– Eleven things to know beforeyou go to San Francisco.
I'm Chris, this is Yellow Productions.
I do travel guides that arefun, informatively entertaining and I'm in San Francisco.
What is San Francisco famous for? It's famous for the cablecars that just passed by.
In addition to beingfamous for the cable cars, San Francisco is famous for fog.
Fog all the time.
It's also famous for theGolden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, amazing architecture and Victorian houses.
By the way, this is part of my series on the San Francisco Bay Area.
I've got more areas aboutcities and San Francisco Bay, including Napa and Santa Cruz.
You'll find links inthe description below, or at the end of this video.
So the first thing you need to know before you go to San Francisco isjust some general information about this city.
First of all, San Franciscohas a population of 800, 000.
It is the forth most popular city in the state of California.
It occupies a seven byseven mile peninsula on the northern end of San Francisco Bay.
It's kind of like a smaller, more walkable New York City, only with a lot more hills but it's the closest you'regonna get to an actual real city on the west coast and whatdo I mean by a real city? I mean, one that you can actually take public transportation aroundand you don't need a car.
San Francisco was theorigin of the hippy movement in the 1960s, as well as theLGBT civil rights movement.
The Castro is San Francisco'sfamously gay neighborhood and yes, public nudity is a thing here.
But I will say, not everythingin San Francisco is perfect.
San Francisco is plaguedby traffic congestion.
Traffic is super awful here.
Rents and property values are sky high.
People pay through the noseto live here and finally, there's also a prettysignificant homeless issue in the city and ifthere's one neighborhood you might want to avoid, it'sthe Tenderloin neighborhood.
It's just next to Union Square.
So just make sure youwatch where you're going, that you don't end up to be some place you really didn't want to be.
The second thing to know beforeyou go is about the weather.
I refer to San Franciscoas the foggy city.
It's not foggy all the time but when it is foggy, it's really cold.
Mark Twain had thisfamous quote that he said, the coldest winter I ever spentwas summer in San Francisco, and when the fog comes in, it cools down really quick.
It can be 70 degrees fahrenheitin one part of the city, but in the other part of thecity, where the fog rolled in, it can be 50 degrees fahrenheitand really humid and wet, which makes it feel even colder.
So I would say if you'recoming to San Francisco, make sure you dress in layers, so that you have jacketsthat you could put on or you could take off, when thesun and the fog come and go.
The third thing to knowbefore you go is about food.
San Francisco is a foodie city but what is San Francisco most known for? It's most known for sourdough bread and the mecca for sourdough bread is at Boudin Bakery here at Fisherman's Wharf.
Boudin's been baking upsourdough bread since the 1800s and I think the quintessentialfood item in San Francisco is absolutely to get clamchowder in a bread bowl.
So clam chowder, reallypopular here and don't you get it in a regular bowl, but getit in a sourdough bread bowl.
You get your clam chowder and your sourdough bread at the same time.
At this particularBoudin, they've got some flagship sandwiches that theydon't have at all of them.
This one is a dungeoness crab melt, so it's basically like a grilledcheese sandwich with crab.
When you're here at Fisherman's Wharf, you'll find a lot more crab things and San Francisco's reallygetting into the microbrew scene.
A lot of micro breweriesso if you're into beer, pick up a local one while you're here.
Anchor Steam, this ismade in San Francisco.
You'll find tons of Boudinbakeries all around the city, but the reason to visit thisone at Fisherman's Wharf is for two reasons.
One, the bakery museum.
They've got this whole museum about how sourdough bread is made and the history of sourdough bread.
They show you these coollittle sourdough creatures that you make and if you'rewondering why you need to eat sourdough bread whenyou come to San Francisco, well, it's because of the fog, and they've got thisexhibit here about the fog that says the fog actuallymakes the yeast work better and so the sourdough breadin San Francisco will taste unlike sourdough bread anywhereelse because of the fog.
Hey and if you didn't buy any, well, they've actually got samplesright here so you can sample the sourdough bread as well.
When you're in San Francisco, if you've never had In-N-Out Burger, you should definitely check it out.
They have a location at Fisherman's Wharf and what's In-N-OutBurger really good for? It's really good for burgers.
Cheeseburgers, double doubles, hamburgers, fries, drinks and shakes.
That's the entire menu.
It is the best value for a burger, you are going to get anywhere.
The menu's simple but I'llpoint out because this is the only location San Francisco, it can get quite busy.
If you want to beat the crowds, get here for an early lunch.
They open at 10.
30 so youcan get here before 11 am and then you don't haveto stand in the long line.
The other thing you shouldcheck out while you're here, if you like t-shirts, In-N-OutBurger at this location sells a special Fisherman'sWharf t-shirt you can pick up that's only available at thisIn-N-Out Burger location.
San Francisco also has a lotof really good Italian food and if you're looking forthe mecca for Italian food in San Francisco, it is inthe North Beach neighborhood which is kind of known as theLittle Italy of San Francisco.
It's roughly along Columbus Avenue, kind of where that bumps into Chinatown, but around here, thelampposts, they've all got the green, white and redfor the Italian flag, so eat some delicious pizza and pasta.
You know I can probably talkabout food for like two hours in the video, there's somuch to eat in San Francisco, but instead of puttingit all in this number, I'm gonna put it in someof the future numbers so when we hit up Chinatownand Fisherman's Wharf, more about food.
