“If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair”
Finally the time has come and I can tell you some details about my trip to the USA. We started in San Francisco, because there is so much to discover in this city and I would like to give you some travel tips, I have decided to write a separate post only about San Francisco. Furthermore also because our actual road trip through the US began afterwards. We flew from San Francisco to Las Vegas, where we received our rental car, but more about this I will tell you in my next blog post.
Let’s start with the sightseeing attraction par excellence, the Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge is the symbol of San Francisco and should not be missed on the To-Do list. The building opened in 1937 and has since then connected San Francisco with Marin County and the less densely populated Napa and Sonoma Valley.
Of course, you can look at the bridge from different view points. The Golden Gate Bridge is located a bit off the center. By means of a longer walk or bike ride along the coast to reach the Golden Gate Bridge. The fastest way is to use the bus or go by car. The crossing of the bridge takes another 15 minutes on foot – but you should not miss that experience as well. On the way along the coast there are always viewpoints, which are suitable as photo spots and at the outer end of the bridge you can walk underneath the bridge to get to the most popular vantage point with the most beautiful view over the bridge. But be sure to plan enough time, especially if you travel by bus and co. annd not by car.
Pier 39 is at least as famous in San Francisco as the Golden Gate Bridge. Usually because of the sea lions, who frolic there to chill and to be admired by the tourists. In addition, you will find all sorts of delicious restaurants, souvenir shops, and even more to discover. You should not miss a visit.
If you decide to have lunch or dinner at Pier 39, there is really only one dish that you must try. The traditional and famous Clam Chowder Soup can be found in most restaurants.
If you continue along the coast, you will reach Fishermans Wharf. There is a lot going on, there are many shopping opportunities, restaurants, great street musicians, delicious drinks or even a shop with the hottest chili sauces you can buy in the US can be found there. If you would like to eat in the trendy in-out burger, you will also find it there.
A stylish way to discover San Francisco is to take the famous cable cars. You should not miss this when visiting San Francisco. These are by the way a public transport, which is also used by residents. Inquire before driving, if a ride can be integrated into a sightseeing tour. You buy the tickets in the app.
San Francisco is also home to foodies. First of all, the famous food trucks not far from the Ferry Building. Then of course one of the most famous neon signs on Instagram can be found in Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. There you can buy and eat the so-called “Cruffins” – a delicious calorie bomb par excellence, which you should taste. The Farmers Market at Ferry Building is then also worth a visit.
You are looking for a recreational oasis during your stay? Then you should visit the Golden Gate Park. The Golden Gate Park is huge, so we could only see a part of it. But this one was already beautiful, we saw a lot of wildlife like ducks on Stow Lake, birds or squirrels (P.s my favorite animal). Especially unusual for me was the artificial waterfall. All in all a very idyllic place, especially this part of the park.
San Francisco is then known for its colorful side. For example, for the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps – a long staircase decorated with an elaborate, coherent mosaic. I have to admit, it was not easy to find, as it is in a residential area. Our Uber driver dropped us off at the wrong corner. However, the trip was really worth it, even if climbing the stairs was quite exhausting.
Now to the most colorful district of San Francisco “Haight Ashbury” is especially known for one reason: It’s Hippies. In the 1960s, artists such as Janis Joplin or bands such as Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane romped there. I really liked the colorful houses. However, for me it is not a shopping hotspot, but an interesting place anyway.
Not as colorful as Haight Ashbury, but all the more pastel are the Painted Ladies of San Francisco. The Painted Ladies are Victorian, multi-colored, traditional wooden houses built in the 19th century. They were especially well known in my generation through the family show Full House with the Olsen Twins.
As in many US cities, there is also a Chinatown in San Francisco. It extends west to Powell Street and up to Nob Hill, east to Kearny Street, north to North Beach. You will find souvenir shops and more. As well as many Chinese restaurants.
In Chinatown there is something special to discover. The Golden Gate Fortune fortune cookie factory is barely bigger than a normal store and gives an insight into the making of fortune cookies. The visit is free, of course we have then bought a bag fortune cookies. So far these have been the best fortune cookies I have ever eaten.
Finally, a curious sight that attracts many tourists: Lombard Street. The Lombard Street consists of eight corners at a distance of only 145 meters, counting the turns at the beginning and the end, even ten. Therefore, motorists can only cover them at walking pace. The many and tight-knit curves were built due to the high gradient of about 30%. Fame reached the Lombard Street for example in the movie Herbie.