10 Aug 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.
You can’t talk about a visit to San Francisco without immediately thinking of the iconic landmarks.
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Golden Gate Bridge and Park
Photo 90580251 © Diego Grandi – Dreamstime.com
Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf
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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?
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.