San Fran. The City by the Bay. Located in the Golden State, San Francisco is the most densely settled place in California and the second most densely settled place in the United States, with the first being New York City.
The reason I went to San Francisco was to celebrate my mother’s birthday. She has always wanted to visit Alcatraz and it seemed like the perfect time to cross it off of her bucket list.
Some “must see” places in the Bay Area are Alcatraz, The Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, or even just riding the Cable Cars, which is the only operational cable car system on the planet.
While I was there I was slightly underwhelmed coming from Ontario to California. There wasn’t any culture shock and the city looked a lot like Toronto.
I stayed in the Tenderloin District. So named because of the high crime rates and the police who patrol it get paid extra and are thus able to buy more expensive cuts of meat. Although with the influx of Vietnamese communities coming into the area, it has become a lot less dangerous, this district is still filled with colourful characters and homeless people. It’s never a boring time when you stay in the tenderloin district.
The absolute best thing to see in San Francisco, in my opinion, are the Cable Cars, which have a very rich history and has an accompanying Cable Car Museum for those who want to learn more about the inner workings of the system and how it runs.
The landmarks such as Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz were enjoyable to visit and take pictures of. With the Alcatraz tour being very well produced and giving some great insight into something that is challenging to picture existing in today’s world. They go through stories of prison riots with grenades being thrown and murders and “escapes” that happened. It was interesting seeing marks on the ground from where grenades went off when riots were happening. It was very interesting to explore the island and the tour is set up fantastically. The tour included a ferry from San Fran to the island for $33 USD, so it was a very affordable adventure.
Overall I wouldn’t return to San Francisco for relaxing and vacation. It’s a nice place but unless I’m there for business, the cost of getting there doesn’t have as much bang for your buck as British Columbia.