Super “insider tips” from locals for your San Francisco Vacation

Written in US DESTINATIONS

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Visiting a popular travel destination like San Francisco can be a challenge, especially for those of us that just don’t want the “cookie cutter” tourist trap vacation. If you’re sick and tired of the crowds, picture takers everywhere, rip-off gift shops and such, why not listen to the locals? After all, if you ask any resident of San Francisco, the only time they visit these places is if friends and relatives visiting them insist.

Quite possibly the best and most photographic beach in Greater San Francisco and one frequented by locals is Fort Funston Beach, and considered by most as a secret. This is where locals with “pooches” go to enjoy beach dog runs and so can you. Don’t be concerned if you’re not a dog person because there are lots of areas without dogs. There is also horseback riding the beach via Mar Vista Stable in the area. There is a main parking area above the beach cliffs and a walkway down to the beach and water. It’s a great beach to relax on, get some sun, but beware, waters are dangerous and not for swimming. That being said, it’s popular for surfers, dolphins, whales and seals. For history buffs, neighboring Battery Davis is a great place to visit old gun batteries and in fact, there’s a tunnel to the beach area.

Hot Tip: forget about the rental car. Parking can break a day’s budget, so instead use the excellent public transportation systems.

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The San Francisco Bridge is of course an icon of this great city, and one of the best locations for getting a photo op. You can park at either end, and walk across the bridge, or maybe halfway for that photo and back again. Visiting this great city, it’s a must do, and possibly the best place for an Alcatraz Island pic.

While visiting the bridge, you might hit another local favorite, Crissy Field. Not only do locals frequent this area to walk the family dog, but also you can fish off the pier, relax on the beach, and find some awesome restaurants there.

San Francisco locals not only bring visitors to Chinatown but also frequent this historic area just for the restaurants. From authentic tea houses and restaurants, you can’t find better dim sum or other treats anywhere, except maybe New York City? Also, a local rival especially for dinner is Japantown, especially for the Korean food, and then there’s the fresh Sushi!

Hot Tip: Check the weather and pack accordingly before heading to San Francisco. This town gets cool even on a summer evening, so bring a sweatshirt or light jacket.

If you just have to ride the historic cable car, forget about the Hyde Street long lines. Instead jump on the cable car system at bay or Mason Street.

Rubbing elbows with locals in the North Beach area is a relaxing and fun day trip for you. If hanging in a eclectic café with a cup of cappuccino, browsing thru the columns of old bookstores, people watching some very interesting characters is your goal, you will succeed.

Almost everyone knows the history of the Berkley area of San Francisco, and its just pure fun walking around the campus, sipping a bowl of late, or sipping a cocktail in a Berkeley bar.

For the exercise freak, San Francisco is the place to visit, because it seems everything is at the top of a hill! For your workout, why not climb the Filbert Street Steps” from Telegraph Hill to the Embarcadero. You should enjoy the colorful setting, greenery and surprise, wild parrots too. The Embarcadero is also an excellent place to explore, with an awesome museum, and a great place for a picnic overlooking the San Francisco Bay.

When its time to relax with a high quality craft beer, we have a local favorite not many visitors would ever know about. We are talking about Monk’s Kettle, where you choose from over 200 craft brews from around the world. We highly suggest that whatever you choose, save room for the “specialty of the house”. Midas Touch is a beer brewed from a recipe found in King Midas’s tomb, and well over 2,700 years old.

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