What People Do To Have Fun In San Francisco: Touring, Exploring, Adventures…

Inside Cafe downtownSan Francisco’s many neighborhoods provide a rich diversity of culture and unique beauty that keeps this city among the top must-visit destinations in America. The City by the Bay can make for an exciting trip, but visitors should be forewarned that it is not easy to explore its complex geography by car; a knowledge of the public transportation system is helpful. Fortunately, the city’s Muni (short for municipal transportation) offers multiple ways to get around, including the iconic cable cars as well as buses and trains. It should also be noted that there is no shortage of taxis here. When it comes to fun, there are many options as each neighborhood offers its own ways for visitors to enjoy themselves.

Golden Gate Park – Exploring Nature and the Arts in the Bay Area

From its museum to its gardens, this park alone may be worth the trip. Golden Gate Park occupies more than 1,000 acres and offers a wide assortment of fun and interesting things to explore, including the California Academy of Sciences.

Golden Gate photo April2013
The Academy is housed in a 400,000 square foot facility and includes an aquarium and planetarium as well as a rainforest that is over four stories tall. The park also has the Conservatory of Flowers which provides exhibits of different types of plant life, ranging from aquatic varieties to various types of potted plants. The Conservatory of Flowers includes a 60-foot Victorian greenhouse and has almost 2,000 plant species. There is a Japanese Tea Garden that is a leftover from the late 19th century when the park was built and there is also a historic carousel that is open to both children and adults. For those interested in the arts, there is the De Young Museum which aims to provide a variety of high quality art exhibitions. The park is the perfect place to picnic, but visitors who want restaurant dining will have no trouble finding eating establishments in its vicinity that serve everything from Irish pub food to middle eastern dishes.

Touring Alcatraz – Sightseeing on “The Rock”

Alcatraz Island is home to what is possibly the most well-known abandoned prison in the world. Its notoriety is partly due to it having been the home of notorious criminals like Al Capone and Machinegun Kelly. It is interesting that despite its reputation as a place of desolation, its location in the bay is actually quite beautiful. Visitors can tour the interior of the facility day or night, with the day tour being the more popular option. While on the tour, they can choose to listen to an audio recording that will help them learn about the island and its history. Because the tour is so popular, it may be best to visit Alcatraz in the winter when the crowds are not quite as large.

People having fun in San Francisco

Beauty at SFMOMA – Enjoying the Arts at The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

The thriving arts scene is among the reasons that this city is such a popular destination. Visitors with an interest in art can follow up their visit to Golden Gate Park’s De Young Museum with one to SFMOMA. The museum started life as the first on the West Coast to be exclusively dedicated to modern art and continues that tradition today with four floors of works by notable modern artists like Jeff Koons and Piet Mondrian. There are more than 27,000 artworks housed in the building, so SFMOMA may take up a considerable amount of time for a serious art lover. The types of art range from paintings and photographs to a variety of design objects. Visitors may opt for an audio tour or use one of SFMOMA’s interactive kiosks to help them navigate. For those who want a souvenir of their time exploring the museum, there is a museum-store that sells a variety of art books; the store also sells furniture and products for children. There is a café on site that provides fine dining and which has both indoor and outdoor seating. Upcoming exhibitions in 2013 include ones by Garry Winogrand and Ben Kinmont.

Tug/Boat in the bayDiscovering San Francisco’s Legendary Waterfront – Fun on Fisherman’s Wharf

An iconic destination, this waterfront neighborhood is the home base of San Francisco’s fishermen as well as the location of many of the Bay Area’s best seafood restaurants. In addition to the restaurants, the local sights include the sea lions at Pier 39 and the Maritime Museum. The museum has historic vessels and a research center. That this is one of the most popular Californian destinations for tourists can be seen in its many souvenir shops and wax museums. There is also the Ghirardelli Square chocolate factory and many events throughout the year at which visitors can enjoy themselves.

