Eco-friendly travel guide to San Francisco advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in San Francisco, California, United States of America.
- Air quality: 4 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 5 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 4.25 / 5
- Public transportation: 4.75 / 5
- Parks: 4.75 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4.75 / 5
- Locals' English level: 4.75 / 5
- Safety: 4 / 5
- Accommodation: US$30 - $1,300
- Budget per day: US$100 - $1,500
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Boasting plenty of booming nightlife venues, cozy cafes, world-class cuisine, and jaw-dropping sights, San Francisco is a place that attracts those with a zeal for adventure, have a taste for imaginative cuisine, and an eye for edgy art. San Francisco never stops drawing the free-spirited types as it's a jumbled collage of stunning, attractive views and colorful neighborhoods.
San Francisco does enjoy being labeled as Los Angeles' more refined northern cousin and even though it's one of the most expensive places in the United States and navigating it could be somewhat difficult, its fame for its quirky culture, fabulous views, great food, and being a liberal, technology-forward city ring its popularity all over the world. San Francisco does have a lot going for it and to enjoy your time in this city, you just need to free your mind to the city's cool vibes, foodie spots, and kooky culture. As earlier noted, navigating San Francisco could be a bit nerve-wracking but here are a couple of tips you can use to travel responsibly in the city;
- Go Car-free — If you're in a city like San Francisco, the first thing you should know is that you don't need a car. However, if you feel you really do need one, you should be up for the parking struggle which is more like a nightmare in virtually all the neighborhoods in the city. Skipping the rental is highly advised if your plan is to stay within the city limits. Howbeit, with a cheap price, you can be taken anywhere by the Muni bus and rail lines. More so, you can get around easily with the cab drivers plus you have Lyft and Uber options as well. The thing is, the need for a car may be somewhat unnecessary looking at the fact that most tourist sights in the city are close together and San Francisco itself is small. Going car-free is a smart choice to make and it's not just an environmental statement.
- San Francisco's Public Transportation is Reliable — Almost all the major cities in the United States have their respective public transportation and so do San Francisco and that's the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system which serves a variety of suburban areas, Oakland, and the city itself - It's a mix of both heavy rail and subway. There are as well electric trolleys, historic streetcars, cable cars, Muni Metro Light Rail, and hybrid Muni buses available to help you go around in San Francisco.
- Aside from the public transportation, the private transit also offers a good service with a wide range of options which include motorized scooters, electric bicycles, app-based rideshares, and taxi. Howbeit, the main point is that you'll always have an easy time getting to where you plan to be whether you use the public or the private options.
- Riding Anywhere in a Cable Car can Take a While — Taking cable cars has its pros and cons. The routes these cable cars take most times tend to be long and inefficient which is likely to make you arrive at your destination later than you'd planned. Aside from that, expect to wait in line for hours if you want to take a cable car because of their popularity and the way people use to rush them but it's best to avoid them if you've got somewhere to be. Cable cars are no doubt a novel way to traverse the city but they'll make for a better option if you've got some time on your hands and you desire to enjoy the unique cable car experience they offer. But, it's better you take BART or Muni if you need to get somewhere as soon as you can.
- BART Trains in San Francisco Don’t Always Run as Often as You May Like — If you'll be taking a BART train, it's advisable that you plan accordingly as you check the online schedules ahead of time if you don't want to wait underground for too long. The BART train you need could pass through your station in like every 5 or twenty minutes and this depends on the time of the day and the day of the week. Missing your BART train often is quite possible if you're not well-planned but most time, it's not usually that bad because some talented musicians tend to make the wait much more pleasant as they improvise the BART stations as venues for live entertainment.
- Get Ready to do a lot of Walking — Walking is a very pleasing and interesting activity in San Francisco and you'll really love doing it oftentimes in this city. You can bring a water bottle and put on your comfortable walking shoes or perhaps, a nice pair of sneakers will do well as you take a walk. Take note that flimsy flats and rubber flip-flops are totally out of it if you want to take a walk in this city because this is a city that's known for its hills. However, it's pretty interesting to know that San Francisco thrives with a massive number of drivers as it's the headquarters and birthplace of Uber, and this is just to tell you that there's Uber available around you to give you a ride to your destination whenever you feel your feet are stressed out.
- What to Wear in San Francisco — One thing you should know about San Francisco is that it has an open culture and as a liberal city repleted with people who derive pleasure in being whoever they want to be, you yourself should feel relaxed to wear whatever you feel comfortable with. Nevertheless, a dark pair of jeans and an expensive hoodie is the typical “corporate” uniform in this city as observed from the tech start-up culture in SF. In fact, you don't need to stress yourself over what to wear when you're going for dinner unless that's just the way you love to do things because smart casual is the way to go here. You'll be able to explore better and wander around without getting blisters when you're comfortable. So, bring something cute along as this will help you see this city better as you enjoy meeting new people and taking a walk around.
