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I am seriously considering flagging the NYC plans and firmly planting the seeds of my new life right here in the Mission District! There are so many San Francisco highlights it’s going to be way too difficult to fit them all in here for you.
I have seen many cities, but San Francisco has a certain kind of unique and welcoming feel to it that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside… or at the very least break out the peace pipe. It is, without a doubt, one of the most breathtakingly beautiful and quirky towns I have ever seen, but ironically, it is also the most unassuming. It’s kind of like that cool kid you knew in high-school who always said the right things or had the right clothes, but never made a big deal about it. Another thing to note is that the hills go on FOREVER. I have calf muscles I never even new existed from traipsing around the neighbourhood of Pacific Heights (note to self: do not hire a bike here). Case in point:
San Francisco Highlights – See
See-Lion Colonies on the Harbour
A sidenote: Californians are about as obsessed with Halloween as Aussies are with BBQ’s! If you don’t dress up your like the social-media equivalent of a Halloween lepper. We went to a party on a friend’s yacht in the harbour that day (dressed up, of course) and ended up on a booze-fuelled midnight dinghy ride weaving in and underneath the wharfs looking for seal-lion colonies. If anyone had seen us we would have looked pretty funny – a couple of devil’s, Edward Cullen from Twilight and a fallen angel cruising around on a tiny little outboard on a sea-lion rampage. Thankfully I wasn’t too inebriated or I wouldn’t have remembered this once in a lifetime experience. They don’t make tours like this at night, folks! Unfortunately I didn’t take many pictures and most came out rather blurry on the iPhone, but here are a couple…
San Francisco Cable Cars
The cable cars are an entirely different experience altogether, and if anyone tries to compare them to the ones in Melbourne tell them they’re all liars. The lines to get on some of these contraptions are hideous, and I’m certain the cost of tickets are subsidising the entire SF government. But it’s either waiting for 30-40 minutes or tackling the near vertical hills on foot so by golly you’ll wait VERY patiently and jump with pure, unadulterated glee when you finally hitch a ride! When you’re actually on the things they are very efficient and you can travel almost anywhere within the CBD and inner suburbs.
Crab Buns in Fisherman’s Wharf
Freshly-cooked crab buns and San Fran go hand in hand, and what better place to find some local meat than Fisherman’s Wharf. Although quite touristy and crowded, Fisherman’s Wharf is a must for anyone visiting San Fran, it is simple a feast for all senses!
Retire to SeaCliff
I have discovered the place I will retire to in my old age. It is the small district known as Sea Cliff which is, funnily enough, on a cliff by the sea. If that hasn’t sold you then neighbouring with celebrities and Silicon Valley CEO’s will. It’s not called Billionaires Row for nothing.
A trip to San Franisco isn’t complete without a visit to Alcatraz Island, the former military fort and notorious maximum-security federal prison that housed the likes of Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly. I went twice, once during the day and then once at night on the Alcatraz Ghost Tour which was by far the scariest tour I’ve ever done to date. Both tours were really unique and interesting and kind of complimented each other, with the day tour including audio from real inmates and the night tour including ghost stories from the cell blocks you are physically visiting at the time.
I have been giving generous amounts to San Fran tourism these past few days. Apart from Alcatraz Tour fees and Cable Car tips, I had a really epic time cruising around the city for a the day in a “GoCar”, which is essentially a teeny-tiny battery-powered road car (that gives you a guided driving tour) for two people with top speeds of 30mph. And, just to be clear, it’s also the most efficient way to show your a shameless tourist, apart from climbing up a building and shouting “I’m a shameless tourist and I wear a Canon around my neck” at the top of your lungs. I am not going to lie, there were times when I thought we might lose some limbs… Highway 1 springs to mind… FYI the tour doesn’t take you on there – we got a bit lost! Should have looked up the road rules for giving way before the day. Honestly though, this is one of the funnest days you can have in San Fran, for both the sights (think underneath the Golden Gate Bridge and National Parks) and novelty-factor.
San Francisco Highlights – Stay
The Argonaut Hotel, a boutique nautical meets modern hotel right on Fisherman’s Wharf.