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San Francisco Travel Tips: 11 Things to Know Before You Go

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Things YOU need to know before YOU go to San Francisco in California. San Francisco is the 4th most populated city in California and has a population of 800,000 people. San Francisco is known for year round fog, the golden gate bridge, cable cars, Victorian Houses, sweeping bay views, and of course Alcatraz. One of America’s most unique & distinctive cities.

2 – Weather

I refer to San Francisco as the foggy city.
Mark Twain’s famous quote: “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”
The weather varies by hour, and by neighborhood. It could be 70 degrees and Sunny in one spot, and 50 degrees with pea-soup fog in the other.
September and October are the warmest and sunniest months.
Wear layers you can easily remove.

3 – Food:
Clam Chowder & Sourdough Bread
Seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf
Little Italy
Chinatown
Koi Palace by San Francisco Airport
Ferry Building for lot’s of local food.
Cowgirl creamery has good cheese.
Ghirardelli for chocolate and ice cream

4 – Hotels:
SF can be quite expensive
Weekends are often cheaper
I like Union Square. Most central, you can take the BART here. Cable car, street cars.
2nd choice: Embarcadero
I dont like fishermans wharf.. too touristy.
Definitely stay within the city.. dont be crossing the bay.

5 – Getting In:
3 Major Airports: SFO, OAK, SJC

SFO is 15 miles South of the city.
A strip of TARMAC surrounded by water.
The main airport, the major airlines all fly here.
Prone to weather delays (FOG)
Taxi or uber will cost about $60 and take between 25-60mins.
BART: $10 to Union Square and 35 mins. BART makes 4 stops in Downtown SF.

Oakland is 25 miles from SF, across the bay. Less foggy, so less delays. Good if you are visiting Napa. Lots of Southwest flights.

San Jose
60 miles south of SF. Good if you are visiting Santa Cruz, Monterey, or Carmel. You can do a one way rental car and return to SFO.

6 – Getting Around:
Cable Car: San Francisco classic from 1873. It’s amazing they still run these.

Best place to ride… on the outside! Want to stop… just yell out you want to stop!

7 – POPOS:
What’s a Popo? Privately owned public open spaces.
They come in the form of urban gardens, plazas, but the best ones are on rooftops.

Neither obvious nor clearly marked, POPOS are all over downtown San Francisco—and everyone is welcome

8 – Chinatown:
SF has the largest Chinatown outside of Asia. It’s also the oldest in North America. It is around one mile long by one and a half miles wide. Covers 24 square blocks. More than 100,000 people live in Chinatown. It’s the most densely populated neighborhood in the city and in fact the most densely population neighborhood in the US west of Manhattan.

It really is a city within the city. Chinatown has it’s own customs, languages, places of worship, social clubs, and identity.

Lots of great Dim sum joints, bakeries, tea shops, and this is where the American fortune cookie was invented.

More visitors come to Chinatown than the Golden Gate Bridge.

Portsmouth Square bustles with activity such as T’ai Chi and old men playing Chinese chess.

9 – Fisherman’s Wharf:
Probably the most touristy part of San Francisco, particularly because it’s next to the Golden Gate Bridge.
Alcatraz Tours leave from here. Book in advance. More about that in a bit.
Visit Boudin, Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory, and In-N-Out Burger.
They invested the Irish Coffee in the 1950’s at Buena Vista Cafe here.
And of course the Sea Lions
My favorite place is the arcade

10 – Alcatraz:
Probably the most famous prison in the US.
home to some of America’s most notorious criminals, Operated here from 1934 to 1963.

11 – Day Trips
Napa
Santa Cruz
Monterey / Carmel

3 nights in SF, 2 nights in Napa, 2 nights in Monterey/Santa Cruz, and maybe add a night or 2 in Silicon Valley if you are a tech nerd.

You might enjoy watching more of my travel videos from the San Francisco Bay Area in this playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOVadUHX1B-Ld9Pj94hS8laRJW50pS9ZJ

Santa Cruz Travel Guide: https://youtu.be/4_x0wdPXIsw
Napa Travel Guide: https://youtu.be/6hWcdFTHcIA

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Comments

Yellow Productions says:

You might enjoy watching more of my travel videos from the San Francisco Bay Area in this playlist: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLOVadUHX1B-Ld9Pj94hS8laRJW50pS9ZJ

Santa Cruz Travel Guide: https://youtu.be/4_x0wdPXIsw
Napa Travel Guide: https://youtu.be/6hWcdFTHcIA

michael markham says:

San Fransicko just another loser Democrap city. Great for losers.

carncats07 says:

You commented about how good the Italian food is in S.F. The best Italian food I've had outside of Italy, was from your home town in San Diego.

