If you’re looking for trendy hot spots you go to Los Angeles. If you want iconic tourist attractions you visit New York City. But if you want a mix of both (plus delicious food, creative people, and a whole lot of culture), you go to the San Francisco Bay Area. If you’re planning on visiting the Bay this summer, you’re going to need to plan ahead if you want to see as much as humanly possible (and you will, TRUST ME)! Keep on reading for some hidden and not-so hidden must-do’s for visiting the bay area!
Hike/drive to the top of Grizzly Peak
Located in Northeast Berkeley, Grizzly Peak provides you with a picturesque view of everything from the Oakland Hills to the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s perfect for hiking or just sitting in the car to take in the view. Make sure you bring a camera to capture these epic sunset views while visiting the bay area!
When the hustle and bustle of San Francisco starts to take its toll on you, simply drive an hour north until you arrive in the adorable town of Stinson Beach. Complete with winding roads alongside Mt. Tamalpais State Park, you can find a quaint downtown area and plenty of space for all your favorite beach side activities.
The Ferry Building Marketplace
Calling all self-proclaimed foodies! If you love everything from artisanal cheeses to fresh seafood, the Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco is a must. It’s a collection of sit-down restaurants, snack bars and tons of one-stop shops so you can get your yummy food fix. The building is along the Embarcadero waterfront, which is perfect for taking all of your Instagram pictures. But trust me, with these eye-catching meals in front of you, there won’t be a lot of picture taking.
Here’s another must-do that’s in San Francisco, but honestly who’s complaining — it’s THE city. Union Square is an iconic attraction that can be visited for free during the day or night. The square itself is surrounded by beautiful hotels and dozens of luxury shops. During your time, you can get in some window shopping and ogle at the stunning Gucci bags that are displayed. If you’re visiting SF during the holidays, Union Square is transformed into a gorgeous winter wonderland with a huge ice skating rink and a Christmas tree!
Jack London Square
Following the theme of squares, my next place is Jack London Square, located along the Oakland-Alameda estuary with beautiful view of the water. With countless events year round, Jack London is a great place to spend the day while in the Bay. Cheer on the Golden State Warriors’ game at one of the many restaurants or stroll through the super cute Sunday morning farmers market. Regardless of what you’re into, there’s always something fun to try out while visiting the bay area!
Get a Mint Mojito at Philz Coffee
If you want to get your caffeine fix like a true NorCal resident, go to Philz Coffee. Based in San Francisco, this coffee shop chain has taken over the Bay in recent years. One of its most popular drinks is the Mint Mojito, a sweet and refreshing blend of fresh mint and coffee that keeps locals and tourists coming back for more. In order to fit in with all the tech execs and eager college students inside Philz, bring your laptop and catch up on some work while sipping all that delicious minty goodness!