Air Quality and Pollution
The air quality in San Francisco meets the annual exposure level stipulated by the World Health Organization and the city's air poses little risk to health as it's generally rated as “good.” There has been a substantial improvement in the air quality in the San Francisco Bay Area over the past 30 years; despite the city's spike in population and employment growth and, the emitting of fewer pollutants through cleaner-burning automobile engines and fuels has been a large contributing factor to the positive improvements the city has welcomed. Air pollution often get spiked in the city's bay area during the summer and fall, particularly with wildfires being a common major cause. But, the city's air pollution is primarily resulting from emissions from ships, planes, vehicles, and a few other transport modes.
Speaking of the city's climatic condition, it has wet and mild winters and warm and dry summers - a Mediterranean type of climate.
Respect the Culture
With historical ties to the hippie and gay rights movements, San Francisco takes pride in being one of the most progressive cities in the United States of America. Aside from this, its grandiose display of architecture and arts and music festivals are effectuated in the representation of its different European, Chinese, and Hispanic traditions as it's regarded to be one of the most diverse in the country. More so, San Francisco is one of the most sustainable cities in the United States of America. While its Bay Area is home to plenty of nonprofit environmental organizations, the city also mandates composting for all residents as it continues to take pride in its environmental sustainability efforts as it keeps matching its love for progressiveness and diversity!
It's pretty important to point out all these to you, so that, as an eco-friendly traveler, you will understand the city's stance on many things, and this could be worthwhile in helping you understand how to respect the city's culture and what it stands for. However, respecting the city's culture is not in anyway herculean. If you noticed, you would realize that the major things San Francisco is known for are; diversity, respect for people's individuality, and human and environmental progressiveness. Respecting the city's culture simply cut across you respecting these things that the city holds in high esteem. And, one good way you can do that is by showing your support for the LGBTQ+ community in style by taking part in this city's annual gay Pride parade which is a gathering of acceptance, energy, and color. And, if you won't be able to take part in the parade with fairy wings, body paint, tutus, lingerie, or simple rainbow pin, you can always show some love from wherever you are.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Bustling with an array of entertainment options and things to do, San Francisco is furnished with museums, beaches, parks, great neighborhoods, history, and it's no wonder it got the fondness of being the jewel of Northern California and keeps attracting people from fat and near as it's one of the most beautiful cities in the United States of America. Set along the ocean, with rolling hills and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco boasts a plethora of attractions that are worth discovering, and you can take a tour of the city or hop on any of its historic cable cars to catch a fun, unique and interesting experience.
- Golden Gate Bridge — Measuring approximately two miles in length, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world as it the time of its completion, and the bridge took four years to be built. It was opened on May 28th, 1937 and it used to be one of the greatest man-made sights in the United States. It connects SF with Marin County and other districts further north and its flood-lit structure is equally striking at night. It is the most photographed site in the city and it's an icon gracing San Francisco Bay.
- Baker Beach: If you seek a place where you can lie out in the California sunshine and probably catch the sight of a nudist, you might want to be here as there's a special part of this beach that's set aside for nude sunbathing. San Francisco is known for its little bit of strangeness and you shouldn't find it strange if you find this place to be a bit too idyllic sort of. Here, you can look up in awe at the Golden Gate Bridge behind you as your toes pad through soft sand down into the sweeping surf. Coming here is more like stepping inside a San Francisco postcard.
- Golden Gate Park: As an eco-friendly traveler in San Francisco, this is one of the places you'll love to visit because of its diligent commitment to eco-friendly practices which has fetch it praises from different parts of the country. This park houses attractions like the California Academy of Sciences, the Japanese Tea Garden, the Conservatory of Flowers, and many more. It's a good place to isolate yourself from the stress of the city and its multicolored houses, tram tracks, and high-rises. It offers a green getaway and it covers over 1,000 acres of Northern California landscape.
- The Exploratorium: Those who are young at heart would love coming here. Here, you'll be aroused with feeling like there’s more to explore and, exiting the building will become somewhat difficult because of the ever-changing list of things to see and the tons of hands-on exhibitions available. Nevertheless, if you'll be coming here, make sure you're in comfy shoes so you can be free to take a walk around as you learn how humans interact with the world around us. Here's a place where you can look inside the world of science. It's situated near Pier 15 and it's a must-see attraction for visitors of all ages.
- Chinatown — There's a special feeling you'll get as you meander through Chinatown’s streets. In fact, the chances are high that you'll get to lose track of time as you do so. Home to authentic culinary wonders such as dim sum and hosting places like the Sing Chong Building and the Bank of Canton, it's one of the historic places in San Francisco, and it was created in the city during the 1800s as a result of the large number of Chinese immigrants. It's the largest Chinatown outside of Asia and the oldest in North America.
