There are a lot of Best Of Guides and Top 10 lists floating around out there for nearly every major city imaginable around the world. San Francisco is no different. In fact, It has to be one of the most popular extended-weekend destinations for anyone living on the west coast.
When I first posted about Creating Travel Abundance in 2015, San Francisco was the first trip on the list. I went way back in February for a long weekend, to be a dorky tourist and to visit friends.
I meticulously noted everywhere I went and kept every receipt and brochure, expecting to write a useful post about the city by the bay.
Welp, shit happens and I decided not to do that.
Why? Honestly, there are a ton of bigger and better lists and guides out there, and I just decided to share a few highlights from my trip. But don’t fret!! At the end of the post I leave you with two stellar San Francisco resources— two people who pretty much own SF.
First time flying with Virgin America, and they even provided a killer sunrise.
No trip to San Francisco is complete without a disorienting tromp through China Town. I found myself lost for a while in the busy streets of an early Chinese New Year Celebration.
There were many opportunities to wander the busy streets of downtown, however, the street population was something I hadn’t experienced of that magnitude before–on almost a comical scale– abject poverty existing in one of the most expensive cities in the United States.
San Francisco boasts extensive public transportation systems, helping residence and visitors alike navigate the city. BART of course will get you to most places from the airport, and I purchased a 3 day MUNI Passport for $26, allowing me to ride all transportation including cable cars, streets cars, trolleys.
Maritime National Historic Park was packed with sun worshipers, and I couldn’t stop taking pictures of all the boats!
Obviously, one must visit the infamous Haight & Ashbury neighborhood when in town. Grab a drink, go record shopping, buy a hat or sunglasses, and simply revel in the wonderful weirdness of the area.
Top of the Filbert stairs provides a beautiful panorama of the bay… I’m pretty sure I was too exhausted to care what I was actually taking pictures of, however, these stairs will take you through intimate gardens and patios up to Telegraph Hill.
I’m unapologetic to say that the highlight of my trip was going to the Mission District for a burrito. Because, Burritos.
The first night I stayed at HI San Francisco Downtown. It is a good central location, but I think next time I will try out their Fisherman’s Wharf hostel to enjoy the pier vibe a bit more.
But staying with friends in Oakland is far superior to any hostel accommodations. Just look at this glorious house, fully equipped with a back porch, yard and citrus tree!
A quick stop on Treasure Island gave us a fantastic view of the “other bridge” the Oakland Bay Bridge.
And after enjoying great food and drinks all weekend long, we spent our last day together at Half Moon Bay, playing in the frigid waves, then relaxing on a blanket with snacks and beer. This is where I got to experience the famous San Francisco fog, and I enjoyed wearing a sweater after a weekend of city heat.
If you haven’t been to San Francisco before, what are you waiting for?! West coast people can find killer airline deals for around $150 round trip, check out Virgin America or Airfarewatchdog.com for those mid-week deal alerts.
As promised, here are two excellent Bay Area resources that will have you enjoying food, drink and merriment like a boss:
For all things SF and NY, Broke-Ass Stuart has created a wealth of information for people living and visiting these two vibrant cities. Included: a healthy dose of wit and grit.
Kristal at Eat & Escape masterfully creates custom itineraries for food and drink lovers in the SF and LA areas. From food trucks to fancy, she is a wealth of knowledge for getting your eat on.