It’s no secret that San Francisco is one of our favorite cities in the whole world. A blend of innovative, modern city life and laid-back atmosphere makes it perfect for both weekend getaways and holidays. We give you 5 good reasons to go here (and a couple of crazy events to attend as well!)
The food scene
On top of the list is the incredible food scene, which is pure paradise for any foodie longing to explore something new. Cause SF offers so many restaurants, bars and cafés, that you can eat out every single night for a year without having to go to the same place twice. Do we need to mention that the selection is huge, too? Anything from Asian cuisine and African delights to New Nordic treats have found their way to the hilly streets of San Fran, so there’s really no time to be bored! Four things you have to try while here:
- Martini at Zam Zam (honouring the famous bartender Bruno Mooshei. Probably the best martini in the city!)
- Apple Fritter at Bob’s Donut & Pastry Shop (a classic donut shop fulfilling your deepest desires for freshly made, crispy donuts! Bob’s provide 24-hour service and the apple fritter is a must-try!)
- Coffee at Café Trieste (brewing world-class coffee since 1956. Trieste was the place where Francis Ford Coppola wrote ‘The Godfather’)
- Burritos at La Taqueria (there’s a reason why this delicious eating won the title of ‘America’s Best Burrito’! Go see for yourself)
Also read: Favorite Breakfast Places in San Francisco
Not surprisingly, San Francisco is highly influenced by neighboring Silicon Vally, which we all know is the home of high tech. Hence, the vibe here is both very innovative and fast paced, but also laid-back and cosy. There’s an app for nearly everything - an we mean everything! Order an Uber (SF is the home of Uber), a pizza, a facial or a pair of new shoes through your phone and embrace the new world while enjoying bits of the old one. Chill with a cup of coffee in The Haight or enjoy the stunning views from Golden Gate Park, feel the presence of history in the touristic area of Fisherman’s Wharf or indulge in the cultural mash-up of Mission. What we love most about SF is its contrasting neighborhoods and their individual charm.
Talking about neighborhoods… it would be a shame not to dive into all of them while you’re here - or at least as many as you can. Here’s an overview of the different neighborhoods in the city:
- Mission: Since its founding by Asian, German, Italian and Irish immigrants in the 1770s, Mission has been the center of Latin culture in SF. The multi-cultural clash gives the area a distinctive, colorful vibe and that’s what makes it so special! In recent years, Mission has been increasingly popular amongst creatives and entrepreneurs.
- SoMa: An earthquake in the early 20th Century, made SoMa a charmless industrial neighborhood mostly consisting of huge warehouses. But that all changed with the internet boom in the 1990s. Today, SoMa is a trendy area with expensive loft apartments and crowded gourmet restaurants.
- North Beach: This area, which also covers Fisherman’s Wharf, is probably one of the most famous ones in SF. Established by Italian immigrants in the early 20th Century, North Beach has been attractive for creatives, writers and artists for decades. Even though the area is quite touristic today, it’s still possible to find elderly Italians enjoying their espresso in the small cafés and fishermen delivering their catch of the day.
- Downtown: This area contributes in making SF a big city like any other. While its included Financial District is worth exploring for its history (the Gold Rush in 1849) and impressive buildings, Downtown has a lot to offer if you’re looking for cultural attractions, great shopping and high-end hotels. This is also where you’ll find mid-Market street with its luxurious restaurants and expensive apartments.
- The Haights: There’s a certain nostalgia connected to this neighborhood, which also covers the Hayes Valley neighborhood. Ask anyone who were young in the 60’s and 70’s, and they’ll tell you that Haight-Ashbury was the place to be; the center of the hippie generation. Luckily, this place has preserved its funky vibe and colorful architecture, presenting one tattoo shop and ethnic restaurant after another. This is also where you’ll find Japantown with lots of sushi restaurants and fun shops.
- Sunset, Richmond and Golden Gate Park: Go here if you want to explore a non-touristic part of SF! The area is a melting pot of Russian, Irish and Asian communities, and the views can be quite amazing (if it’s not too foggy, which it is quite often!) Visit the beautiful Ocean Beach, which is a hot spots for surfers and nature lovers or take a walk in the area around Irving Street offering loads of cute restaurants and shops.
SF is a melting pot of innovative ideas and crazy happenings. Last-mentioned are carried out throughout the year - make sure to catch at least one of the following events if you can:
- Naked Bike Ride:
If you’re not afraid of a naked body or two (or in this case, many!), chances are you would have fun watching this crazy ride through the city. A bunch of environmentalists are gathering to celebrate freedom and the human body by biking through the streets. They’re not carrying anything else than a bike helmet. If you’re attending the Naked Bike Ride, make sure to come early - there’s free body paint! If not…well, make sure to get first row “seats” in the Castro neighborhood.
Date: March 5
- Hunky Jesus Contest:
Here’s one for the ladies. Every year, SF is electing the hottest Jesus in town. Yes, the hottest Jesus. So if you love bearded guys with stomachs similar to washboards - or if you’re one yourself - this event might be perfect for you! The Hunky Jesus Contest is a yearly highlight - make sure to bring a blanket and plenty of drinks.
Date: Easter Sunday
- Bay to Breakers:
Think of a marathon where hundreds of contesters are partying while they run. It might sound strange, nevertheless, this is exactly what Bay to Breakers is. It’s a crazy, noisy and extremely life confirming event where more or less anyone can attend. The run stretches from Howard Street to Ocean Beach - 12 kilometers in total - and most of the participants are in a poor shape when hitting the (målstreg) due to screaming, singing and dancing (undervejs). If you’re not running yourself, make sure to get a good spot along Golden Gate Park.
Date: May 15th
- San Francisco Pride:
No Pride party around the world quite compares to the one in San Francisco. An entire weekend in June is dedicated to rainbow flags, loads of parties and events throughout the city and thousands of people celebrating the rights of the homosexuals. It’s one of the biggest events in the city, so make sure to plan your trip well in advance if you wish to participate. And do have patience - there’s a LOT of people in the streets! This year’s theme is “Equality without (undtagelse)”
Date: June 25th and 26th