Information / Sources, San Francisco
I highly recommend purchasing a box of the City Walks: San Francisco cards by Christina Henry de Tessan featuring self-guided adventures on foot around 40+ neighborhoods in the city. My hostess for my most recent trip had a set that I was going to borrow, but I decided I wanted my own set to carry and bang around and mark up.
I was researching locales for a novel I'm working on, and these cards proved to be invaluable. There's a level of detail in each neigbhorhood description that you don't always find in tour guides. Most importantly, the layout is compact and quite handy; the cards are pocket/purse side, with one side of each card features a close-up map of a given neighborhood and the other side tells you step-by-step which streets to take on your walking tour, which sites to stop for, the difficulty level of the walk, which bus to take to get to the starting point, and places to eat and shop.
You can find the cards at bookstores like Barnes & Noble. I'm hoping the series will make a set for Los Angeles soon.
Fondest memory: My other tip is that you get an SF Weekly and a Guardian. They seem to come out on Thursdays, and you can grab them just about anywhere. I would recommend getting both because I think the club listings in SF Weekly are more extensive, but the Guardian seems to have more alternative/funkier listings for places to go.
Let’s make no secret of it. We both like a nice cold glass of beer. Being abroad is always a challenge to find a beer we like, which reflects our taste of having a beer. In America it wasn’t really that hard to find the brand we liked, it was clearly Budweiser, popularly referred to as Bud.
Budweiser is a lager made with a proportion of rice as a substitute adjunct for barley malt. This immedaitely shows the problem for selling it in Europe as traditional brewers serve beer with only the four main ingredients (water, hops, wheat and barley). So Budweiser is not produced accoring to the German "Reinheitsgebot". But we found out that it didn’t taste distinctively different.
The Budweiser bottle is a rather familiar icon to most Americans. The bottle has remained relatively unchanged since its introduction in 1876. We liked it, but the fraze “King of all Beers” is a bid of an overstatement!
If your like me and can only stay in the city for a short while-the wilderness of the still 'wild West' is close in every direction. So many thousands of protected wooded hills complete with mountain lions, bob cats deer and other furry delights. Oh and look up to the skies..red tailed hawks long eared owls.. sea vultures.. and the delightful pelicans!
Half Moon Bay has 7 miles of powder white sands... see only a handful of locals spread out , usualy sitting miles apart with their dog watching the sun rise/set.. or just meditating, drawing energy from the turbulent ocean waves.
The fog is more prevelant on the coast.
Fondest memory: I've emmigrated here twice.
Like the song.. 'i left my heart in SFO' !
Before we came back again... i used to cry when i saw the Golden Gate Bridge on Films, and i used to think... i used to live just behind that curveture of rock's. How could i ever have left it all behind !?
I'm back, I'm Blessed xx
My Travelogue Page dedicated just to online travel sources.
-- 1800cheapseats.com: full-scale service, live reservationists and Internet technology. Phone 1-800-CheapSeats, available almost around the clock, seven days a week. They have a database of Internet and airline airfares. The prices of its airfares, cruises and hotel rooms are great.
-- CheapFlights.com: For people seeking flights within the United States (it also books hotels). It surveys traditional carriers, cut-rate upstarts, and major "consolidators" (discounters) of airfares. Its main menu shows the pattern of fares on various airlines for a continuous period. Click on that pattern and it displays access information.
-- Applefares.com: Devoted to ascertaining the fares and available seats of many new cut-rate airlines that now fly from city to city in Europe. Reveals spectacularly low rates that are frequently offered for travel within Europe.
From the Beats and their jugs of cheap red to the hippies and their 3-letter cures to the Crystal Meth-fueled gay dance scene, SF has always been a great place to get f*cked up.
But in spite of (or, more likely, because of) this, SF has a wealth of resources available to the sober traveler. There are over 600 - that's 600! - AA meetings every week in the city alone! There are also chapters of Rational Recovery, CA, NA, and just about every other A. Check your phone book for the contact #s, or just call 411.
For AA in San Francisco, go to http://www.aasf.org/.
Their phone# is 415-674-1821
Favorite thing: I woudn't say this is a favorite or fondest thing. I guess I thought I'd include this bit of information for anyone who is interested because it's different from what you might see in most cities. The idea for these toilets originated in France. You pay a quarter, go in the booth, shut the door and do whatever you have to do. The doors are on a timer and will automatically open after 20 minutes. They are self-cleaning after every use. Not exactly like being at home, but using one will do in a pinch!
