San Francisco is the kinda City you want to spend a fair few days in am I right? Right! Sadly I didn’t have that. I was driving up with a friend from Santa Barbara – he could only take a day off work after the weekend and I had plans back down in SoCal so we were very limited.
So can you be in SF for a limited time and still cram a lot in? Hell yeah!
Here’s what I got up to…
Hippie Hippie Shake – Haight Ashbury
Haight Ashbury was home to the California Hippie movement and coming here is like being transported back to a 1960’s San Francisco, I felt like I was in a Jack Keroac novel.
The stores sell quirky and retro fashions, old vinyls and second hand items… actually some of the stores are damn right strange. Look out for the ‘Loved to Death’ store – you can’t miss it, its’ window display is dead baby dolls hanging from a tree and inside you can buy human teeth…. seriously. [I’d love to show you but sadly they’d banned photography and the server guy was creeping around behind me like Nosferatu]
Haight Ashbury attracts an interesting crowd. I especially liked the cafes – sit and eat your eggs benedict amongst the hipsters with their oversized glasses and classic literature.
Golden Gate Bridge
If you’re driving here, well it’s an absolute ARSE to park up and stop as there’s only a small parking lot by the bridge exit. We drove around and around multiple times trying to find a space like we were cruising for hookers.
If you drive on further up the hill however, you can get some beautiful views and most people don’t seem to think of coming up here.
Apparently the United States government records your vehicle registration number when you cross the bridge, and then you receive a $20 invoice in the mail for each time – ouch! I guess they’ve gotta keep up the preservation work somehow huh?
There’s also a team of workers constantly doing the maintenance on the bridge – including a team of painters. How frustrating would that be? Painting the same section Red day after day repairing what the Sun/Sea/elements fade. It bothers my OCD just thinking about it. What if he missed a spot? Agh!
You know that really twisty turny street you see on pictures of San Francisco? Well that’s Lombard street.
It’s only really tourists that drive down Lombard and watching them go, I don’t think I’d fancy it! Almost every car stalled and there are a group of wardens ushering them down to safety. You can walk up (A LOT of) steps alongside the struggling cars to get a close up view of what’s happening. Quite funny to see people struggle… maybe I’m just evil.
San Francisco-ites will tell you that SF is an absolute foodie paradise. I caught up with a friend who had moved here in the Mission District. This is San Francisco’s oldest neighbourhood and home to the hottest new restaurants, bars and galleries. Kind of an SF version of New York’s meat packing district if you will.
Good food can be found all over the City though. Fisherman’s Wharf though touristy is good for sea food, and due to the influx of different nationalities that have moved here over the years, there’s some great World Cuisine. If you like Asian food, head over to Korea Town or Japan Town.
Mark Twain once said “The coldest Winter I ever spent was a Summer in San Francisco”
You’re still in California but this is NorCal my friend, I hope you packed more than just Daisy Dukes and tank tops in your California baggage because it gets incredibly chilly here.
Driving here can be scary. Seriously. We were going up hills and stuff was rolling to the back of the car like we were on a Cliff edge and the car was making some serious noises. Come mentally prepared. If in doubt, there’s Uber.
If you want to see Alcatraz, you need to book tickets in advance, especially if you’re planning on doing the night time tour – this sells out months and months in advance. [trust me, I was so gutted when I checked two months earlier and couldn’t get tickets – at least I have an excuse to come back here though right?]