I love San Francisco. There I said it.
It is as I have always imagined it to be and even better, now that I’ve had time to go through my photos and reflect on my time spent there.
As a young one, I had a dream, to one day go to San Francisco and see if it was as “pretty” as it looked like in Mrs Doubtfire. As I grew up and became an engineer (by default), I had a different desire to visit the foggy city. I wanted to go see the Golden Gate Bridge and the art-deco architecture it was famous for.
That dream finally came true and I spent 2 weeks exploring every inch of the city to bring you a top 5. No matter how many articles / posts you read or pictures you see or movies you watch, it is one of those places you need to go and see and feel its awesomeness.
Note: It was hard to come up with this list but it had to be done and I think you’ll like it. If you think others should have been on the list, please let me know and I’ll try it out next time I’m in the area.
Even if I wasn’t an engineer, I would make the effort to go to San Francisco and marvel at the magnificent structure. Walk it, drive it or ride it. Whatever you do, don’t leave San Francisco without checking it out up close and personal. There’s an outdoor learning center on the city side before the bridge (for all the nerds out there).
A San Francisco institute dating back to the Californian Gold Rush and a team who is passionate about making a good brew. Many may say beer at 11 am is unacceptable. I say, screw that shit and get some of the good stuff in you. Read about my experience here.
Phone bookings essential.
Deemed as one of the oldest and biggest in North America, it is quite impressive. You’ll find gems like the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory and Golden Gate Bakery (egg tarts – that is all I’m going to say), and poke around at the seafood market and Chinese medicine stores for all things Asian.
To be honest, I felt Chinatown was very similar to Hung Hom in Hong Kong and found it one of those places which you had to see and that’s pretty much it.
Embarcadero (incl. Fisherman’s Wharf)
[Source: Call Me a Food Lover]
Start at the Ferry Building (the markets are open on Tues, Thurs and Sat mornings) with a delightful brunch then walk NW towards Fisherman’s Wharf. On the way you’ll find the Exploratorium (an all ages science museum), Pier 33 (where you can board ferries to Alcatraz), Pier 39 (an all ages wonderland with resident sea lions) to the wharf (houses Musée Mécanique – an old skool arcade centre – and Boudin Sourdough – another San Francisco institute). Walk a little further up and you’ll get to Buena Vista. Best Irish coffees ever.
[Source: Anywhere Everywhere]
Just a hop, skip and a jump over the Golden Gate Bridge, this quaint bay side area for the wealthier people is quiet and slow-paced. You’ll find boutique gift stores and eateries (Napa Valley Burger Company does a mean burger), along with walking trails. It feels like a holiday escape even though it’s so close to the city (ferries run from Pier 41).