- Alcatraz Island — If you'll be coming here, it's strongly advised that you book in advance because it tends to sell out regularly. A guided tour is the best option here and you should not forget to put Alcatraz on your must-see list even if it's just one day you have to explore the city. Alcatraz Island is one of the most famous attractions in San Francisco and it's now a prominent area for nesting seabirds. Some people do come here to enjoy the novelty of seeing a former prison and some are only captivated by its history. It was a former prison which housed most well-known criminals and before it reopened as a tourist attraction in 1973 after it was closed in 1963, it operated for almost thirty years as a historic and notorious penitentiary.
- Fisherman’s Wharf — It's almost impossible to talk about the top attractions in San Francisco without mentioning the famous Fisherman’s Wharf. From boating and walking to Segway and many more, there are distinct tours of the area you can arrange for as soon as you're here. It's blessed with diverse restaurants selling the freshest of fishes that are freshly caught and there are as well outdoor stands selling fresh Dungeness crab. It's a great place where you can enjoy some of the best dining the world has to offer, experience some fantastic food, and it's a great place to visit if you're visiting San Francisco for the first time and you'll be leaving in a few days but don't want to miss out on some of the best sights.
- Aquarium of the Bay — If you don't mind getting mesmerized by the walls of jellyfish and the thought of coming face to face with a leopard shark interests you, do well to find your way to this place. There are 20,000 animals from the bay and surrounding areas sustained in the water here and this water we're talking about is like 700,000 gallons which you can get a sight of as you step inside to see the 300 feet of clear tunnels. Protecting the bay and the animals that live in the bay is the mission of this aquarium and coming face to face with the local marine life is an unforgettable experience a lot of people won't love to miss out on. This aquarium is situated on the waterfront of San Francisco.
- Japanese Tea Garden — Stop by here to grab some traditional Japanese refreshments whenever you feel hungry or thirsty on your visit. It has a Zen garden and koi pond and a lot of people do troop in to this place to see its native Japanese plants, arched bridges, stepping stones, and the pagodas. The garden has experienced a massive growth and has welcomed an expansion to the size it is today, which is around five acres. It was initially created for an exhibition in 1894 and it remains to be the oldest public Japanese garden in the United States of America.
- Angel Island — If you'll be coming here, make sure you're around on a day when a lot is happening, and this is why we recommend that you check out what's happening before you decide to come around. There are lots of events here and if you're fortunate to experience the live music here, you'll have a great time. The spectacular views of the bay from the island alone will make you forget how much you've spent or will be spending and there is delicious food served at the fantastic cafes and bars here. You can take a Segway tour of the island or take an open-air tram once you arrive here and you can always travel here by ferry from San Francisco. About 60 people or so live permanently on the island here and this island is the second-largest island in the bay.
San Francisco is the 13th most populated in the United States and it's the cultural, commercial and financial heart of Northern California. As a hub of excitement, it pleases curious wanderers, foodies, and outdoorsy types of all ages with its assortment of activities. Although the city may only stretch across seven miles, it's never been short of attractions, and the pleasure and excitement further get heightened with its teeming restaurants, and fame for housing some of the best chefs in the United States of America.
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of the must-see attractions in the city and if you'll be creating a list, another attraction that should make it to the top of your list is the infamous and now closed federal prison; Alcatraz Island. Active types and nature lovers will love the idea of sauntering through Golden Gate Park or climbing to the top of Twin Peaks. There's still more to do with a walking tour through the vibrant Castro and grabbing a bite at the Ferry Building Marketplace to discovering a more authentic side of San Francisco and spending all your time around the famous Fisherman's Wharf.
You can never get tired or bored exploring San Francisco for the city is loaded with plenty of attractions. It's almost impossible to stay idle and bored in a city like San Francisco where you can choose to hop on a boat tour for a cruise or enjoy a ride on a cable car to catch a quintessential San Franciscan experience. Or perhaps, take a stroll along the Marina or spend an hour or two sunning yourself alongside sea lions on the bay to keep yourself busy.
The abundant parkland in the city is one of the things that make San Francisco notable as one of the most highly livable cities in the United States of America. And if you're ready to check out some of its parks, here are some nice ones you can check out;
- Dolores Park — Come here to soak up the atmosphere but it's quite important that you get here as early as you can so that you can secure your spot for it can get very busy on warmer days. Whether you just love admiring the view, roller skating, or sunbathing, you'll like it here, and there are several people you'll meet here as well praying that the clouds don’t return as they're playing and stretched out on the lawn picnicking. It's a wide grassy expanse that covers 16 acres of San Francisco and it's also referred to as Mission Dolores Park.
- Alamo Square Park — Repurposing discarded heels and boots as landscape art, its Shoe Garden is one of its unique attractions. Visitors can frolic freely with their four-legged friends at the off-leash dog area and it has a great play space for young children; a dual-level playground. It's famous to have been featured in several major feature films. It's most popular for its famed "Painted Ladies" row houses and it's one of the most iconic landmarks in San Francisco.
