San Francisco Off The Beaten Path Tips by richiecdisc
San Francisco Off The Beaten Path: 638 reviews and 1,091 photos
scenic, atmospheric...oh, and wine too
Many people head to the Napa Valley to sample some of the finest wines produced anywhere but it’s become overrun with tourists and the nearby Sonoma Valley offers some respite from the hordes, at least if you go during the week. You can stop in numerous vineyards and sample their wares. Then pick up some picnic supplies, a bottle or two, and find scenic spot to soak it all in. Please visit my Sonoma page for details.
the view from Land's End
Land’s End is an easily accessible track of rugged coast offering fantastic views of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. There are short steep trails and a long flight of stairs that will bring you to a remote beach with a vista you’ll not soon forget. This is very close to the Palace of the Legion of Honor museum. MUNI bus #18 drops you right off there.
strolling the Castro towards Corona Heights
The Castro is a colorful part of the city most often associated with San Francisco’s sizable gay community. It makes for a dramatic entrance when you approach from the south via the Mission area that is decidedly more run down. The Castro became popular with gays in the 1970s when their influx resulted in a much needed facelift to the area’s neglected but promising homes. It wasn’t long before it became one of the most vibrant parts of town, with its own café scene and infamous Castro Theater. In the distance of this photo, you’ll see the peak of Corona Heights Park.
Adolph Sutro built extravagant baths here in 1896 close to his scenic Cliff House complex but the grandiose idea was for naught as they never made money and fell into disrepair. The setting is still fantastic and it’s unusual to see modern “ruins” like this on such million dollar real estate. It’s also a great spot to jump on the Coastal Trail, where you’ll see wild rugged coast on every turn. Hop on an 18 MUNI bus from Geary Street for a cheap day trip if you’re on a budget.
hard to believe, the Golden Gate bridge is so clos
The Coastal Trail follows 1200 miles of California's illustrious and rugged coast. You can sample one of the more spectacular sections right around San Francisco quite easily. We picked it up by the Sutro Baths and walked the winding trail with odd glimpse of the Bay before stumbling across a series of stairs that lead to a remote rocky beach. It was quite invigorating and hard to believe such splendor could be so close to the city center. We even saw innumerable starfish as it was low tide, which thrilled D to no end.
high and mighty indeed
Located a mere 12 miles north of San Francisco, this tract of old growth redwood trees offers a glimpse into what the entire northern California coast must have looked like before it was logged into submission. Thanks to an environmentally conscientious couple’s foresight in purchasing the land, it remains for all to enjoy. The main trail is wheelchair accessible and though it is packed with tourists, it still has a tranquil air about it as most talk in hushed tones. And why not, you’re walking amongst trees that are not only the tallest on earth, but are one of the oldest living things on the planet. If you can’t get up to camp in Redwood National Park, you should at least get out to see this small gem.
the view from Corona Heights
We happened by Corona Heights and Buena Vista Parks quite by accident. We were walking through the Castro, half hoping to find Twin Peaks Park when we saw a rocky outcropping in the distance. We made out way up to the top, where we met a nice English expatriate who explained where we were, Corona Heights and how to make it to Buena Vista. There were great views as you can see though our views of the Bay from the latter park were fogged in.
just strolling along and wham
Located at 3321 16th Street, we stumbled across this by accident as we made a long trek through the Mission, up through the Castro and into the Haight via two peaks in city parks. Though the pictured Basilica dates back only to 1913, the adjoining mission with four foot thick adobe walls was built in 1782 and is the oldest building in San Francisco.
D enjoys the Rock
Berkeley is a cool place to visit in its own right. It’s a college town and quite the alternative one at that. It’s a noted place of political thought and was at the forefront of the anti-war movement in the sixties. You can get there in about 20 minutes on a BART train so if you have the time and inclination, give it a go. There are lots of great inexpensive places to eat but if you’re out that way, stop by the Triple Rock Brewery. It’s a great old time feeling pub with a throwback neon sign calling you in. It’s very convenient to the BART station, only three short blocks away. The food looked good but since we’d already eaten that day, we just dug into some of their tasty house made ales. The Dragon’s Breath was a nitro dispensed unfiltered milk stout with both big hop and malt elements to its nose and palate, ending in a signature bittersweet finish. Much too drinkable at 7.6% alcohol! The contemplative Stonehenge Stout was black with a creamy tan head and coffee/cacao aroma. Full-bodied with lots of roast bitterness offset by considerable malt, it dries out nicely by hops in the long finish. They have a good happy hour and I just missed their cask offering that week. Worth the trek.
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