San Francisco, California, USA
What's an around-the-world tour without a stop in North America? And even though Bob and I didn't tour San Francisco after landing at its international airport, it is "everybody's favorite city," often chosen in tourism surveys as the favorite tourist destination in the world. And I live one scenic hour's drive via "the world's most beautiful freeway" from the City by the Bay, have been there hundreds of times, and have a lot of favorite things to see and do there, even a favorite hostel for economy lodging.
I planned originally to do a San Francisco tour and add it to this site, but many events intervened and I didn't get to it for some years later. The "duck tour" in the video linked below gives a good introduction to the City, and here are some good links for additonal information:
General Overview 1
General Overview 2
San Francisco Bed and Breakfasts
San Francisco Hostels
San Francisco Tours
San Francisco Hotels/Motels
San Francisco Dining
A longtime restaurant critic for the Times Newspaper Group, I consider the dining guide listed above very poor; but it's the only one I found on the web. It omits my favorite restaurant in the world, Chef Jia's, on Kearny in Chinatown, about 1-1/2 block north of the Chinatown Holiday Inn. Try their rolling lettuce chicken, and their hot and sour soupthe best I've ever found. There's no ambience to speak of, but what counts is the food at the most reasonable prices for quality to be found anywhere; gourmet dinners are c. $10-12 per person.
I tell out-of-town relatives and friends that if they're coming to California and have to choose between Yosemite and San Francisco, they'd do better to choose San Francisco. Nothing against Yosemite, but San Francisco has the best city park, arguably, in the world (Golden Gate), as well as state and national parklands within the relatively small city limits.
I was happy to find that SFO offers excellent tourist information on the premises. It's not Cook's, but it's free, with lots of maps and brochures. Another excellent tourist office is located in downtown San Francisco, below street level, near the Market and Powell Cablecar terminus.
© Jon Kennedy 1996, 2009