A few days ago I ended up seeing one of my favorite TV series of all time: Sense 8. One of the places where it is set is precisely San Francisco, so I had a great desire to bring back memories of one of the most beautiful I’ve ever seen.
But this great metropolis of California is much more: one of the urban centers with the most open horizons in the world. Here you can breathe tolerance and acceptance of the different in every corner and way. It is the city where LOVE IS LOVE, without colors, languages, genders or whatever.
So here is a diary page of my trip made last May in collaboration with Master Consulting, Norwegian and the City of San Francisco Tourism Board. If you missed the first part of the Californian trip in Oakland, you can find it HERE.
Living like a local? Rent a house on Airbnb.
It’s a duty for. me to do a small premise: if you really want to immerse yourself in the lifestyle of the city I strongly suggest you to opt for a house on Airbnb.
I had the feeling of living in one of the many movies or TV series that I saw being set here: the small back garden, the creaky wooden staircase … the super spacious rooms, a double kitchen or simply the large windows that give on the residential area where children learn to ride a bike.
But now I will tell you about the places that struck me most and where we focused mainly on taking pictures. The points of interest to be seen in the city almost always coincide with photographs and mental snapshots to take home and show or remember.
1) Union Square and the heart of the city.
The main square surrounded by large skyscrapers where everything flows fast, but there is always time to take a look at the hearts here hosted as a symbol of a city where love knows no barriers.
I think this was the exact moment I realized that although San Francisco is a city in California it is totally different from what I have seen and experienced in the past.
For example, it is rare to find squares in the US or simply people walking in the streets of the city (and not just by car).
2) The Powell Street trams
A few steps further on you will find the historic tram station (or Cable Cars) on Powell Street. They have a story that dates back to 1873 and are essentially the best (and most enjoyable) way to move around in such a hilly city. Be careful if you want to get in the middle of the road to photograph them, they will never stop!
3) Pier 39: the pier and the sea lions.
You can get to the famous Pier 39 through a cable car. This is the place of Sunday, where slow down and take it easy. Take a walk on the wooden pier surrounded by restaurants, rides, shops and maybe taste the typical fish soup: Clam Chowder.
But how cute are the sea lions that crowd the platforms in front of the pier ?!
4) City Hall
Returning to the city center, surely you can not miss the imposing City Hall. It is super photogenic even in the interior but I will admire my next time in San Francisco!
5) Alamo Square – Painted Ladies
This was one of my absolute favorite stages. The Victorian-style houses throng much of the city and look like real doll houses. The most famous are those of Alamo Square, which you will be able to shoot very well climbing on the green hill of the park that faces them. Throughout the area you will find other beautiful Victorian houses, characterized by a thousand different aspects.
Each inhabitant can make them even more unique: lights, climbing plants that surround them, wind stars and much more.
6) Lombard Street: the most tortuous road in the world.
A short stretch where the maximum speed is 8km / h, but surely you will have seen faster route in TV series and movies.
The best time to admire it is in spring when a multitude of flowers and bougainvilleas makes it even more special and photogenic.
7) Twin Peaks: one of the most beautiful panoramic views of the city.
An incredible panoramic view over the whole city about 300 meters above sea level. From here everything appears magically clearer. At sunset it is the perfect moment to immortalize it. Have you ever seen the yellow poppies? 😉
8) Haight Ashbury: the district of the Summer of Love.
The heart of hippy culture, where everything was born in the 60s and where you can still see and strongly perceive this aspect. We (randomly) visited on a special day: the Weed Day. Imagine what a colorful day: D
9) Golden Gate Bridge
The incredible and gigantic symbol of the city, as well as the longest suspension bridge in the world. What a thrilling and exciting moment to cross it on a big bus and admire the San Francisco bay.
There are many spots from which it is worthwhile to photograph it, both at dawn and at sunset. Perhaps at dawn it is even more suggestive because the fog envelops the city and the effect is totally surreal, you think that the inhabitants have also given it a name; a bit ‘as if it were a fellow who occasionally goes to greet: Carl!
A super spot is definitely Marshall’s Beach, a walk with your feet in the icy ocean to admire one of the most beautiful skyline of all time.
The top view of the bridge is also particularly interesting; in this regard, just go ahead with the car (you have to rent a car in the city) to Sausalito and stop in one of the panoramic points (in practice where you will see more cars parked).
10) San Francisco’s lifestyle experiences: local and activities
Despite is a city rich in cultural attractions, it is also the lifestyle that dominates here.
FOOD – The most beautiful and good places
I was able to take a dip in the future and fall in love with some of the most beautiful (and instagrammable) rooms and concepts I’ve ever seen.
I show you my absolute favorites.
Mr Holmes: perfect for a take away stylish breakfast.
Cafe Réveille: a super healthy lunch spot.
The Mill, bakery and cafe near Alamo Square.
EXPERIENCES – the unmissable activities
It is the city of a thousand possibilities, where there is no limit to the imagination. I think there is no better way to live like a real local than to mix in the many possible activities counted in the Airbnb experiences section.
Yoga and silent disco by the sea at sunset (Silent Disco Beach Yoga)? Done!!!
Just confirm the presence at the activity (about 30 euros) on the app or site of Airbnb and in less than no time you will find yourself to greet the sunset with a pair of headphones to the ears and feet in the sand.
At the end of the lesson you can dance together on the beach of Ocean Beach. Really a super suggestive experience.
But there are a multitude for all desires: bike tours to discover the street art, boat trips, experiences of local cuisine and much more.
San Francisco is a city that has given me so much. Incredibly inspirational from every point of view. A beating heart that leaves you the desire to open horizons even more and let every experience, especially those driven by passion, become reality.
Thanks SF and see you soon and a heartfelt thanks to my traveling companions Francesca and Valeria who have helped to leave in my mind an even more beautiful memory of this trip!