Just planned a trip to San Francisco /trv/ what am I in for.
>about a 5 hour drive
>never been anywhere out of my surrounding city (L.A)
>staying there for about a week or so
You'll be lucky if you can find parking within five blocks of your destination. Bring a jacket. It's pretty much just a really crowded city...definitely check out the parks though, they are beautiful. My favorite part of last time I went was when I left across the Oakland bridge and I suddenly felt like someone took a lid off of me. That place is claustrophobic just to exist in. I'm from SD btw
The restaurants are God-tier, I have heard. As far as touristy places are concerned, there is one interesting place at Fisherman's Wharf now called DUNGEONS San Francisco. It's a chain of attractions run by a British outfit and this is the first US location. It basically explores the dark history of the city. You experience first-hand what it's like to be shanghaied for instance.
I'm also heading to San Francisco, although I'll be using public transportation.
> definitely check out the parks though, they are beautiful
Do you recommend any in particular? I've seen great photos of golden gate park.
Go to Alcatraz island if you are into old prisons like a weirdo (me).
It's touristy, sure, but the tour is informative, self guided, and narrated by Steve Buchemi, or at least it was when I went.
The boat ride out is fun too, nothing like being out on the bay on a clear day.
Go to a hole in the wall Chinese place and prepare to have your mind blown
Buena vista park, corona heights park, Alamo square, the presidio, Dolores park, twin peaks, San Bruno mountain (just south of SF), lands end, fort funston, lake merced, golden gate, etc are all nice and worth a visit if you have a lot of time in the city
For restaurants, get the Michelin guide for this year. Not many cities in the world have the guide but we do in SF. Lots and lots of amazing food ranging from taquerias to $500+ tasting menus
Treat yourself to lunch at Francis Ford Coppola's restaurant in North Beach. Cafe Zoetrope is in a cool old flatiron building that he used to walk be every day as a kid. Once in a while he comes in and does the cooking himself. Take the cannoli.
And try and book ahead for Alcatraz. I went (admittedly in high season) and couldn't get a ticket (NPS limits the number per day). Supposed to be one of the top three tourist attractions in Cali.
If you want to get the layout of the city, don't be too cool to take one of the Big Bus-type tours. Good for first-timers (like I was).