San Francisco Bay Area - Ultimate Travelguide




The day I landed in San Francisco, back then in summer 2013 I knew, I will fall in love with that city. I arrived on the other side of the world, it was my very first real adventure, after finishing Highschool.  And already while approaching the airport, and seeing the beautiful landscape, I knew that I would like to live here forever. I spend the best nine months of my life in the Bay area. And everytime I think about the states and beautiful California I get kind of homesick. I want to go back, to that time. But unfortunately not every dream becomes reality and I flew back to Europe. Europe is lovely, but I left my heart in San Francisco. One day, I'll come back. And I'll never leave again.

San Francisco - center

Accomondation 

Living in San Francisco is extremly expensive. So if you plan to rent a room or even share one you need to plan in at least 900 dollars and more. During my stay I lived at my hostfamilies house in a city 20 minutes south of San Francisco. 
I need to say that I never stayed at a Hostel in San Francisco, but friends of mine have. They recommended the Green Tortoise hostel, Hi Hostel San Francisco or USA Hostels San Francisco. Prices here are around 30 dollars a night. Of course in comparasion to other regions and countries those prices are more expensive. But San Francisco in general is not the cheapest place in the us. 

An other option is couchsurfing.  But my experience and other friends experiences, about Couchsurfing in San Francisco, are more negative than positve. 

Public transportation

The "Muni" is the primary transit operator in San Francisco. 
The "Bart" is the Bay Area rapid Transit. It connects San Francisco with Peninsula and the East Bay cities.
Uban is the alternative to cabs. It costs less and is easy to use. Via an app you find the next driver, pay him directly with your saved credit card infos and wait for the driver at a meetingpoint. 
There are also multiple buses driving in the city. 
So you could say that the Public Transportation system in San Francisco is very good expanded. 


Sightseeing

view from the Twin Peaks
Well, San Francisco has a lot to offer. From Parks, to beaches and Shoppingmalls. But also the Sightseeing in San Francisco is amazing. First of all do not miss the Golden Gate Bridge. Driving over the bridge costs money, but walking or taking a bike is for free and gives you great views. 
Fishermans wharf is as well a popular hotspots for tourists. Its located at Pier 39. 
A bit outside of San Francisco on an island is Alcatraz the former prisoner Island and now a great tourist attraction. You can easily book a tour or take the ferry. 
Other attractions are the union square, Chinatown or the popular cable cars

My own favorite spots in San Francisco are the Twin peaks, a hill that you can drive up and from where you have a beautiful skyline of San Francisco, the palace of fine Arts, the painted ladies and Lands end. 

Beaches 

Java Beach cafe

My favorite beach in central San Francisco is the Ocean Beach.
The ocean  beach is on the westside of San Francisco. The Highway number one is located directly at the ocean beach. There are several places every surfer should go to. The Java Beach Cafe, was our favorite cafe at Ocean beach and the best place to get some amazing Bagels.
I bought my Surfboard at Mullusk Surf Shop but there are several other Surfshops around. Aqua surfshop or wise surfboards

Other nice beaches in San Francisco are the China beach or Bakers Beach. One of my other favorite beaches is located in Pacifica. There is great place to learn to surf and to spend time at. 






Parks 

The two most popular Parks in San Francisco is the Dolores Park and the Golde Gate Park. 
The Dolores Park is at the Mission and gives you an amazing view over the city. You can rent tenniscourts or just chill with your friends and relax. 

The Golden Gate Park is great if you want to do some bbq or get lost. Its a huge lovely park. 


Shopping 

One of the biggest Shopping centers is the Westfield San Francisco center.
Near the Union Square are as well a lot of places to go shopping.  
Other places are Chestnuts Street Shopping or Embarcadero Center.
If you prefer Outlet centers the Great Mall in San Jose is a popular destination. 


Nightlife

I need to say, that I was 19 when I stayed in San Francisco, so my possibilities for clubbing or going to bars were limited. Still there are some places that are recommended or known to be good. 
Some of the most popular clubs are called Mezzanine, Ruby Skye, Monarch, DNA Lounge, or EPR. 
Popular Bars in San Francisco are Burbon and Branch, Buena Vista Cafe, The Riptide
Also to recommend: Any cool Irisg pub. (Cause I am a huge fan of Irish pubs). 

One of our favorite places was Playland. A Bar with a club upstairs. In that bar we hang out a lot with friends and even got the idea for the tattoo I planned to get.



San Francisco - surroundings

Berkley & Stanford

Two of the most popular and expensive universities in the area. 
Berkley is located on the other side of the Bay Bridge north of Oakland. Stanford is in the south in Palo Alto. We've been visiting both of the universities. Its worth to go to the bookstores and buy some cool collegestuff. Or just to walk around. The day we've been at Stanford we found out about a frat-party and we drove back to Stanford the same night. Frat-Partys at Stanford are amazing. Like you know them from movies. If you do not have a Stanford College Id just sneak in from the back side of the houses. Normaly its hard to find out when there will be the next frat Party so just walk around and try to catch some hints from students. 
We've been to Berkley one of the first days of the new Semester. So there were a lot of people. The College is great to go to and to spend some time. 
Also do not miss a College Football game!


Silicon Valley with Google & Facebook


Outsite of San Francisco is so much to do. For example Silicon Valley. Silicon Valley is the southern part of the bay area. Its known for some of the worlds largest high-tech cooperations and tech Start ups.  You could, for example, visit google or Facebook. 
Google is located in Mountain View. You can take a bike and just ride around the headquarter. There is a tour center that opened recently. 


Pacifica & Half Moon Bay 

Pacifica Beach
The Surf Hotspots. Pacifica is a cute little citie located at the westcoast south of San Francisco. Here you can go surfing, buy some Surf stuff or just hang out at the beach.
Half Moon Bay is also known for its surf. 
If you have seen the movie Mavericks, Half Moon Bay should be not unknown. Every year you can watch the Mavericks Surf Contest here. There is a little festival that you can joing for 15 dollars. 
Here at Half Moon bay Jay Moriaty learned how to surf and and Jeff Clak (his trainer) has its own Surfshop. So definitly a must-visit. 



On the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge


The Hippie Tree

Have you ever heard about the Hippie Tree in Tuburon? Well I havent until I came here. The Hippie tree is a tree located on a hill in Tiburon. The adress is 100 Gilmartin Drive Tiburon. You need to walk up the hill and you ll find a huge tree with a swing. You ll have an amazing view over the city and being there, on that swing you fell extremly free! 
Also on the other side not far is Muir Beach. A Beach with a great view over the ocean, full in nature. With some wooden stairs to check out the area. Its the Muir Woods national Monument. 








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