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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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16th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project in the Inner Sunset is a reflection of the city’s creative spirit. Artists Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher led the initiative to cover a stairway in mosaics inspired by the Santa Teresa Steps in Rio de Janeiro....
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Lombard St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Sometimes all it take to make a road famous are eight, tight hairpin turns. This one way street was designed in this manner to compensate for the steep incline (27 degrees) of the hill it’s on. Traffic on the hairpin area is reserved for eastbound...
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Alamo Square, San Francisco, CA, USA
Alamo Square is home of the "Painted Ladies," eclectic musicians, and some of the most incredible views of San Fransisco. The trolleys won't take you all the way there, but cabs are easy to catch. We couldn't have chosen a better way to burn the...
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375 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94103, USA
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A key player in the "third wave" coffee movement is Four Barrel Coffee, founded by Jeremy Tooker—who has a particular love for light roasts and the bright, acidic flavors that come with this method. Don’t let that description deter you, though;...
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Ferry Building, One San Francisco Bay Trail #8, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA
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Blueberry Boy Bait may sound like a B-side song from an alternative band, but it's actually just an ice cream flavor offered by Humphry Slocombe, a small shop in the Mission District. Owner and former pastry chef Jake Godby has made the name...
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495 Jefferson St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
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My idea of experiencing a city and acquiring a sample of its flavor is to try its food. Food is unique to a city, and San Francisco is one of a kind. My first morning in the city was chilly for my island bones, so naturally the first stop was a...
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75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco, CA CA 94118, USA

While Japanese gardens have come to be an expected feature of many botanical parks around the world, the Japanese Tea Garden, which opened in 1894, was the first public tea garden in the United States. The original plot consisted of less than half...

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1044 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Walls of tea and a tea tasting experience mean an immersive tea experience in the heart of Chinatown, San Francisco.
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Lower Nob Hill, San Francisco, CA, USA
Bourbon and Branch is a traditional speakeasy. Their 8 house rules—hushed voices and no cell phones among them—encourage neighborly conversation in a very relaxed setting. It's a great way to meet people if you're traveling alone as...
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Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA
If you want to discover Haight Ashbury from a true "insider," then consider the Flower Power Tour created and given by the ebullient Izu Interlandi. Izu is not a native to the hippie district of Haights Ashbury in San Francisco, but she could very...
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Treasure Island, San Francisco, CA, USA
Treasure Island is still technically located in the city of San Francisco, but you probably wouldn't venture to the island unless you're making a trip over to Oakland and the east bay. I have often noticed the great views of SF from the bay...
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Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA, USA
Not crossing the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco would be like skipping the Eiffel Tower in Paris. It’s a rite of passage every visitor should experience. The best way to traverse this iconic symbol of the city is either on foot or two wheels....
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3692 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
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It's no wonder that on any given weekday afternoon, the line for ice cream at this legendary San Francisco establishment goes out the door and wraps around the block. Once you try it for yourself, you'll understand: it's just that good. With...
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55 Music Concourse Dr, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
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The California Academy of Sciences is an unfortunately stuffy name for an institution that is anything but staid. The country's largest natural-history museum includes an aquarium, a planetarium, an enormous rain-forest exhibit under a...

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San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Alcatraz—the very name conjures dark images of impregnable prisons, infamous criminals, and daring escape attempts. But the island is not all murder and mayhem. “The Rock,” set a few kilometers offshore in the San Francisco...
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242 Columbus Ave, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
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Salty, fatty, and doused in an Italian sweet and sour agrodolce sauce, the fried pig tails at Tosca are just the thing to accompany the bar’s list of rare Italian reds. For more drinking tips, check out our feature "How to Drink Anywhere in the...
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North Beach, San Francisco, CA, USA
A british street artist and political activist, one of the top street artists in the world. This one is in North Beach, San Francisco
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48510 Highway One, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
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Though I had read a lot about Nepenthe, as it is a "must-see" if you are in the Big Sur area, I still wasn't prepared for just how beautiful the views were. We were planning on setting up camp and then coming back the few miles to eat dinner at...

