From its constant sunshine, stellar beaches, ground-breaking architecture and a vibrant and forward thinking population, San Fransisco has always been a city that has captivated the world. And in recent years, San Fransisco has seem to have become the new “it city”.
With the tech-bubble popping over this timeless classic, the steep streets of SF are full of young and bright entrepreneurs who are in a rat race to create the next best start-up.
And while this recent influx of people has made the housing market surpass that of New York, the new energy to city has also made San Fransisco one of the most exiting places to visit in the US.
Because San Fransisco is one of those cities where there will never be enough time to see everything in one trip, here is a guide to make sure you don’t miss the Bay Area classics.
How to get around:
San Fransisco is home to companies that have changed the way we live in the modern world. So it is only fitting that when visiting you take full advantage of these apps to help you get around the city!
Uber: Uber has quickly become the new cost/time efficient way to get around the city. After downloading the app and quickly taking a picture of your credit card, Uber will track your location to show you the cars nearest you. Never having to wait for more than 5 minutes for a car and costing half as much as a normal taxi, Uber is the most convenient way to get around the city. Have your choice of Uber with UberPool (share with other riders), UberXL(cars that can hold large groups) or UberBlack (luxury town cars).
GetAround: There is so much to see just outside of the city and the best way to explore is through GetAround, an app that lets you hire other people’s car for the day. After selecting a car near your location, all you need is your phone to unlock the car to retrieve the keys to your hired vehicle!
However, apps are not the only way to get around the city. If you are without a smart phone or want a more traditional mode of transportation, you can select from the following:
Bart: The underground subway will connect you to most districts within the city, as well as across the Bay to Oakland and Berkeley.
CalTrain: Leaving every thirty minutes to an hour from the SF station, CalTrain will allow you to travel to outer suburbs and all the way to Silicon Valley.
The Cable Car: The classic way to get around SF is via a cable car. Known for pulling up the cars on some of the steepest roads in the city with cables that you can still hear under the roads, this mode of transportation draws long queues so best to take it when you are not in a rush.
The Golden Gate Bridge: The most photographed bridge in the world offers a jaw-dropping spectacle. Choose to walk it, bike it, drive it, or admire it from the hilltop.
Alcatraz: You can explore the old prison during the day or at night. Giving you the best views of the city and a memorable ferry ride, this is a place you don’t want to miss. Just make sure to reserve tickets ahead of time as they sell out weeks in advance.
City Hall: Not only a must-do for the architecture, City Hall is perfect to go an watch all the newlyweds get their wedding photos captured in the iconic building.
Mission District: One of the most colorful districts in the city, you will find quirky shops and vibrant alleyways around every corner. Make sure to explore at least one alleyway as talented artists paint their propaganda in the most tasteful of ways. Make sure to also bring a blanket for a picnic in Dolores Park, which has quickly become a local’s favorite hangout and guaranteed entertaining people-watching hot-spot.
Lombard Street: Home to the windiest road in the world, you can choose to walk it or drive it. Enjoy the beautiful vantage points and top-notch gardening along this short, but ever-so-windy road.
Where to eat:
San Fransisco is a foodie-city, so you are in for a treat when it comes to indulging in mouthwatering cuisine.
The Grove: Start your day off right by treating yourself to brunch at one of the hippest places in the financial district (and make sure to try their fresh squeezed OJ).
Taqueria La Cumbre: Home of the original Mission style burrito and authentic (yet quirky) Mexican dining experience.
The Barbary Coast: Nestled in the North Beach is one of the coolest restaurants in the city, with menu options that include Kale Caesar Salad, The Chizzle pizza and Irish donut holes.
Chinatown: If you are craving a late-night snack, head to China town for some midnight fried rice.
Ghiradelli Square: An absolute must-do for any chocolate/ice cream lover (like myself)! Indulge in a massive brownie sundae and watch them make chocolate from scratch at the same time!
Bi-Rite ice cream: Right next to Dolores Park, make sure to grab a uniquely flavored ice cream treat. Options include strawberry balsamic, vegan coconut and salted caramel. Need I say more?
San Fransisco is an unbeatable city, but make sure to save time to explore more of the Bay Area as well.
Sausalito: On the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge is the quaint and calm town of Sausalito. Enjoy an afternoon of kayaking, art gallery hopping and kraft beer by the beach.
Carmel: In my opinion, one of the most underrated places in all of Northern California is the adorable beach town of Carmel. An hour and a half drive will bring you to magnificent beaches lined with fairytale cottages, as well as an exquisite valley full of vineyards and wine tastings. They also own bragging rights to having Clint Eastwood as their mayor, which is an excuse within itself to go and visit!
Monterey: Thirty minutes from Carmel you will find the world’s best aquarium (and the only one to successfully breed a great white shark), the fisherman’s wharf and endless whale-watching opportunities.