Lesser-known Monterey County has some of the best, if not mistiest, surf in all of the state though. Head down to infamous Santa Cruz for the best vibes. This part of the Bay is pretty affluent and downright sterile at times but paying a visit, nonetheless, is still a worthwhile experience. Check out our list of the best hikes in California, here. For a good mix of urban and pastoral hikes, check out these top 5 walks around the San Francisco area:.
Walk 2 miles across the bridge and back for a total of 4 miles. This area offers amazing views of the Bay and its constantly shifting fogbanks. There are lots of photographic opportunities at Lombard Street and the Coit Tower. Not picked the perfect travel backpack yet? The Broke Backpacker team has tried out over thirty backpacks this year! Our favourite carry on backpack is the Nomatic Travel Backpack. Check out this post to read our full review! Summers are cool and dry while winters are only slightly cooler and rainy.
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If you really wanted to go backpacking in San Francisco during the best possible time, the weather is, reportedly, the best from September to October. Temperatures at this time are actually higher than those during the summer. On top of this, there are fewer tourists in the city. On that note, San Francisco should be avoided during the height of summer when all of the tourists are actually there: prices will be much, much higher and the city will be a zoo.
There are several ways of getting into San Francisco. Most visitors arrive at San Francisco International Airport , located about 14 miles south of the city center.
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Mineta San Jose International Airport. Several companies service San Francisco; take note though: there is no central bus station in the city so each company has there own drop off point. You can travel up the peninsula and end up in the southern suburbs of the city or take one of the many bridges that all drop you downtown.
For a slightly different way of entering the city, try catching one of the many ferries across the bay! The views from one of these are often lovely and the ride is comfortable. Many Bay Area folk use these ferries to actually commute to work from North Bay. If you are traveling to more places in California, check out our California travel guide! Visiting San Francisco is now super easy when you book with Flixbus! Buy your Flixbus bus tickets ahead at unbeatable prices for fast and last minute travel. With connections in 28 European countries and over destinations , you can sit back and relax knowing that Flixbus will get you there in time.
Discover the smartest and cheapest way to travel — book on Flixbus now and hit the road! San Francisco has some of the best public transport in the entire United States! A fleet of buses, subways, trolleys, streetcars, and cable cars link the city in nearly every way possible. There are a couple of different MUNI passes available to visitors.
Clipper Cards are also available, which are, essentially, a more permanent ticket. These cards are dispensed for free and charged with funds to then be used on the bus, train, etc. Use BART only when necessary. To help you sort through the many forms of transport, refer to following breakdown below:. Buses : standard public buses; some run on diesel while others use electricity. There are bus stops throughout the city. Streetcars : Long, deco buses that are locked into rails.
They look very similar to some European streetcars. Cable cars : An icon of San Francisco. Open-aired cars that commuters hop on and off. More of a tourist attraction than convenient commute. This is a streetcar and should not be confused with a cable car. In the same way that you entered San Francisco, you can depart the city. Long-distance buses and trains connect San Francisco with other major West Coast locations as well as some continental cities. There are many ways of moving up and down the West Coast from San Francisco.
Called the Coast Starlight , this train takes 36 hours to complete its entire route. There are even wine tastings! Another long-distance rail option is the California Zephyr , which connects San Francisco with Chicago. At 52 hours, this is one of the longest train rides in America and, purportedly, one of the most beautiful. Be sure to hop-off halfway at Denver, which is one of my favorite cities in the USA. The Coast Starlight in Southern California. San Francisco is a fairly safe city by American standards. Many once grimy neighborhoods have been redeveloped recently for better and worse and violent crime is down significantly.
There are certainly some districts that still see a fair bit of crime this is America after all so travelers should remain aware of their surroundings and keep their guard up. Refer to our guide for staying safe while backpacking. The most concerning thing that travelers need to keep an eye out for in SF is homelessness. San Francisco has the largest homeless population per capita in the entire United States, thanks in part to the temperate weather. Many will scream either at a stranger or some imaginary antagonist for no reason at all. Few, if any bums, actually have the strength or intentions to hurt you.
If a bum approaches you for money or any reason, just politely say no and walk away. Avoid indulging or misleading them.
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Even if you are only going on a short trip to San Francisco, you should always travel with insurance. Have fun on your backpacking adventure, but please do get insurance — take it from someone who has racked up tens of thousands of bucks on an insurance claim before, you need it. Traveling without insurance would be fucking stupid. Hostels are great for meeting fellow travelers and just having space where you can do your thing at your own pace. Backpacker accommodation in San Francisco is far from cheap, however.
I will just say the prices are staggering once you learn what they are. So, stay at a hostel for a night or two and consider your other options:. Point being, whilst I would not explicitly count on Couchsurfing in SF, I would sure give it an honest go. Make sure you send a very convincing message short of selling your body and your soul.
Tap into your backpacker network : If you have done any sort of backpacking before, odds are you know someone who knows someone from SF. Californians love to go backpacking!