Julian Tomescu says:

Living my whole life (26 yrs) in San Francisco, I can say your video is spot on! That was pretty fun viewing this from a tourist standpoint! If anyone has any questions like best muni routes, good & inexpensive places to eat, and hidden gems to check out, shoot a reply👍

Sloane DeRothschild says:

Born, raised and still live here for 40 plus years. So weird to see where tourists actually go?

Texas2SF says:

I live in San Francisco, Mark Twain never said that.
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/and-never-the-twain-shall-tweet/

Greenkai3000 says:

I grew up in the SF Bay Area . Nothing beats cheap food like a good burrito from the Mission district., or a hot fudge sundae from Ghirardellis. And yes, the City maybe hilly, but walking through the neighborhoods on a sunny late Sept , or early October day is tops!

Elias Escobedo says:

From a SF native and 30+ year resident, I would honestly not recommend most of what is in this video. Dolores Park, the Mission, Mount Davidson, Billy Goat Hill, Glen Canyon Park and then rent a scooter and ride up to Twin Peaks. Thank me later.

Jorgio Castro says:

Come on man, don't tell people to avoid the Tenderloin. If you are with others its fine. Especially during the day. It has the highest concentration of families in the city too.

Scott Russell says:

Good video. Learned new things about SF, even though I lived there, 1969-81. I've lived in the East Bay ever since; may have to BART back for a visit. Have you considered a video on the East Bay; there's a lot of interesting stuff in this, I think, often overlooked area.

Michael Naumann says:

If you want to ride the cable cars, try the line that runs up California Ave. (from Market St.) to the top of Nob Hill. There are far fewer riders than the line that starts at Powell. At the top, have a cocktail at Top of the Mark at the Mark Hopkins Hotel and enjoy a panoramic view of the city/bay.

Michael Naumann says:

BART from SFO to SF (Powell, near Union Square) should only be about 25 minutes. It's roughly $5 so it's a pretty good value!

Monko2006 says:

Great videos Chris. Coming from UK for first time to West Coast USA (San Fran, LV & LA) later this year, so loving your vids. Thankyou.

Jen Morris says:

Dude – You forgot Coit Tower, so much to do in Golden Gate Park.

Erick Zamora Fonseca says:

Do a part 2 video: Golden Gate Park, Muir Woods, The Presidio, Twin Peaks. SF native here. Great video great content 👍👍

Jennifer Hamlin says:

I’m a Bay Area native that happens to live in San Francisco. Your information was off about In N Out. Feel free to google the secret menu, what you see on the physical menu is not the only items they sell.

d landis says:

Bring lots of money to eat out and to stay at a decent hotel – $20 plus for lunch and $300 plus for hotel. Lucky we live and work here thought.

PerraDeeJay says:

No, Buena Vista Cafe did not invented Irish Coffey. It was invented in Ireland…

Medfords Best Podcast says:

Should’ve gone to Columbo bakery, better than boudin and right next to the poop plant.

Scott Lee says:

“San Francisco is really big into the craft beer scene” and he shows anchor steam 🤣🤣🤣🤣

Khu NoPie says:

12 – don't eat the Yellow Productions™ snow

Yeni Rotalarim says:

really you are the best ! I am going to San Francisco 2 weeks later and I already know where to go . what to do ! Thansk a lot . Also Could you make a video for Yosemite National park ? 🙂

Senator Joe McCarthy says:

Get the poop app so you don’t step on them while traveling to San Fran

Igor Werry says:

We visited SF in Sept. 2018. It was amazing and the video is very accurate 🙂 Also, I encourage you to visit Lisbon, Portugal. They call it he SF of Europe, or a fancier version of SF 🙂 We were there last weekend and it was very nice! You should do a video about Lisbon too, if you'll ever visit Europe/Portugal. Thanks & greetings from Poland.

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