For many, San Francisco is the place to be! It is the place you want to see while visiting California and for so many it is the city that you lose your heart to, just like an old song suggests! My husband for one, fell in love with San Francisco instantly! Till this very day he tells me that San Francisco is in his heart and he would not mind living there!
I liked San Francisco, but I am not really sure I could live there to be honest with you. Don’t get me wrong, it is a beautiful city. And if I may say so, it is more “European” compared to many other cities in the US, which is a plus for me personally – it feels more like home. But, New York City and its vibe already had me! NYC stole my heart the minute we arrived when we first visited! I know that these two cities are not even comparable, but what can I say?! My heart belongs to New York and that is that! But I’ll post more details about NYC in the near future, under the travel section of course.
So back to San Francisco now and its beauties! Where should I begin? Perhaps most people, when they hear about San Francisco they immediately think of the most famous highlight of the city: the Golden Gate Bridge of course! This iconic bridge, at its opening in 1937, was both the longest and the tallest suspension bridge in the world with a span of 1,280 m and a total height of 227 m!
Oh yes, the size of the bridge and it’s beauty are a little mind-blowing; I can assure you after seeing the Golden Gate Bridge myself from close, I can only think of one word to describe it: breathtaking! So it comes to no surprise that is is considered one of the most beautiful and definitely one of the most photographed bridges in the world! Moreover, it is worth mentioning that it is considered by the American Civil Engineer Society as one of the wonders of the modern world! Therefore, for all the above reasons, the Golden Gate Bridge is righteously one of the most internationally notable symbols of San Francisco, California and the United States.
And of course for an amazing 360 degree view of San Francisco you need to head for the two hills called the “Twin Peaks” that rise almost 1000 feet above the City giving you a spectacular view. From up here one can see many of San Francisco’s landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, downtown skyscrapers and the Market Street. Looking in the other direction you can see the Pacific Ocean and the Golden Gate Park which I am mentioning more about further down. And finally looking east you have a clear view of San Francisco Bay with the cities of Berkeley and Oakland across the water. My advice is if you ever visit San Francisco, which by the way I think is definitely worth it, do not miss this view! It was very windy and cold up there during the daytime, but I would still have loved to see this view at night time.
The second most famous highlight of San Francisco is possibly the cable cars! Riding a cable car on the steep hills of San Francisco is an experience definitely worth having. Cable cars start at 6 a.m and continue until midnight and they go from Union Square to the crest of Nob Hill, so they offer a thrilling way to move around the City! There is something really romantic about it and something very fascinating at the same time! Trust me it is really fun and a little scary at times especially when going up or down a steep hill! It got me wondering whether the brakes will work or not. That squeaking sound they make is not exactly a confidence booster if you know what I mean, but thankfully they always worked! Lol! So, if you ask me, do not miss riding one of them!!! My husband and I simply loved it!!!
Let’s move on now to my favorite site of San Francisco! The Japanese Tea Garden of San Francisco which is actually inside the Golden Gate Park! Did you even know there was a Japanese Garden in San Francisco to begin with? Oh, yes and it is an amazing one too!
You probably recall from previous posts that I love flowers, so I’m sure you can understand that there was no way my husband and I would leave San Francisco without visiting the Japanese garden! It was an absolute “must” destination and it was truly worth it, if you ask me. However, I will say no more. Instead I will just let you enjoy the photos below that speak for themselves.
So what do you think? Isn’t it truly beautiful? Naturally, we could not leave the place without getting some souvenirs back home. We purchased some white and blue china home decor, from that small souvenir shop inside the Japanese Tea Garden on our way out, and put them on top of a console table creating a “special white and blue vignette” in my living room. Everyone who comes across them admires them, but for us they have a special meaning for they hold the beautiful memory of this garden’s beauty alive.
Now I think I should also mention to you Pier 39, a very popular waterfront complex for locals and tourists alike! Pier 39 is a great place and a “must” place to visit. It is a very touristy place yet, charming. There are many clothing shops, art stores, souvenir shops, carousel for kids and of course many good restaurants mainly with sea food. But what amazed me most on Pier 39 was the sea lions.
On the left side of the pier, you’ll get to see an incredible number of sea lions lying down, enjoying the sun and literally sunbathing! Can you believe that? Can you even picture that? They just lie there sunbathing without feeling the least disturbance by all these humans passing by, watching them and having their picture taken! Oh no, on the contrary they seem to be really enjoying themselves!!! Now that was something I had never seen before or even heard of, so it was truly amazing to watch! And of course, besides the sea lions there were also seals that they too seemed to enjoy the sun undisturbed! What a sight!
Last but not least, I want to tell you just a bit about the food in San Francisco. You see, I consider good food to be a luxury and a very “necessary” luxury if you know what I mean. For me, if food in a place I am visiting is not good, then my trip gets somewhat spoiled. Food defines my mood, totally! But have no worries about the food in San Francisco, cause I can tell you with certainty that it was simply great! And to add on, I was pleasantly surprised to find a wide range of restaurants and places to eat with great décor as well!
Don’t forget design is always at the back of my mind so when I find a restaurant with great food and great design as well, it feels like I’ve hit the jackpot! So what did my husband and I love best to eat? But of course, the famous clam chowder which is a very plain soup that contains clams and broth and that is all. Clam chowder was something my husband and I simply loved eating! We had never tried it before, yet we were both enjoying eating it very much with every chance we got! Just take a look at the pictures below. Can you see how happy I look just before I am about to eat my clam chowder soup? LOL!!!
To make a long story short, I believe that San Francisco is a city definitely worth visiting! America in general is a country definitely worth visiting! It is a whole different world from Europe and the more you travel across America, the more you become aware of all the beautiful places worth seeing and visiting! A trip to America is definitely a life experience worth living! So what are you waiting for? For those who haven’t been there yet, but even those who already have, why not pack your bags the first chance you get and go to explore some more?!
Bon voyage to all…