"One of My Favorite Places On Earth" San Francisco by Hopkid

San Francisco Travel Guide: 9,334 reviews and 20,089 photos

Beautiful, Ideal, Wonderful

I never actually lived in San Francisco but lived across the Bay in Berkeley for 7 years. But everything about the City (as the locals refer to it; never, ever Frisco) and much of the Bay Area is what I love about a place. The charm of its neighborhoods (Nob Hill, SoMa, North Beach, Richmond, Sunset, Mission, Castro in the City, all of Berkeley, Albany, parts of Alameda, Oakland), diversity of its population (and the comfort of accetance of all), the plethora of quality restaurants, history, architecture, and lifestyle. Much of this is clouded by the fact that I spent some of my more formative years there during and after my undergraduate studies at the University of California in Berkeley. But I think many visitors are also taken with the beauty of the area and all the culture has to offer.

San Francisco native and writer, Herb Caen, certainly had it right when he annoited San Francisco "Baghdad by the Bay."

So Much to Do

Typical tourist must-sees include Fisherman's Wharf, a place where locals wouldn't be caught dead, and has seemingly gone over-the-top commercial and lost the charm it once had in the 1970s even if it was a bit cheesy even then. Also in the same area are the shopping areas of Ghirardelli Square and Pier 39. Boat tours of the Bay and to Alcatraz via the Blue and Gold Fleeet also originate in this area. Coit Tower is also a good place to visit for great vistas of the Bay, a nice trek through a neat neighborhood (Telegraph Hill), and the wonderful Depression-era murals within. The section of Lombard Street between Hyde at the top and Leavenworth at the bottom has been deemed the "Crookedest Street In The World" and is a SF-only curiosity.

There's some great art museums as well: Museum of Modern Art, the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, and the Legion of Honor. There's also the hand-on science museum, the Exploratorium, the Cable Car Museum, the California Academy of Sciences, the Asian Art Museum, and the Cartoon Art Museum. And of course the famed Cable Cars (not trolleys) and lounging in Golden Gate Park.

A Great City Must Have Great Shopping and Food

Great shopping can be found in and around Union Square, along Fillmore Street (Pacific Heights), Union Street (Cow Hollow), Grant Avenue (Chinatown), Haight Street (Haight-Ashbury), and Sacramento Street (Presidio Heights).

And if you're a foodie then this is heaven for you. If you can't find a decent place to eat in this town then you're not even trying. One thing that is a must-do for foodies: the Saturday Farmer's Market at the Ferry Terminal. If for some reason you're not in town on a Saturday, you own it to yourself to at least visit the shops in the Ferry Terminal. This is foodie heaven within the foodie heaven of the City itself. Enjoy!

San Francisco is simply a great city; "See: San Francisco" should be part of any dictionary definition of the word. Visit it, explore it, breathe it, love it. You won't be disappointed.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Diversity, great food, history, style, culture
  • Cons:Traffic, non-existent parking, a bit on the cool side
  • In a nutshell:One of the great cities of the world
  • Last visit to San Francisco: Jul 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Comments (1)

  • Dabs's Profile Photo
    Aug 24, 2009 at 7:53 PM

    We're heading here in a couple of weeks. I knew you'd have a food tip or two :-)


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