PLACE #40 – San Francisco, CA, United States

San Francisco was one if the cities I was visiting as part of the surprise gift from my hubby for our 5 year anniversary. Los Angeles was part of this generous gift package and you can read about my LA experiences in this blog post.

To get to San Francisco we drove from Los Angeles along the west coast of California which was just spectacular. Once in San Francisco you unmistakably know that you are in the city of hills, fog and wind which is very different from sunny LA.

Most of San Francisco consists of low rises primarily built in early 1900. Every apartment building is very unique and has that Victorian vide. San Francisco is also very compact in comparison to spread out LA and most of the streets are narrow one way streets with busy sidewalks.

 

The city  was build on 43 hills so needles to say walking up and down the streets takes a toll on you. Thankfully San Francisco has a very developed transit system – BART. Plus there are two cable car lines that run across the city that remained after a fire of 1906 that burned most of the city to the ground. Riding those cable cars brings you back in time and it definitely a fun experience.

San Francisco has over 900 different attractions, that’s twice as many as New York or even LA. As much as I wish I had experienced more of those wonderful attractions I’m happy that I visited Alcatraz, which was on my bucket list.

Check out some photos from Alcatraz.

Alcatraz is a sandstone island in the middle of the San Francisco bay that served as a military defence fort and then later a prison. I’ve already seen a few prisons (Philly prison link) and it was nice to see another one especially the one so famous. A short ferry ride down to the island and you are in one of the most interesting prisons in history. I spent the whole day wondering the abandoned hallways and cells of Alcatraz listening to the unsuccessful escape stories and history facts about this federal institution. A great way to spent the day.

The climate in San Francisco is very unpredictable. Going up one hilly street the temperature feels in the hight twenties. But once you turn the corner it feels that the temperature dropped  down to 15 degrees and frozen gusts of wind surround your body. I visited San Francisco in the first week of September and was quite surprised by the variety of outfits people were wearing on the streets. Some people were wearing shorts and flip flips while others wore jeans, boots and fall jackets.  As a person who is very sensitive to weather changes – I did not enjoy San Fran weather.

San Francisco has a very developed and busy port so the waterfront is filled with all sorts of marine attractions and boat docks. There is also a very diverse sea cuisine which I definitely enjoyed.

Home of the San Francisco Giants AT&T Park is one of the most beautiful stadiums I’ve been to. Located right at the waterfront the stadium is the perfect place to enjoy the game and to see the city’s lights at night. This stadium reminded me of the PNC Park stadium in Pittsburgh because it was also located by the waterfront with a magnificent view of the city in the distance

There are also many beaches and parks in and around the city. I spent my last day in San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge in the Marin county. I visited Stinson Beach and Muir woods National Park. What a breathtaking day. I did not get a chance to swim in the Atlantic Ocean.  The water was quite cold. But this just means that I have to come back and make sure to take a dip in the icy waters.

Overall, San Francisco is a great city to visit and I will definitely be back to explore more amazing things this city has to offer.

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