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48510 Highway One, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
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With so many great views along the rugged coastline of California's Central Coast, it's hard not to stop at every single one. However, few can compare with this view from Nepenthe Restaurant in Big Sur. Any meal or cocktail is enhanced when this...
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Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
I love that photography has become so accessible to people. Not all of my photographer peers share my sentiment and just because everyone has a camera phone and apps like Instagram and Hipstamatic doesn't necessarily make one a photographer....
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52801 California State Route 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
After five hours in the car, I was more than happy to hop out and hike the 1.4 miles out to Pfeiffer Burns State Park and get the prize of a beautiful waterfall. The water's color is an unreal sea blue/green that I have never seen before. The best...
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46800 California 1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Although the Big Sur Inn is a fantastic place on its own, the claptrap dining bus at the gas station has some pretty great food. There are fantastically fresh sandwiches and pastries and they do a mean espresso. And eating them in a fun and funky...
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47540 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
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The Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant serves housemade granola, ginger scones, and seasonal fruit strudels in a cabin built in 1937. Wood-fired pizzas, with toppings such as squash and prosciutto, stand out on the dinner menu, and the blackberry...
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Sycamore Canyon Rd, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
Driving up the California coast to Big Sur there are a lot of beautiful beaches, but I had my eye set on Pfeiffer Beach because of the photos I saw online. It is very hard to find - you take a narrow side street with little signage for 2 miles...
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4730 Crystal Springs Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90027, USA
FREE
In the hills above Los Angeles, near the Hollywood sign, Kepler, Galileo, and Copernicus look out over the city of 'stars.' Dominating the lawn in front of Griffith Observatory, this Astronomers Monument dates from the 1930s; the Depression-era...
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The Standard, Downtown LA, 550 South Flower Street, Los Angeles, CA 90071, USA
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My friend Tom, a Los Angeles-phile, had insisted. If I found myself near Hollywood, and hungry, I had to go the Standard. The hotel's diner-style restaurant is open 24 hours so there was no excuse. And sure enough, one night after catching a film...
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2000 N Fuller Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046, USA
The trek to the HOLLYWOOD sign may be the most famous L.A. hike to outsiders, but if you're looking for downtown views, celebrity sightings, and a typical L.A.-style glamour hike (not necessarily strenuous, but very fashionable), the 3.3-mile...
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533 Rose Ave, Venice, CA 90291, USA
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Superba Snack Bar in Venice, California is one of the best lunch spots on the West Side, with a varied menu that delivers on taste. The sandwiches are 'classics' that have been updated and done extremely well—their version of a BLT, for example,...
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801 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046, USA
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When thinking of coffee shops in Los Angeles, Intelligentsia likely comes to mind. While they have the corners of creativity covered on opposite sides of town (Venice and Silverlake), Coffee Commissary, in the new 801 North complex on Fairfax...
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8350 W 3rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90048, USA
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The bustling Joan’s on Third gourmet marketplace is a staple of the Los Angeles lunch scene. It is a revolving door of characters for which L.A. is known: celebrities, aspiring actresses, power moms, and entertainment industry executives....
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Los Angeles, CA 90068, USA
A two-day walk that you can join or leave almost anywhere along the route, the Big Parade is a community stroll that starts at the Angel’s Flight Stairway in downtown Los Angeles and ends at the iconic Hollywood sign. Along the way, revelations...
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5931 Franklin Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90028, USA
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This bohemian coffee shop is located in L.A.'s Franklin Village, a tiny line of restaurants and shops located on Franklin Ave. On the outside, it is camouflaged by the vine wrapped building, but on the inside it stands out from any other coffee...
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1697 Pacific Ave, Venice, CA 90291, USA
The boutique beachfront Hotel Erwin is as much a destination to sleep as it is to socialize. With the best rooftop terrace in Venice, you can watch the sunset over the Pacific while sipping on one of their signature cocktails. The hallways are...
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7290 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA
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LA’s latest guilty pleasure - the macaron ice-cream sandwiches from MILK. For the gluten-free, this a dream come true. For everyone else, this is the best ice cream sandwich option around. Forget messy cookies, the macaron is a lite, subtle...
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Arts District, Los Angeles, CA, USA
If you head just a bit farther east out of downtown LA, you will stumble upon an outdoor street art museum all over walls, garage doors, light poles, and pretty much any surface that will hold paint. Old industrial warehouses near the LA River and...
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1409 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, USA
Firefly is a whimsical one-stop-shop for a variety of eclectic gifts, decorations, and accessories; a cuter, yet more mature Urban Outfitters, if you will. They carry boutique brands for a hodgepodge of items including soaps, candles, jewelry,...
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1116 Palms Blvd, Venice, CA 90291, USA
If you find some extra time when in Venice, go east of Lincoln on Palm Blvd, and check out the Mosaic Tile House - you cannot miss it. An adorable artistic couple started a tiny project that turned into their lives work, and entire stucco home,...
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350 S Grand Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90013, USA
Since 1901 (minus a few years here and there), Angel's Flight funicular railway has transported people up and down steep Bunker Hill in downtown L.A. At the top you'll find the Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Museum of Contemporary Art, and the...
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5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90036, USA
The largest art museum in the western United States, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) offers permanent and rotating collections that span from ancient Egyptian objects to modern art like Claes Oldenburg's giant pool balls. It's...
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Twin Peaks, San Francisco, CA, USA
The best views of San Francisco are from the top of Twin Peaks, the two hills that are located in the geographic center of the city. Only from Twin Peaks can you get a 360-degree view of the entire city. If you are lucky, on a clear day you can...
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8300 Sunset Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069, USA
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The Standard is wonderfully located in West Hollywood which makes traveling around the city very accessible. Try the grapefruit gimlet, it's pretty great while basking in the sun.
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11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010, USA
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New York City is America's culinary capital and of the numerous Michelin-starred restaurants, Eleven Madison Park ranks among the top. A meal here is guaranteed to be a memorable experience. From their unique dining format to the elegant...