoying the view.
There is also a parking lot for easy access to the beach, but you have to park the car and walk a short distance to the beach.
Don’t forget your sweatshirt or hoodie when visiting this beach, it is so windy out there and in summer the view will be all covered by fog.
This is a nice place for walks and watching nature. You will find little signs along the beach telling you about some of the geology and formation of the area.
So, if you wonder about the best outdoor activities in Daly City, you now know the answer.
Before you leave the Thornton state beach, how about a horseback ride?
Mar vista stable is a large horse stable north of the beach, they offer horseback rides through the hills and coastline of the beach to see the marine creatures and red-tailed hawks living there.
All people are welcomed to try this experience, you don’t need to know anything or to have tried a horseback ride before. They will tell you everything before riding.
Working hours start every day from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., with 4 set times of the ridings every day. Rides take one hour at 8.30 a.m., 10 a.m., 12 p.m., and 2 p.m.
If you came early at 8.15 a.m. maximum, you will enjoy the first ride at 8.30 at 55$ per person. You can extend your ride to be 1 and a half hours instead of just one for 70$, but you need to arrange with the staff ahead of time.
At other times of the day, the ride will cost you 60$. Kids below 8 years can also enjoy a 10 minutes ride on a carousel for just 10$.
Actually, Mar Vista is one of the favorite Kid friendly things to do in Daly City. They offer summer camps where a week is 425$.
You can enroll your kid if he or she is 8 years and above. In the camp, they will do horse riding activities and learn the basics of this sport every day from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. till 3 p.m.
If you really love horseback riding and want to learn, you can opt for a private lesson for one hour with one of the trained horse riders. The hour is 80$ per person.
Mar Vista Stables has other services as full-time boarding for leased and owned horses. You can leave your horse for a day or more and it will get food, water, and a place to sleep at a certain price they determine according to the period and number of horses.
Need something more exciting and thrilling? Here we come up with a unique experience you will have at Daly City.
Imagine releasing all the stress and anger by throwing an axe to the target and hear the sound of the hit, relieving, isn’t it? That is what they thought of when inventing such thing at Bad Axe Throwing.
This is a different way of spending your time rather than just staying in a café or watching a movie in the cinema.
We recommend you visit this place with a group of friends or family to exaggerate the fun and excitement. We also encourage you to bring all your snacks and water with you as they are not included with the tickets.
Tickets are 27$ per hour per person, but there are special rates for groups according to the number of people within the group.
Groups of 4 people minimum will pay 45$ for 2 hours, they will get 2 reserved targets to through axes on and one coach to supervise and instruct them on how to do it.
Large groups of 28 people and more will get a ticket for 40$ per person for 2 hours, if the group is more than 30, you will get another discount.
Coaches will be present in all kinds of reservations to teach you the techniques of the game and how to hit the target.
Bad Axe Throwing also have a league where people from different countries compete in a period of 8 weeks, the competition is held in all Bad Axe Throwing branches at the same time. Winners will have their photos displayed on the league leaderboard in each branch.
To visit this interesting place, you have to book your spot. Working hours are every day from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Small groups less than 4 have specific times posted weekly on their schedule.
It is not just a local market, it is actually a tourist attraction and one of the top sights in Daly City.
The market is located in the Serramonte shopping center behind Macy’s, it operates on Thursdays and Saturdays only all-year-round from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The market has a plethora of fresh vegetables and fruits. It is the best place to buy such things in the city. It also has high-quality grains and beans, so everything planted will be found in this market.
Having a picnic and want to grab some snacks and canned stuff? Head to the farmer’s market. You will find everything from beverages and canned goods for your picnic.
What makes this market unique and different from other similar stores is the very wide selection of products they have and things you will not find in any other markets. At the same time, this market is considered to be a budget-friendly store.
They also have events and sometimes musical performances, this is what makes it one of the best tourist spots in Daly City.
Any farmer who wishes to sell his goods in the market can contact them and apply for a vendor place, they have strict regulations for accepting anyone but this is to keep the high quality of the venue.
Back in 1915, animal livestock exposition was held in San Francisco and it was one of the top attractions at that time. Businessmen and business leaders decided to build a permanent place for these livestock to be held each year.
In 1941, they did it. This is what became now the Cow palace arena located east of the city near San Francisco.
Nowadays, the arena not only holds livestock but also many live shows and events including sports events and entertainment ones.
Some of the popular events that take place every year there are: San Francisco Sport & Boat Show, Dickens Christmas Fair, Horse Show, and Rodeo.
The most important event is the Grand National Livestock Exposition which was the very first reason for building such a venue.
