Where do I start? This city is everything you have heard of, and more. I have been there four times, and have always left craving for one more day. Or maybe a week. Or a month. I can’t put my finger on what is it that I like the most. And I am sure I haven’t even scratched the surface of it. Putting down some must-visits, which also have been some of my fondest memories of the city.
- Haight Ashbury Intersection – Probably the most famous intersection in the world during the hippie era. You will still see remnants of it all over the street. Strong smell of weed, incense, quirky vintage clothing and a few Indian/Nepali shops thrown in for good measure. Almost feels like stepping into a different era. The houses are very retro and in sync with the theme of the place. Go during the day though. It is eye catching and colorful. Also, the eclectic crowd could seem a tad unfit for viewing in the dark. Parking is a bitch, but then that is true for pretty much all of San Francisco.
- Golden Gate Bridge – Yes, you have seen umpteen photos of it. Yet, drive through it or run through it or both. I love it. Just the red against the backdrop of the city and looming clouds (usual state of being), it is perfect. The other bridge doesn’t quite match up. Favorite place to see the bridge is from Battery Spencer and Hawk Hill. Though, I do want to see it from Marshall beach.
- Dolores Park – At the cost of being stereotyped as a borderline hippie, I do claim that this place is one of my favorites in summer. Take your own music, food, wine and a picnic mat. And just spend the day there. Extremely eclectic crowd. Excellent for people watching. And there is the Truffle Man and the guy who serves coconut water spiked with rum. This place has the happiest vibe ever. Footnote – Not a family (read kids) friendly place.
- Bootie SF – This place is mashup central. Have spent two extremely fun nights here. They had me at the go with Bon Jovi’s Livin’ on a Prayer. And Lion King! I think Santo cried a bit when they played Lion King. We sang ourselves hoarse and I had to be dragged out of there (which surprisingly happens more often than I care to admit).
- Wall Art – Not a particular place to go to, but just about everywhere in the city! Street photography here can be quite fulfilling.
- Crooked Street – Well, this street is no big deal. Yet, I was new on the wheels and this seemed like the right thing to do. Drive through it. Check it off the list. Actually, driving in San Francisco is quite fun (and nerve wracking for the newbie drivers). The streets are at crazy inclines. And you WILL get stuck at traffic signals at those inclines.
- Pier 39 – Meh. Drive by and ignore the place. Tourist trap.
- Alcatraz – On my list. Maybe next time round.
- Sailing – We had gone sailing around the Golden Gate Bridge and beyond on S’ birthday. A lot of fun, but I do remember missing sun and warmth. Well, don’t be like us. Layer up and then do this. Santo did click a LOT of pics, and we kept looking for that camera for months after. Believe it has been found somewhere, and by S’ next birthday we should be able to get our hands on it.
- Sockshop on Haight – I could have written about this place along with the Haight Ashbury bit. But this deserves a special mention. For those of you, who hide your eccentric self in office by wearing socks that don’t abide by grey, black and blue; you must visit this shop! All of us have our favorite pairs from here.