San Francisco favorites
Collected by Greg Sullivan , AFAR Founder
I travel a lot, and I celebrate it. So I suppose it is natural that I often get asked my favorite place. And I've got to say San Francisco is it! Here are some of the reasons why.
1414 Grant Avenue, 513 Green St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
A repository of the musical past. Find used instruments, record players, CDs, vinyl records, memorabilia, and barely recalled memories of a misspent youth in the this semi-organized emporium. The records are down stairs. Be aware that items are...
2900 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705, USA
This café was originally Ozzie's Fountain, a Berkeley landmark since 1921. The café still retains its retro feeling with the original Ozzie counter. Additional seating at tables are available indoors and outside. The Elmwood is open for breakfast,...
8 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA
Hotel Vitale is right at the corner of Mission and the Embarcadero. Most of the rooms have nice views, particularly the corner rooms. But some of the the rooms on higher floors have decks with amazing views, like this one from 808. And this is...
Presidio, San Francisco, CA, USA
A few blocks east of Goldsworthy's more prominent Spire is this installation of fallen trees snaking through the still standing ones. Wood Line is located within the cypress grove near the intersection of Presidio Boulevard and West Pacific...
560 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
There are a handful of stores in San Francisco that sell quirky and distinctive clothing, jewelry, and homewares. Eden & Eden is one. The brother-and-sister owners stock some vintage pieces and a nice selection of funky jewelry from the U.K. I've...
1 Muir Woods Rd, Mill Valley, CA 94941, USA
It's hard to believe that I had lived in Marin for 13 years before learning about the Tourist Club on Mt. Tam. This past weekend my friends and I hiked from downtown Mill Valley, starting on the Dipsea Trail and following it to the Sun Trail,...
220 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
If you love museum gift shops, street art and clever product design, you'll be charmed and overwhelmed by the selection of art, books, housewares and knickknacks at Park Life. An indie mart of sorts, Park Life is a carefully-curated retail and...
2170 Bryant St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
San Francisco gets a lot of great seafood and there are a ton of sushi restaurants, but when it comes to rolls there aren't that many places that knock your socks off. Blowfish Sushi to Die For in the Mission District will blow your mind with...
525 Laguna St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
Suppenküche serves delicious, traditional German cuisine in a cozy space lined by long wooden tables and constantly changing art. I highly recommend this restaurant to travelers looking for a undoubtedly good meal in a vibrant neighborhood of San...
3400-3416 Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Bernal Heights is one of my favorite neighborhoods in San Francisco. It's a little off the beaten path, but on a clear day the park at the top of the hill offers an amazing view of the city and the bay. On a foggy day, the park feels like the...
948 Fort Barry, Sausalito, CA 94965, USA
Just outside San Francisco, and stones throw ( albeit a good arm), from Golden gate Bridge is Kirby Cove Campground. This is such a gem that hardly anyone knows about, which affords spectacular views of SF, the bridge and bay... This shot is from...
1603 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702, USA
Using Sightglass coffee, Bartavelle serves the BEST latté in Berkeley! Opened in late 2012 this unassuming café already has a local following. Small place with stand-up only zinc counters inside plus outdoor seating. The small plate menu uses...
826 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
In my writer circles, I knew 826 Valencia as the youth writing center co-founded by Dave Eggers. I'd passed by the actual place many times, but never went inside because I thought it was, I don't know, a room with desks. Then, my friend Charles...
57 Post St, San Francisco, CA 94104, USA
It doesn't matter how well you think you know a place—there's always somewhere new worth exploring. San Francisco is packed with secret hideouts. One of my all-time favorites has to be the Mechanics Institute Library and Chess Room—and the rather...
16th Ave, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
Tucked away in the quiet neighborhood between Inner and Outer Sunset, the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps (Moraga St. btw 15th & 16th Ave) are among the hidden treasures of San Francisco. Standing at the bottom of the stairs, you can see the intricate...
201 Octavia Street, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
The Mercury Cafe is a gem. Never too crowded. Delicious coffee. Pie and lentil soup. Near the back is a stairway. It leads to an enclosed loft where a single table overlooks the cafe. Highly recommend for both reading and people watching.
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