San francisco – The only consolidated californian city-county
I have just come back to Italy from an amazing trip in the west of the USA!
Breathtaking landscapes that stretch as far as the eye can see , multiethnic cities with thousand faces and colors , modernity and nature, fun and culture. How can you not fall in love with all of it ! These pages will tell you my opinions about the coolest things to do and the best places to visit. I will try to give you some advice and tips that can help you make your holiday in the US absolutely fabulous ! 🙂
San Francisco: history, culture and tolerance.
The first thing that strikes you on your arrival are the ups and downs of the roads built on countless hills of the city ! It is the hallmark of SF, the most European of American cities.
Battery Spencer offers the best point of view to look at the city’s landmark, the Golden Gate: ride on it by bike to enjoy a stunning view of its grandeur while you cross the bay. On riding we were surrounded by the typical mist that usually crawls on the bridge and this gave the atmosphere a truly romantic flavor .
Bay Bridge is not so famous as the Golden Gate, but don’t underestimate it: the best way to admire it is definitely having a stroll along the promenade in the evening . You will see the bay covered with countless lights that shine like stars . Then have dinner at Waterbar ,the wonderful seafood restaurant overlooking the bridge: eating the tasty fried calamari and grilled tuna was for me the real icing on the cake after a delightful afternoon.
The main course of the restaurants of the area is fresh fish : have a go and try the crab and the Clam Chowder, a fish soup served in a bun dug .
Castro is a beautiful and elegant neighborhood where everything is a hymn to tolerance and peace : have a look at the flags at crosswalks depicting rainbows and the plaques on the sidewalks with portrays of historical figures who contributed to the struggle for the rights of all minorities .
Haight Ashbury , on the contrary, is an old hippy district where famous rock stars of the 70s lived: Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix to name just two . If you are their fans , you’ll find it thrilling just standing in front of the houses where they lived their short but intense lives .
Alcatraz : imagine the lives of the inmates in the famous prison and their wish to escape , then have a look at the waves of the bay: you can perfectly understand how escaping from there was almost impossible. The very thought of swimming across the short distance ( 2 km) of iced water flavored by the old winds made me shudder. At any rate the place is popular: I suggest you book your visit on Alcatraz Cruises website in advance or you will find it difficult to get a place .
Painted Ladies : a row of Victorian houses in pastel colors, in the background the skyscrapers of the city . A fascinating contrast between history and modernity , one of the most photographed views of SF along with the famous Lombard Street because of its downhill switchbacks .
Coit Tower : from this tower you have a breathtaking 360 ° view of the entire city and the bay. Unfortunately, the city has also a very sad side : you will find many homeless on the streets .There are neighborhoods where dozens of these people who have lost everything stop along the sidewalks. It is touching to see their unhappy faces transformed by alcohol or drugs .
Do not forget to pack a kway and cover yourself well! The wind , which can be cold, will never let you go !! At least in August, when we were there . And the best way of moving around? Choose Uber: it costs less to take Uber twice a day rather than buy the Muni pass ; it is also very convenient because the car comes to pick you up directly at your home address .
What would you like to do in San Francisco? If you’ve spent time there, what are your suggestions?
Next Installment : Las Vegas
June 18, 2017