Coit Tower San Francisco

First Time in San Francisco

I left my heart in San Francisco…well, at least a portion of it. The City by the Bay is perhaps one of my favorite places in the US. After spending a couple of weeks in and outside this city, I learned a lot more about it and its ways of life. With hills covering most of the city grounds, everyone walking here was in for a trek. Don’t worry, the stunning views that the hilly city offers were all worth the effort. Only in this place did I need an altitude map, because no matter how fond I am of walking, a steep uphill climb was still painful to the calves.

Coit Tower San Francisco

Looking at downtown San Francisco from the Coit Tower

Coit Tower San Francisco

San Francisco Hills

San Francisco’s slopes

Twin Peaks San Francisco

Twin Peaks

Lombard Street San Francisco

Lombard Street – the most crooked street in the world

Fitness was at the core of most locals, with walking, running and trekking on top of their physical activities. Biking is also a common sport, though it also serves as one of the city’s most common means of transportation.

But even if most San Franciscans love to work out, they also love to indulge in good food. Hundreds, or maybe even thousands, of restaurants sprawled across the city, catering to the common palate or to the most exquisite taste. Most Southeast Asian and Central American countries are represented in food scene, but of course they also have their fair share of Italian restaurants and French bakeries.

San Francisco Food

Indulge in good food

What is special to me is San Francisco’s love for the culture and the arts. Most of the bigger roads have musicians playing their instruments at the sidewalks. Outdoor art is everywhere, including an installation art in front of the Civic Center during my visit. The Mission District also features a lot of murals, with the Balmy Alley as the most notable of all. Fresco murals, on the other hand, dominate the interior of the Coit Tower and the Beach Chalet at the Golden Gate Park.

City Hall San Francisco

Coit Tower San Francisco

Coit Tower San Francisco

Coit Tower San Francisco

Fresco murals in Coit Tower

Coit Tower San Francisco

The city is occupied by a cornucopia of races. Asians, Europeans and Latin Americans have also made the city their home. Chinatown, Japantown, North Beach (Italian) and Mission District (Central American) have all become distinct parts of the city. San Francisco also embraces the LGBT community: the Castro district a testament to this.

Castro District San Francisco

Rainbow Flag for the LGBT movement

Castro District San Francisco Castro District San Francisco

While not a lot of old San Francisco remain, parts of the city still honor tradition, including six great Victorian houses known as the Painted Ladies, the cable car that each tourist must simply ride and old streetcars that were donated from all over the country (or even Italy). The City Hall is also one of the older buildings, with its still fantastic interior. It was here where I witnessed the biggest number of wedding ceremonies taking place — eight marriages in only thirty minutes!

Painted Ladies San Francisco

Painted Ladies

San Francisco Cable Car

Cable Car

Street Car San Francisco

Street Car

City Hall San Francisco

San Francisco City Hall

City Hall San Francisco

The most stunning city hall I have ever seen

City Hall San Francisco City Hall San Francisco City Hall San Francisco City Hall San Francisco

More about San Francisco next time. Happy travels! =)