It's been over a month since I left (my heart) in San Francisco. Missing this city way too much, so I decided to skip my LA post and do this first.
We travelled from Los Angeles to San Francisco by bus, which was an 8 hour journey (spent most of it sleeping). We left LA at around 8am and arrived in SF by 2.30pm. I remember vividly as we were driving into SF, I saw the thick fog and I was like 'YAAAAAAAS!!!!!!' I just couldn't believe that I'm FINALLY in San Francisco, a city I've dreamt of visiting for the past 2-3 years.
We had wanted to make our way to our Airbnb apartment, which was located near Twin Peaks, by public transport but didn't have a Clipper card so we went via Lyft (free download from the AppStore) instead. You may use the code <CE154355> for your first ride!
After reaching the apartment, we met our friendly host and struggled to carry 2 fully-packed luggages up a flight of stairs. Was really thankful that our Airbnb apartment was located beside a bus stop, that meant we did not have to walk very far to commute into town.
While I knew San Francisco was gonna be cold even during summer months, I did not expect it to be THIS COLD. We wrapped ourselves in layers (literally) before heading out to Westfield for dinner.
++ GETTING AROUND ++
Getting around San Francisco is not at all difficult. There are 3 different types of public transport: BART and Amtrak (train), MUNI (buses, trains and cable cars) and Cable cars and of course, taxi/private car (Uber/Lyft). It sounds confusing at first, but I'll try to break it down to you. If you're still unsure, you can always check the boards or ask someone.
BART: The BART takes you from San Francisco airport to the city area (Powell station) where there's shopping everywhere including Westfield San Francisco Centre (a 9-story mall). BART costs depends on how far away the stations are from you; the further the station the higher the fare. I have friends who just use the BART ticket, but I use a Clipper card. I believe the Clipper card would be much more convenient because it works on most Bay Area transit operators
MUNI: This was really confusing for me at first, but I got used to it after awhile. Tip: Download the MUNI app, it's super useful!
CABLE CARS: These are iconic cable cars you'll see on the streets of San Francisco and no, they are not the same as the ones we have in Singapore. There are cable cars that will take you out of the city centre, and there are also cable cars that run from Powell station (near Forever 21 and Anthropologie - if my memory didn't fail me) that passes by Union Square and goes to Fisherman's Wharf as well as other places for $7/pax. There always seem to be a long line, so be prepared to queue.
++ WHAT TO DO ++
There's just so many things you can do in San Francisco!
• Take a stroll along the coast (Crissy field > Fort Mason > Fisherman's Wharf > Pier 39)
• Palace of Fine Arts Theatre
• San Francisco City Hall
• Visit Alcatraz. But you do have to get your tickets way in advance
• Shopping in Union Square
• Sutro Baths/Lands End
• Whale watching
• Cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge (bicycle rentals can be found around Fisherman's Wharf)
• Afternoon hike down Marin Headlands/Dinner at Sausalito
• Head up Coit Tower for a panoramic view of the city
• San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
• Pop by the famous Lombard Street. My friend and I requested for our driver to drive down the street, just for fun!
• The Painted Ladies were a bit of a let down, in my opinion (sorry!). But I think it would be a lot better/beautiful once Alamo Square Park is done with its renovations.
If you have the time I would recommend following the Barbary Coast Trail. It's a 3.8-mile trail that takes you to 20 historic sites and places that you may not have thought of visiting. My friend and I started at Market Street and walked through most parts of Chinatown and the city, before we eventually ended at Fisherman's Wharf. While you're at Fisherman's Wharf, pop by Pier 39 and if you're lucky, you may see the sea lions. They are so cute!
++ WHAT TO EAT ++
There's no way I wouldn't recommend places for you guys to eat. These are some of my favourite places to eat at, but of course they have plenty of other places that are worth checking out as well.
• Boudin Bakery & Cafe | The clam chowder is a MUST HAVE! 160 Jefferson St, CA 94133
• In-n-out | Anchorage Square, 333 Jefferson St, CA 94133
• The Mill | 736 Divisadero St, CA 94117
• Off the Grid | Possibly one of the largest food truck gathering. Layer up or bring a coat to stay warm!
• Lemonade - MY FAVOURITE! | 781 Mission St, CA 94103
• Cheesecake Factory | Macy's, 251 Geary St, CA 94102
• Boba Guys | 429 Stockton St, CA 94108
• Mr. Holmes Bakehouse | 1042 Larkin St, CA 94109
• Blue Bottle Coffee
Hopefully this post was insightful/useful for you in planning your next visit to San Francisco. I would love to be back there again!