Ahhh, San Francisco. You’ll leave your heart there, but no worries, you can always go back - as I’ve done many, many times. In this city surrounded by the tech of Silicon Valley to the south and the beautiful redwoods nestled in the hills to the north, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
A Must-Visit: Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and head north across the Golden Gate Bridge to Muir Woods National Monument, which is located 11 miles away. If you're feeling a little adventurous you can hike one of the many trails in the area. Allow yourself at least half a day to be enveloped by the crisp, clean air and tall redwood trees. You'll leave feeling refreshed and inspired.
|Muir Woods National Monument|
For a Picturesque View: Take a phenomenal photo of the city from Treasure Island, located just off the Bay Bridge. Another great place to take city photos is Sausalito, a charming and scenic town that you would pass on the way to Muir Woods.
|The view from Treasure Island|
Where to Shop: Downtown San Francisco is a mecca of national retailers with San Francisco Shopping Center and the surrounding streets lined with a plethora of stores. The Bay Area has quite a few outlet shopping malls including the newly opened Livermore Premium Outlets, which is about a 45 minute drive from the city. For cultural shopping, you could wander around Japantown or Chinatown for bargains and souvenirs. Plan to spend at least one day wandering around downtown because there are so many different stores and shops.
|A view of Macy's from Union Square|
Where to Eat: In the Bay Area there is no shortage of restaurants and places to eat. Fisherman's wharf will satisfy that seafood craving, or take a stroll through the Ferry Building and eat at one of the various eateries lining the pier. Mijita Cocina Mexicana offers that street taco flavor in a relaxing atmosphere with a great view of the ocean and the Bay Bridge.
|Food vendors at Fisherman's Wharf|
Connect With Locals: Berkeley’s open-air farmers’ markets are festive and a great place to sample local fare. You can find fresh fruits and vegetables, cheese, breads, and more. The Thursday market is 100% organic, but make sure to bring your own bag or you’ll end up paying 10 cents per bag. Visiting during the weekend? There is a huge farmers market at the Ferry Building in San Francisco if you don’t mind the crowds.
What is your favorite place to visit in the San Francisco Bay Area?