San Francisco might be a small city in terms of square miles, but what it lacks in size, it definitely makes up for in its sheer volume of culture and history. Take for example the stretch of Mission Street between the 16th Street and 24th Street BART subway stations: in those few blocks, all of your senses are bound to be tickled by something interesting, tasty, eye-opening, and even tastier, and you’ll experience the strange sensation of feeling like you’re definitely in San Francisco but that you could also be in Latin America.
San Francisco is a city of bicycle riders despite the fact that it’s also a city of crazy steep hills. But if you’re up for some adventurous exploring local-style, one of the best ways to do so is from the seat of a bike because you can cover a lot in one day while also having the luxury of stopping whenever you want. There are even ways you can avoid the steepest of hills, and you’ll gain a better sense of the unique little cultures of San Francisco’s colorful neighborhoods.
On the surface, the city of Sausalito might seem like a standard tourist hot-spot with waterfront eateries, pricey boutiques, and not much else for the traveler who likes to go off the beaten path. But the truth is, if you venture off the main road, you’ll find the places where the locals hang out and the bayside city’s laid-back, artsy character is revealed.
As we’ve mentioned before, San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood, which HI San Francisco City Center hostel calls home, is full of underrated beauty beneath its gritty surface. There’s the stunning architecture hidden in plain sight, and then there’s the larger-then-life pieces of art on the sides of tall buildings and in alleyways that turn the city into a giant public gallery.
Aside from the fact that it always seems to be a few degrees warmer and sunnier in the East Bay, there are plenty of reasons to include a visit Oakland to your San Francisco trip. The somewhat overlooked city is a haven for those looking for something a little off the beaten path and for the chance to get a glimpse of local California culture.