San Francisco Like a Local (Part 1)

Twin Peaks
 San Francisco… famous for many things including it's year round fog, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, steep hilly landscape and cable cars! Yes we saw all of these cool things, but beyond all of the touristy stuff lies much much more to this colourful city. 

Walking The Mission District at dusk
The Mission District. The first stop on my 5 week road trip with my partner in crime, Aaron. After a few wrong stops on the BART, we finally made it! To 24th St. Mission. Our airbnb place was only a 5 minute walk through the artsy district lined with liquor marts, dive bars and authentic mexican restaurants. Read on for some tips on how to do San Fran the local way.

Catch Public Transport

What is the BART? This is the easiest form of public transport I have ever used. The BART is an underground transport system servicing San Francisco Bay. If you get on the BART heading in the wrong direction no problem, hop off and get on the other side. It's not like Sydney where there is multiple platforms and train lines, there is one platform and that's it! We caught the BART at least once every day of our stay in San Francisco and I would highly recommend this system to anyone travelling in San francisco.

We also used the bus system a couple of times, for example catching the BART to Civic Center/UN Plaza and getting on a bus at Market Street. This bus would take us to the famous Haight and Ashbury, a district of San Francisco named after this intersection. Here we spent a few hours vintage shopping and dive bar hopping. We were able to figure all of this our using the maps app on our iPhone.

View of Mission Dolores Park
Where We Stayed

Why stay in The Mission District? It is, I guess what people would refer to as the 'hipster' suburb of San Francisco. Backing onto the rainbow 'Castro' district, The Mission boasts some of the best mexican food I have ever tasted! On par with San Diego. There are alleyways and alleyways full of street art plus cafes on every block. It is home to famous Mission Dolores Park, where locals and travellers can chill out on the grassy knoll overlooking stunning views of San Francisco. We chose to stay in The Mission District rather than Union Square because we wanted a chance to see the amazing street art and laid back suburb. I think if we stayed in the city we might not have gotten the chance to explore the outer suburbs. It's easy enough to get to all the touristy parts of San francisco, we caught the BART into Union Square, caught a cable car to Fisherman's Wharf, hired a bike and rode over The Golden Gate Bridge, catching the Ferry back from Sol Solito admiring Alcatrez on the way back through from the boat. (blog post on this day coming soon) It was really nice to catch the BART back to 24th St. Mission and wander lazily back to our little house before hitting some dive bars. You still get to see and do the touristy things while at the same time enjoy living like a San Francisco 'local'

Mission District street art
Dive bar in Mission District
Want more? Good! Because there is an endless list of things to do and see in San Francisco. Here's a few to add to your itinerary; Drive or jog Twin Peaks, explore The Castro, Visit Chinatown (did you know that San Francisco has the largest Chinatown outside of Asia?), vintage shopping at Haight & Ashbury. More info on these cool places in the next blog post.

Part Two coming soon!

Our airbnb listing here.