Written by Angela
I’ve recently returned from a few weeks in the US with my family and I’m sharing my recommendations for the best things to do with kids in the cities we visited this time. I’ve already shared Los Angeles here, and New York Part 1 and Part 2 , and today is the final instalment, San Francisco. Starting next week we travel the cities of Australia to bring you some great tips and tricks for our home cities.
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1. Streetscapes San Francisco, the city by the bay, is a breath of fresh air in every single way. On the way in from the airport the wide, shallow bay spreads out beside you, while the hills climb on the other side, covered with double-storey shingled roofed dwellings that represent the city’s European immigrant history during the California Gold Rush. A cool breeze blows and keeps the sky clear, offering a big vista. Each of San Francisco’s districts (the Castro, Mission, Potrero, Market, Nob Hill, Haight-Ashbury, Noe Valley (where we stayed in the most exquisite Victorian home – reasonably priced too!), Union Square, Russian Hill, The Richmond) represent quite discrete cultural and culinary tastes offering a wide range of experience for locals and visitors. A car is not needed to explore; a combination of San Fran’s trolley cars, light rail, taxi network and your own two feet are all you need to explore, and it’s a very worthwhile experience. See images 2, 3 and 6 below. All images copyright 2011, Angela Anderson, KidStyleFile.com.au. All rights reserved.
2. Bridges Before I visited San Francisco I was of the impression that the Golden Gate Bridge was right in San Francisco city and named for it’s red colour. It turned out that both of those assumptions were wrong! The bridge that is located in the city proper is in fact the (Oakland) Bay Bridge; the Golden Gate Bridge is located about half and hour’s drive from the cite at Fort Point, and named for the strait it soars over, and is definitely worth the trip. Deified by literature and film, the Golden Gate Bridge is a magnificent example of engineering prowess and aesthetic beauty – it’s truly breathtaking to behold. See image 1 below. All images copyright 2011, Angela Anderson, KidStyleFile.com.au. All rights reserved.
3. Parks San Francisco is blessed with many beautiful parks – 200 of them, no less! – but the standout for me is the substantial and richly featured Golden Gate Park. Located about 10 mins from the Golden Gate Bridge, the Golden Gate Park’s 1,017 acres (it’s massive – a full 20% bigger than New York’s Central Park!) holds wonderful opportunities for recreation and enjoyment, including a model boat pond, a small herd of Bison, Japanese Gardens and Tea Rooms, Botanical Gardens, California Academy of Sciences and more. A thoroughly enjoyable day our for the whole family. See images 4, 5, and 7 below. All images copyright 2011, Angela Anderson, KidStyleFile.com.au. All rights reserved.
4. Food From the Ferry Plaza farmer’s market to pizza at Twin Peaks, to pastries at Tartine, to fine dining at Incanto to high tea at the delightfully decorated and utterly delicious Lovejoy’s Tea Rooms, the food we had in San Francisco was *divine*!! There’s something here for every taste and budget. See image 8 below. All images copyright 2011, Angela Anderson, KidStyleFile.com.au. All rights reserved.
5. Science and Art San Francisco is not short on high culture: there’s a world class Philharmonic Orchestra, SFMOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art), and more, but the absolute highlight of them all for us was Exploratorium, the museum of science, art and human perception. Exploratorium is, by it’s own admission, not “ just a museum, it’s an ongoing exploration of science, art, and human perception—a vast collection of online interactives, web features, activities, programs and events that feed your curiosity.” The original hands-on science museum, Exploratorium is comprised of literally hundreds of fantastic experiments that teach us about the forces that govern our world. I cannot say enough good things about this incredible place – it’s a must for young and old alike. See images at 9 below. All images copyright 2011, Angela Anderson, KidStyleFile.com.au. All rights reserved.