Currency: US Dollar $$
San Francisco is a space that has a little of everything. It was indeed a new experience for me; not sure if the new experience was the ever changing weather [MAJOR SPOILER ALERT: dress in layer! I did NOT take this advice and froze daily, almost drowned in rain, and had a heat stroke all in the same hour!], truly diverse sights and people. My trip to the Golden State was brief but perfect. Before I dive head first into my experience, let me make the formal announcement that the San Francisco and Oakland area is safe for solo female travelers; as always practice caution anywhere you go whether it is your neighborhood market or out of the country.
I resided in Oakland, CA specifically the lower bottoms. I booked my stay through AirBnb, Link to my rental https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/20782618 Chris and his family were sweet and he was an amazing host. Now the neighborhood is a developing area and it is obvious once you start walking around in the space. The neighborhood has a food pantry and community garden that helps feed the neighborhood, a vegan market with a restaurant inside, Zelles- where I got breakfast every morning before I got on the BART, along with liquor stores and boarded up shops. See I told you it is still developing but you cannot deny the beauty and creativity in the area. I truly felt comfortable day and night walking around interacting with in the space and people.
When visiting San Francisco, of course, engage in the typical activities like Golden Gate Bridge observatory and if you are more fit then me take a walk across the bridge its FREE. I insist on visiting the Fisherman Wharf and Pier 39. Yes, it is filled with tourist shops and restaurants but it is worth a visit. Pier 39 offers many local shop with with unique items. Unquestionably you must drive down Lombard Street, the most crookest street in the USA. I mean going to see it is cool too but my Uber drive made the suggestion to drive down the street for me and it was like a mini rollercoaster. Personally, I would love for you to have this experience. Outside of the “normal” attractions here are my friendly list of MUST DOs when you visit San Fran/ Oakland area:
For those who do not know San Francisco is divided into different districts and the Fillmore District was my very creative space. It has its own unique aura around it that draws in creativity. The district is occupied by local shops, boutiques, and restaurants. The shops are a wide range of thrift stores to higher end boutiques. I easily spent two afternoons there and found new things each time to explore. Now the most important part: the food! Woodhouse Fish Co. is an amazing seafood restaurant that offers the traditional and specialty dishes and very inexpensive (every meal is less than $25.
The factory is located in a Ghirardelli Square which is occupied with restaurants and shops. So if you are like myself and had NO IDEA Ghirardelli factory was 1) made in the USA and 2) located in good old San Francisco 3) just literally only a 20 minute train ride away. I got off my train mid-route to the airport because I had to see this for myself. I have an unhealthy semi-obsession with Ghirardelli chocolates especially the caramel milk chocolates. I swear they are hand crafted by angels; okay maybe I went overboard just a little but you cannot deny Ghirardelli delectable flavor. The chocolates does not compare to their ice cream, that I had no idea had been invented. Now along with my super normal obsession with chocolates, I do enjoy indulging in an ice cream product.
Conservatory of Flower
This hidden gem is a breath of fresh air and scenery; located in Golden Gate Park. This stop is worth a quick visit on your trip. Admission is $9 Adult, $6 for Students w/ I.D and youth. Whether if you are lover of flowers or just enjoy fresh space this intimate greenhouse does offer and up-close and hands on experience. The space is composed of about five rooms each with their own theme, atmosphere, and plant life. I easily spend spent 2 hours there walking around, taking pictures and chatting it up with my tour guide ( they offer tours for $3). I might have poked and played with a Venus fly trap, I have never seen one up close and I have no regrets.
This is located in Oakland, CA and it is a Japanese food and live Jazz lounge. I can honestly imagine your face making the confused look and re-reading that last sentence. Well let me assure you read that correctly and as strange as the combination sounds it was my best experience of the whole trip. My Uber driver provided the recommendation and now I am passing this gem onto my readers. The atmosphere is lively with a diverse crowd. You will see all kinds of fashion statements being made on the weekends. While I eat sushi (YUMMMM) and listened to some amazing talent, I felt relaxed and at peace.
All right if you are like myself and only read the highlighted information let me quickly summarization my article with all the major key points.