Last month I went to San Francisco with my sister for a week, but I could have stayed so much longer! In comparison to the hugely popular destinations of New York City and Las Vegas, San Francisco is overshadowed. However, there is so much to see and do in this city that I couldn’t cram in all the tourist things in the week I was there, and believe me, I tried! By the time I’d travelled home at the end of the week I was so tired from my busy sightseeing holiday that I could have done with another holiday to relax!!
We spent the first day at Fishermans Wharf where there was loads to do. We wandered around some of the tourist areas but the food was my favourite thing! The seafood restaurants are totally out of this world; I have never tasted seafood like it! America’s portion sizes are large by British standards and usually I struggled to finish a meal whilst in San Francisco. However, the fish was freshly caught and mouth-wateringly tasty here, and I cleared my plate completely!
We visited Pier 39 on our third day and could’ve returned every day for the rest of the holiday! There is so, so much to do here and was just brimming with tourist shops, although expectedly, they are more expensive than elsewhere. In this area there is an aquarium that would be a great family activity. Everyone will love seeing the seals – I sure did. Be warned though, they do smell!
The cable cars between Union Square and Fishermans Wharf are good value for money and an absolute must even for the fittest person! Streets in San Francisco are steep and they slope. I can only liken some of them to walking up stairs without stairs! Cable cars are the only way to get around unless you are a serious athlete!
Shopaholics will LOVE Union Square; a shopper’s paradise, I shopped ‘till I dropped! With prices so low, it was almost as though they were giving the clothes away! A frantic race to buy as much as I could carry led me to a beautiful designer belt at a fraction of the cost of buying one in the UK! Bloomingdales and Macy’s are the leading names here but there are smaller shops and boutiques to suit every purse string!
Although we didn’t party hard because we didn’t fancy feeling rough the next morning, we did have a cheeky night out or two to experience San Francisco by night. Castro district is a famous gay hangout and a night out here is sure to keep you dancing from dusk till dawn, though we dragged ourselves away early. We really liked the hippy area of town, The Haight, too. The shopping is good and there is a wicked fair here for bargain hunters. My sister and I both found so many thing we loved, and we have completely different taste, just showing that everyone is sure to fall in love with something!
Chinatown is exactly what it says on the tin, and Chinatown in San Francisco has the highest population of Chinese people outside China!! Full of colour, authentic foods and a vibrant atmosphere it is well worth taking time out of your holiday to visit this area!
Whale watching is supposed to be breathtaking here and there are plenty of companies competing for business with competitive rates. I didn’t go whale watching though, because during the Autumn largest number of great white sharks migrate to San Francisco’s coast than anywhere else, and I am terrified of sharks!! But other people who went whale watching said it was amazing!
The highlight of my trip by miles was Alcatraz. An old prison, this place is both intruguing and chilling! The history, landscape and pure remoteness of the whole area is just unreal. The hairs on the back of my neck were actually on end! It was absolutely crazy to think we were in the same place that once held world infamous gangsters such as Al Capone. There is an audio guide talking you through the whole prison and it is really interesting. I’ve been on other guided tours and normally I feel like herded cattle but this was really personal and so, so, so interesting.
San Francisco is a fabulous city and I would go back in a heartbeat.