Being born and raised somewhere can make you take a lot of things for granted. You might only look at the negatives or see things and think that they’ll always be there. I’m from San Francisco, California – born and raised. However, I’ve been living in Barcelona for the last year and a half and have been feeling a bit homesick for the first time.
Lately, I’ve been thinking A LOT about San Francisco and all of its beauty. I also work in a hotel, and whenever someone says they’re from California (or better yet – San Francisco) I kind of freak out. I get all excited, my heart flutters, and I feel like I’m fangirling over some huge celebrity I’ve followed my whole life.
If you’ve ever been to San Francisco (S.F.), or if you plan on going to San Francisco, or were born and raised there like me, then here are seven reasons S.F. is a place to love and adore.
“The City” as we call it is extremely diverse in SO many ways (some which are discussed in other points). San Francisco has something to offer everyone. From the people to the food, the types of neighborhoods, and the nearby weathers, San Francisco has it all. It’s a super small peninsula-city that houses people from all walks of life and from all around the world. Having this mix of people, and variety of views and cultures allows for a huge melting pot to boil and create a delicious clam chowder. You can find all types of people gathering together in Dolores Park, or shopping downtown, and can really feel good vibes everywhere.
San Francisco is an artist’s/creator’s paradise. I’m not an artist, but it’s amazing walking down the streets downtown and hearing multiple people banging drums, playing guitar, or breakdancing. If you’re a more visual person, you can stroll around the Mission District and take a look at all of the murals drawn in alleyways and on garage doors. All of this artwork depicts stories of Latino histories, struggles, and success stories. You can also see people drawing, or even spray-painting, wonderful works of art by Fisherman’s Warf. With all types of vibrant art in the city itself (such as the mosaic staircase), as well as having multiple artsy shops, ads, and displays, San Francisco is an obvious place to go when looking for inspiration.
3. The buildings and architecture
San Francisco has a lot of beautiful buildings all over the city. Since the city is small, you have a lot of apartment buildings allowing to build the city “up” instead of outwards. Nowadays, there are a lot more futuristic-looking apartment buildings being made (which I don’t 100% agree with, but that’s beside the point!) Point is, there is a good mix between the futuristic condos, the old (yet beautiful) Victorian houses, and the huge mini-mansions in Pacific Heights.
The city also offers cool architecture such as having the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge, the old AND new Bay Bridge, as well as awesome secret gardens on top of huge skyscrapers downtown (which are great places to go and get inspiration for your next project, or life in general).
4. The cityscape and location
Walking around the city, you will notice that it’s not flat. San Francisco is known for its hills, and rightfully so! Have you tried walking up those hills before?? Talk about leg day! Anyway, besides the incredibly tough workout these hills give you, they also provide beautiful scenery when looking up and down the streets, and they give you great lookout points of the city and the bay as a whole.
Its location is also amazing because it has beaches, city, woods, mountains, hiking trails, a downtown area, and suburbs. Although the weather isn’t super warm and beach-weather only exists for about a week of the year, it isn’t too far from hot areas like Marin, Napa, or Santa Cruz. It literally has anything and everything you need and isn’t far from many other places.
Now that I mentioned the weather, let me say that this is one of the reasons I absolutely love San Francisco – but some people might not agree. If you’ve been to S.F. you might have noticed the weather is quite grey and cold. We do get sun, but 9 times out of 10, you’ll have the grey fog rolling in and a gloomy feel throughout the day. But I’m weird and I like that type of weather. It gets cold, but not freezing cold, and it gets warm, but not burning hot. For me at least, it is the perfect in between. We get a slightly warmer and sunnier summer, and we also get a nice autumn with falling leaves, but we don’t die because of the weather in either season. Isn’t that something to be happy about??
6. The people
Touching on the diversity point mentioned above, the people have A LOT to do with why you should love San Francisco. Growing up in a city that showed me all different cultures, foods, and how everyone can still manage to get along, really helped me be who I am today – open to seeing new things, meeting new people, and curious about things I don’t know.
San Francisco has a variety of neighborhoods, but it doesn’t mean only people from that culture live there. For example, there’s China Town, Japan Town, Korea Town, Little Italy, and La Misión to name a few. So yeah, San Francisco has a lot of Chinese, Japanese, Korean, European, and Latino people, BUT there are also a lot of White, Black, Filipinos, Indians, Native American, etc., and everyone coexists! This also creates a super delicious food landscape discussed in the next point.
Let’s not talk just about race though. When I say the people are diverse, I also mean job-wise, education-wise, salary-wise, gender-wise, hobby-wise, and any other kind of wise you can think of. San Francisco is open to whatever kinds of relationships people want to have with each other. There are always activities going on that will interest everyone – from parades to concerts, food festivals, theater shows, stand-up comedy, car shows, film festivals, etc. And, although there is a huge problem regarding the wage-gap and homeless issues, you can see a lot of people coming together to help those in need. San Franciscans are generous, kind-hearted and, yes there are a few bad seeds, but isn’t that everywhere? This is a city where hippies, artists, first-generation college students and entrepreneurs, and top CEOs of internet-based apps can mesh together.
And the last point I am mentioning is food…because who doesn’t love food? San Francisco has diverse cuisines that are authentic to cultures, or even fusions of different cultures. There are food creations from San Francisco such as the Sushiritto, popsicles, eating soups (specifically clam chowder) in sourdough bread bowls, and even the famous Chinese fortune cookie. There are a range of restaurants that can fulfill any craving you have and if you go to S.F. make sure to try the Mission-style burritos!
There are also a bunch of vegetarian, vegan, kosher, and halal-friendly places ready for everyone and their eating needs. The seafood is fresh, the farmer’s markets have freshly picked crops from nearby farms, and the wine in Napa Valley is ready to be tasted.
So why San Francisco?
There you have seven reasons I love San Francisco, and why you might fall in love with it too. If you’re going to the United States and have the opportunity to visit (and spend a good amount of time) in this precious city, you will definitely find something I wrote to be true. If you’ve had the privilege of living in San Francisco, what’s something YOU love about it? I hope you find something to appreciate in this beautiful place – or even in your own hometown!