- Allyne Park — It's a popular spot for dog walkers within the neighborhood area and it's accessible via both Green and Gough Streets. It showcases mature trees and colorful flowers and preserves much of the estate's original landscaping. The park remains a city landmark today and it used to be an estate that was inhabited by wealthy socialites and sisters Lucy and Edith Allyne. It was then converted into a neighborhood park and citizen activists secured its protection from commercial development when the owners died. Overseen by the San Francisco Parks and Recreation Department, it's situated next to the historic McElroy Octagon house, and it's a charming 0.25-acre park.
- Alta Plaza Park — It has an off-leash dog area, basketball and tennis courts, and a children's playground. From atop the park, you can catch awesome panoramic views of the city's skyline and the San Francisco Bay. The park is popular for its iconic tiered access staircase.
Northern California is home to tons of public spaces, monuments, and stunning federally-protected parks. Just a short drive away from San Francisco, you can enjoy exploring some of these national parks;
- Muir Woods National Monument — Named after John Muir; the legendary Western conservationist, it was donated to the federal government and it's situated in Marin County. It's a stunning old-growth redwood forest.
- Golden Gate National Recreation Area — It houses more than 1,200 plant and animal species and 19 separate ecosystems. It stretches up the Peninsula and across San Francisco and it's a lovely place to visit.
- Alcatraz Island — Booking a ferry ride on the park contractor, Alcatraz Cruises, is the only way to get to Alcatraz Island. It doesn't charge a National Park admission fee and it enjoys federal protection under the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. It's situated off the coast of San Francisco and it's a popular attraction. It's a historic prison and famed all over the state and country.
- Eugene O'Neill National Historic Site — If you'll be coming here, you'll have to take a free National Park Service shuttle from downtown Danville as it's in a remote location. The acclaimed writer which lived in Northern California; Eugene O'Neill, America's only Nobel Prize-winning playwright, is who this national historic site celebrates.
- Point Reyes National Seashore — It's the only national seashore on the West Coast and it was founded by John F. Kennedy. It's a national coastal wilderness preserve boasting 33,373 acres.
- San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park — It serves as a memorial to the seafaring and long maritime history in San Francisco.
- Pinnacles National Park — It was signed into law by President Obama in 2013 and this makes it to be one of the newest national parks in Northern California. It's 60 miles southeast of San Jose and it's a mountainous landscape.
With windswept cypress pine trees and protected sand dunes, the beaches within the San Francisco city limits are surprisingly natural despite the urban setting. Visitors can relax to the soothing sound of crashing waves, breathe in the salty sea air, and admire the spectacular vistas, and due to the dangerous riptides and unforgiving ocean conditions, swimming is not encouraged at most of these beaches.
- Baker Beach — Before the parking lot fills up, make sure you arrive early on sunny summer days and weekends. It has a free parking lot and public restrooms. It also has a large picnic area with BBQ grills. However, take precautions if you'll be coming here because there are no lifeguards here and because of the sudden undertow, powerful waves, and rip currents, people are advised not to wade in the surf or swim. Howbeit, fishing is a possible activity here and there are California brown pelicans glide above the shore and harbor porpoises frolicking in the surf to be spotted here. While nature lovers will love it here with the possible opportunities to spot wildlife, romantics will be especially delighted by the breathtaking sunsets, and tourists will be dazzled by the panoramic views. Inviting scenic strolls along the shoreline, this one-mile sandy beach is one of the best places to visit in San Francisco for photo ops and it boasts a setting that is unlike any other place in the world
- Ocean Beach — Renowned for its cuisine, as well as its ocean views, the Cliff House is a spot here where people can enjoy fine, quality dining, and another alternative is the Beach Chalet with a gourmet restaurant overlooking the Pacific waves. These two are within easy walking distance. There are public restrooms here and visitors can park on a residential street in the Sunset neighborhood or at the lot located on Sloat Boulevard for free. The hazardous rip currents and frigid water temperatures make swimming to be unsafe here and there's a clear indication that swimming and wading are prohibited with the signs posted at the beach and there are no lifeguards here. Beach walks are rewarded with vistas of waves and an invigorating walk along the promenade is enjoyable with the beach's brisk weather. It's the foggiest and chilliest beach. Locals gather here to socialize around bonfires on those rare warm nights, kids enjoy making sandcastles, and close-by residents come here to go jogging or walk their dogs. Even though this beach is very popular, it rarely feels crowded because it's the city's longest sandy stretch and it extends for 3.5-miles.
