California Road Trip (Vol. IV): San Francisco

After LA, San Diego, and the Pacific Highway, I was finally on a Greyhound bus from Santa Barbara to San Francisco. 9 hours on a shiny silver bus, the last leg of my California trip. It made me feel a bit like I was on a Kerouac-like adventure. My bag, my destination and no plan ahead of me but discover the city of Frisco the best way I could. So full of life, culture, history, architecture, best of all worlds; grown up but cheeky, relaxing and comforting (despite the unpredictable weather and the prices!). Soon it would become one of my favourite cities in the world.

As I arrived in the city, also known as the Fog City (I would discover why a few days later), I walked to my hostel. This time I chose the, amazing to say the least, Hostelling International San Francisco Downtown, with its colourful rooms and full service, right around the corner from Union Square and the world famous Chinatown. It was the first time I was provided with shampoo, shower gel, and conditioner at a hostel! Thumbs up! 👍

China Town (San Francisco) | Wanderwings

All checked-in, I headed to my room. I soon would meet my roomies for the next few days, an super nice Aussie guy and a couple of Korean girls. Aussie and I decided to check out the area and find a place to eat. We found this Asian restaurant around the corner, ordered a bit of all, and started to plan the following days of our stay in the Paris of the West (Check this interesting post found on SFist about the possible origins of the nickname “the Paris of the West”).

For the next couple of days we explored the city together, we even ran into one of those funny looking Google cars, and acquainted ourselves with the seals swimming in the Bay, among many other cool things. But for now I’ll leave you here with our(my) first impressions of San Francisco.


China Town (San Francisco) | Wanderwings China Town (San Francisco) | Wanderwings China Town (San Francisco) | Wanderwings

After strolling through Chinatown, we found ourselves heading towards the corner of Broadway St. and Columbus Ave. Where to you may ask. To the famous City Lights Booksellers (261 Columbus Ave.) of course.
City Lights Booksellers is a bookshop and publishing company made known to the world by the controversial trial for obscenity of Ferlinghetti after he published Allan Ginsberg’s Howl and Other Poems in 1956. It was made a Landmark not so long ago and it has a very relaxing and a homey atmosphere. They also organise regular events, which anyone can attend. You can find more information on their web.

City Lights booksellers is also conveniently located across the street from the Beats museum (on Broadway ave.). Here you’ll find exposed some of the first scripts of many works by Kerouac and co., photos, history, everything one could possibly may want to know about the Beats (or Kerouac more in particular). It was well worth it. A must-see if you are as much a literature buff as me. And it only costs USD$5 if you have a student ID with you.


San Francisco | Wanderwings San Francisco | Wanderwings San Francisco | Wanderwings San Francisco | Wanderwings San Francisco | Wanderwings

After roaming around the bookstore and visiting the Beats Museum, we walked down Union St. towards Telegraph Hill for some breath-taking views of the bay. Oh but wait, there’s no wonderful views or Telegraph Hill without…yeah those famous San Francisco hills. Who needs a gym right?


Telegaph Hill (San Francisco) | Wandewrings Telegaph Hill (San Francisco) | Wandewrings Telegaph Hill (San Francisco) | Wandewrings

And from the hills it is easy to reach the Embarcadero and Fisherman’s Wharf. From there you can catch the ferry to Alcatraz or just take a walk along the coast. There are the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Fort Mason, and the Marina Green. Seals can also be spotted swimming carelessly on the bay. A nice afternoon stroll.

Food wise, San Francisco is amazing, there are cute little places everywhere. If i had known then that today I’d be writing this, i would have taken better note! Anyhow…next time right? Or even better, can you guys suggest eating places for my next trip to San Francisco? ^^


  • Reply
    January 10, 2017 at 2:13 pm

    Oh I would love to go to City Lights Booksellers! What a cool place with such an interesting history.

    • Reply
      January 12, 2017 at 12:05 pm

      I really love d it, feels really cozy! I guess I just love bookstores ^^ did you visit San Francisco when you lived in California?

  • Reply
    California Roadtrip (Vol. VI): Walking San Francisco || Wanderwings
    January 12, 2017 at 12:00 pm

    […] better way to explore. So of course San Francisco wasn’t going to be an exception. Following last time’s impressions of San Francisco, I present to you part II. Where did we leave it? Ah yes, we were strolling along Embarcadero and […]

  • Reply
    A Hearty Nomad
    March 5, 2017 at 11:38 am

    One day I’ll go to San Fran and I can not wait for that day to come although I just saw a flight for 350€, which Is nothing right. Was denkst du? Ich hät ihn buchen sollen. Kacke aber was solls. Ich fand den Text super. Danke dir!

    • Reply
      March 6, 2017 at 7:56 am

      Was it 350€ for a return flight or just one way? Wenn es hin-und-zurück war, buchen auf jeden Fall! Viel Günstiger gibt’s nicht xD Immer schwer sich zu entscheiden oder? Ich hatte vor meinen Augen hin-und-zurück nach LA für unter 300€ und was hab ich getan, nicht gekauft, booo! Bald schaffen wir es, bin mir sicher ^^ ich freue mich sehr dass dir den Text gefallen hat 🙂

      • Reply
        A Hearty Nomad
        March 6, 2017 at 1:38 pm

        Ja es war hin und zurück echt ein krasser Preis aber man kann ja net alles machen nicht wahr.

        • Reply
          March 10, 2017 at 8:26 am

          na, klar. est ist unmöglich alles zu schaffen, leider. Vllt war es nur einfach nicht die richtige zeit. if it’s meant to be, it’ll happen xD

          • A Hearty Nomad
            March 10, 2017 at 9:35 am

            Ja das mag wohl sein und wir haben ja noch ein ganzes Leben vor uns. Schon Pläne fürs Wochenende?

          • Henar
            March 12, 2017 at 10:48 am

            Genau! Zeit gibt’s noch auf jeden Fall! Mein Wochenende war…arbeit, arbeit und mehr arbeit! Hast du was scönes gemacht?

          • A Hearty Nomad
            March 12, 2017 at 12:13 pm

            Ja freunde getroffen, doe ich seit 9 MOnaten nicht gesehen habe und schön viel Wein getrunken 🙂

          • Henar
            March 12, 2017 at 12:29 pm

            Das hört sich ja toll an! Bin was neidisch, muss ich sagen ^^

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