San Francisco is known for a lot of things, like the Golden Gate Bridge and the Summer of Love. But one of the city’s most infamous features, Karl the Fog, means that the City by the Bay is also known as a place where sunshine can be a rarity. When the sun does come out to play though, San Francisco is a glorious place to be, and there are plenty of sweet spots where you can make the most of the warmth and soak in some Vitamin D.
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.
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.
If there’s one thing that there’s an abundance of in San Francisco, it’s hills. And usually, when folks are getting around the city by foot or by bike they do their best to avoid the thigh-busting streets and lanes.
Sometimes, while you’re staying at a hostel, you’ll find it a little challenging to connect with your fellow travelers beyond the usual “where are you from?” conversation – maybe the language barrier is particularly strong or it’s extra difficult to find the flooring for common ground. That is, until someone name drops their favorite TV show or starts singing along to the familiar tune that’s playing in the hostel common area, and next thing you know you’re re-enacting famous scenes and performing impromptu karaoke with a brand new lifelong friend.