Today I bring to you my travel diaries from the west coast. San Francisco is one of the most eclectic and picturesque cities in America. A city with a lot character to it, unique neighbourhoods, cafes, boutique shops – I lost my heart to San Fran. The overall vibe of the city is simply amazing. Very walkable, strolling around the streets of San Francisco is a top thing to do on any visit to the city, with the steep hills rewarding the slog up them and fine views of the breathtaking bay. Every time you walk up a hill and turn around, the city will charm you with stunning views.
To make the most of your stay, ensure you hit the hottest spots while in the bay area –
Here are my top 5 from San Francisco.
Visit the Alcatraz Island
One of the most interesting destinations the city has to offer, a 19th century military fortress. Known to be America’s most notorious prison, it was shut down in the 1970s and has since become a landmark people can explore. Take a ferry ride to the island, a guided tour of the cells to help you get some historical context. It’s actually a super fascinating tour.
Bike across the Golden Gate Bridge
This was my favourite thing to do, biking on the bridge. Most iconic structure in the city, spotted from a distance. To get a real sense of the grandeur & beauty of this bridge bike its 1.7 mile span. It’s super fun with very cool views. There are bike rentals all over so quite easy to get one.
Visit Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf
This you will find in every travel guide to the city. Yes, it is the most touristy thing to do but one that cannot be missed. Bustling with people at all times, there are street performers, souvenir shops, and tons of restaurants. Eat, play, shop or just stand by the waterfront and enjoy the bay views. Sea lions is a major attraction, check out the lazy animal soaking up the sun while at Pier 39.
Ride in a Cable car and Check out Lombard street
No visit to the city is complete without travelling in the oldest, manually operated cable cars. Hop on to one from Powell Street that will take you right up to Fisherman’s Wharf. Make it a point to stand right in front, to enjoy the uphill and down ride, witness an absolutely stunning city. While riding the cable cars, make sure to get off at Lombard Street to gawk at the world’s most crooked streets.
Shop in Union Square
Being an avid shopper, I can say that the shopping in Union Square is one of the best. It is a shoppers paradise with Bloomingdales, a four story Nordstrom, Barney’s. Union Square also boasts of the biggest Macy’s in America, with eight floors dedicated only to women. If you are a sucker for designer labels, you got it all here – Valentino, Armani, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Michael Kors. Ladies, you now know what i mean.
After you are done with all your shopping, there are some amazing restaurants in the area. Treat yourself with with a nice meal and a relaxing drink. You have earned it 🙂
Travel Tip: Good walking shoes and do carry a jacket at all times, it becomes very
windy or might even begin to rain even if the sun is out.
Other Things to do in the bay area:
The Palace of Fine Arts
Head to China Town (One of the biggest outside Asia)
Explore Golden Gate park (It is a gigantic park, and is said to be bigger than New York’s Central Park)