- Crissy Field Beach — Boasting a picnic area in the nearby Little Marina Green, changing rooms, public restrooms, and parking lots, it's well-designed for visitors, and it's a wonderful place for outdoor activities. "Swim at Your Own Risk" signs are posted here and there are no lifeguards here, although it's generally safe enough for wading and swimming with its sandy shoreline and sheltered waters. Tourists will appreciate the iconic vista and the scenery here is hard to beat. People come here to walk their dogs, push baby strollers, or jog during the week, and it's a hotspot for recreation and relaxation when the weather is sunny.
San Francisco is a city rich in culture and diversity and here are some of its best landmarks;
- The Conservatory of Flowers — It focuses on conservation education and it displays many endangered species from over 50 countries. This modern horticultural museum has five galleries. From cacao and cycads to palms, it features over 1,700 varieties of tropical plants. It was reopened after an extensive reconstruction in 2003 after it was temporarily closed in 1998 as a result of a massive storm that destroyed the glass and wood greenhouse. It was initially opened in Golden Gate Park in 1879.
- Transamerica Pyramid — It boasts a 212-foot decorative aluminum spire and, steel, glass, and concrete are what the tower is made of. Rising 48 floors, it's the tallest building in San Francisco. This Futurist skyscraper was opened in 1972 and was designed by William Pereira & Assoc.
- City Hall — Its dome is almost a foot taller than the Capitol building in Washington D.C. It opened its doors in 1915 and occupies two city blocks. In 1906, the then city hall met destruction from an earthquake which gave birth to this current one a couple of years later. It was built in a period when the country undergone a rebirth in music, architecture, art, and literature. It was part of the American Renaissance movement and it was designed as a civic center by Arthur Brown Jr.
The museums in San Francisco are worth a visit with their breathtaking vistas and acclaimed architecture and they don't just boast collections that are magnificent but unique, diverse art collections, interactive science exhibits, and world-class aquariums.
- Asian Art Museum — Visitors can enjoy stunning armor, textiles, furniture, sculptures, and paintings amidst many other objects that originated from the Philippines, Japan, India, China, Turkey, and other Asian cultures. It spans 6,000 years of human history and objects from across the Asian continent and it's home to objects from across the Asian continent and a diverse collection of art. This stately museum is situated in the Civic Center neighborhood.
- California Academy of Sciences — It boasts an eco-friendly design as it's topped by a 2.5-acre living-roof. Come here to get transported through space and time for a new perspective on our planet with the immersive planetarium and, visitors of all ages will be delighted by its awe-inspiring coral reef ecosystem and four-story rainforest. The building is bursting with life; from the wildflowers on the roof to the splashing penguins in the African Hall, and it's undoubtedly one of the must-see destinations in the city of San Francisco. Known for its world-class research and educational programs, it's as well home to a natural history museum, planetarium, and aquarium.
- de Young Museum — Visitors can enjoy captivating, stunning views of San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean when they visit the 9th-floor Observation Level of the de Young's Hamon Tower. It's popular for its art from the Americas, Oceania, Africa, and as well boasts costumes, international textiles, photography, modern and contemporary art, and American art from the 17th through 21st centuries. Its collection exceeds 27,000 works and it's situated in the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.
- Museum of African Diaspora (MoAD) — It's renowned for bringing people of all ages together via art talks, music, dance, and lots more with the special programs it offers throughout the year. With its detailed, immersive exhibits, and shared African heritage, it connects all people, and from the history of dispersal of Africans throughout the Africa Diaspora, it entrusts itself with the responsibility of showcasing the cultural richness, art, and history that emanated from there.
Boasting more restaurants per capita than any major cities you'll find in North America, the array of restaurants you'll find in San Francisco is a validation that is indeed the "foodie" city it is regarded to be. Unlike New York City that has 1 restaurant for every 940 residents, San Francisco has 1 restaurant for every 250 residents, which is quite massive. The Mission burrito and cioppino are the major specialties that San Francisco is known for. And, it's believed that the Mission District is where the Mission burrito is invented from. The sushi burrito which was created by local casual chain Sushirrito in 2008 and known to be a cross between a sushi and a burrito is another recently invented local specialty in San Francisco. With the city being a foodie town, it's quite easy to get whatever you want and a website like Yelp.com which is actively regulated by a large number of San Franciscans do help in informing people the best online restaurant to try out.
Traditional Local Restaurants
Those who prefer going to traditional local restaurants to grab some bites can enjoy well-prepared meals at some of these popular local restaurants in the city
- Perry's on Union
- American bistro & bar with happy hour
- Tadich Grill
- Ten-Ichi Restaurant & Sushi Bar
- The Big 4
- Sears Fine Food
- Tuba Authentic Turkish Restaurant
- Zuni Café
- Absinthe Brasserie & Bar
Vegetarian and Vegan
From casual to trendy and refined, San Francisco offers a wide range of restaurants for visitors and locals alike with something for everyone. Unlike people's beliefs that San Francisco has low vegetarian consumers, the city is a paradise for vegetarians and vegans as there are tons of options of nice places for them;
- Shizen Vegan Sushi Bar — Take note that this restaurant is always packed during dinner service and this is why is important for you to arrive early and if you don't plan to, you can make reservations. Creating rolls and nigiri that are nothing short of show-stopping, the chefs here keep getting more creative and redefining, and the restaurant offers so much more than avocado and cucumber rolls.
