Amériques, Destinations, United States

What You Can See in One Day Walking in San Francisco

Even when I’m in a town with excellent public transport, it’s very rare that I use it. Why? Because it stinks. Always. …and also because I think the best way to feel a town is to explore by foot. So here is what I was able to see in one day walking in San Francisco with my pair of Palladium shoes.

I started my day at the San Francisco Downtown Hostel. It was clean, safe, and well situated. But I must say you need to be very sociable, cause there’s people everywhere. A lot of them! … and just two showers per floor. Which means that if you like to take a shower in the morning, don’t even think about it. Or get ready to fight to win your place. Also, they offer fruits and bagels for breakfast.

They brag about having the best bagels and I shut up the Montrealer in me to not make them sad.

In short, a lovely hostel and an excellent option for small budget.

It was Sunday so I decided to please my grandma and go to the church. For real! I have a video to prove it, but I’m keeping it for next Sunday on Facebook (suspense…).

Travel Tip: If you’re planning on visiting the most popular attractions in San Francisco, including Alcatraz, take a look at CityPASS. It’s a bundle including the major attractions and you can save around 40%.

First stop : the Seven Painted Ladies, those very popular Victorian houses. (Bonus, you can pass in front of the City Hall.)

Okay. Now is the time I really feel bad because I just realized there are only six houses in my pictures. In real, there are seven.

Here is a good reason for you to go see them.

After, I walked in the Golden Gate Park. And I learned that the ”Park” and the ”Bridge” were not located at the same place.

When I was in the park, there were plenty of people doing tai chi. I thought that if I were living near a park as beautiful as this one, I’d do tai chi too. In fact, probably not. But it’s still an adorable park.

I then walked through the Presidio, the park you need to cross to go to the Golden Gate Bridge. A walk through giant trees and perpetual fog. It made me think of a Tim Burton movie.

Presidio, the park near the Golden Gate Bridge

And it was there. The famous Golden Gate Bridge. One of the most popular bridges of the USA.

The Golden Gate Bridge

And like each time I see a known monument, I got this feeling. That little ”check” on my infinite bucket list of destinations.

After taking a few at least 100 pictures of THE bridge, I returned to the East by the Cow Hollow neighbourhood. Because with a name like this, I couldn’t miss it.

Small history lesson :

In the mid-1800s settlers came to the area, then known as Spring Valley, and soon began farming around a large lagoon. It wasn’t long before dairy farming became the predominant activity; hence the name Cow Hollow, which has survived to the present. (Union Street Association)

In fact, it’s a trendy neighbourhood with a lot of cafés, restaurants and shops. I passed by on my way to the famous section of Lombard Street between Hyde and Leavenworth. It’s the crookedest street in the world. What really pleased me was the mass of people completely blocking traffic to photograph this famous street. I love taking pictures of people taking pictures. I cannot help it.

The Crowd near Lombard Street, San Francisco

To end my day, I came down by Russian Hill, but in fact, it goes up. Very much.

A good way to recognize tourists in Russian Hill? They are the only stupid people walking on those streets.

I had read that San Francisco was known for its hills, but I was coming back from Lisbon in June so I wasn’t very impressed… until the Russian Hills.

It’s not walking. It’s hiking.


Photo by John K, Creative Common

In fact, walking there is just completely irresponsible.

Back at the hostel, we made the count : a 25 km walk in San Francisco! We navigates the city all day, using the map in our Lonely Planet Guidebook and we manages to see everything we wanted.

What about you? Do you explore by foot or public transport?

If you want to discover more posts about California:

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You can see a lot of San Francisco if you're willing to walk around town. Here's what I manage to see in only one day, walking around. #travel #sanfrancisco #walk #backpackers #california

A Day Walking in San Francisco. The best way to discover the town.

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