Rediscovering the 60s – Adventures in “The Haight”

The Haight is actually comprised of two communities: Haight-Fillmore and Haight-Ashbury. Considered the birthplace of the 1960’s American counter-culture movement, this neighborhood has changed considerably since then; in 2013 it features upscale shopping and trendy cafes. Despite the fact that the ’60s are long gone, it is still possible to find its remnants here in a few smoke-shops and hippie-influenced stores. However, the population these days is generally young and focused on fashion; the neighborhood is known for its thriving nightlife and music scene. The Haight’s atmosphere is relaxed, despite the proliferation of hipsters and vintage clothing boutiques; visitors may want to avoid touring on the weekends as it is usually crowded with tourists. Among the enjoyable places here are Buena Vista Park which offers 36 acres of forest with trails for hiking and jogging. There is also the Grateful Dead House, which is where the legendary band lived together in the 60s.

A Taste of the Exotic – Trekking Through Chinatown

Though many visitors may find it hard to believe, this relatively small neighborhood (geographically speaking) is actually the largest Chinese community outside of China. It has its own unique feel and energy and is a must-visit destination for those traveling to the Bay Area. Started by immigrant workers who came to America to help build railroads, this community of over 100,000 people provides a taste of Chinese culture with its pagoda-style roofs and delicious authentic food. The best course of action to experience Chinatown is to not have one at all; visitors should simply walk along randomly exploring the shops and soaking up the atmosphere.

Tourist reading a book near the water

San Francisco’s diversity is evident even in its climate as neighboring parts of the city can sometimes experience dramatic differences in weather. All of that diversity is packed into a relatively small space, measuring roughly six square miles; this means it is easier to take in than those cities that are spread out over a larger area. For those who seek a 2013 vacation trip that will provide a variety of different experiences for those with different tastes and interests, San Francisco is one of the best places to visit.

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The Alembic @SanFrancisco Is A Great Place For Dining

At least once a month my girlfriend and I go to The Alembic for lunch or dinner. We’re both ‘foodies’ and we consider eating there to be a consistently satisfying and exciting experience. We love the Haight neighborhood and sometimes friends and/or family members come along with us to The Alembic and they’re always happy that they joined us.

reviews-The-Alembic

The authentic retro feel and tasteful decor make us feel comfortable and the staff members always extend very good service. The place is hugely popular and the restaurant/bar isn’t terribly large but the staff makes sure that crowd sizes don’t become unpleasantly big.

The Alembic  is known as a cocktail bar although they also serve an very extensive selection of beers and wines. The bar staff there regularly creates and serves new cocktail drinks in addition to the many drinks they already serve. All of the cocktails served at The Alembic are ample in size and there’s no skimping on the alcohol.

When it comes to the food served at The Alembic, it is not only delicious and artfully presented but it is also like nothing else served in San Francisco.

During the four or five years I’ve been coming to The Alembic the menu has changed some offerings a few times and I love the way the menu is now. The kitchen there regularly produces dishes with the most creative ingredient combinations I’ve ever heard of.

We ate lunch there about a week and a half ago and our meals were spectacular. For some time now my girlfriend has been enamored with a drink they make with bourbon, mint and peach brandy and she started off with one of those. I was perfectly fine with one of their spectacular Bloody Mary’s.

The lunch menu features an appealing assortment of dishes including Brisket Sliders, Beer Battered Rockfish Sandwich, Crispy Duck Confit, Caramelized Pork Ribs and an incredible bacon-studded hot dog.

last-review-2013TheAlembic-interior

During our recent lunch my girlfriend ordered the rockfish sandwich and I had the scrumptious pork ribs. She raved about the sandwich and the Old Bay potato chips that are served with it and I kept eating the savoy cabbage that also accompanies the sandwich. As for the pork ribs, they were sublime and the spicy green papaya salad that is served with them was beyond delicious.

Our waiter provided us with excellent service during our recent lunch and we got to meet a charming couple from New Jersey who were visiting San Francisco for the first time. That’s another great thing about The Alembic. We usually find ourselves meeting new people, sometimes local residents and sometimes tourists who are visiting the city whenever we go there.

The Alembic’s dinner menu offers Kampachi Sashimi, Grilled Lamb Shoulder, Blue Prawns with Ink Cavatelli, Applewood Smoked Sturgeon, Crispy Pork Belly and a very popular plate of bone marrow served with caper gremolata and garlic confit.

