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San Francisco favorites

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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.
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1414 Grant Avenue., 513 green st, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
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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...
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2900 College Ave, Berkeley, CA 94705, USA
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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,...
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424 Octavia St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
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THE place to gather outside in Hayes Valley and soak up the classic biergarten/beer garden experience. The food is delicious and the setting encourages you to talk to everyone at the communal tables. This spot is a fantastic way to enjoy some...
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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...
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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...
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Chinatown, San Francisco, CA, USA
You normally wouldn't expect to hear bagpipes at a small Italian fish and seafood restaurant in North Beach, but in actuality anything goes at the very fun Gigi's Oysteria.
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560 Jackson St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
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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...
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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,...
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220 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118, USA
For a dose of culture, head to Park Life in the Inner Richmond. The goal of this gallery-cum-retail space is to feature today’s most engaging contemporary art. Located in a 1,400-square-foot former furniture store, Park Life showcases 10 exhibits...
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2170 Bryant St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
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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...
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525 Laguna St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
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For traditional German food in a cozy setting reminiscent of a traditional Bavarian Wirsthaus, you can’t beat Suppenküche in Hayes Valley. Owner Fabrizio Wiest, who was born and raised in Germany, worked as a graphic designer before he moved to ...
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3431 19th St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
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Can't beat a buck for an Oyster! Hogs and Rocks is a great happy hour haunt in the mission. Super lively and fun. I shouldn't be telling you all this!
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4001 Judah St, San Francisco, CA 94122, USA
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Outerlands is an Outer Sunset institution. The small restaurant near Ocean Beach serves local, organic cuisine in a rustic-chic setting. Covered floor-to-ceiling in warm, rough-hewn wood, the interior invites lingering over an artisan cocktail or...
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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...
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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...
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1603 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702, USA
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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...
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826 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
Yep, you read that right: There is a Pirate Supply Store in the heart of the Mission! In their words: “We are a ragtag group of miscreants who sell pirate supplies in order to benefit the free programming that happens at our writing-tutoring...
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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...
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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...
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201 Octavia St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
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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.