One of the other notable events held twice a year is Just Between Friends consignment sale, it is basically for parents whose children grew old and need to change clothes. They can sell their old clothes and get new used ones at 50 – 90% discounts.
You can also find some restaurants and cafes inside the cow palace to take breaks during shows and events times.
The arena is a closed venue with several floors and rooms to be rented. For anyone or any organization having any type of events or gatherings, they can just contact the Cow Palace and see what they offer.
Shopping spots in Daly City, California
Serramonte Shopping Center is the most renowned shopping mall in Daly City. It is located near the city center and 10 minutes driving from Mussel Rock Park.
The shopping mall has all that you will need from clothing, accessories, home stuff, electronics, and food.
Most of the retail chains and clothing brands have branches in this mall, local designers and shops are also found under the roof of this mall.
Additionally, there is more than one Tesla supercharger station around the area. So, basically everything you will need is here at Serramonte Shopping Center.
Some of the stores there are Target stores, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Macy’s, Sunglasses hut, Nordstrom Rack, Victoria’s secrets, Bath and Body Works, TJ Max, Old Navy, H&M, and many others.
There are also dine-in and takeaway options there. You can have a whole day trip to this mall where you will spend your time between shopping, enjoying some food in restaurants and casual staying in cafes.
Places to eat in Daly City
For perfect morning breakfast, 85c bakery and café has the best coffee bread coupled with a cup of coffee to leverage your day up.
If craving any pastries, this is your destination without thinking. They offer all kinds of pastries like Danish, cinnamon twists, cakes, and cupcakes.
They also have their special 85c coffee brewed to perfection. You can team your coffee with something savory like ham and cheese or garlic cheese if not into sweet pastries.
85c has an ultimate goal which is to offer the best quality at affordable prices, so don’t miss the experience there.
After long hours of shopping and visiting stores, you will probably need some fresh juice to refill your energy. Jamba Juice has the best juices and smoothies in place.
They have normal natural juices and some unique mixes and blends. You can also customize your own smoothie by blending your favorite ingredients and add a protein or vitamin shake to maximize the benefits.
Vegan and plant-based diets are not forgotten here. They have a special part of their menu to plant-based diets. A pumpkin smash blended with oat milk is one of the nice refreshing options for vegans.
Not to forget that Jamba Juice also deliver their marvelous juices and smoothies to your place.
What is a perfect lunch rather than a delicious pizza with your favorite topping paired with a big bowl of salad?
At Mod Pizza, you create your own pizza. You don’t just order a chicken ranch or bacon pizza. You choose the crust, the ingredients, the toppings, and the sauces.
Ingredients are always fresh with a wide range of options satisfying all tastes.
Their menu has over 30 kinds of toppings, ranging from sauces as garlic and BBQ sauce, to cheese like parmesan or mozzarella cheese.
You will also choose what veggies to include on your pizza as jalapeno, peppers, onions, and stuff like that. You can choose more than one type of meat on your pizza as extra sausages, bacon or whatever.
Pizzas have two sizes either 6 or 11 inches. There is another 11 inches double the dough pizza for big stomachs.
Whatever toppings you choose, you will pay the same set price for each size and number of toppings.
They have delivery and takeaway options too making this place a great deal for a mouth-watering pizza at a nice place with great friendly staff.
With 55+ locations, Ike’s sandwiches has reserved its place as an ideal filling breakfast or midday snack offering all kinds of delicious sandwiches.
Turkey, beef, salami, or a mix of them all, that’s what you will get at Ike’s. Hate meat or never eat it before? No problem, try a vegan meatball or a marinara sandwich, all are vegan options and they still have much more.
With all these selections, Ike’s must provide catering. Actually, the best catering you can have for occasions o gatherings that need something between a light breakfast and lunch meals.
If hesitated, just ask the staff there, they will help you find the right sandwich for you today.
For a fast filling meal in between long shopping and entertainment hours, visit Buffalo wild wings and get one of their pack offers to share it with your friends.
They have two main types of wings, traditional wings, and boneless wings. You can then choose the sauces and other additives to your wings.
A 15-wings pack will cost you something like 30$, while a 10-boneless wings pack costs 10$ and comes with fries.
Other options available are sandwiches, burgers, and salads.
Want to try something odd? Here is off the grid.
Even if you have come to Daly City before, you will find something new to try at Off the Grid.
The idea behind this eatery started in 2010 when some street food creators decided to group together and become Off the Grid.
The unique thing about it is that every time you visit it, you will find a different food creator creating different tastes.
