North America, Travel Stories

Exploring San Francisco: A Photo Essay

I recently received this pretty sweet idea list for seeing San Francisco on a budget from the folks over at Home Away.
HomeAway_Sanfrancisco_Final_72dpi-01 (1) (1)

It was the perfect excuse for me to revisit some of my favorite vacation photos from one of my favorite cities in the U.S., and re-write an old post about my first time in California.
 I won’t lie, I had very high expectations for San Francisco. I arrived in the evening, the day before St. Patrick’s Day. True to form, it was drizzling and cold. I hopped off the BART and hastily un-crumpled my couch surfers’ address, turned left and started walking UP.
www.thebarefootbeat.comUnion Square, San Francisco

Thirty minutes later I showed up at their doorway like a drowned country mouse, shivering and shifting nervously under the weight of my backpack. They welcomed me warmly into their flat and fed me the best catered food their Silicone Valley salaries could afford.

     The next day I picked up my sister and friend from the airport and we began a whirlwind tour of the city. We walked to the Fisherman’s Wharf and ate sour dough bread at Boudin’s while watching the seagulls fly overhead.
www.thebarefootbeat.comFisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco

We meandered through North Beach in the fading afternoon light, channeling the ghosts of Jack Kerouac and Alan Ginsberg, donning our best impervious expressions and pretending to be literary geniuses.
The Beat Museum, North Beach
San Francisco

Criss-crossing the city on buses and old rickety cable cars, we hike up and down the blustery streets, each neighborhood casting its spell on us.
www.thebarefootbeat.comCastro Theater, San Franciscowww.thebarefootbeat.comBalmy Alley, San Francisco

From the brightly painted alleys of the Mission District, to the serene Japanese Tea Gardens in Golden Gate Park, there’s a current of artistic flair and self-expression in this city I can relate to.
Golden Gate Park, San

San Fran may be a top tourist destination and hippie (hipster) haven, but I get the feeling it’s just as authentic now as it was five decades ago.

Anybody recognize these houses from the television show Full House?
Seven Painted Ladies, San Francisco. 

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