- Next Level Burger — With its classic creamy vegan milkshakes and thick, juicy plant-based burgers, the satisfaction you'll feel coming here is topnotch. It's one of the top vegan restaurants in the city and it's a great place to dine.
- Nourish Cafe — Known for serving its guests healthy vegan food at its finest, this restaurant has won the heart of many in this city. Here, you can't afford to miss the daily pizza slice, the juices are perfectly balanced and refreshing, and the bowls are unique and substantial. Head to Nourish Cafe if you're up for a meal that will keep you full for hours but won’t weigh you down.
- Greens Restaurant — You can enjoy its delivery via Caviar or GrubHub if you desire to order takeout online here. However, take note that reservations are required for seating if you want to come here. It has a solid takeout menu of vegetarian dishes available and it has set tables and chairs out for outdoor dining.
With accessible options in multiple neighborhoods, the food truck scene in the city offers variety for those who thirst to have some quality street food experience. San Francisco is a melting pot of culinary culture and it has a good experience to offer for those who want to enjoy some nice street food;
- Food Trucks
- Aunt Vicky's
- Bini's Kitchen
- Chomp Station
- The Chairman
- The Codmother
- Curry Up Now
- Del Popolo
- Estrellita's Snacks
- Roli Roti
- Food Truck Areas
- Off the Grid
- SoMa StrEat Food Park
- Truck Stop SF
Asking for the advice of a local is the best way to find a good bar where you can enjoy drinking in this city and you can as well do some search online to get something that suits your taste.
The diversity of cultures in San Francisco is reflected by the neighborhoods in the city and the nightlife in the city is quite diverse.
- Working your way north through bars like Mayes and Hemlock is a way to go if you desire to bar hop at some of the friendly bars in town.
- If you seek a college atmosphere clubbing scene and you would love to roll with those visiting from Los Angeles and professionals in their mid-20s to mid-30s, head to the Marina and go grab some bottles together.
- As Bernal Heights is notable for its plentiful lesbian bars, the Castro primarily serves San Francisco's gay men.
- It could so much pleasurable when one cap up the night with a great burrito from one of the local Mission taquerias after having had good fruition of grooving on the dance floor and the Mission offers such a down to earth vibe.
- From Four Deuces in the Sunset and Danny Coyle's in the Haight to lots more, San Francisco has a number of very good Irish pubs, and it's no surprise looking at the city's large Irish population.
The tap water in San Francisco has been proven to be one of the best in the United States of America. It's safe to drink tap water in San Francisco and the city's water is usually in the soft range of 45 to 50 TDS. While some little percent of the city's tap water is sourced from local surface reservoirs and groundwater, the Tuolumne River which feeds the Hetch Hetchy Regional Water Reservoir is where eighty-five percent of the city's tap water comes from. And, this is actually good looking at the fact that water coming from the Hetch Hetchy reservoir is one of the cleanest you'll find around in the United States. Eco-friendly travelers in San Francisco should avoid bottled water because it's a waste of nature and money.
Those who desire to eat and drink well or anyone with dietary restrictions will be glad to find themselves in San Francisco as they'll be surrounded by plenty of options of healthy restaurants and organic cafés;
- Nourish Cafe — If you seek an alternative to traditional baked goods, you can try out its chocolate chip cookies which are simply divine. There are plenty of amazing options here and you can enjoy everything from veggie wraps to acai bowls. Offering fully plant-based meals in a welcoming atmosphere, it has a good, favorable ambiance, and it's situated in the Inner Richmond district.
- Seed + Salt — Supporting local producers and creating good-for-you food are the responsibilities it charges itself with. It offers delivery and it's very easy for you to find something you’ll enjoy here as it has it all from daily homemade gluten-free desserts and falafel to beet burgers. Offering an array of delicious dishes, it's a vegan, gluten-free restaurant, and it's popular for its upscale toast.
- The Plant Cafe Organic — Serving everything from vegan options which are clearly marked and gluten-free to kale salad, turkey burgers, scrambles, and burritos, this cafe is a great place to have your breakfast, and it is reputed to be a cool place to grab a quick meal. The Plant Cafe has several locations around San Francisco and the Bay Area.
- Gracias Madre — If you'll be coming here, prepare yourself to wait for a little while or better still, make a reservation because it's one of the most popular vegan restaurants in the city, and the fact that it has never disappointed by its quality of the food has always been a motivating factor that keeps people trooping in consistently. Anyone who loves healthy Mexican food should go to Gracias Madre to give themselves a little good treat, and it's in the heart of the Mission.
