5 Reasons San Francisco Is The Best City In The World
Updated: Jun 16
I have travelled to many countries world-wide and while I always enjoyed seeing new places, I have never been to a city, I would want to call my home...until I landed to San Francisco, California! Me and my best friend met in San Francisco to celebrate our 25 years of friendship. We knew San Francisco will be a perfect place for our reunion, we just didn't expect to completely fall in love with this city.
In San Francisco it's all about the vibe - you've got to be there to feel it. In this article, I will provide a list of places to feel that amazing vibe of the world's best city and share my travel snaps, so you know where to go, when you visit this exciting city of San Francisco!
1) The Golden Gate Bridge
Opened in 1937, it was the longest suspension bridge ever created - no wonder The Golden Gate Bridge has been declared one of the modern wonders of the world. Me and my bestie have decided to walk 1.7 miles across the bridge to Sausalito and back. I have a slight fear of heights so my friend was kindly holding my hand during our walk if I was too scared to move forward. I am so glad I did it though! Amazing views around and what an incredible feeling walking across the most photographed bridge in the world! On the other side of the bridge there is Golden Gate Vista Point where you can take beautiful pictures of the bridge and San Francisco city in the background. For more ideas on what to do around Golden Gate Bridge click here.
Please see below for more recommendations how to get around in San Francisco.
2) The Most Beautiful Sunsets in The World
What impressed me the most during my visit - were the incredible sunsets! San Francisco has all the views you can imagine: ocean beaches, forests, hills and mountains. I was delighted and pleasantly overwhelmed to find all of the nature's wonders in one city. My recommendations for the best places to watch sunsets in San Francisco include: Baker Beach, The Presidio National Park and Golden Gate Vista Point.
Please see below more great options to enjoy the sunsets in San Francisco:
3) Flavours of Chinatown and Fortune Cookie Factory
Chinatown is a must visit when in San Francisco. This part of the city is famous for amazing Chinese restaurants and Golden Gate homemade fortune cookie factory. I am not a big fan of Chinese cuisine however I absolutely loved the restaurant which was recommended by our local friend. Me and my bestie met our friend at China Live and were pleased with the service and quality of food. This place is always very busy so make sure to book a table online in advance to avoid disappointment. Highly recommend China Live for delicious lunch or dinner in San Francisco Chinatown.
For dessert, we visited Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. Opened in 1962, San Francisco's legendary fortune cookie factory has always been making custom fortune cookies by hand. This is the best place to get unique souvenirs to bring back home. You can write a custom message inside yourself or choose a random one. The factory itself is tiny but smells divine and is definitely worth visiting!
4) Unique Architecture
For architecture enthusiasts visiting San Francisco, the Painted Ladies (also known as Postcard Row) and Lombard Street should be high on the must-see list. Me and my friend really enjoyed Lady Falcon speciality coffee served from a vintage truck on the hill in front of the Painted Ladies. There are a few outside tables and chairs for visitors to hang out and enjoy the view of this picturesque stretch of seven Victorian houses. We also loved walking down the world's most crooked Lombard Street which was so alive with colour, as the many beautiful flowers were in bloom. The curvy nature of the one-way drive along with the steep slope of blocks can make for a fun ride that’s also a visual treat. In total there are eight tight turns in the one block portion of street there. Surely worth a visit!
5) Sea Lions in Pier 39 and Clam Chowder at Boudin Bakery
Coming from a seaside city myself, I really enjoyed hanging out around Pier 39 which is part of the famous Fisherman's Wharf area. Pier 39 has got good views to Alcatraz Island and was a great place for me and my friend to chill in the sun tasting local beer and enjoying some delicious sushi. After seeing sea lions and getting souvenirs from local shops, we headed to Boudin Cafe and Bakery. I have never seen anything like this before - Boudin bakers are true artists! I highly recommend Boudin Cafe for trying probably one of the most popular San Francisco signature dish - clam chowder in a chewy, flakey, warm bread bowl. Fresh sourdough bread and seafood - is there anything better than this heavenly combination!?
Bonus Recommendation: The Alcatraz Island
From the 1934 until 1963, Alcatraz was America's premier maximum-security prison, the final stop for some of the nation's worst criminals: Al Capone, Machine Gun Kelly, Birdman Robert Stroud and more. This world-famous island is nicknamed “The Rock,” due to its remote location. It is situated on prime real estate in the middle of the San Francisco Bay with a panoramic view of the city. The view made prisoners time behind bars even more challenging - the city lights and sound of music and laughter travelling over the bay reminded them of all they were missing. Reportedly, 36 men attempted to escape from Alcatraz and “officially’ not one man made it.
Me and my bestie were extremely lucky to meet one of the former inmates - William Baker who was signing his book on the day. You can order this book online here. He is one of the last surviving Alcatraz inmates who got there mainly for cashing fraudulent checks and escaping few smaller prisons before.
I highly recommend visiting Alcatraz Island - very informative audio tour is included when you purchase your ferry ticket so every visitor is able to hear the history of this world-famous federal prison. Please note, +1 415-981-7625, alcatrazcruises.com. Alcatraz Cruises is the official provider of tour tickets and transportation to and from Alcatraz.
Guest post recommendation: if you are planning an elopement wedding in San Francisco, check out my guest post Reasons to Elope in San Francisco. Cassandra Vagher Creative is an elopement photographer who shares many tips and destination guides to have the best elopement wedding.
I can't wait to go back to this amazing city once COVID-19 pandemic is over. If you are planning a trip to San Francisco - feel free to send me a message with your questions. I can also recommend getting San Francisco Lonely Planet Guide - the book is full of other great spots and tips not included in this blog post. I hope you enjoyed my San Francisco Guide! Sending you all lots of love.
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