There are so many cities for you to travel to at least once in your life. These are cities that are full of life and can take you on so many adventures. One of these cities is San Francisco. This is a city where there is always something happening. There are people everywhere and there are unique locations everywhere. This is definitely not the suburbs. Being in San Francisco is the definition of a city life. However, it wouldn’t be fair to say that the whole city is the same. San Francisco is spiraling and there are little worlds all over. You can take a taxi from one area to another and it will feel like you are in an entirely new city. That is what makes San Francisco so amazing. It can be hard to figure out what you want to do in San Francisco as there are a lot of options. Here are some of the best and most thrilling things for you to do in San Francisco. You are sure to have a wonderful time at all locations and your vacation will be unforgettable.
1. The Haight
San Francisco was one of the hot spots for hippie culture in the sixties and seventies. It was the home of many successful hippie music acts, like the Grateful Dead. Even though we are not in that era anymore, that magic can still stay alive. That is the purpose of The Haight. This is a neighborhood in San Francisco that refers to the street that runs through it. In this area, you will find a lot of stores that seem to have a free love vibe. There are a lot of thrift stores, surplus stores, and other clothing stores that have a lot of color and a peaceful aesthetic. The stores that are not related to clothing are mostly offbeat, quirky, and quintessentially sixties.. There are also a lot of vegetable based restaurants to eat at that are mostly independent, except for the iconic corner of Haight and Ashbury where you can find a Ben and Jerry’s so that you can get your pint of Cherry Garcia. Be on the lookout for some street fairs happening in the Haigh to make your experience extra wild. If you think you were born in the wrong time, this is the place for you.
2. Ghirardelli Square
If you are like most people, then you probably love chocolate. It is a sweet treat that is always reliable. While going to a candy store is always a fun time, what if you could go to a candy plaza? That is what makes Ghirardelli Square special. Ghirardelli is an iconic chocolate brand that was created in the Bay Area near San Francisco. In Ghirardelli Square, you are surrounded by different shops dedicated to this brand. There are nice restaurants and stores that are unrelated to the brand, but they are not the main event. When you are at this square, you want to focus on the chocolate. Once you enter underneath the glowing Ghirardelli sign, you are greeted by the ice cream and soda shop. You can get a delicious sundae coated with rich Ghirardelli hot fudge on top. They have a lot of sundae options, so choose wisely. If you walk through the plaza, you will also find a huge store dedicated to the classic candy. You can pick up many different bars, squares, and other chocolatey desserts. It is a candy paradise that you need to check out.
It is always thrilling to explore another culture and see how other people live. While you may not always be able to travel to another country, there are still ways to see foreign cultures on a small but still amazing scale. That is why if you are in San Francisco, you need to check out Chinatown. There are a lot of cities that have their own Chinatown, but San Francisco’s is one of the biggest that you can find. Once you go under that dragon arch, it is like you have left San Francisco and have entered Chinatown. You are greeted with beautiful architecture that does not look American. You can find shops with all sorts of cute trinkets, beautiful clothing, and items that represent Chinese culture. There are so many wonderful items that you can and should buy. And then there is the food. You can find dozens, if not hundred of authentic Chinese restaurants, each of them extremely delicious. While you’re in Chinatown, you should also make sure to stop at the fortune cookie factory. See how those delicious cookies are made and buy a bag for your home. You could spend hours in Chinatown and enjoy every hour.
4. North Beach
Once you are done with Chinatown, you will still have more culture exploring to do. Right next to Chinatown, you will get to see the identity of a different country, showing how San Francisco is a true Melting Pot. If you are a fan of or are curious about Italian life, then you should check out North Beach. Once you step foot in this neighborhood, you will be surrounded by gorgeous Italian restaurants. From fine ding experience to adorable cafes to gelato shops, you will be able to make a real food journey into Italy. There are so many places that you can try and you will be satisfied each time. This is also a neighborhood where you should see if there are any street festivals, as that gets the neighborhood buzzing. While you’re in North Beach, you should also check out City Lights bookstore. This is not related to Italian culture, but is recognized as a huge part of the beat generation. You can learn about some famous authors from a bookstore right by North Beach. You will have a fun time in North Beach, as well as an educational one.
Do you think your little journey to other countries is done? Well that is simply not true. San Francisco is home to many different people and those people are proud of where they came from. San Francisco is a city that honors those beliefs. That is why there are multiple neighborhoods that are little homes to many countries. That is why there is the neighborhood of Japantown. As the name suggests, this is an area devoted to Japan. It is a little smaller than Chinatown and North Beach, but it is still very important. It is also set up a bit differently. There is a variety of Japanese restaurants that you can find in this area that will each have some scrumptious food. However, that is not the main focus of Japantown. The center of Japantown has two malls that are full of Japanese culture. There are bookstores, clothing stores, decoration stores, and more. Each of these stores has products that are authentic and are mostly not items you would find in the average American store. It is a shopping experience that will transport you to another fabulous country.
If you are going on a vacation, you should make sure to have a lot of fun. San Francisco is filled with a lot of fun places to go to, but maybe you want some more experiences. If you want to go a little crazy and feel like a child again, then you should go to the Exploratorium. This a fully hands on science museum. You are able to run all over the place and discover new things that you can play with. There are exhibits about your senses, about plants, about technology and more. You are not just observing, it is fully hands on. It is a huge space, unlike any science museum you have been to before. If there is an especially exciting traveling exhibit, you can have even more fun. You will get to play around and learn about science on the same day.
7. Walt Disney Family Museum
A lot of people grew up watching Disney TV shows and Disney movies. It was an essential part of how people grew up and was their main source of entertainment. Have you ever been curious about history? If you have, you need to check out the Walt Disney Family Museum. This is no DisneyLand, as this is a place for some history lessons. You may not think that a history museum is that interesting, but this one is truly fascinating. You will start when Walt Disney was a little boy, travel his life, the life of the company, and get all the way to the modern Disney empire. You walk through the large museum like you are going on a journey. They are thorough descriptions, pretty pictures, and even some video clips playing throughout. Sometimes, there are even some traveling exhibits to get more in depth about Disney. It is time to get an education on what made your childhood.
8. Day Trip To Berkeley
While there is a lot that you can do in San Francisco, you may want to take a small day to explore the rest of the Bay Area. There are a lot of other towns and cities that are smaller than San Francisco, but they are still full of adventure. If you want to go outside San Francisco for a day, you should check out Berkeley. It is a quick ride on the BART from San Francisco to Berkeley. They have similar vibes, but Berkeley is still unique. A lot of the downtown is a college town, as it is right by UC Berkeley. That means there will always be people out in this little city. There are delightful restaurants for you to check out for a great meal. There are many bookstores as well as game stores to get some fun stuff to bring home. Berkeley also has a great theater scene if you want to check out a play. Not to mention that if you are thinking about UC Berkeley or you are curious about what it looks like, you can check out this prestigious and gorgeous campus. San Francisco is a great time, but Berkeley will also be a memorable day trip.