San Francisco - Fascinating and Off-Beat

20 December 2010

Flight Centre's Kelli Shaw travels to San Francisco to explore one of the USA's iconic cities. Kelli's experiences include Alcatraz, Fisherman's Wharf and a trip to the artists' enclave of Sausalito. Let's hear how Kelli enjoyed her stay in San Francisco.

San Francisco San Francisco

My hubby and I visited San Francisco in June and all I can say is that I loved it, loved it, loved it.

What an amazing city. Each little area was like a different part of the world, yet amazingly, you could do an entire city loop in about two hours. I am an architecture buff and I loved how each area had its own different styles of buildings and architecture unique to that district. A personal favourite for me were the Painted Ladies and all the Victorian Houses in the Haight Ashbury area. It was definitely worth a walk through the area. Fisherman's Wharf is touristy, but it had such great atmosphere and there was so much going on that I really enjoyed it. There were street performers and artists everywhere and there was such a great vibe.

Alcatraz is definitely worth the visit. It has a great personal audio tour you can do at your own pace and it was so atmospheric. You really get a feel for how tough it would have been to do the hard yards there; so close to the city you can hear the sounds and yet so impossible to get to. Definitely book ahead as it sells out weeks in advance as they only let a certain number of people across each day.

On one of our days, we just decided to jump on the public transport and see where we ended up. We got a day pass for about $12.00 that allowed us to ride on the F-car trolley, buses and cable cars as much as we wanted. It was great because we had a great look at areas we might not have seen. Try to avoid the cable lines at Fisherman's Wharf because it takes about two hours to get on. Rather get the trolley down to Market St and get on the cable car there. There are no queues and this line goes through Chinatown as well.

We climbed up Lombard Street, the crooked street you see in the movies. It was a full-on climb but the views at the top were amazing. We could see the Golden Gate and clear across the bay. Perfect. The best part is that there is a cable car stop at the top. Fortunately, as we were pretty tired by the time we made it up there. We also crossed over the Golden Gate Bridge and into Sausalito. This is a really beautiful place where the cafes and shops were really cool. It is easy to hop on a ferry back over if you do not want to go back over the bridge.

I'd read somewhere before I went over there that if you stay in San Francisco long enough you will see a Festival, a protest rally of some kind and a street concert. I didn't really think much of it, but it is true. We saw all of those in the three days we were there. It is such a fun offbeat city. We had the most amazing time there and completely fell in love. We would go back again, anytime.

Looking for more information about travelling to San Francisco for a taste of the off beat west coast lifestyle? Contact [email]text=Kelli Shaw[/email], an International Travel Consultant with Flight Centre based in Beenleigh, Queensland who can be reached at 1300 340 327 or by [email]text=email[/email].

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