San Francisco's Chinatown is the best in the US and like walking right into an Asian city sans flight.
Fondest memory: We arrived thinking we knew a thing or two about San Francisco. It was my fourth visit and my wife had been on one of those excursions as well. We only had two days to explore and knew mostly we would stick to some old favorites. What we enjoy most is walking around this great town with such varied architecture. Generally speaking, it's also a great climate for walking, not too hot, not too cold. So, we got into town early and though our room was not quite ready, they let us park in our underground spot and said to come back in a few hours. We headed out in our “city” clothes after a couple of months of camping and immediately realized it was roasting out. The combination of the heat and the steep inclines that the city if infamous for had us in a sweat in no time. Though we still enjoyed San Francisco, we made a mental note to not come in summer again.
A few weeks later after conquering the trails of Yosemite and relaxing in Sequoia National Parks, we decided to travel on the 4th of July. My cousin was camping with his family on the northern California Coast and we were going to meet them there. Surprisingly, there was no traffic and we figured we would stop in San Francisco's Chinatown for lunch. It was dead on our path and with the lack of cars on the highway, we were there in no time. The town was empty. I guess everyone was away for the holiday weekend so we got a spot within walking distance of our favorite restaurant and jumped out of the car in hot pursuit of Beef Chow Fun. We were coming from the mountains so we figured it would be warm in town and were wearing shorts. As we walked, we realized it quite windy and soon we were freezing. Minutes later, we laughed as we slurped hot tea in the little Chinese BBQ place we had eaten many times before. We may have known San Francisco better than many but there was still a lot to learn. That was okay with us, we wanted to come back and do just that. And next time, we're wearing layers.