San Francisco: Golden Gate Bridge, fog, Alcatraz, hills, Golden Gate Park… I cannot think of any more tourist-y things.
For those of you who follow my Instagram, you know that I am from San Francisco (@sanfrHANNAHcisco). I love this city so much and I know it so well. Of course there are tourist things to do but for someone who has visited everything, certain things just aren’t worth it — but honestly it all depends on the weather.
The weather can make your time here exceptional or awful. You really cannot plan your trip based on this because you have NO IDEA what could possibly happen. For example, a few weeks ago, I wore shorts all weekend but on Tuesday I was wearing three jackets. Come prepared for warmth and cold.
I don’t recommend crossing the Golden Gate Bridge because the views are good but you can get better (also you become squished next to strangers in the cold). I love Land’s End where you can get amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge and of the ocean. You get the best views if you go to the top of a hill. I really like going to Alta Plaza Park to get fantastic views of the city and skyline. From Coit Tower you can see a lot. My favorite is the view from the De Young observation tower where you look down on the Academy of Sciences and the city. It depends on what exhibits they have but right now they are showing the Summer of Love and I highly recommend seeing it if you have the chance. Another amazing museum is the SF MOMA which has amazing art pieces but it is also very “Instagrammable” and has really pretty views. If you love minimalism, art and photography this should be your go to place. If you are a child at heart or love games and science, check out the Exploratorium. I loved going to the Exploratorium as a kid when it was at the Palace of Fine Arts (also a cool place but not too exciting) but it is equally fun at its fairly new location on Pier 15.
I am an ice cream enthusiast so here is my list of the best in SF.
- Ghirardelli square is a MUST. I go there a lot with my friends because it is very exciting and so yummy. I definitely recommend going to the real Ghirardelli’s instead of opting to eat at a smaller shop downtown. You get to see the machines that make the chocolate and it’s right next to Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 which is a lot of fun albeit being a huge tourist attraction (and very overpriced).
- If you love trying new things and you don’t mind funky flavors, try Humphry Slocombe. They have a store in the Mission District (where you can find amazing and authentic Mexican food) and in the Ferry Building (which is full of fun shops). Some of their flavors include Jesus Juice, Salt ‘n Peppa, Candied Ginger…
- My favorite ice cream of all time is Salted Caramel from Birite Creamery. They have an array of delicious flavors (I also love Snickerdoodle) and although the line might be long, you can enjoy it at Dolores Park on a beautiful day.
- This isn’t ice cream but if you are a big foodie, one of my favorite things to to do with a group of friends is to go to some food trucks. Check out OFF THE GRID for their locations because if changes all the time. SoMa StrEAT Food Park has great stuff too. My favorite is SPARK because it has fire pits if you want to make s’mores or warm up because of the cold.
You can’t go wrong with any thing you choose to do in San Francisco but this is my take on this super cool city. Actually one thing that could go wrong is if you decide to go to Ocean Beach (even if it seems really hot outside, the beach is freezing and the water is untouchable).
I highly recommend visiting San Francisco at least once in your life because you won’t regret it or you will discover that you have never experienced such bizarre weather! Honestly, if where you live it gets too hot in the summer or too cold in the winter just stop by SF and you will most likely feel better.