Whether you’re a longtime resident of San Francisco or just visiting the city for the first time, please let me recommend eating and drinking at The Alembic. The establishment is open late seven days a week and prices are actually reasonable.

More #SanFrancisco restaurants reviews:  Parada 22 – Pork Store Cafe

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What is for Lunch at the Fantastic Parada 22

San Francisco is known for breathtaking views, signature landmarks, cable cars, and plenty of place to met and conversate with friends and family. San Francisco is also known for excellent food, fun and all-around excitement. With so much to do and so much to see the question may be where to eat. Parada 22 at Haight-Ashbury is just one of the many options, but what makes this restaurant the place to eat. Well, today you’ll find out.

San Francisco viewsFor many restaurants the goal is to stand out, create an environment that makes people want to eat there and come back often. Parada 22 has created just that. Parada 22 has built a reputation among the locals as being a splendid place for brunch, lunch, and dinner. Parada 22 has established a restaurant with exceptional service, memorable food, ideal value and prices, with an enticing atmosphere. Parada 22 has an ideal location near Golden Gate Park, this highly rated restaurant creates an atmosphere that is warm, friendly, cozy, and inviting.

Now lets talk about the meat and potatoes of a restaurant, the food. Everyone talks about the food, what a place serves more than anything and Parada 22 has a wide variety of Puerto Rican cuisine for your appetite. The home-style cooking will surely enlighten your taste buds and leave you wanting more. Some ideas you can order include shrimp with red beans and Spanish rice and a Latin tradition plantains. You can also order pollo, which is chicken for those who don’t speak Spanish. Some other items on the menu include Biftec, which is a marinated sirloin steak with onions over green beans. Not only can you enjoy traditional food, but they have a great wine and beer menu.

Parada 22 interior photo

Another concern for any patrons is how affordable a is restaurant and most of the items on the menu are under $12. This is perfect for a quick lunch with co-workers, friends or family.

Parada 22 is also perfect for brunch which commonly starts at 9 a.m San Francisco time on the weekends. Some of the items you can order include a world famous breakfast burritos, their signature buttermilk pancakes, and biscuits served in a creamy herb gravy. Pandara 22 is also great for dinner as the restaurant is close to Cha Cha Cha night spot.

Parada 22 has a setting that is very intimate, with only ten tables this restaurant is ideal for a one on one conversation as the noise level is minimal. This perfect for date night with a blind date or a couple looking to keep things spicy. The decor oozes Latin flavor, but not too much, and makes you feel like Puerto Rico is just outside the doors.

Some other notable facts about the restaurant are the convent hours the restaurant serves patroness. Parada 22 is open from 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday and 9 a.m.- 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. The attire is casual and you can order carry out. Parada 22 is also kid friendly and has a great lunch menu to suppose that environment.

The restaurant is highly rated as I mentioned before many have submitted reviews regarding the food, service, and atmosphere. “We love the shrimp with red beans and Spanish rice here. “The Camarones à la Criolla is so delicious.” These are just some of the things people are saying about this petite restaurant with great food, superior service, an inviting atmosphere and an all-around great place. So the next time you’re in San Francisco come to Parada 22 and find out for yourself what everyone is raving about.

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You Can’t Buy Pigs at the Pork Store Cafe in San Francisco

If you are walking down to the corner of Haight and Ashbury, you will definately come across the Pork Store Cafe.
Many questions will come to mind. What is this place? How did it get the name? Why are people standing in line to get in? Do they sell pigs in there?

Reviews- Pork Store CafeNo, you can’t buy pigs here, but you can get a great meal. The Pork Store Cafe is open for breakfast, brunch, and lunch. There are three extremely popular items here at the Pork Store Cafe. These three items are the Pork Store Special, Eggs In A Tasty Nest, and their Hash Browned Potatoes. They also serve other breakfast items, sandwiches, salads, and more. They even have a low carb and vegan menu.

This is a casual dress cafe and kids are more than welcome. As a matter of fact, the kids may enjoy watching their food being prepared in the open kitchen. You will want to sit at the long bar for that.