I started our roundtrip through the western part of the USA in San Francisco I stayed here for a couple of days before we went on. I am not a real city person but San Francisco has stolen my heart!
I picked a hotel near Fisherman's Wharf. This turned out to be a very handy starting point. The cable car stopped just 1 block from our hotel. This is a very easy and fun way of traveling around in the city. It's mainly for tourists, but local people use it too. There is a time schedule, but the cable cars don't stick to it very well. But there are a lot of them around and we never needed to wait for a long time.
There is a lot to see in this city and this is what I did :
China Town is amazing. Don't forget to go to eat in a chinese restaurant. Good food and good prices. But look out for one that the local people go to.
Alcatraz An absolute must! You can't visit San Francisco without going to Alcatraz!
The Golden Gate Bridge is so famous, you don't want to miss it.
Pier39 : I loved it! All those sea lions making all that noise in the middle of a big city... amazing!
Fisherman's Wharf This a real tourist attraction. It is not my cup of tea, to touristy. All kinds of tourist shops and attractions packed together.
And there is so much more to see and do in this city. Just look at all the great buildings and fantastic Victorian houses. Just go there and take a look for yourself!
San Francisco is a city of surprises. I find myself on a long layover in San Francisco International Airport and decide to head into the city for the day. As I approach the area around the wharf, I see a lot of people gathered. Inquiring what was going on, the answer was, "The Blue Angels are here!" Sure enough, in less than half an hour, there was a loud roar over the bay, and the blue and gold jets of the Blue Angels appeared to give us all a spectacular airshow. The flew over the bay and executed some stunning maneuvers. They also come over our heads too. If you are a fan of the Blue Angels or airshows in general. It would be good to see when they are going to be in town. This was a fantastic setting for an airshow. Since it happens up in the sky, there is enough room for everyone to see it. There is always something going on in San Francisco.
Fondest memory: Surprises like this.
You will have 9 days to visit 5 famous San Fransisco attractions once (save 50% on admission fees), PLUS unlimited use of the world famous Cable Cars for 7 days. You can purchase it at the first attraction you visit or online.
- San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
- Legion of Honor or California Academy of Sciences & Steinhart Aquarium
- Muni & Cable Car 7-day Passport
- Asian Art Museum
- Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise**
** If you want to substitute this with Alcatraz Tour, purchase CityPass directly from Blue & Gold Fleet (Also see Transportation Tip).
$31 Youth (ages 5-17)
DO NOT REMOVE THE TICKETS FROM THE BOOKLET!!
Favorite thing: the drivers are so nice in san fran! they are all so friendly and helpful! and they will patiently tell u how to get to where u want to go, wat numbers to take, where to transfer,... they even announce to everyone when the bus reaches a stop that has some popular tourist attraction or a stop where u can transfer to another bus to a tourist attraction! how i wish some of the bus drivers in singapore are that friendly.
For travels to San Francisco, below are some specific web sites I like.
For your "general" travel research check out my first SF "travelogue" entitled Before You Go - My Favorite Online Resources
SAN FRANCISCO TRAVEL SITES
SF Convention & Visitors Bureau
SF Online Newspaper
* See 'Regional' and 'Entertainment' sections
Bay City Guide
* Order this free "Guide" before you come to SF, mailed in 2-3 weeks
SF Theater Tickets at Half-Price
SF Virtual Tour
* get acquainted with the City and the Bay Area before you arrive!
SF "Live Cam"
* pointed at the Golden Gate Bridge (hopefully it's not a foggy day!)
Well I founded one of someone else ....
Now seriously, I think it all began with some cows around Europe and San Francisco has hundreds of hearts around that after a year will be on auction. The money will go to Charity.
There were two that impressed me (and I nearly fell in love with 90% of them lol) one was this heart ....
Leaving San Francisco is like saying goodbye to an old sweetheart. You want to linger as long as possible.......Walter Conkite
San Francisco..... A place where you will leave your heart.
Funny but it took a second trip to this city to make me fall in love with it. Probably, it really helps when you’re out here with a special person. Going back the second time, everything was just so different. Everything looks so lovely and beautiful.