With several long-running microbreweries and the opening of innovative small-batch breweries, the beer scene in San Francisco is exploding! The beer brewing history in San Francisco dates back even further than the city itself and SF has the honor of being home of America's first craft brewery. Pouring everything from hazy West Coast IPAs and hoppy to classic steam lagers, San Francisco has a tall and strong list of local breweries. Not Portland. No, not even Seattle. The birthplace of the craft beer movement is San Francisco and you shouldn't expect nothing less, of course.
- Magnolia Brewing Co — Beers like Dark Star Mild and Oysterhead Stout are not worth missing here. Though the English-style ales first gave this brewery a leg up in the industry, this gourmet gastropub was once a casual corner hangout before it transformed to where it is today. This popular microbrewery has experienced substantial growth over the years and it was an early frontrunner in the city's craft brew scene. It's been a neighborhood gathering spot for more than 20 years and it's a Haight Street institution.
- Dokkabier — For local beer delivery to San Francisco and the East and South Bay, this fresh brewery has launched online orders to such effect. Flavors such as citra, galangal, and lemongrass are still brewed here, even though it doesn't have a sit-down space or snacks. Popping up around town with Korean fried chicken and citrusy brews, it's one of the cool new breweries in the city with a unique vibe.
- 21st Amendment Brewery & Restaurant — It's open for outdoor dining and takeout and it's co-founded by the famous Shaun O'Sullivan. This brewery is located near South Park in SoMa and it's largely recognized for its widely distributed cans of seasonal beers. There are nice beers you should really try out if you're here. If you can't have a taste of the Watermelon Funk sour ale, don't miss out on its High Watermelon wheat beer. Die IPA and Brew Free are some of its popular year-round beers and the amendment that ended prohibition is what inspired the name of this brewery.
Right within the city limits, you'll enjoy some of the most beautiful natural views of San Francisco - convenience! Travellers of any age or fitness level in San Francisco will find the city to be thoroughly pleasing with a wide range of outdoor activities and adventures that suit different kinds of energy and mood. San Francisco offers more chances to get outside and enjoy nature and there's never been a shortage of things to do and places to visit in this California's fourth most populous city! If you're visiting San Francisco, be prepared to be amazed, transformed and inspired, as there are tons of opportunities to experience the city in ways you might never have imagined.
- Cruise on the San Francisco Bay
- Take a ferry ride out to Angel Island
- Take a walk through Golden Gate Park
- Take in the view on a Billy Goat Hill Rope Swing
- Go sea kayaking on the Bay
- Take in the beauty of the Muir Woods
- Pay a visit to Mt. Tam
- Hike through Fort Funston
- Rent a bicycle in the city
- Head to the beach
- Practice Yoga at Grace Cathedral
- Join Lucy in the Sky with Diamond at Illegal Image museum
- SCREAAAAAAM ! ! ! at Six Flag
- Have a look at the bridge from Baker Beach
- Walk down San Francisco decorated streets
- Watch Golden States Warriors team at Oracle Arena in Oakland
- Lose yourself in Magowan’s Mirror Maze
- Jump at House of Air
- Take pleasure at the Good Vibration Museum
Yoga and Retreats
For your yoga and retreats in San Francisco, you can visit any of these places:
- Integral Yoga Institute San Francisco
- Yoga Garden SF
- Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Center
- Yoga Society of San Francisco
- Exotic Yoga Retreats
- Fluid Yoga
- Haight Street Yoga
- Satori Yoga Studio
Accommodation options are rife in San Francisco. Whether you want to stay in a hotel or rent an apartment for a short stay, you're bound to find a resting place that suits your taste and preference.
Hotel Del Sol, a Joie de Vivre Hotel is one of the best green hotels you'll find in San Francisco. It offers its staff shower rooms and bike storage and it sells bus passes to guests. It reduces water wastage with its sink aerators, new toilet flappers, fill valves, and it as well waters its gardens manually. It imbibes the philosophy of ‘reuse and recycle’ and it has a waste reduction program. It sources products from local, eco-friendly vendors, and it has earned its green certification.
Other nice green hotels in the city are:
- Orchard Garden Hotel
- Hotel Zelos San Francisco
- Argonaut Hotel, a Noble House Hotel
- Good Hotel
Hostels and Guest Houses
Cheap hostels and guest houses are plentiful in San Francisco and here are some of the popular ones:
- HI San Francisco Downtown Hostel
- Amsterdam Hostel San Francisco
- The Inn San Francisco
- DC Crashpad
- Pacific Tradewinds Hostel
- Francisco Bay Inn
Renting an apartment in San Francisco could be expensive and the city's median price for a single-bedroom apartment is around $3,500 monthly or thereabout. Choosing your choice of neighborhood is an important step in securing an apartment and you can find several available apartments on Airbnb and other websites online.
