A Young Professional’s Guide To Adventures In San Francisco

People are always asking me for good places to check out when they travel, so I thought I’d put this together to share some recommendations for places to hit and places to miss!  My knowledge of San Francisco comes from five trips to the area.  – Sarah Donaldson


* Fisherman’s Wharf:  The obvious place that you need to stroll around.  Be sure to stroll a bit away from the water to find Ghirardelli Square and pick out something chocolate at Ghirardelli’s.  Also, clam chowder in sourdough bowls are a famous treat in this area.  http://www.ghirardellisq.com/food-wine/ghirardelli-ice-cream-and-chocolate-shophttp://www.ghirardellisq.com – http://www.sfgate.com/neighborhoods/sf/fishermanswharf

* The Marina:  I love this area of restaurants and shops and can’t believe I didn’t find it till perhaps my fourth or fifth trip up to San Francisco.  No specific recommendations in this area… find your own favorite spot.  Nightlife is also popular over here.  The city guide agrees: “Union is arguably the best street in the city to window-shop the hours away on a sunny Saturday afternoon, and, a few blocks down, Chestnut has an incredible variety of high-quality restaurants catering to every palate.”  The intersection of Union Street and Filmore Street is a good place to start.  – http://www.sfgate.com/neighborhoods/sf/marinahttp://www.unionstreetsf.com

* Union Square:  Basically the center of the city, you’ll find the nice department stores, great dining, galleries, nightlife, and cable cars.  Worth checking out.   Use Powell Street and Market Street as an intersection to get you to the area.  – http://www.sfgate.com/neighborhoods/sf/unionsquare

* North Beach / Little Italy:  I was going to suggest a good Italian restaurant called Joe DiMagggio’s Italian Chophouse at 601 Union Street between Stockton Street & Columbus Avenue, but it seems to have closed in late 2011.  Nevertheless, if you use that address, it will get you to Little Italy where you can stroll around and find something good to eat.  Also, it seems the other fantastic place there is closed temporarily, Fior d’Italia.  They claim it’s the oldest Italian Restaurant in America.  The time that I dined there with a former boyfriend, they gave us a free bottle of wine as I was leaving simply because the server thought we were nice guests.  Apologies otherwise for poor suggestions in this area, but it’s a nice area to stroll around that you may not have found otherwise where you can get a great bite to eat.  – http://www.fior.com – http://www.sfgate.com/neighborhoods/sf/northbeach

* San Francisco Giants Baseball at AT&T Park:  What’s more American than baseball?  Check out the website to see if there is a game when you are in town.  I’ve never been, but the stadium in San Fran looks lovely and should be easy to get to if you are a tourist.  AT&T Park, 24 Willie Mays Plaza, San Francisco, CA 94107 – www.sfgiants.comhttp://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/sf/ballpark/index.jsp

* Haight and Asbury / The Haight:  Personally, if I could turn back time, while this is a popular area to stroll around, I would pass.  It’s vibe is too hippie for my taste.  Many people will tell you to go to that area, but I wish I knew more about it before wasting my time there.  – http://www.sfgate.com/neighborhoods/sf/haight

* Alcatraz:  This famous prison on an island is reachable by cruise from The Fisherman’s Wharf.  I’ve never been, but always thought it would be interesting to go.  There are quite a few companies that offer cruises out there.  I’ve simply never gone as it can take up a large chunk of your day and personally I’d rather spend my money elsewhere.  You can still see it from the wharf where you can also see dozens of sea lions.  – http://www.alcatrazcruises.com

* Napa and Sonoma:  An hour to two hours north of San Francisco depending where you go… just go!  I once took myself up for my own personal wine tasting getaway and it was one of my favorite trips I’ve ever taken.  If you can rent a car, great.  If you can’t, get creative and see if you can find a bus tour from San Francisco up to there or find a nice friend or date to ride up with for the day.   One of my favorite wineries is V. Sattui Winery which has won repeatedly for best California winery.  – www.vsattui.com – Castello di Amorosa can’t be missed.  It’s a castle that was built only a few years ago which is breathtaking.  –http://castellodiamorosa.ewinerysolutions.com//index.cfm – I found this link for travel between San Fran and wine country to check out as it sounds pretty amazing: http://www.winecountrytourshuttle.com

* Cable Cars:  Hitch one and have some fun!  Keep on traveling around and tell me what you found and what I need to see on my next visit!


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