A day in San Francisco
Known for its hilly landscape, year-round fog, iconic Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars and colorful Victorian houses, San Francisco, in northern California, is a one of the most beautiful cities in the world. So if you have a trip lined up to SF, lets start by talking about what to pack in.
What to Wear?
Think the ‘coldest’ summer you’ll ever spend! San Francisco’s unique weather system keeps the city chilly and foggy. Not to say there are no sunny days.
There is glorious warm weather which gets the boys to strip down to their ‘tighty whities’ at Dolores Park in an effort to tan their toned bodies. But suddenly – snap and the fog rolls in; game over! Think end November Delhi temperature with Hill Station fog. So my advice is layers.
1. A Walk in the Park
SF is small, so don’t worry where you stay. Just get a place with a view. You want to walk to most places, though watch out for the hills. The Presidio and Pacific Heights are lovely neighbourhoods. Many locals run early mornings in the Presidio and often see Coyotes in the thick, misty forest.
A great way to spend the morning would be walk through the Presidio down to Crissy Field and end up at Rose’s Cafe on Union Street for lunch. You would have ‘earned it’! Fantastic views of the Golden Gate Bridge, plus a museum which gives you context of where you are. Crissy Field is very SF and full of folks running, walking their dogs, and doing Yoga.
2. The Iconic Golden Gate
The Golden Gate Park got to be one of the best parks in the world full of native California plants and trees. Inside Golden Gate Park are the California Academy of Science and the De Young Museum. Adults and kids will love the Academy. Full of marine life and interactive exhibitions about space and rain forests. Check out the ‘living roof’. Suggest you go early and spend the whole morning ending with lunch at the Academy’s cafeteria.
3. For Eye Candy
For great views, delicious food and people watching, head to North Beach and Telegraph Hill. This time, my son and I ate at Calzone’s – a family run Italian place. Most restaurants are family run here and you really can’t go wrong.
4. For Taste Buds
Bella Trattoria on Geary Blvd is small, intimate and busy. Kokkari on Front Street is my sister’s favourite. Slanted Door, Cotogna and Dosa are all outstanding. Dosa is as you can imagine South Indian fare but this one comes with a California twist. Everything in San Francisco is with a local twist – thats what ‘keeps it real’
Craving for something sweet then head over to the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company. Ghirardelli Square is just off the too touristy Fisherman’s Wharf. One gains 400 calories just by looking at Ghirardelli’s chocolaty menu.
There is so much to do, to eat, to walk to and to see in what has to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I haven’t even talked about Napa or Marin County. I will save that for another blog post.
Siddhartha Dubey is a Delhi-based father and husband. Sid is a former television journalist and has worked for news organizations around the world, including India where he was the lead anchor of ET Now in Mumbai.
Sid and his 12-year-old son travel a lot and like to cook together. twitter @DubeySiddhartha