Places You Can Go as a Local Or a Visitor in San Francisco

This is my fifth time going to San Francisco while it was my husband’s first time going. I wanted to visit new places in San Francisco, but I still wanted my husband to visit the famous places here even though I have seen it many times. We really debated on several places to go to because my husband didn’t want me to feel like it wasn’t as exciting for me as it is for him, but I really didn’t mind going again. This is our daily struggle as a couple when traveling. Anywho, back to the topic of where to visit when you are in San Francisco.

We first went to Pier 39 and the Fisherman’s Wharf because we were both craving some real authentic chunky clam chowder. I was surprised that we found the seals laying on the docks at Pier 39. Well, I shouldn’t have been surprised because I just saw hundreds of them (elephant seals) on my way up to San Francisco. I was told that they usually come to the docks from around late July to mid May. I was curious to know why they were allowed to lay on the docks. It is said that the sea lions were causing many problems for the boat owners that eventually, Pier 39 and the Marine center made a decision to allow the sea lions to stay at the docks, while the boats would be docked at a different locations in the pier.  It was like a hidden zoo inside of the pier. We normally don’t go shopping when we travel so we literally went right through Pier 39 without looking into any stores, but to stare at the seals for about 20 minutes. Here is a link to learn more about  Pier 39.

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We often see homeless people or as my husband refers them as “free men” living on the streets, but sometimes they confuse me because they don’t fit the stereotypical homeless that I normally see in Los Angeles. Some of the them are really young and they look like hippies from the 70s roaming the streets. We encountered one gentleman who was wearing a dalmatian costume asking for money. He wanted us to even take a photo of him. Should I feel guilty that I was more worried about his dogs than his well being? One dog looked like he was cold, but the man told me not to worry.

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The cable cars here in San Francisco are always fun to go on. I didn’t mind using this transportation as many times as we needed on our trip. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take you literally every part of the San Francisco, so it is only helpful if you are traveling within the areas where the cable cars take you. Also, it was a bit pricey just going one way. It costs us $12.00 every round trip. I read that it will go up one dollar in July 2015, so each trip will cost $7.00. It was fun standing on the outside of the cable car feeling the wind go against my face and seeing the cars pass by me. Here is a link to learn more about  Cable Cars in San Francisco. Watch the youtube clip we made here of the cable cars! youtube cable carsIMG_0624 IMG_0627

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We went to Japantown because we wanted to compare how it was with Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. We were a bit disappointed with how little there really is to do in this area of the city. There are some Japanese restaurants, but the reviews were painfully low on Yelp. I learned that there are currently only 3 cities that have a town dedicated to the Japanese culture: Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose. We took some great photos here at night, but other than that nothing was impressive. I would not put this on the list of places to go to in San Francisco unfortunately.

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If you are into seeing the city from the top, you must visit the Twin Peaks. It was a bit gloomy on the day we visited, but the view is still breathtaking. I enjoyed the cold crisp air in my lungs and the 360 view of the city. You can see areas where there are lots of greenery and places where there are many tall buildings. We saw several people taking lunch breaks on this hill. It really is a relaxing place for the locals to take their minds off the daily grind of life. Here is a link on this location:  Twin PeaksIMG_0674 IMG_0684

Of course, you must visit the Golden Gate Bridge if you are simply driving by or visiting. Everywhere you look is absolutely beautiful. I don’t know if I would want to walk on the bridge though because it is so windy and the noise from the cars is unpleasant. If you want a different view of the bridge, you should visit Fort Point. This location used to be a military base, now it is a just an awesome place to take photos and watch the surfers take the waves in the cold icy water. Here is the link to Golden Gate Bridge  and Fort Point.

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I never really drove through Lombard Street, so when my husband told me he wanted to drive the street, I was excited. I was a bit worried about the traffic, but it really wasn’t as bad as I thought. Here is a link to Lombard Street. There is even an explanation about the street on one of the buildings. I can’t even imagine what its like to live on this famous street with all the tourists coming through, but I’m sure they are used to the noise and traffic. So my husband and I were both curious why this street was really crooked, I assumed it was because they simply wanted to attract tourists. I know, not the brightest answer to the question, but my husband’s hypothesis was closer to the actual reason of why the street was crooked. Here is the answer: the street was made this way because it was very steep and it was the safest option in having cars and pedestrians to travel downhill.

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You wouldn’t expect going to a science museum when you visit San Francisco, but I highly recommend going to the museum. I felt like a child again exploring all the hands on experiments in this museum. My husband was touching and exploring everything. It was fun seeing the curiosity side of each other. This museum is just another reminder that even as adults we can still learn and have fun as we did as children. I learned so much playing with the props they had set up for us to experiment with sound, light, illusion, magnetism, kinetics, biology and many more. You can simply tell what topics interests you or bore you. My husband was very much interested in magnetism and sound while I was more interesting in study of decomposition. I know I have such weird interests. I literally stared at the beetles eating away at the decomposing rat while my husband was playing with the musical instruments.  Here are some photos of what we saw inside of the museum. One of the photo is a creation made from toothpicks. Can you imagine how long this person took to make it? It took him 40 years. Wow! crazy right??? I got to give him propos for his dedication in making such an amazing piece of art. Here is the link to the exploratorium.

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Do I look tall? It’s all an illusion at the exploratorium!!!

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