Whenever anyone asks me which is my favourite city in America, I don’t even have to stop to think, San Francisco wins hands down.
I spent three days here with my family as part of our tour around America and, in my humble opinion we absolutely nailed our time here and saw the absolute best of what this city has to offer.
For those considering visiting the west coast of the USA, I cannot put enough energy into explaining why you absolutely have to include SF in your itinerary. And if you do decide to, here’s the best way to spend your days;
Head to the Golden Gate Bridge, an iconic landmark not only of San Francisco but the USA as a whole. This 1.7 mile bridge sees 120,000 cars pass over each day and on the walk over you will be privileged to incredible views of the city. It used to be known as the ‘bridge that couldn’t be built,’ which I think explains why it’s such an incredible construction.
Most people walk to the end of the bridge and then turn back. Instead head to the town the other side, a place called Sausilito. This quirky, artsy enclave perched on a hillside is a great place to cycle to from the main city and enjoy lunch at. Caledonia Street is the heart of the town and is home to lots of restaurants, bars, cafes and stores and is a favourite hang out for locals and tourists alike.
End the day in Chinatown. It is the biggest in the whole US after all and is full of temples, museums and shops as well as the incredible food. You can also watch fortune cookies being made which was a highlight.
Make your way to Fisherman’s Wharf. How to get there you say? Obviously take one of the many famous cable cars and take in the views of the city’s hills. Listen out for the increasing level of the bells which can be heard miles away and then stand at the back for the best sights. Be warned – it’s a tight squeeze!
Fisherman’s Wharf is one of those places most of us only see in car games or in a movie. Waking around Pier 39 is in itself pretty surreal but the take out crab and shrimp will bring you back into reality and make you feel truly satisfied – utterly delicious. Here you can also watch the sea lions who call this place home and explore the many colourful, exciting markets.
After lunch, or snacking!, head to Alcatraz. ‘The Rock’ was home to notorious criminals who were incarcerated here until 1963. Despite many attempts nobody ever successfully escaped from the island, which is located one and a half miles from the mainland. The eeriness is encapsulated in the prison which has now been turned into a museum, I would thoroughly recommend the audio guide tour as it was very informative as to the life which prisoners were stuck in. As well as its more gloomy past, the island is also home to a significant number of wild animals and beautiful flower and fauna.
For those who aren’t headed to the big apple, I would recommend immersing yourself in the rather intense shopping scene around Union Square. From boutique designer stores to shops which could be a mall in themselves to the more high street places, there is pretty much everything you could want her shopping wise.
And after all of this? Relax. Head to the Golden Gate Park, a large open park with a conservatory of flowers, Japanese tea garden and a museum to explore if your mood permits.