San Francisco skyline.
San Francisco is a bustling city full of skyscrapers and business people.
Photo Credit: Pixabay

The Ultimate Guide to Exploring the Bay Area

Things to Do in the Bay Area

I had not planned on returning to San Francisco. When I last visited, I found it to be pretentious and unapproachable. However, I was living in Southern California with a roommate who had a different opinion of the city. He had grown up in Oakland, San Francisco’s sister across the bay, and was heading home to see family. He suggested we travel there together so that he could show me some of his favorite hangouts (maybe he would change my opinion of San Francisco). Since I had been meaning to catch up with friends up north, I decided to give it another chance. Turns out, there are many things to do in the Bay area.

First Impressions

As I stepped off the plane, my first impression was that San Francisco is the land of smartly dressed and gorgeous people. Everywhere I turned, someone was sporting their latest street-chic or dressed-to-the-nines look. Also, the buzz of people going about their lives was infectious. I could not help but be reminded of Dr. Seuss’ book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” My roommate and I traversed downtown to Glen Park, which was where our vacation rental was located.

A cup of dark brown beer.If you're looking for a good pub, try matching The Beer Hall's beer with a cheese platter. Photo Credit: Elizabeth Orient

Books, Food, and Beer

Our first day began with lunch at Burma Superstar in the Richmond District. Their tea leaf salad was out of this world!

To walk off the delicious Burmese food, we strolled down Clement Street to Green Apple Books. The bibliophile in me supports independent bookstores whenever it can. Upon leaving Green Apple, I confessed to my roommate that I’d never seen the Golden Gate Bridge. We made an impromptu trek to Golden Gate Park but found the bridge completely engulfed by fog. I took a comical photo to remember the moment. To lift our spirits, we grabbed a beer at The Beer Hall. Pairing one of their stouts with a cheese plate is a match made in heaven. After recovering from our bridge misadventure, we split ways and I met a few friends for dinner at Le P’tit Laurent.

Rice and curry on a plate.On the Bridge is a restaurant in the Bay area that has wall-to-wall anime and serves the best Japanese curry. Photo Credit: Elizabeth Orient

Explore Japantown

In the morning, we checked out Higher Grounds Coffee House in Glen Park. The quaint café is conveniently situated next door to Le P’tit, and their crepes, pastries, and savory breakfast items are decadent. With a latte and croissant in hand, my roommate and I headed to the California Academy of Sciences.

The planetarium, indoor rainforest, and aquarium kept my inner nerd entertained. The second half of our Saturday was spent exploring Japantown. We were intrigued by every store that we went into. Particularly, On the Bridge has a wall-to-wall anime collection and serves the best Japanese curry in the Bay area. Sticking to my own agenda, a friend and I reconnected over watermelon mojitos at the Lucky Horseshoe. The bar’s quirky atmosphere makes it a popular spot among artsy locals.

Comments +