Would you like to see 5 beautiful spots in San Francisco in one day!? The Haight Ashbury district as well as the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival were my main pursuits this past Saturday. During my last visit, I hiked up to the Golden Gate bridge. There are many things to love about San Francisco, such as the various views from the apex of each hill, the history and stories attached to its structures, and the multitude of cultures spread into sections. Truly, there is nothing quite like this City and the plethora of district and unique places to see!
1. My first stop of the day was at Lombard Street. It is a steep drive just to get to the bottom of the zigzag area at the intersection of Leavenworth Street. To get to Leavenworth from Jones, I had to drive up an incline and park at a 90 degree angle so that my car made a ‘T’ with the sidewalk. I suppose parking this way reduces the risk of one’s car sliding down the hill 🙂
When standing on Leavensworth Street facing the zigzag of Lombard St, look to your right and you’ll get this pretty cool view of the notorious historical prison of Alcatraz!
See the crowd of tourists at the bottom? They are standing on Leavenworth Street. I am standing midway up to Hyde Street.
This is the view from Hyde St, which is at the top of the zigzag. This gives a pretty good visual as to high this area is.
I suggest wearing comfortable walking shoes and making frequent stops on your way up. Enjoy the view, take some photos and pace yourself.
2. The second stop of the day was Japan-town. They were celebrating the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival this past weekend. This was actually the main reason for my visit. Even if the festival is not going on, this is still a great place to spend a weekend afternoon and immerse yourself in Japanese culture through its music shops, bookstores and restaurants. The japanese mall is hit or miss for purchasing good things but it certainly has yummy Japanese food a plenty.
I came across these paper origamis in one booth
I kept seeing people holding these stacks of potato slices in a stick that resembled a pagoda. It was so intriguing that I searched for it and ended up at the Silly Spuds booth. This snack comes in many flavors. I ordered the Seaweed and Sesame with Japanese Miso Sauce. How did it taste? the outer part of the potato was crunchy while the center was chewy. The seaweed and the Japanese miso added a hint of saltiness and sweetness. It was such as delicious Japanese treat.
3. The third stop for the day was the Haight and Ashbury district. This was the center of the 1960’s hippie movement, the site of the Summer of Love. While those years are long gone, the culture was something that lingered in this area until this day. You can see it in the vibrant psychedelic colors of the building structures, and the eclectic fashion boutiques. The Haight-Ashbury district offers many things to see and a great walk for all ages.
These infamous legs sticking out of the window is located here in Haight-Ashbury. The boutique underneath it sells clothing and fashion accessories that feature sequins, faux furs & feathers for the dance floor or the drag bar as their site described it.
These colorful dream catchers I found inside the Love of Ganesha that sells other things such as incense, crystals, and jewelry to name a few. I actually picked up a pair of small jade earrings from here.
The artists behind these painting will be touring around the country selling their artwork. I showed my support by purchasing the red and blue fish painting.
The Haight-Ashbury has also transformed into an affluent neighborhood. They have some of the most exquisite and elegant Victorian homes around.
Last stop at the Haight-Ashbury was for a cup of matcha green latte at Coffee to the People cafe.
4. Fourth stop was in the UCSF univerity area. Last time I was here, I passed by a bougainvillea tree brimming with flowers. I wanted to take a picture of it this time but I wasn’t able to find it. However, I did come upon this church that is stunning in it’s gray and golden wardrobe.
The St Ignatius Church at on Parker Ave. I loved looking at this church. It was huge and the pain concept is so unique. It was built in 1914, withstood the 1989 earthquake, and is one of the largest churches in SF.
5. Last stop but not least was Twin Peaks. This hill rises 925 feet and from the top, you get unobscured views of the city. I came here to watch the sunset and the lights slowly turn and illuminated San Francisco- truly a breathtaking sight! I said my goodnight and headed to my hotel, the newly renovated and cozy Dylan at SFO.
The lobby of the Dylan at SFO. This is a newly renovated boutique hotel. What a deal this place was! For a little over $100, they had free breakfast, a latte machine, free parking, free airport transport, and free wi-fi. This kind of deal is certainly tough to come by in this area. The rooms were clean and the beds super comfy. I slept like a baby that night after all the exploring.