Leave your heart in San Francisco, California | American Travel Blogger
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Leave your heart in San Francisco, California

I left my heart in San Francisco, and as corny as these words in that classic song are, they ring true to me. 

I have had the privilege to live many wonderful places around the world, but the time I spent in San Fran (locals NEVER call it “Frisco”) makes it stand out as one of my favorite cities.  Let me share a little of what makes the City by the Bay so special.

Famous Sites

You can’t talk about a visit to San Francisco without immediately thinking of the iconic landmarks.

Famous Golden Gate Bridge at sunrise, San Francisco, USA

Photo 42272991 © Prochasson Frederic – Dreamstime.com

Golden Gate Bridge and Park

SAN FRANCISCO, USA – December 26, 2016: Pier 39 stores and Carousel in Fishermans Wharf – San Francisco, California, USA

Photo 90580251 © Diego Grandi – Dreamstime.com

Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf

Photo 83189573 © Saile26 – Dreamstime.com

Alcatraz

Famous Lombard Street in San Francisco at sunrise

Photo 40538886 © F11photo – Dreamstime.com

Lombard Street

And don’t forget Chinatown, Ghirardelli Square, Oracle Park, or Haight-Ashbury Street home of the hippy revolution. 

Tourist traps that aren’t

But while you must tick off these bucket list landmarks, why not try to see the city as the locals do? 

Ferry Building at Embarcadero was a historic transport hub of bay area and now a day transform to artisan gourmet market. Photo was shot on June 4, 2008

Photo 96821614 © Nuvisage – Dreamstime.com

In addition to Pier 39 and sea lions, Fisherman’s Wharf is home to the Ferry Building Marketplace – an architectural marvel that has been converted into a world-class farmer’s market and food hall.

And while you are enjoying the sights and smells in Chinatown, visit the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory for a free behind the scenes tour of the manufacturing of this Asian cuisine staple.

Famous Cable Car in San Francisco California

Photo 2661509 © Rramirez125 – Dreamstime.com

And since you need to get from point A to B around town, why not treat yourself to an iconic cable car ride?  It’s a trip back in time in urban transport. 

Locals know that the Presidio is a former military base that is now a park with some of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay.  Enjoy hiking and biking through two square miles of eucalyptus trees, see the Disney Family Museum or explore the abandoned military forts in this hidden treasure.

SAN FRANCISCO – MAY 21 2015:Colorful houseboats in Sausalito California.Sausalito houseboat community consists of more than 400 houseboats of various shapes, sizes and values at the north end of town.

Photo 56675896 © Rafael Ben Ari – Dreamstime.com

Venture across the bay to the town of Sausalito with it’s laid-back attitude, colorful houseboats and great eats – and the best way to get there is to walk across the 1.7 miles of the Golden Gate Bridge for a new and interesting perspective to this architectural landmark – or catch the ferry from Pier 41 for a less aerobically challenging trip.

Visit the San Francisco Japanese Tea Garden to see the oldest tea garden in the US.

Illustration 77201209 © Louise Rivard – Dreamstime.com

Head over to the Mission District to see over 200 distinct art murals covering buildings along the streets and alleyways of the neighborhood.

Once you’ve exhausted these ideas, try a different perspective on the Bay Area.  Hike up the Twin Peaks for a 360-degree view of the entire bay area. Or drive to Mount Tamalpais to see the Muir Woods National Monument full of iconic redwood trees.

Photo 138553621 © Joe Yumang – Dreamstime.com

Still need to fill some time?  A short drive will take you over to Half Moon Bay south of San Francisco for stunning beaches, coastal hiking trails and some outstanding golf locations.

And don’t forget you are a mere 49 miles to the enchanting Napa Valley where vineyards and gourmet food are there for the asking.

So, whether you live in the Bay area, or are just planning to make a trip there soon, you will see why San Francisco, California has stolen my heart – and I bet it will steal yours too.

Thanks to Dreamstime Stock Photos for all the amazing images of California you see here!
Karen Foley is a freelance photographer and videographer who loves to share her passion for her art with others.  See more of her work at karenfoleyphotography.com.

Victoria Brewood
vbrewood@gmail.com

Although very much British, Victoria always felt like she was meant to be living the 'American Dream'. She loves the US and has travelled to over 14 states.

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