The Little Traveler stayed in The Grant Plaza Hotel, in the heart of San Francisco’s Chinatown.
Ah, San Francisco! One of the cruisiest places in America. My fellow travelers, make sure you make a pit stop in this beautiful city where the people, the houses, the shops and the scenery are just amazing. If someone picked up Melbourne, threw it over and placed it in a spot in America, this would be it – The American Melbourne.
San Francisco’s counter-culture began in the 1950’s with the emergence of the Beat Generation, this continued with the free-love hippie movement of the sixties and then later became a haven for the gay rights movement in the seventies.
Get your gay on
One of the most eye-opening experiences I have ever had as a traveler is walking through The Castro district. This is San Francisco’s urban gay capital, located between Golden Gate Park and Chinatown you can either walk through the hills or take one of the local cable-cars to 18th Street. I would recommend walking because you get to admire the Painted Ladies, the tiny houses worth at least 4 million dollars each where you can reminisce your favourite moments of the hit TV show Full House before the Olsen Twins went weird.
One of things I really valued is the light-hearted outlook on life that these people have, from the local salon, Hand Job Nails & Spa, to the café, The Sausage Factory. The owners of the pink post office even take their own gorgeous Golden Retriever named Trevor to work to greet all of their customers.
I love the nightlife, I love to boogie
Have fun with the locals here because they’re a ball of fun, I have not met one pretentious person here so far. Everyone will stop and be more then happy to have a chat with you here, there are plenty of places to let your hair down and have a drink. Be careful though, as the locals don’t measure their drinks here, I was lucky enough to wake up with the hotel’s bathroom tiles meshed into the cheeks of my face and vomit on clothes I didn’t even know I was wearing. I’m sure we can all relate to one of these stories, right?
Sleep with the birdman
The most popular attraction in San Francisco is Alcatraz, originally built as a maximum security prison on an island off the coast in the 1930’s it housed some of the country’s most dangerous criminals until 1963. ‘The Rock’ as its called now operates a ferry service where you can visit the prison and take an audio-tour, be wary though that due to it’s popularity and limited intake make sure you get your tickets online before going, it can be booked out weeks in advance and we had to basically beg just for a day ticket. I recommend doing the ultra-spooky night tour which really sets the mood of the prison and includes more interactive activities that don’t run during the day.
Keep your eyes peeled
Walking through the giant hills of San Francisco through all the huffs and puffs we were soon greeted with a culture-shock. Here it’s completely normal to walk the streets completely stark-naked! Before arriving to San Francisco I thought I was all for it, why shouldn’t people be free to do what they like if it doesn’t hurt anyone? Yet after seeing a 60 year old man walking the street with nothing but a duffel bag and some sneakers the image will be eternally etched in my brain with a feeling as if I’d just ate a whole bowl of lemons. Is this wrong? What do you think?
The Little Traveler