If you were to ask me where I might like to live, what city I recommend whole heartedly, San Francisco always comes up near the top. It is a city filled with culture, with art, with incredible food, views, well known landmarks and lots of friendly Californians.
It is a perfect mix of the California chill with some of the vibrancy of New York City.
I love San Francisco. I *still* love America.
Living in Santa Cruz for a year meant I got to spend a fair bit of time in San Francisco and I have had the chance to return a couple of times since.
If you’re thinking of a trip across the pond to California in 2017, then there are lots of great flight deals with Thomas Cook Airlines and here are my top 5 reasons to visit San Francisco this year.
1. The Food
From the Ferry Building Market, to The Cheesecake Factory, to Boudin Bakery, San Francisco will never disappoint on the food front. California introduced me to sushi and to Mexican food, now two of my favourite treats and something I never ate before living in California. It is a place to expand those taste buds and try new things.
The Boudin Bakery specialises in a famous thick clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl, delicious. The Ferry Building Market is filled with stalls piled high with freshly baked cakes, mouthwatering salads and the best coffee around. Then there is The Cheesecake Factory which has some of the largest portions you’ve ever seen of pretty much every food you can imagine… all followed by a piece of cheesecake of course… choose from a zillion different flavours.
2. Cocktails at Top of the Mark
I first went here with my mum when she came to visit me in California. My grandad went here in the war and so we had to return to relive some of his fond memories of cocktails overlooking the city. Top of the Mark has some of the best cocktails in San Francisco and the best views across the city. This place alone is reason to visit.
3. Summer of Love 50 year anniversary
This year is the Summer of Love 50 year anniversary which means it is set to be bigger and better than ever before. I happened across the Summer of Love when I was in California years ago and remember watching a free performance by KT Tunstall.
It is a free concert that takes place in Golden Gate Park in June and will no doubt have tonnes of big names performing there this year. Think sophisticated California hippy vibes, good music and making new friends. One not to be missed.
4. The weather
San Francisco has its own little micro climate compared to the rest of California. It is in the north which means it isn’t quite as balmy as southern California, but still has a gorgeous climate of sunshine with a refreshing sea breeze. Though it gets a fair bit of rain in the winter, in the summer it really does become the perfect place to be.
Whether it is stopping to say hello to the seals at Pier 39, heading over to Alcatraz on the boat or cycling across the Golden Gate bridge, there is tonnes to do on a sunny day. My favourite would still be eating my way around the market at the ferry building.
5. The cable cars
The cable cars are a must see any year. They are over 140 years old and it is the last cable car system left in the world that is manually operated. I could ride around on these all day long. As well as being good fun they help get you around the city and even go up some of exceptionally steep hills the city is also famous for.
I am yet to drive in San Francisco, you can certainly see why people all drive automatics in America, doing a hill start on some of those hills would be carnage waiting to happen!
So have I tempted you? I have certainly re-tempted (perhaps not a word?!) myself and am desperate to return to San Francisco and all the amazing places surrounding it.
This post was in partnership with Thomas Cook Airlines, but all words and opinions my own. I recommend them for cheap flights to San Francisco… and many more exciting places.
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