Before you begin your San Francisco backpacking trip, I suggest you put your feelers out there and ask your network of friends if they know of someone whom you can crash with for a night or two. This might sound far-fetched, but honestly, this has helped me out multiple times in SF as well as in other cities.
As it turns out, my friend of a friend host was awesome and we are still friends! Ultimately, if you can find a balance between a hostel night and a free night, you will save more money. There are many ways to grab a bite and beverage in San Francisco. The offer food and drink for reasonable prices and the quality is sometimes very good.
Aesthetically, diners are often very retro while cafes feel more European. The food from these is, in my opinion, the best there is. With less overhead, owners can spend more time on creating great food and at great prices. Check out Off the Grid to get a schedule of the Bay Area food trucks. Prices vary but most are usually more expensive than the previously mentioned varieties. Conventionally, pubs have a greater food selection while bars are more basic. These days the two are becoming less distinct though. Most charge an entrance fee cover.
Drinks here are overpriced and most attendees show up drunk already or high on something. Many selections are quite rare as well and so prices will be justifiably higher. San Francisco has an amazing craft booze scene, one that churns out all sorts of alcohol. Beer, wine, spirits — you name it — can all be found locally in the Bay Area.
Aficionados will find just about anything that there heart desires while backpacking in San Francisco. A kettle seen during a tour of Anchor Brewing. Once a refuge for druggies, hippies, and hideaways, the nightlife of San Francisco has changed along with its people. Every day, new drinking holes of every sort are opening up in San Francisco. Rustic whiskey rooms, dazzling clubs, raucous concert halls, all are there, eager to take away the stresses of the work week.
Each district is catered to a different group of people. Marina District is full of young professionals handing out business cards and drinking Moscow Mules. Castro is still the best place to go out for LGBT community and has a fun nightlife for all. SoMa is full of industrial buildings that have been converted either into breweries or nightclubs. North Beach is the strip club capital of SF. Finally, you can find just about any sort of bar in the Mission or Nob Hill — going out in these neighborhoods is probably a no-fail.
There are warehouse parties happening all the time in SF. At the same time, many unsuspecting venues hold special performances or events that can be surprisingly debaucherous.
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Check the papers and on Facebook for links to these secret parties. A show at the DNA Lounge. Photo: jwz wikicommons. These are some of my favorite travel reads and books set in San Francisco, which you should consider picking up before you begin your backpacking adventure…. Get your copy here. The Maltese Falcon — One of the most iconic detective novels in American literature. A solitary private eye gets entangled with a dangerous woman.
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A significant chunk of the novel takes place in San Francisco. Tales of the City — Perhaps the most appropriate book for your San Francisco reading list. A collection of short stories about the city. About the struggle of four Chinese girls and their families as they try to settle in a new world. Long term travel is awesome. Giving back is awesome too. Backpackers can spend long periods of time volunteering in an awesome place without spending any money.
Meaningful life and travel experiences are rooted in stepping out of your comfort zone and into the world of a purposeful project. Worldpackers opens the doors for work opportunities in hostels, homestays, NGOs, and eco-projects around the world. Traveling in San Fransico long-term?
Keen to make some cash after spending to0 much of your money exploring the city? Teaching English online is a great way to earn a consistent income—from anywhere in the world with a good internet connection. Check out this detailed article for everything you need to know to start teaching English online. In addition to giving you the qualifications to teach English online, TEFL courses open up a huge range of opportunities and you can find teaching work all over the world.
To find out more about TEFL courses and how you can teach English around the world, read my in-depth report on teaching English abroad. Whether you are keen to teach English online or looking to take your teaching game a step further by finding a job teaching English in a foreign country, getting your TEFL certificate is absolutely a step in the right direction. Mass-farming of cows etc leads to the rainforest being cut down — which is obviously a huge problem. Recently, my gear-venture, Active Roots has started to sell water bottles.
Need more guidance? Backpacking in San Francisco will bring you ample opportunities to participate in debauchery, and it is very important to have fun, let loose, and get a bit wild at times. Most backpacking trips I have been on across the world have included at least a few mornings where I wake up knowing I went too far.
There are a ton of bars in SF to get down in! Some things will put you in the category of a straight up jackass if you do them. Being super loud and obnoxious in a tiny hostel at 3 AM is a classic rookie backpacker mistake. Everyone in the hostel will hate you when you wake them up. Show your fellow travelers respect whilst backpacking in SF and anywhere else for that matter! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Your support helps me keep the site going. Jump in the car, turn up the tunes, and hit the road! About Lonely Planet: Since , Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveler community.
Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travelers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves. Help Centre. My Wishlist Sign In Join. Be the first to write a review. Add to Wishlist. In Stock. Unable to Load Delivery Dates. Enter an Australian post code for delivery estimate. Link Either by signing into your account or linking your membership details before your order is placed. Description Product Details Click on the cover image above to read some pages of this book! Looking for a guide focused on San Francisco?
Check out Lonely Planet San Francisco for a comprehensive look at all the city has to offer, Discover San Francisco, a photo-rich guide to the city's most popular attractions, or Pocket San Francisco , a handy-sized guide focused on the can't-miss sights for a quick trip.
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