San Francisco, City by the Bay Yeah
Why San Francisco? Because it is a beautiful city! Get it, got it, good! It’s hard to find a city surrounded by water like San Francisco that isn’t beautiful. It’s San Francisco, City by the Bay Yeah. That’s the words of the song by the famous group Village People.
San Francisco is centred on the southern point of the entrance of the San Francisco Bay on the coast of California, and is famous for the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, it’s trams and the spectacular views that can be seen while rising or descending it hillsides.
A lot of what there is to see and do is centred in the downtown area, and it’s great to explore on foot and save yourself a bit of money on transport in doing so. The Goden Gate park is close to the city centre and a great walk to extend to your to do list while there. When taking a walking tour, you should choose a walk that suits your levels of fitness as the hillsides can wear an unfit person out very quickly.
The ambience of San Francisco is yet another point that attracts visitors to the city. San Francisco doesn’t haven’t the Latino population like southern California, although you’ll find a large Cantonese speaking Chinese community in the city that stayed after the Californian gold rush days. Check out the great Chinatown area situated in the North Beach area. Also, the city is famous for it’s freedom of speech, which large concentrations of hippies used to flock to, (hippie central is and always has been the Haight-Ashbury district), and also it was one time the largest gay community in the world.
The downtown area is centred between bayside access and oceanside beaches. There are other beautiful parts of San Francisco Bay that can be discovered, so what better way than to take a ferry, which depart from Fisherman’s Wharf and visit the equally stunning areas of ritzy Sausalito, Alactraz Island, Tiburon, Angel Island and Alameda.
Having oceanside beaches, there is naturally a large surf community, however the water is described as very fresh, meaning that even in summer, you can find it a little chilly in the water. Best be taking a wetsuit. Ocean Beach which is right in the city can be fun but not very frequent swells hitting there. Most of the best surf breaks situated a short drive out of the city centre. On the north side Point Reyes and Rodeo Beach, and some good breaks down south around Pacifica (Linda Mar) and Half Moon Bay ( Francis Beach, Princetwon Breakwater and the famous big wave spot Mavericks).
In any case although it might happen once in a blue moon, but a highlight of a surf trip to San Francisco would defintely be surfing beside the Golden Gate Bridge.
Walking tours are great way to see the city. Russian Hill is a good place to check out the bayside views as is Marina, Pacific Heights and the Golden Gate park. One of the icons of the city is a visit to Lombard Street in Russian Hill which zig zags down the hil, while pedestrians can walk down the stairs, lined by flowers and take in the views while they walk faster than the cars slowly zig-zagging down the slope. The best views by far in the city is from Twin Peaks where you can view the whole city, or equally magnificent Telegraph Hill.
San Francisco is famous for it’s jazz clubs so head down to the Fillmore district to view a few jazz shows.