Sunday, January 10, 2016

Travel Guide: San Francisco, California

my favourite city in California

If you didn't know, I lived in San Francisco for 7 years when I was growing up. Although I was quite young when I was there, SF will always hold a place in my heart and will always be one of my favourite places to visit. I visit often and will update my guide accordingly!

  • Take pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge
    • You can't pass up visiting one of the iconic bridges on the West Coast.
    • I would suggest driving/walking/biking across the bridge to Sausalito's Vista Point to take your picture. It is about a 5 to 6 mile walk across, so be prepared!
  • Ride around SF in an iconic cable car
    • Although I'm sure you'll want to hang off the side of the cable car as it goes up a steep hill, for safety reasons, you aren't allowed. So don't be disappointed when the conductor yells at you!
  • Brave the crowds at Pier 39 to see the sea lions
    • Also known as Fisherman's Wharf, it is a nice afternoon spot by the Bay
  • Walk through a number of diverse neighbourhoods SF has to offer
    • Mission District, Chinatown, Pacific Heights, Union Square, Japantown - to name a few
  • Drive down Lombard Street, one of the steepest streets in the downtown area
  • Watch the SF Giants play at one of the most beautiful baseball stadiums, AT&T Park
    • Dress warmly! As AT&T Park is located right by the water, the breeze is quite strong and it gets chilly as the sun sets.
  • Visit Twin Peaks to get a nice view of the city.
    • See above photo!
  • See the Painted Ladies from Alamo Square Park
    • For the Full House fans
    • Actual houses located at Hayes and Steiner Streets
  • Take a ferry and visit The Rock, aka Alcatraz Island
  • Go shipping in Union Square
  • Drive up Telegraph Hill to Coit Tower for a nice view of the bridges and the Bay
    • There is a $3 fee to go up the elevator for the view
  • Walk through one of SF's famous farmer's markets at the San Francisco Ferry Building
    • The farmer's market is open on Tuesday and Thursdays from 10am to 2pm and on Saturdays from 8am to 2pm

  • Sushirrito: yes, it is exactly what it sounds like...sushi burritos
  • Mr. Holmes Bakehouse: go for their cruffins!
  • Fog Harbor Fish House: a bit on the pricier side, but the food is delicious and it has a great view of the water
  • Kincaids
  • Be sure to Google their secret menu when dining at In-N-Out
  • Bi-Rite Creamery is most famous for their salted caramel ice cream
  • Clam Chowder in sourdough bowls from Boudin's
  • Tartine Bakery: delicious bread pudding and their salted chocolate brownies are delicious
  • Pizzeria Delfina
  • Mama's on Washington Square for their famous brunch
  • Philz Coffee: get the Mint Mojito Iced Coffee
  • Brunch at Brenda's French Soul Food

  • There are So. Many. Hills.
  • Plan for Road Trips, as there are many spots that I would suggest visiting while you're in the SF area, such as:
    • Sausalito
      • As mentioned above, I like the view of the Golden Gate Bridge from Sausalito.
      • You can also see the cityscape and bay view from Cavallo Point.
    • Drive along the Pacific Coast Highway
      • Carmel-By-The-Sea
      • Point Lobos State Natural Reserve
      • Big Sur
      • Monterey Bay Aquarium
      • Santa Cruz
    • Wineries
      • Napa Valley
      • Sanoma County
    • Yosemite National Park
  • When in doubt, dress warm
    • The breeze from the Bay is definitely a lot more prominent than you'd imagine.
  • If your main mode of transportation is a car (which I would highly recommend due to the crazy hills as mentioned), beware of all the one-way streets.
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To find more inspiration for your next vacation, visit @KNtravelstheworld.

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