They offer their food in mobile traveling trucks in the mall parking lot which they consider a more practical way to offer food on-site with little space and diverse options.
Off the Grid operates 60+ weekly events scattered all around San Francisco Bay Area including the one here at Serramonte Shopping Center. Every week, the trucks changes, and different food comes in.
Anyone who believes he can create such diverse and delicious experience to eaters can join them. You will just need to visit the website and fill in a form and they will contact you.
One of the best cuisines at Off the Grid is the Peruvian one which is already diverse and has a lot of contrasts on its own.
They also provide catering for events and corporate catering, you can choose between different cuisines for your catering or mix between more than one.
They can deliver meals to your home too, so whenever your taste buds call for an exquisite lunch or dinner, give them a call.
Off the Grid provides a dining-in option in a semi-restaurant site, delivery options, and catering creating a full-service eatery and a unique experience you shouldn’t miss at Daly City.
Best hotels in Daly City, California
Near the Bay shore heights and adjacent to the Cow Palace arena, you will find this Spanish-style hotel.
The hotel has all the services and amenities you may think of, besides having a good location inside the city itself and 9 miles away from San Francisco International Airport.
What also makes this hotel a perfect stay is the prices. They are quite affordable compared to the features you will get while staying there. For example, one night can cost you an average of 70$.
Need something nearer to the city center so you can easily access the best tourist destinations in Daly City? Mission Inn is in the heart of Mission District offering a next-to-all stay where you won’t struggle to find a place to eat in or a specific landmark to visit.
Moreover, the mission street has more than one bus stop, the nearest one to the hotel is a walking distance of very few minutes.
The price of one night stay at Mission Inn can cost you around 120$ which is a little bit higher than other nearby hotels but considering the location and quality, it worth it.
One of the nearest cafes to the hotel is Mission Edge Café. It is an American-style restaurant and café, California style in particular.
The restaurant offers Peruvian dishes besides other traditional American food.
They pride themselves on having organic house-made food. They claim their meat and chicken are not hormones grown but rather naturally and locally grown.
Their menu includes soups, roasted chicken Peruvian style, salads, burgers, and fresh drinks.
Of course, you should try the Peruvian style chicken, meat is so tender and juicy melting inside your mouth with every bite.
Hampton Inn is a well-known hotel chain, this one in Daly City has a good location around 15 minutes’ walk from the nearest train station.
The hotel is also near the city center and most of the popular landmarks. It has famous restaurants and fast food chains around as Macdonald’s and Ihop.
Staying in this hotel is average, you can pay around 145$ for a king bedroom and you will get a complimentary breakfast beside the normal services and amenities of any modern hotel.
Traveling on a budget is not a problem anymore. You can still find a nice stay with the cheapest prices ever at Daly City.
This is not a hotel but a hostel, it provides rooms with 4 beds where you can rent a bed for just 30$ per night. You will have access to a shared bathroom, living, and kitchen.
The location of this hostel is an added point to the cons, it is a few miles from the city center, relatively near to the airport, and at the same time near to public transportation as the BART train station.
So, if you need to save your money for something else but not the accommodation, choose DC Crashpad for a casual cozy stay.
Another good option in Daly City, near to Hampton Inn and by extension near to public transportation and the city center.
El Camino is also located near to San Francisco International Airport. Transportation to and from the airport to the hotel is easy thanks to BART transportation and the near train station.
A night at El Camino is an average of 100$ which is a suitable amount of money paid for a convenient stay near everything.
The climate in Daly City, California
Since Daly City is located on borders with San Francisco, they share the same climate. In summer, the weather is cool with very little or no rain. Fogs usually occur in summer mornings and sometimes in the spring too.
While winter at Daly City is wet with rain occasionally on winter days and a little chilly weather.
So, the best time to visit Daly City is definitely summertime when you can enjoy parks and beaches and other outdoor activities.
Transportation in Daly City, California
Daly City is not a large city, so reaching a destination is not difficult wherever you are inside the city.
The main public transportation there is the Bay area rapid transit (BART) which is a rail transit system circulating the whole Bay area and connecting San Francisco with other cities in this area.
BART stations are distributed all over the cities of the Bay area, from any station you can reach the international San Francisco airport. Thus, anyone visiting Daly City can easily land in this airport and take the BART to the nearest station to his destination.
The fare is determined upon the trip itself which means different trips have different fares. For example, a trip from San Francisco airport to Daly City can be around 9$.
The train has pre-determined schedules and working hours every day, find out everything about these hours and the schedule on their website here.
Conclusion To “Things To Do In Daly City”
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