Famous for it’s liberal views, San Francisco has brought the 1967 Summer of Love and the gay rights movement as well as being steeped in history with it’s faded memory of the Gold Rush in the 1840’s. An eclectic mix of cultural and commercial interest, San Francisco is often a must-see for people making pit-stops across the U.S. The peninsula, made up of 50 hills within the city limits alone, and the unusual climate of cool summers and the infamous rolling fog creates the perfect backdrop for such an intriguing city-county. So here’s a taste of what’s on offer with a weekend in San Francisco.
If you’ve timed your visit right and find yourself there from April- September, chances are you’ll be able to partake in America’s most loved pastime – Baseball. Their games are hosted in the AT&T Stadium which is a treat in itself with the bleachers overlooking McCovey Cove as it is known to most Giant fans.
China Town –
From American to Chinese tradition, make your way over to the impressive China Town. Here you can either take a walking tour or wander around yourself. Stop for a refreshing cup of tea at Hang Ah Tea Room (after all the Chinese did invent it) before attempting to find the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. This factory has been open since 1962 and provides fortune cookies for San Francisco as well as the rest of the world. It’s located on Ross Alley but be careful, it’s easily missed so follow the warm scent of the cookies.
Twin Peaks –
Everybody wants a good view of the cityscape when they’re in a new city. The Twin Peaks will give you just that. Head to Tower Burger joint to refuel on a simple, classic burger before you head up the peaks (but remember they shut at 9pm sharp). The best bus lines to get you close to the peaks are the 33 and 37, but you’ll still have to hike to the top. If you’ve got a car, you can drive all the way to the top and there’s free parking. Make sure you walk up passed the car park to the very summit for Fantastic 360 degree views as the sun goes down.
Golden Gate Bridge and Baker Beach –
Throw together a quick picnic, grab the Muni 29-line and head to Baker Beach. There are picnic tables and grills but most importantly a seriously impressive view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Be aware, clothing gradually becomes more optional as you head to the more northern part of the beach.
Now you’ve seen a view of the bridge, it’s time to get on it. Make your way to Fisherman’s Wharf and rent a bicycle, you’ll be given all the gear you need including a map. Be sure to make time for a quick detour to the Palace of Fine Arts before you approach the bridge. When you arrive at Sausalito on the other side, the Plaza at downtown Sausalito has ferry docks that will take you back to San Francisco. The Blue & Golde ferry will take you straight back to Fisherman’s Wharf.
The Wave Organ –
The next district over from Fisherman’s Wharf is the Marina. On a jetty that forms part of the Boat Harbour you’ll find the Wave Organ. Constructed from the granite out of an old graveyard and organ pipes this structure is a feat of both engineering and natural phenomenon. Best at high tide, as the waves crash into the jetty, hear the subtle music.
For the Foodies –
San Francisco has a serious love of food. For a taste of what’s on offer, head to central San Francisco, to the Castro District. From the Marina take the historical street car F line 22 down to the Castro. Once a thriving gay community, Castro still holds clues to its liberal past yet its new popularity with tourists and locals alike has turned it into a foodie haven. To get a feel of the San Francisco old and new, head to Orphan Andy’s diner which has been there since anyone can remember. As the evening gets later, hang around in the multiple bars where people spill out onto the street or head to the art deco Castro Theatre.