I love San Francisco
There are things in life you do plan. Then there are those you don’t. There are also those you don’t expect at all but they just happen. My 10-day visit to San Francisco, ”Darling of America’s west coast”, was a mix of all of the above.
Honestly speaking, I knew very little about San Fran before I took my flight from Las Vegas. But even though I don’t read Lonely Planet, knowing that they named SF as #1 city in the world in their book Best in Travel 2013 meant just one thing – it kind of guaranteed the best time there!
People around the world do all know about the Golden Gate bridge which has become the most-known bridge on the Earth in the 21st century. They might have also heard of SF being built on many hills with the steepest ones of around 30% of grade. The number of the hills differs from the official 43 up to 47 but just 7 out of them all are original. I didn’t really care how many of the hills were original to San Francisco. I cared about the city being hilly because it not only opened my eyes to amazing views of the bay but also let me stay fit walking around.
However, what many of us don’t know is that San Francisco was established only on the 17th September 1776 as a Spanish Presidio and called after the patron St. Francis de Assisi. It makes me laugh when I realize that my little home town Snina in Slovakia is around 760 years old and it’s still kept a secret while San Francisco is visited by at least 16 million visitors each year spending here around $9 billion yearly! There are almost 33,000 hotel rooms in the green city of SF, would you believe it?!
But San Francisco is much more than just the Golden Gate bridge or the hills. The 49 square miles (126 square km) offer its visitors many things to see and do in a relatively short period of time as everything is kind of close by and the city is pretty walkable. And the places where I can just get around walking easily are my kind of thing!
The 7th happiest city in the world, the 2nd most expensive one in the US, and the most European city in the US really got the best out of me. I planned to stay for just 4 days (the average stay is 4.5 days) but in the end I realized not even 10 days of my extended stay were long enough to pay a visit to all the unique places SF has to offer.
But those 10 days were definitely enough to make romantic, mostly foggy San Francisco my 2nd favorite city in the world just after Barcelona with just one difference – I hated Barcelona my first time there but then it changed from the initial disgust to my #1 city ever. I did give Barcelona a second chance.
The funny fact is that Barcelona is one of the San Francisco’s Sister Cities since 2010 and the two cities share more similarities than just many homeless people and the smell of the weed on the streets (none of these things make me love both cities as to be honest I dislike any kind of drugs and I’m not very comfortable with homeless either).
The funniest moment ever was when I got a present from Jordi (he is in charge of B44 Catalan Bistro I ate at twice in San Francisco). Jordi is from Barcelona but lives in San Francisco now and he made a music CD for their special guests. The cover of the CD is Park Guell from Barcelona and the second half is Golden Gate bridge in San Francisco! I mean, how did you know, Jordi?
With San Francisco it was love at first sight.
And no wonder why. For 16 consecutive years San Francisco was voted as ”Best US City” by the Conde Nast Traveler magazine. All those people just cannot be wrong, right?!
Trust me, I left my heart in San Francisco too. Yes, I was just one of many.
I am not sure though why the average age of the SF visitors is 41 years. There’s uncountable amount of things to do in the city and surroundings if you are in your twenties or thirties. In my opinion, one of the reasons can be the average daily hotel room rate of $188. Pretty expensive, right?
All I can say now is that I truly love San Francisco. I love its hills that make me run out of breath very often, I love its restaurants even though you gotta add up to 18% tip to the total check, its views of the bridges and the bay, I love its cable cars horning the famous songs when crossing the roads.
It’s official, I love San Francisco.
For more information about San Francisco, please visit San Francisco travel.