The weather is perfect, the fog was so cooperative coz it didn’t hide the enchanting Golden Gate. I even had the chance to take the one-hour boat ride around the Bay where you can have the perfect view of San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate. SF is always cold especially during the boat ride but don’t worry coz blankets are provided by the friendly tour guides.
But boat ride isn’t enough when youre in SF. We were one of the lucky ones who were able to buy a ticket for the Alcatraz Tour on that day without making reservations. But if you’re one of those who are trying to follow an itinerary and only have a few days in SF I suggest that you reserve or buy a ticket in advance. Alcatraz is worth seeing and who knows you might even have a chitchat with one of those men that was imprisoned at “THE ROCK”. I even had a picture taken with one of them.
A trolley ride around SF is also a fun way of seeing China Town, Lombard street, Nob Hill and all the other hills...cant remember anymore the names of the streets. All I remember is that I was so happy at that time.
Don’t miss this
Sunset at Pacifica............the view is just awesome and spectacular. When youre done with the bustling and chaotic Pier 39, drive down Pacifica and relax while watching the sun setting. A very romantic place.
Visiting San Francisco is not enough if you haven’t tried the Clam chowder...ooohh heaven; the fish and chips at Fisherman’s Wharf and eating at Chics Seafood.
Make this your first stop in the city, especially if you arrive by B.A.R.T. The Powell Street station opens up into Hallidie Plaza practically at the front door of the center. The plaza is at the intersection of Powell Street and Market Street and there is a cable car turn-around next door. Free maps and guidebooks, as well as brochures for activities can be found here. There are "hotlines" in various languages to assist travellers from many places.
English 391 2001
Spanish 391 2122
French 391 2003
German 391 2004
Japanese 391 2101
San Francisco has been, appropriately, called the most Asian city in the United States for its high proportion of Asian residents. However, the presence of Europe is also highly evident in the newsstands selling European periodicals and the murmuring of European tongues echoing through the streets. If one is looking to absorb an Asian atmopshere, Chinatown is of course the first neighbourhood that springs into one's mind. However, farther from downtown, Japantown, or Nihonmachi with its large Japan Center mall, is a centre for Japanese-American culture in the city, and the Richmond District, far from Chinatown's droves of tourists, has been described as the new heart of Chinese San Francisco. The Japanese influence is also evident in the form of the beautiful Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park. Of course, most of San Francisco's predominately Asian neighbourhoods aren't uniformly Chinese or Japanese but also include Koreans, Vietnamese, Laosians, Cambodians, Thais, Burmese, Malaysians, Filipinos, and many other diverse groups. And the Asian presence in San Francisco has spread far from its traditional centres, reaching every corner of the city. Much of the city's famed California haute-cuisine is a fusion of Asian and European cuisinary styles. Asian newspapers are readily available everywhere, and many, if not most, signs have translations into Chinese and sometimes other Asian tongues.
Fondest memory: As aforementioned, the European influence on San Francisco seems to be just as strong as the famed Asian one. In fashionable Union Square, the second language of those engaged in faire des courses is French. In fact, on a Saturday spent there, I observed that at least 20% or more of the pedestrians in the area were speaking French. In fact, San Francisco has the largest number of French expatriates in the United States. There is a French embassy in the area containing the fashionable Hotel Trianon and the Cafe de la Presse, at Bush and Grant Streets. And Belden Place, once a staid Financial District alley, has become the regional centre for French cuisine, with grand restaurants and street cafes. On Belden Place also is the largest Bastille Day celebration in the United States. If it is Italian flair on is looking for, North Beach, the traditional centre for Italian immigrants and beatnik poets alike, has become a centre for expatriate Italians and Italian tourists alike, who come to dine at the fashionable restaurants along Columbus Avenue, speaking their tongue in rapid-fire fashion. The previously mentioned Richmond District, which is becoming a centre for Asian settlement, maintains an aura of Russian influence as well, with onion-domed Orthodox churches and one of the largest Russian-born populations in the country. It should come as no surprise that San Francisco is a centre for Russian culture in the US, as Russia once sought to extend its influence over the area in the 18th and early 19th centuries, when it built Fort Ross just north of the city. The name of Russian Hill has long been a curiosity, and local legend tells of gravestones found with Cyrillic inscriptions.
Asia and Europe are not the only continents influencing this cosmopolitan metropolis. Australians have begun moving here as well, and the Latin American presence in the Mission District has been well-established for a decade.