Last month I took my first trip to the west coast. As long as I can remember, I have been slightly obsessed with going certain places, and on that list was California. As I have gotten older, San Francisco has been calling my name. So El Hombre and I hopped on a plane and headed over for about five days.
We stayed in Oakland with friends and travelled around the Bay area, hitting up most of the main tourist sites, like Union Square, Fisherman's Wharf (We saw sea lions! They are back!), the Golden Gate Bridge, Height Street, Golden Gate Park, Lombard Street, etc. We also took a day to go to Muir Woods, a redwood forest, Napa Valley (mecca!) and Berkeley.
I could post about how beautiful that area is, but what struck me more is how diverse it is. I have been to Chicago and New York, and I live in Miami, but I think San Francisco is truly the most diverse city I have been to. You find people from literally all over the world, people seem to interact with little issue, and everyone is so nice! You don't find that kind of hospitality and welcoming vibe in most large cities. It's amazing.
What is also amazing are the hills. Having grown up a short drive from mountains, I often miss rolling hills. Well, San Fran has them. If I lived there (and I could easily see myself doing so) I would never have to go to the gym. And I love that these intense hills roll right out of the water. It's truly the best of both worlds. I can't wait to go back. It takes alot for a city to excite me, to make me yearn to come back, but San Fran is the only place in the US that inspires me to pick up and move like the gypsy that I am.
If you haven't been, you must go. And outside of the main tourist spots, I suggest going to the following:
-Twin Peaks: This is the highest point in San Fran and you get a great view of the city
-Muir Woods Beach Overlook: Muir Woods is a great day trip, and it's only 30 minutes from San Fran. However, if you are going, also take an extra 20 minutes to go to the Muir Woods Beach Overlook. It's phenomenal, and the drive is as well.
-Napa Valley - Much warmer temperatures, laid back vibe and amazing foods. My favorite winery tour was Robert Mondavi. Another really cool one for the vibe is Sterling Vineyards.
-Sausalito - Pretty half-day trip
- Japanese Gardens at Golden Gate Park - Super amazing. There's an entrance fee of $7.
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