Usually for the holidays, I spend it driving between my parents’ houses celebrating with different sides of the family across SW Ohio. This year was a little different seeing as my dad and stepmom recently moved to San Francisco and I recently moved to Texas.
I had never been to California before, but have always known that I would love it. I had the lucky opportunity to spend 10 days exploring the Bay Area with my family after 6 months of not seeing them. It was such a heart-warming time filled with quality time together and exploring new places.
San Francisco is easily my favorite city in the U.S. You can take it to the bank that I plan on living there one day. As the title of this post will tell you, I absolutely fell in love with this place. It offers everything that I desire in a place to live and more:
- Want to go out with friends to cute cafes, bars and restaurants? The city has you covered.
- Want to go boating, paddle boarding or see a great view of the city at night? Drive over to Sausalito.
- Want to go hiking with trees taller than skyscrapers? You can do that in Muir Woods.
- But what about the wine??? Catch ya in an hour in Napa and Sonoma!
- Want to go surfing? Half Moon Bay is less than an hour away.
- Want to go to the mountains and a lake? Lake Tahoe is only a 1.5 hour drive inland!
Get the picture?
So what are my recommendations after 10 days of exploring?
Go for a run on an early Saturday morning along the Embarcadero while no one else is awake. It feels like you are running through the city frozen in time. Stop by the cute Farmer’s Market along the pier and grab a coffee at Peet’s (if you’re into bookstores, there is a discount bookstore right next to Peet’s!)
Take a walk over the Golden Gate Bridge and walk up to the lookout and enjoy the afternoon. You can’t beat the view.
Take a hike in Muir Woods up to the Panoramic Trail and descend down the Redwood and Sun Trail to the Dipsea Trail. This view is incredible. The peak of the 4.5 mile hike is a view over the tops of trees that are thousands of years old, with the Pacific ocean in the background.
Take a drive to Sonoma for a wine tour. Special shoutouts to Cline Winery and Jacuzzi Family Vineyards for the best wine, and Sunflower Cafe for the drunk munchies afterwards!
Go to dinner at Scoma’s in Sausalito just in time to watch the sunset. Ask for a table with a view (in the waterfront room) and you can watch the city come to life at night and the Bay Bridge light up.
Final Comments: To all the people who live there, cherish and appreciate your city – take advantage of how much there is to do! I cannot wait to go back to visit and (fingers crossed) live there one day.