I’ve been an international traveler from a young age, taking my first trip out of the country at the age of 13. I’ve always longed for far away places, exotic views, and emotive experiences that make my adrenaline rush. While international travel is a healthy passion, sometimes I forget that my nation is home to some of the world’s most beautiful destinations! Today I’m going to share with you seven reasons to visit one of my favorite American cities – San Fransisco!
1. Public Transit
Being from suburban America, I personally love a city in which a car is not a necessity. My travels abroad have taught me that you understand the culture of a city so much better on foot, and one of the things I love about San Francisco is the ease with which you can get around town. Whether you take the metro, the bus, the world-famous old fashioned trolley cars, or walk it out, you’ll get to your destination in no time.
2. Botanical Gardens
My travel buddy, Ann, and I discovered this gem on accident. No joke, we walked into the back entrance of the San Fransisco Botanical Gardens without even knowing! Imagine our surprise when we discovered the front gate and a long line of customers paying to enter. The whole time we just thought that the public parks in San Fransisco were next level! Truly though, the gardens are incredible and house over 9,000 plants from all over the world. There are crystalline duck ponds, towering trees, and exotic flowers. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon!
3. Fisherman’s Wharf
No trip to the Bay Area is complete without spending lots of time at the Fisherman’s Wharf of San Fransisco! Home to over 40 piers and incredible restaurants, the wharf is truly the hub of the city’s maritime roots. For those traveling with children, Pier 39 is filled with family friendly activities and arcades. There are also great views of the city from most of the piers to snap some picturesque photos of down town.
Going to San Fransisco without touring Alcatraz is like not even going at all! As a history nerd, visiting the infamous and abandoned prison was definitely a huge bucket list item. Though we hadn’t bought tickets ahead of time (which is definitely advisable during the summer!) we were able to get next day tickets since our trip was during the off season in October. Don’t forget to book ahead of time just to be safe! The ticket includes the ferry rides to and from the island and individualized audio tour. Equal parts chilling and thrilling, I highly recommend making time to visit this historic landmark.
5. Golden Gate Bridge
Did you really think I was going to leave Golden Gate off the list? Of course not! The impressive, red steel bridge is one of the most iconic sights in the entire Bay Area and provides plenty of Insta-worthy photo opportunities. What I like about Golden Gate is that it is easy to fit into the schedule as you don’t exactly have to book a tour to go see it or pay for any kind of entry.
6. Amazing Views
It’s not just the bridges and historic sites that I’m talking about here! Known for its incredibly steep and hilly streets, the design of San Fransisco provides for thrilling views from many points in the city. Among them is Coit Tower which you can enter for a small fee for a breathtaking panoramic of the city. Unfortunately, we arrived after the 6 pm closing time but it turns out that the views from the base of the tower are rather spectacular anyway!
7. Incredible Food
Delicious food is one of my favorite aspects of travel and San Fransisco has loads of it! A self-proclaimed sushi snob, the bay city gets my firm stamp of approval on the sushi scene. Even hole-in-the-wall eateries serve high quality food, from Union Square to China Town to the wharf! Our personal go-to for cheap and delicious Thai food was Old Siam in Union Square and we probably ate there three times. Can’t beat the yellow curry! Don’t forget about Ghirardelli Square, home to the world famous Ghirardelli Chocolate, where I proudly ordered an ice cream sundae for breakfast while enjoying views of the bay.
There you have it! 7 great reasons to plan a trip to San Fransisco in 2019. Don’t forget to subscribe and to follow me on Instagram!