The Pork Store Cafe has been in business since 1979. It was many things before it became what it is today. It started out in 1916 as a butcher shop known as the Haight Street Pork Store. The owners had a stained glass sign made and installed at the location that read “Pork Store”. In the 50’s there was a cafe at the location. The owners covered the sign up. Other businesses in this location have included a hair salon, a coffee shop and another restaurant. The stained glass sign was never uncovered. In 1979 the sign was uncovered and the new business that started there became the Pork Store Cafe.

The great tasting food, the huge portions, the excellent service, and the affordable prices keep people coming back time after time. Word of mouth has brought even more people to the restaurant. Often times you may see a line forming outside to get in. This isn’t a bad thing. They bring you a small cup of coffee to drink while you wait. Besides, the wait is usually just a few minutes.

Last Reviews 2013 - Pork Store Cafe

When in San Francisco, do what the locals do. Go down to the Pork Store Cafe and have a great meal. No, you can’t buy pigs there, but you will have a great meal.

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Haight-Ashbury, A Tourists Dream Of Submersion in 1960s Culture

Haight-Ashbury is a location in San Francisco, California.

San Francisco is a place in Northern California near coastal shores and abundant metropolitan cities. San Francisco by itself is a large cornerstone city of California. Established in the Gold rush years, San Francisco is still growing and has never seen its hay-day as of this date.

San Francisco Haight-Ashbury photo 2013

Haight-Ashbury is a district located near Golden Gate Park. Stanyon Street and the Golden Gate Park border Haight-Ashbury on the western side of the district. Baker Street and the beautiful park Buena Vista are awaiting a visit to the East of the district. Towards the South side of the district is the neighbourhoods of the infamous Cole Valley noted for its cheap 1960s style of housing that was sought by most individuals that wanted a cheap affordable place to call home.

Haight-Ashbury street names get there names derived from early settlers of the late 1870s. Henry Haight and Mr. Munroe Ashbury gave these streets there popular cultured names. The neighbourhood was primary designed by Mr. Ashbury and his then aspiring Nephew. A lower level of the neighbourhood was called Lower Height and the elevated neighbourhood was glamorized as Upper Height. Upper Height was primarily were Hippies and the Bohemian movement became popularized in the 1960s. Japanese and African American culture dominated the Lower Height district.

As its call to fame the Haight-Ashbury district finds its roots and glamour from the Hippie movement and culture. Still to this day Haight-Ashbury is popularized by its standing among unique places to visit and rich culture experience. Some of the greatest Rock Stars of all time found their beginning in Haight-Ashbury. Stars like Janis Joplin, Jefferson Airplane, Jimmy Hendrix, all these rock and Rock musicians knew the district of Haight-Ashbury. Most of these musicians lived worked and had friends that still reside in the Haight-Ashbury district.

Counter-culture is in unison of the name,”Haight-Ashbury”. American culture was taking a very different line from were it currently is now. In the summer of 1967 Haight-Ashbury found itself infiltrated with Hippies. Hippies were a culture of individuals that listened to the new Psychedelic Music of the age. Messages were said to be in some of these songs. Subliminal messages were always being listened for by the practicing Hippie. Hippies believed in the concepts of world peace and brotherly love for all people who wished and embraced its ideas. War was an evil concept that most Hippies protested and wanted nothing to do with at all. Hippies wanted one thing,” Put peace back into the World”.

Haight-Ashbury location  San Francisco

As a tourist destination the sights are many and the culture exposure can be awesome. Along its many streets the Haight-Ashbury district is graced with retro shops offering a trip back in time to the land of the Hippie and Bohemian. Head Shops and bead shops flank the store fronts. Restaurants with Hippie décor make a visit feel like a trip back into the time when the Summer of Love of 1967 was at its full swing. The Summer of love has came and gone but the Haight-Ashbury district will bring back a vision for the most sceptical tourist of what it really was like in the Sixties.

When experiencing the Haight-Ashbury district it is important to keep in mind that the whole focus of the district is about a time when Psychedelic Music, Marijuana, Free Love, and alternate lifestyles were learning to be excepted, and most importantly, not judged. Culture differences and ideas were radically different. The tourist will enjoy every moment spent in the district of San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district. Still to this day there are individuals practicing and living the Hippie way of life. Some of these individuals will be happy to share with the avid interested tourist a way of life long gone.

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