West Coast Walkabout in the City of Lights: San Francisco, California

San Francisco Bridge and City SkylineSan Francisco is a charming city offering delicious food and drink and a variety of activities for anyone to enjoy. The usual suspects like the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Haight-Ashbury are what first spring to mind for most West Coast-bound tourists. But after you’ve seen the bridge and been squicked-out at prison, take a day to explore the local delights and get to know the original home of the streetcar just a little better.

If You’re Going To San Francisco Be Sure to Wear…

It’s a coastal city, folks. This hilly town is surrounded by water and is the benefactor of a temperate climate. That said it is best to dress in layers since the weather can be unpredictable. You can wear heels but you’ll regret it—get some comfortable shoes and stretch your glutes. I have travelled to the city in the spring, summer, and autumn and found all seasons pleasant and beautiful, but my favourite time to visit is in the fall when the warm and sunny and the nights are romantically mild.

Hiking along the trails at Land’s End in San Francisco.

Hike at Land’s End

A hike in Land’s End, part of California’s National Recreation Area, offers stunning scenery across floral and cyprus adorned trails and a visual history of the natural and urban development of the city. These trails take you right down to the bay and offer excellent views of old San Fran as well as the harbor and ocean. Like the terrain of the city itself, the trails are hilly but won’t leave you wheezing and filled with regret. At the end of the trail, hikers will find the Cliff House, proprietor of fine après-hike cocktails and historic, iconic house overlooking the coast.

Traditional Italian Dish, Cioppino - a traditional San Francisco dish

Traditional Italian Dish, Cioppino – a traditional San Francisco dish

Cioppino: Part of the Sea Food Diet

Brought to you by the Italian community, Cioppino is a San Fran special and is considered a local delicacy. A compilation of freshly caught seafood, Cioppino includes scallops, shrimp, clams and fish in a seasoned tomato-wine broth. Restaurant, Sotto Mare Oysteria & Seafood boasts the “best damn cioppino” and I couldn’t agree more. It was fresh, cooked well, and seasoned to perfection. Sotto Mare also served the best sautéed scallops I have ever eaten—large, creamy and cooked perfectly in a lemony garlic, white wine sauce. Not that you need a reminder but don’t forget to polish your meal off with a mimosa.

Homemade Ice Cream at Bi-Rite Creamery in San Francisco

Save Room For Dessert: Homemade Ice Cream at Bi-Rite Creamery

For dessert it’s off to Mission District’s Bi-Rite Creamery to check out their enormous selection of homemade ice cream and baked goods. That’s right, homemade ice cream. This is a popular local hangout and tourists should be prepared to wait in line but the busy atmosphere does not affect customer service. The staff are down to earth and extremely friendly. Good luck to narrowing down your selection of ice cream from flavours including earl grey, honey-lavender, salted caramel, and orange cardamom. Vegans are welcome.

Lounging in Dolores Park

Dolores Park is the cultural and athletic centre of the Mission District and a hotspot for local millennials. This park is a great place to relax, people watch, digest and reflect on your awesome day. Bring a buddy and a blanket and get ready to recline and enjoy the palm trees and rolling San Francisco architecture.

Dolores Park in San Francisco

Take in some relaxation like a local at Dolores Park in the Mission District.

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