• The best of San Francisco: Insider tips

    CWT Savvy Traveler
    Sometimes the best way to experience a city is to skip “the usual” must-see landmarks and instead explore some of the local favorites. San Francisco, like many cities, is full of local haunts and icons that the every-day tourist might miss. So aside from the usual must-sees—like Fisherman’s Wharf and the Golden Gate Bridge—or instead of grabbing breakfast at Starbucks, be bold and try something a little different. We’ve asked experienced travelers and local San Franciscans to share what places make the City by the Bay so special to them. What out-of-the-ordinary place will you visit on your next trip to San Fran?

    Boudin Bakery "Crab" sourdough bread. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

    Boudin Bakery “Crab” sourdough bread.
    Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

    Boudin Bakery—At the end of a long day of sight-seeing, drop into the Boudin Bakery to try their famous sourdough bowl. We hear it’s the best around! Sound like your cup of tea? (or, your sourdough crab?) Then make tracks to: 160 Jefferson St., San Francisco, CA 94133

    Four Barrel Coffee Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Andrew Ballantyne

    Four Barrel Coffee
    Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Andrew Ballantyne

     

    FourBarrel Coffee—In a world where there seems to be a coffee shop on every corner, unique ones are a treasure! FourBarrel roasts their own beans in-shop to concoct a delicious one-of-a-kind line of coffee beverages. But be warned: this non-traditional coffee shop also has unconventional rules for its coffee aficionados; including an Instagram ban and not offering Wi-Fi. The bright side to this? It’s officially an excuse to pull out that book you’ve been promising yourself you’d read.  Grab that book and head on over to: 375 Valencia St. (at 15th St.), San Francisco, CA 94103

    Golden Gate Bridge as fog rolls in Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Brocken Inaglory

    Golden Gate Bridge as fog rolls in
    Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, Brocken Inaglory

    The Intercontinental Hotel—The rooms in this lovely hotel are beautiful to be certain, but it’s the roof that really draws a crowd.  The hotel’s rooftop lounge, Top of the Mark, is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine and get a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Whether it’s a view of the bridge at sunset or as the infamous San Francisco fog rolls in, Top of the Mark is a great spot to sight-see from up high. Hop an elevator to the 19th floor at: 999 California St., San Francisco, California 94108

    Pier 39 Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, John O'Neill

    Pier 39
    Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons, John O’Neill

    A new spin…Literally!—Looking to see a few of the city’s key landmarks in a different light? Our San Fran insiders recommend renting bikes near Pier 39 and riding over the Golden Gate to Sausalito and back. This will get you one of the best views of the Bay that the city has to offer. Grab a rented bike and head out from: Pier 39 Beach Street & The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94133

     

    Are you a San Fran native, or do you travel there often? Share some of your favorite lesser-known shops, eats, and sight-seeing locations in the comments below!

     

    Safe travels,

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One Responseso far.

  1. Ann Wheet says:

    Check out Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. (56 Ross Alley, off Washington or Jackson St. west of Grant Ave.Chinatown, San Francisco, CA ) You’ll smell the shop before you see it! And, the second you walk in the door, you’ll see the cookies being made right in front of you. A bag of cookies is less than $5. You can purchase traditional fortune cookies or chocolate fortune cookies. (And you have your choice of regular fortunes or ones that are a bit racier.) Another item to purchase is fortuneless cookies. They are flat and easy to eat as your traveling through Chinatown!