A California trip for an entire week: San Francisco

by Marina Greggio
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I’m back, and unfortunately this will be my last article about my USA trips. This trip was the most waited for and the most exacting one: CALIFORNIA guys! I still can’t believe I’ve been traveling and visiting all those places I’ve always dreamt about. The ones you see on tv and you can just imagine how it can be. Well, here I am, writing about it and hoping my experiences can be helpful for your future travel.

City 1: San Francisco

My friend and I left Washington D.C. on Saturday 14th of December from Dulles Airport with the cheapest fair we could find with Alaska airlines. We traveled for 6h and landed in San Francisco International Airport with a time zone difference from D.C. of -3h. To go from the airport to the city center you can take the Bart train, which is really convenient, because you pay the ticket fare based on which station you will get off. I got off at Powell Street and the fair was about $9.

As soon as we landed we reached our beautiful Found Hostel, right near Union Square. I recommend this one, it’s so nice that doesn’t even seem like a hostel, the only drawback is that they don’t offer breakfast! They just have a little corner with coffee and tea. Right outside the hostel, you will find a cute and super good Indian restaurant called Little Delhi. If you’d like to try this type of food, you can start from there!

An absolutely must do when you are in San Francisco is the famous and historic cable tram – which is also fun! You can take it from Union Square and it will take you to Lombard Street for example or to the Fisherman’s Wharf with the great of $7! The experience is worth it, you can jump in exactly as you have seen in the movies dear!

cable tram San Francisco

cable tram San Francisco

If you get off near Lombard Street prepare yourself to great ups and downs. As you know San Francisco doesn’t have linear streets so walking around the city is actually very difficult! Lombard Street is famous for a steep, one-block section with eight hairpin turns. It is claimed to be “the crookedest street in the world” and is located along the eastern segment in the Russian Hill neighborhood. From there you can walk down to the Wharf, or you can take the tram line F – buy the ticket with the MUNI mobile app and you will pay $2.50 instead of $3.

Clam Chowder

Clam Chowder

Down at the Fisherman’s Wharf, which is a really really nice neighborhood of the city you can take a walk and enjoy the view on the Ocean, where you will immediately notice The Alcatraz Island. You can also try the fresh seafood or the famous Clam Chowder ($11). Keep walking and you will reach the well-known Pier 39.

Pier 39 San Francisco

Pier 39 San Francisco

At the Pier there are shops, restaurants, and many other tourist attractions: Most importantly you can see the famous sea lions hauled out on docks! They are really funny and noisy! If you wanna try something different from the usual tourists’ experience you can go to Infinite Mirror Maze! Moreover, if you would like to taste some good food – that also reminded me of Italy – you can visit The Ferry Building, a covered market full of olive oil, cheese, and other delicacies.

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The first night me and my friend decided to go see a beautiful theatre show at the American Conservatory Theater near Union Square. We were charmed by the Christmas spirit and we saw “A Christmas Carol”! The theater is beautiful, the price was worth it (if you are a student there are discounts) and the crew was incredible! Before the show started we drank a super tasty cocktail at The European bar right in front of the theatre.

The day after we rented a car and we crossed the symbol of the city: the Golden Gate Bridge. Pay attention to the fact that if you wanna cross it by car you have to pay a toll of about $9 otherwise you can walk or go by bike, in these cases I think it’s totally free but better check it out! We then reached a point view to take some pics, it was magical!

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On the other side of the bridge, there is a really cute town called Sausalito. You can stop there and take a walk along the river and enjoy the sun while looking at expensive boats and houses! If you can’t reach the city you can surely visit the amazing Golden Gate Park in San Francisco that encloses a great variety of trees but also museums, Japanese Gardens and much more!

Sausalito

Sausalito

I’m now coming to the end of this unforgettable trip telling you the last few things you can’t miss out in San Francisco: first thing first Bernal Heights, a residential where there is a hill that overlooks the San Francisco skyline.

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Secondly, The Painted Ladies which are Victorian and Edwardian houses and buildings repainted, starting in the 1960s, in three or more colors that embellish or enhance their architectural details. Located in Alamo Square, a residential neighborhood and park at the top of a hill overlooking much of downtown San Francisco. In my opinion this place was the most beautiful one, go there before the sunset, and enjoy the light of the sky that blends with the one of the houses. You won’t be disappointed. 

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The Painted Ladies

The Painted Ladies

Last but not least, you can visit the cute neighborhood where you will find the Hidden Garden Steps and The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps. Follow my advice: take a quick snack at Peasant Pies. This place is delicious and it will help you to cope with the effort you will face up and down the streets!

Finally take a walk at Chinatown: the oldest Chinatown in North America and the largest Chinese enclave outside Asia! It was established in 1848 and it is a heaven for those who love Chinese culture and food!

See you for the next stop of the trip!

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