Renowned for its cool summers, fog, steep rolling hills, eclectic mix of architecture and historic cable cars, San Francisco is inarguably one of the most beautiful cities in the United States. With only 49 square miles, it is one of the most compact and walk-able cities in the world (yes, the hills can be a good walk too).
Although one could walk around the entire city, roaming from neighborhood to neighborhood, in just one day, fret not as you can always find every aspect to suit your travel persona here such that you’ll never want to leave this gorgeous place.
Here is a list of some of my favorite things to do in San Francisco that will make you leave your heart in the city.
1. Find your treasure at the Treasure Island
Just like what the name implies, Treasure Island is a treasure in itself – a treasure that gives the best night scenery of San Francisco and the Bay Bridge. It is my favorite secret hideout in the secluded part of the Bay Area, like a private little heaven where one can gaze at the thousands of little yellow lights across the bay that seem like stars in the night sky, which have descended into the earth.
2. Hop on the historic cable car
Although it’s true that only tourists would spend time queuing up for cable car rides to get around the city, the cable cars in San Francisco is an attraction in itself and in my opinion, the best way to get amazing views of the city. My favorite cable car route is the Powell-Hyde line that heads north to Fisherman’s Wharf area and then descends south to the bustling Market Street while passing by some of San Francisco’s scenic jaunts.
3. Shop for local products at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market
The Ferry Building is a Beaux Art architecture that is located near one of the piers. It holds famer’s market every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday morning where farmers around the Bay Area set up stalls to sell their fresh seasonal products.
The vendors are very enthusiastic about their products and they are more than glad to introduce their food to you. My favorites in the farmer’s market are the stone fruits, chocolates, jams and honey.
4. Watch a musical performance at the War Memorial Opera House
The War Memorial Opera House is home to San Francisco Opera and San Francisco Ballet Company, and is a host to a variety of events and performances, like The Nutcracker and Cinderella. The elegantly decorated place in the French Renaissance style era has a refurbished interior that is graced with state-of-the-art equipment. And the selling point of watching a performance here is the tickets are priced at a lower rate than in Singapore and of course, the overall ambience is different and magical.
5. Have a drink at the nostalgic Buena Vista Café
There is a popular myth that the Irish Coffee (a cocktail consisting of hot coffee and Irish whiskey) was invented here at the Buena Vista Café. Regardless if it was true or not, getting a glass of Irish Coffee has become a San Francisco must-do thing on your checklist, simply because their Irish Coffee is delicious and iconic. It is also entertaining just to watch the venerable tenders pour up to ten whiskey-laden coffees at a time while you sip gently into the timeless cocktail.
About the writer
Anlin Melina is a Business Administration and Economics student at the University of California, Berkeley, who likes travelling and writing during her free time. Melina has recently completed writing her first book, titled “Once Upon A Blue Sky”, which is a travel guide book on cities in the United States.