Our Favorite Things To Do in San Francisco

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Alcatraz

Alcatraz Island is one of San Francisco's most iconic sights and if you can, you really should make the time to visit. Catching a ferry from Pier 33, the journey across the one mile stretch of water takes about ten minutes, and 'the Rock' looms up ahead, looking suitably ominous.

Hostel Recipe: Warm Chicken and Rice Salad

Laura here - with a recipe that will feed 10 people for less than $20 at your San Francisco Hostel, or any hostel for that matter. This is something that I made in college(University of Michigan- Go Blue!!!!)- a very long time ago and still make today. It is very yummy warm or cold- so you can eat it right away- or if there are leftovers, they are super good the next day with the dressing all soaked in and garlicy. Here goes- this is my first attempt at recipe
blogging

WARM CHICKEN AND RICE SALAD

Visit Exploratorium Free on First Wednesdays

Visit the original home of the Exploratorium before they move to pier 15/17 of the San Francisco waterfront in 2013. Every first Wednesdays are free but groups of 10 or more are required to make reservations due to capacity limit.

Free Admission to the Legion of Honor every First Tuesdays

If you are visiting San Francisco on the first Tuesday of the month, you can get free admission to its most beautiful public museum, California Palace of the Legion of Honor or simply known as The Legion of Honor. It is an attractive neoclassical building occupying an elevated site in Lincoln Park, a plaza with fountain in front of the palace and views over the Golden Gate Bridge. It houses the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts and holds a collection of ancient and European art dating back more than 6,000 years ago.

California Academy of Sciences

A must for all museum and learning lovers, the California Academy of Sciences is in Golden Gate Park (if you take the bus from Market St, close to the hostel, you'll get to drive all the way down and check out Haight) and it's well worth a visit. Among the exhibits there's a four storey rainforest, where you can explore the plants and wildlife all the way up from the ground to the canopy, and a huge aquarium with areas from all over the world (including an albino alligator!). There's also an exhibit dedicated to Africa (Africa has penguins - who knew??).

Hiking at Lands End - Things to See

Take few minutes to relax, get inspired or just admire the sea from the other side of the city. Lands End is a park within the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in San Francisco. It is located between the Sutro District and Lincoln Park at the aperture of the Golden Gate, a barren shoreline filled with rocks. The place is well-maintained and safe for hiking, picnicking, sweating out, biking, bird-watching and dog walking, but be sure not to leave anything behind.

10 Most Visited Places in Golden Gate Park

Amidst the busy city of San Francisco lies more than a thousand acres of sand dunes turned to a massive green park of over 75,000 trees. Similar in shape of New York's central park but only larger, Golden Gate Park stretched from Ocean Beach to Stanyan St. Originally build as an ultimate haven away from the city's noise and commotion, ironically, it is now the 3rd most visited park in the U.S. with approximate of 13 million visitors every year.

Crissy Field

If you fancy taking an epic walk from the hostel to the Golden Gate Bridge (and it can be done!), a great spot to hit is Crissy Field, a little beachy area on the approach to the bridge itself. You can get great views of the bridge, of Alcatraz and of the city behind you, and it's just a generally beautiful spot - favoured especially by joggers and dog-walkers. You'll probably be tired from the walk so far, so take a seat and enjoy the scenery for a little while...

Specs

One of our favourite bars - cheap beer, a piano and a great atmosphere. Specs was one of the haunts of the Beat Generation back in the day. Also check out Vesuvios, right across the street.

 

Lovejoy's Tea Room

Last week we went looking for a little staycation in San Francisco. As much as we love to travel, sometimes a good explore of the bay area can yield surprises and delights. Lovejoys Tea House is one of the local treasures and we thought it would be a good idea to let you know about it.

An Authentic English Tea Room in San Francisco

 

Gadgets Meet Golfing

If you want a great alternative place to have fun in San Francisco, try Urban Putt.   This is the city's first and only indoor miniature putt-putt course.   They have beer, snacks and miniature golf that would make Rube Goldberg proud.  

Historical Sites of Presidio in San Francisco

Strategically located at the northern tip of San Francisco, California, the Presidio has played an important role in American History, taking in refuge way back from the Spanish Era, the Mexican-American War, and from World War II to the Civil War.

