San Francisco is probably one of the best places to visit in the world. It’s certainly in my top 5. For the adventurous it is a good start/end point for driving along highway 1, the road that lazily tracks 800+ miles along the Californian coast, and on many ‘things to do before I die’ lists. I have made the drive, and the views are really as spectacular as all the guides say!
While in San Francisco, there are a few things you absolutely must do! Firstly, get down to fisherman’s wharf and enjoy the freshly caught sea food. I am not a fan of clam chowder in sour bread, but I am assured it was delicious. I went for crab. That meal has ruined crab in the UK for me, as all I do is complain it’s not as good as the one I had in San Francisco! As for wine, it would be rude not to order local! The Napa Valley is a couple of hours drive to the North, so once you have a taste for their grapes, why not go on a winery tour? You can tie it in with a trip to Muir woods, home of the giant redwoods. This is not American over exaggeration. They really are huge! Take sturdy boots and water though, it easy to end up on a long walk without really intending to, especially if the weather is nice.
For those of us old enough to remember the swinging ‘60s, you can swing your way over to Haight-Ashbury, the centre of it all. It is still filled with tie dies and small stores staffed by men in sandals with long hair and flowers in their hair…Just remember that although there are plenty of hints of ‘recreational materials’ from the 60’s, the police still take a dim view if you get caught indulging!
One trip you should book is out to Alcatraz. There are guided tours and demonstrations as well as headsets in many languages so you are free to wander or be walked around. I am not a big fan of museums, and this is the first time I have been thrown out of one at closing time! It’s worth booking a few days in advance during peak season, especially if you can secure an evening tour. Not only does the prison really start to come to life, it looks fantastic with the artistic spotlights and the views back to the city in the evening dusk are breath taking, and probably one of my highlights of the trip.
Of course you must try a ride on the tram! Although it is not particularly cheap, nor come to mind did it go anywhere of much use! Driving is hard work, and other than driving the famous Lombard Street (Google it!) not worth the effort. You can hire electric buggies which spurt out facts as you drive around, but again they were quite expensive. I found the buses timetables easy to understand, cheap, on time and clean, or we walked off some of the delicious food we had been taking to excess!
For more advice and information on the best places in San Francisco, contact official-esta.com today.