The fact that the rent prices in San Francisco are high is enough motivation to consider couchsurfing in the city and you shouldn't be afraid to ask the locals around about the possibility of finding a host.
You can enjoy camping in San Francisco at places like Rob Hill Campground and Camp Ida Smith.
How to Get There
Depending on your proximity to San Francisco, you can get to the city by air, car, bus, or train.
There are three major international airports serving San Francisco:
- San Francisco International Airport (SFO) is infamous for its weather delays and it offers loads of amenities for passengers like assistance for lost or stranded travelers and military personnel, an array of food and drink establishments, and many more. It's one of the busiest in the nation and it's the Bay Area's major international airport.
- Oakland International Airport (OAK) is fog-free and it's close to Downtown San Francisco. It's a major hub for Southwest Airlines, it's primarily used by low-cost carriers, and it offers service to various destinations in the country and Mexico too.
- Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) is often used by residents of the Bay Area who find SFO to be inconvenient and it's about 1 hour south of San Francisco.
The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system connects downtown SF to San Francisco and Oakland Airports.
Intercity bus companies like FlixBus, Greyhound Lines, Hoang Express, Jass, and Cabin have their own bus stops in different parts of the city.
There are two regional rail systems which serve San Francisco: Caltrain and Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). Amtrak as well serves the Bay Area with long-distance and intercity trains.
Although hitchhiking in California can be easy, the state's law does frown at it.
Passenger ferries regularly link other Bay Area cities to San Francisco and cruise ships and private yachts are regular visitors to San Francisco. In many ways, a boat is the ideal way to approach San Francisco.
Moving around San Francisco is easier using public transportation or by foot. The need for your own set of wheels has been paralyzed by the bus and streetcar lines well-operated by the large municipal transportation system in the city and most of the famous city's attractions are within walking distance of the city center.
'San Francisco is a city of friendly neighborhoods and considering the fact that it's compact, the streets are navigable, and most of the tourist sites are in its northeastern portion, walking can be an enticing option to get from one neighborhood to another. However, you should not hesitate to consider opting for public transportation or a taxi instead of you find yourself in an unfamiliar area after dark, and you should as well be conscious of your surroundings".
With 75,000 residents commuting by bicycle each day, cycling is a popular mode of transportation in this city but you should be very careful cycling in San Francisco because the city has a dark history of cyclists and accidents. However, bicycles can be a convenient form of transportation in this city, especially if you've got strong legs and tolerance for traffic with intermittent bike lanes.
San Francisco is one of the most tech-advanced cities in the world and moving around "electrically" has been made easy with the electric bicycles, electric trolleys, and several opportunities to rent an electronic vehicle in the city.
Cars are rendered unnecessary by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's "Muni" system which offers numerous bus, streetcar, and cable car routes. Whilst discounts are available on all transportation for children and senior citizens, Cable Car rides cost $7, and individual rides on bus cost $2.50.
Tram, Train and Subway
Muni has trains serving the city and you can as well get between Downtown and the Mission via the BART which offers regional train services in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Eco-friendly travelers who desire to shop sustainably in San Francisco will find these shops to be satisfying:
- Foggy Notion
- Marine Layer
- Rainbow Grocery
- Green Earth Natural Foods
- Rickshaw Bagworks
San Francisco Bay Area is no stranger to gourmet food products, pop-up markets, food trucks, and it has been supporting local music as it keeps giving back to the community.The city is home to some of the nation’s first farmers’ markets as it's nestled in one of the most abundant agricultural areas in the country.
- Alemany Farmers’ Market
- Ferry Plaza Farmers Market
- Mission Community Market
- Heart of the City Farmers’ Market
- Ferry Building Marketplace
Popular flea markets you'll find in San Francisco include:
- Inner Sunset Flea Market
- Little Flea Market
- San Francisco Farmers market at Crocker Galleria
Second Hand Stores
Mission Thrift, Community Thrift, and Out of the Closet - Folsom are some of the popular second-hand stores in San Francisco.
Sustainable and eco-friendly clothing brands in San Francisco include:
- époque évolution
- Alternative Apparel
- American Giant
In San Francisco, the blue bin is where recyclables go in and residents are to empty their recyclables there.
San Francisco is one of the cities that takes its waste management very seriously and it plans to be a zero-waste city very soon.
Work and Study Abroad
San Francisco is a hotspot for work and study abroad.
Home to prestigious universities and colleges like the University of San Francisco, University of California--Berkeley, and many others, student exchange program is common amongst most of the institutions in the city.
There are possibilities for au pairs in San Francisco.
While volunteering opportunities are rife in the San Francisco Bay Area which is known to have a strong sense of community, there are lots of websites online that can help you find a suitable organization to volunteer for in San Francisco based on your interest.