Cliff House's Giant Camera

As different advanced digital SLRs are widely used today, why not look back how the very first camera works, way back since the time of Aristotle, which is known as camera obscura. A device which project an image of the surroundings onto a surface using only existing light sources from outside like sunlight. A large-scale of camera obscura, inside where people can enjoy the view of the Pacific coast in a large parabolic disc, is located in San Francisco, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001, and the last remaining structure of the world famous Playland.

Walking the Golden Gate Bridge

Well it was time to do it, even though I felt a little nervous. Really- I mean I am not getting any younger and that bridge has been there for a long time. I mean, people really admire it and think it is something pretty special so I decided to take a look up close and walk across. Hooray for me because it was really fun.

My Golden Gate Bridge Certificate

This is what needs to done before a GG bridge walk:

SUNSCREEN- you think it is foggy and you won’t get a sunburn- WRONG- wear the sunscreen- I promise you will thank me later.

Muir Woods Nature Exploration

Amidst the busy street and active life in San Francisco, nature tripper can actually enjoy here communing with wildlife. Just 12 miles north, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area is a National Park Service called Muir Woods National Monument. It was named after naturalist John Muir by William Kent who bought this land together with his wife Elizabeth Thacher Kent and later donated to the federal government.

Twang Honky Tonk every Wednesday

If you feel like knockin' your boots to a loud country music out of town on a Wednesday night, visit Twang at 7pm for Honky Tonk & Country Jamboree at 1333 Columbus Ave. Free admittance with great beers ($2), whiskey ($3) and tequila ($3) sold in cheap prices. Don't worry if you can't get your shoes into the twang, free country dance lessons starting 8pm with Rob Lee Thornhill and then an hour every hour after that. Soon you'll be doing Line Dancing, Electric Slide, Watermelon Crawl and more.

Sea Chantey On Board

Experience how the sailors lift their spirits from a boring and back-breaking job in the ship by chanteying which also serves to help them coordinate and required sailors to work together in rhythm on-board the early ocean-going cargo ships C. A. Thayer and the actual Balclutha.

During the first Saturday of every month, sea music enthusiasts gather and sing-along sea chantey and sailor songs aboard a historic ship at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park from 8pm to Midnight.

Telegraph Hill: Hike Up or Scramble Down?

Telegraph Hill is a neighborhood in one of the 44 hills of San Francisco, California. It is named after a semaphore which was once erected here. A peaceful and quiet residential area but it became a destination for tourists, poets and artists because of its tower, gardens and wild parrots. There are different ways how to go, spend and enjoy the hill, choose which way you want it.

Work it Up...

SF Beer Olympics: Flip, Drop and Party!

Not only in London, just somewhere in Broadway St. every Friday, San Francisco held their own version of Olympics: beer competition including flip cup, beer pong and relays. Everyone interested must sign at 8:30pm before the start by 9pm; allotted a team where you can easily get to meet new friends.

Friday Karaoke at King Kong Bar

Want to have a different kind of fun on a Friday night? Grab a beer or homemade sangria or wine, practice your vocal skills and join Glenny Kravitz Karaoke Shark starting 7pm at King Kong Bar inside the Escape From New York on Bush St. (between Kearny and Montgomery).

King Kong Bar is also open Thursday nights for Coney Island trivia quiz night with prizes and Saturday nights for various events like Club Chuckles Comedy nights, Dj's or just form your own party for any occasion and holidays.

union square in winter

San Francisco - A Winter Wonderland

San Francisco finds itself perfectly situated between the sunny southern side of California that heads down to LA, San Diego and ultimately to Mexico, and the colder northern side of California that takes you up to the State of Oregon, direction Portland, Seattle and ultimately Canada.
 

Tourists Buying Cars In The USA and Later Selling Them

Today, Julia from Germany  sent us a message asking about the idea of buying a car at the beginning of her trip and then selling it at the end. This is a concept I used to see hostel travelers doing on a regular basis a number of years back. Hostel bulletin boards frequently had handwritten posters with cars for sale and travelers who wanted to buy cars. For some reason travelers don't seem to be doing this as much anymore. So kudos to Julia for reviving an old idea.