"Nice Place to Visit..." San Francisco by DueSer

San Francisco Travel Guide: 9,131 reviews and 19,421 photos

...But I Wouldn't Want to Live There

It's not that I dislike San Francisco it's just that some people go crazy over it and go there on vacation ALL THE TIME and I don't feel that same affinity for it.

There is much to like about this unique city but there's a lot to dislike about it as well. I'm sure most people are aware of its beauty and history so let's talk about some of the negative aspects just as a warning.

For one, SF is COLD. As Mark Twain once wrote, "The coldest winter I ever spent was summer in San Francisco." Truer words, as they say. My first visit to SF was in the summer and I took shorts and t-shirts. Big mistake. I ended up having to buy a sweatshirt at Stanford U and some slacks at a dept. store in the city because I was freezing to death. It's even colder close to the water and in the evenings. Dress accordingly because the difference between temperatures in Southern and Northern California is amazing.

Also, SF (actually most of Northern California) is very expensive. Food, clothing, gas, everything across the board costs much more than in other cities, even within California. Before you go, be sure to check into the current average cost of things so that you're able to budget properly.

Finally, it's hard to get around. Like most old towns, the streets were planned long before real traffic came into being so driving can be confusing and, with all the hills and cable cars, driving in SF can feel more like navigating an obstacle course than a road.

Sights to See

There is a wide-range of things to see in SF so no matter what your interest you should be able to find something to do here. I'm sure you've heard of all the popular tourist sites - Fisherman's Wharf, of course, but that is a bit touristy - and Golden Gate Park, which is lovely and has several different things to see and enjoy.

Off the beaten path, however, you can find some amazing and truly unique places so do your research. There is a lot to be found in the towns around SF - Charles M. Schulz, creator of Snoopy and the Peanuts Gang lived in Santa Rosa, north of SF, and there are many things there about his life and his work. Also, Stanford and Berkeley Universities are nearby. Stanford is a beautiful campus and Berkeley has an amazing history. North of town, there are a lot of great state parks, including the redwoods so if you have time, be sure to investigate the area. If you're still in the planning stages, try to give yourself enough time to enjoy some of these other towns.

Architecture

This is, I feel, San Francisco's strongest quality. It's what sets it apart and makes a walking tour a must (albeit difficult because of the hills). The buildings in town range from historic to avant garde and either way they're never boring.

There are architectural walking tours available but if you're short on cash, don't feel that you need to have a guide in order find all the "good parts." Just pick an area and start walking. The beautiful buildings are all over the city. If you have a particular favorite style, however, ask some locals. They can, at the very least, point you in the right direction, so you can find the neighborhood that has an abundance of the style you most enjoy.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful
  • Cons:Expensive
  • Last visit to San Francisco: Jun 1999
  • Intro Updated Jan 28, 2011
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Reviews (4)

Comments (1)

  • janetanne's Profile Photo
    Jun 17, 2009 at 9:45 AM

    Is that your 'hot dog' in your hp Pic? He or She is very cute! Looks better than any real hot dog from any baseball stadium!

DueSer

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