City of San Francisco
The city of San Francisco is beautiful, especially the further North you go up the peninsula. The area is surprisingly small: 7 x 7 miles. That's it. What that means is that you can actually see a lot of the city and its
It's a great city to wonder around in and take in the details if you're done with the
San Francisco Museums.
Often windy and yes, frequently foggy - especially during the summer, the city is actually one of the most beautiful that I've seen. The light is special and always changing and the steep hills add a nice touch to the view in pretty much every direction you face.
Remember that the
San Francisco weather
is cooler than further inland and that it is best to be prepared, even during the summer months when the fog can come rolling in and catch you off guard.
To me, the city was wonderful to live in for 3 years but beyond that, it becomes a different story. For a start, housing is extremely expensive (second after Manhattan) and therefore, it's image as a cultural haven thriving with art, although partially true, is a bit ironic given that renting is prohibitively expensive for a great number of people
Areas: Castro, Portrero Hill, Pacific Heights, North Beach
That said, the different areas such as the Castro, Portrero Hill, Pacific Heights, North Beach and so on, have an extremely charming feel to them with an abundance of Victorian wooden houses still very much in tact.
A great walk is from Downtown (an area I found exciting and energetic) through Chinatown and up to North Beach for lunch or dinner. You could take the tram back over Nob Hill if heading back downtown.
A little cheaper and sunnier. A Latino neighborhood some say, but let's face it, almost every student or young and hip person in the city wants to live here. Quickly being gentrified as housing, cafes and restaurants pop up on every corner. This is a great place to wonder around. Dive bars, pubs, second-hand book and furniture stores; it's all very cool.
Fisherman's Wharf... Nope
The City of San Francisco has so much to offer and unless you enjoy tourist traps, Fisherman's Wharf is a nightmare. Actually, it has some nice parts such as the fishing boat harbor but all in all, it's tacky.
Chinatown is famous but in all honesty, the food is extremely overrated. Having lived in Singapore, I found the quality to be rather low and again, it's something of a tourist trap.
It's fun to wonder around however, especially seeing people doing Tai Chi and living as though the United States didn't exist.
Golden Gate Park
Golden Gate Park is a nice place to walk around and have a picnic. It's not as large as you might think, so you might find yourself walking through it rather quickly. To stretch it out, go from East to West or vice-versa; lengthwise in other words.
Dotted throughout the City of San Francisco, you can find great food here in all price ranges. My favorite was Chez Papa in Portero Hill; a French bistro run by a true and charming Frenchmen. For desert, I highly recommend the Tarte Tatin!
Another favorite of mine, was Moishe's Pippic, Chicago baseball memorabilia fills ever inch of every wall and they make great hot dogs! Yes, this is a deli that serves pastrami, hot dogs and corned beef. The owners seem to genuinely care.
Maki Restaurant in Japantown serves some of the best Japanese I've had outside of Asia. It's very small and seating can be a little hard to get, but we were always successful. There seem to be some negative reviews on Yelp that I simply disagree with. The food really is excellent and so much better than the alternatives in Japantown but I think the size and somewhat higher pricing turns some people away. The fact is that the food is superior to the competition.
Welcome to the city of San Francisco!
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