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SF and the First Timer

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There's something about San Francisco for visitors: As a port city, SF has welcomed newcomers to its hills and its bridges and its quirks for generations. Nevertheless, if you've never been here before, this city has a way of making you feel like you're the entertainment that has kept the party waiting. San Francisco will show you a good time, but in case you need a few ideas of where to begin, this list will start your brainstorm.
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Dolores St & 19th St, San Francisco, CA 94114, USA
Mission Dolores Park, aka Delores Park, is one of the most popular parks in San Francisco, especially when the sun is out and the mercury is up. On a sunny weekend, you'll be hard pressed to find a patch of green to plant yourself on, but that's...
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Ferry Building, One San Francisco Bay Trail #8, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA
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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370 Linden St, San Francisco, CA 94102, USA
The Streets of San Francisco Bike Tour company is not only a must for any visitor to the city, it's also an ideal way for locals to soak up something special about their own backyard. Founded by former international bicycle tour guides that have...
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One, Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA 94111, USA
Outdoor markets always tell a story about their city: what goods are for sale, what foods are locally grown and how the residents interact with one another as they buy and sell their wares. San Francisco's Saturday Market at the Ferry Terminal...
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Long Ave & Marine Dr, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
The Golden Gate Bridge is probably the most photographed site in California, but this vantage point never gets old. Explore the hollowed out fort, learn some history, and marvel at the view from the top floor.
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601 Vallejo St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Caffe Trieste, in the heart of North Beach just off Columbus, is an authentic San Francisco experience where little has changed since Kerouac's day. The North Beach location, which opened in 1956, is a great place to sit down, enjoy a coffee, and...
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San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
Most people driving through San Francisco's Sunset District head to Sutro Baths, the Cliff House, and Ocean Beach. However, if you take a subtle right turn at Fort Miley you will find a beautiful coastal trail that offers unbelievable views of the...
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3301 Lyon St, San Francisco, CA 94123, USA
Standing out in San Francisco's Marina District, this historic landmark is a leftover from the 1915 Pan-Pacific International Expo and was designed by Bernard R. Maybeck, a student of the École des Beaux-Arts. His vision was to...
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Pier 7, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA
Pier 7 is a secret. I have found myself there many times and never understand why there are rarely any crowds. At sunrise or sunset with your back to the city you can get gorgeous photos of the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island. The beautiful wooden...
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Steiner St, San Francisco, CA 94117, USA
Cue "Full House" music. Alamo Square's famous "Painted Ladies" or "Postcard Row" as many know it. After 9 months of traveling last year, I planned a short stay in San Francisco, yet months later, I'm still here in the City by the Bay.
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1517 Polk St, San Francisco, CA 94109, USA
With over 1300 reviews on Yelp, an appearance on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations, and a line that often snakes down the block, I won’t try to argue that Swan Oyster Depot is one of San Francisco’s best kept secrets. But I will...
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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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56 Ross Alley, San Francisco, CA 94108, USA
In the largest Chinatown outside Asia, the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory glows in the somewhat dark Ross Alley. A group of writers from a Trafalgar Guided Vacation enter the building and see the fortune cookies being made. The untainted, non...
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The Embarcadero & Folsom St, San Francisco, CA 94105, USA
From the soaring copper tower of the M.H. de Young Memorial Museum to the pillars of the California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco celebrates the artistic and architectural. Public sculptures line the waterfront and spike out of...
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Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, USA
Golden Gate Park was formed out of an expanse of sand dunes to the west of the city in the nineteenth century—a history that is still discernible in the rolling topography of much of the park’s more than 1,000 acres. Over 13 million...
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Russian Hill, San Francisco, CA, USA
Walking around the peripheral neighborhood the other day, I came across a beautiful vantage point...at Taylor and Vallejo Streets, a sweet little park with a view of an even sweeter cityscape.
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1846 Union St, San Francisco, CA 94123, USA
Chronicle Books publishes pretty books. And while I'm never one to outwardly admit judging a book by its cover, I am the type to impulse by Paris by Color published by Chronicle Books at Chronicle Books because it's just so pretty. Chronicle Books...
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740 Valencia St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
When you think of a chocolate factory, a hip and airy space in the heart of one of the city's hottest neighborhoods may not spring to mind. But therein lies the surprise that is Dandelion Chocolate: part factory, part café, part...
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2889 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110, USA
There is no better way to begin the grand taco crawl down California’s coast than by visiting one of San Francisco’s most famed taquerias. If you ask a local, chances are that La Taqueria is going to be an honorable mention. Accolades hang on the...