You'll see them in those numbers.
Hotels in San Franciscocan be quite expensive.
San Francisco is a business oriented city, so there's a lot ofbusiness travelers that drive the hotel rates way up.
Well I'll tell you is ifyou're coming for vacation or leisure, your best betmight be to come on the weekend because the weekends don'thave any business travelers and so you'll find the roomrates to be a bit cheaper on the weekends than they are on weekdays.
My favorite place tostay in San Francisco, neighborhood-wise is thisneighborhood right here.
This is Union Square.
It's essentially theheart of San Francisco.
There's the West End right over there.
There's a Marriott just in that direction.
What I like about Union Square is if you fly into San Francisco airport, you can take the BART here, the Bay Area Rapid Transit.
We'll talk more about that a bit in the airports and the getting around section, but it's really well connected, this area, to the cable cars to the trolley, everything's super walkable from here so this is just a reallyconvenient location.
My second and third favorite locations are the Embarcadero or the Financial District.
I know a lot of people mightsuggest Fisherman's Wharf, I do not recommendFisherman's Wharf to stay in.
It just feels too touristy for me and the hotels reallyaren't that nice over there.
We'll talk more about Fisherman's Wharf in one of these follow on numbers.
The fifth thing to know is aboutgetting into San Francisco.
San Francisco has three major airports.
San Francisco Airport, OaklandAirport and San Jose Airport and we're going to takethem in that order.
San Francisco Airport, also known as SFO, is probably the airportthat most people fly into San Francisco, is the major airport.
It's 15 miles south ofdowntown San Francisco.
It is essentially a stripof tarmac or runway, right along the San Francisco Bay.
The reason why most people flyinto SFO airport is because this is where all the big carriers fly, the big international carriers fly, it's a big United hub, StarAlliance, American and Delta, international ones.
The problem with San Franciscoairport is prone to fog being right on San Francisco Bay, so there are often a lot of fog delays, but what I like about flyinginto San Francisco airport is you can take the BART from there, the Bay Area Rapid Transit.
It's kind of the subway or the rail.
It'll bring you rightinto the city center, it costs less than 10 bucksand it takes about 45 minutes.
The second major airportis Oakland airport.
Oakland airport is 25 milesacross San Francisco Bay, from downtown San Francisco.
Oakland is a really goodoption if you're flying Southwest Airlines, comingdomestically from the U.
It's also a good option ifyou want to avoid the fog because it's on the otherside of San Francisco Bay, it is not as foggy so Oaklandhas a lot less delays.
Also, Oakland is pretty goodif you're gonna be connecting your San Francisco trip toNapa or Sonoma wine country because it's the closestto Napa and Sonoma of the Bay Area airports.
And the third major airport in the area is San Jose airport, FJC.
San Jose airport is 60 milessouth of San Francisco, in the city of San Jose.
San Jose airport is another good one if you're flying domestically.
They do a lot of Southwestflights but also a lot of international carriers have been adding service into San Jose, for all the people goingdown to Silicon Valley and those high tech companies.
San Jose is really great ifyou're connecting San Francisco to trips to Monterey or Carmel'cause that's down south and by the way, if you are renting a car, you could pick up a rentalcar at one of these airports and generally drop itoff at the other one, because most of these threeairports are considered co-terminals and so youtypically won't be charged a one way rental fee, if you're picking it upfrom one of these three and dropping it off at the other two.
The sixth thing to know before you go to San Francisco is aboutgetting around the city and the most classic wayto get around San Francisco is to ride the San Francisco cable car.
These cable cars havebeen running the streets of San Francisco since 1873 and they still run pretty muchthe same way they did before.
They cost $7 one way to ride them.
You can also get daily, three day, weekly passes which might be a good deal if you're gonna ride them quite a bit but if you are going toride one of these cable cars and you should if you'rehere in San Francisco, there's two ways to ride.
One, you can ride inside the cable car, but two, you can stand on the outside and standing on the outside, that is the way to ride them.
These cable cars run six a.
to midnight, seven days a week but I will tell you if youwant to beat the crowds, come early because thelines can get pretty long on this line.
The other classic way toget around San Francisco on these historic street cars, the best route for tourists is the F Line.
It runs down market street, it'll take you from theCastro to Fisherman's Wharf.
In addition to historic streetcars, Muni also operates a network of light rail, thereare six light rail lines.
They're known as Muni Metro.
This, unlike BART, isn'tdistance based, it's ride base.
75 per ride.
By the way, if you wonderedwhere that music is coming from, I'm actually beingserenaded right back here by this guy playing the accordion.
Another way to get aroundthe city is to take the BART, the Bay Area Rapid Transit.
It has five stops in thecity of San Francisco.
Most of them run kind of throughthe center on Union Square and Market Street.
BART being Bay Area, that'll take you to the other parts of the Bay Area so you're going across theBay, down to the airport, BART is the way you're gonna get there.
Fares on the BART, theyare basically per distance.
The cheapest ride is two bucks and the most expensiveride can be 15 bucks.
The regular BART rider say unfortunately, they don't run often enoughand they are often delayed.
One of the best ways toget around San Francisco is to use your own two feet.
San Francisco is a very walkable city, though the biggestproblem is that you can go from flat land to hills, very, very quickly and that route that Google Maps gives you, well, what looks like a straightline might really not be.
And by the way, thesehills as you can see is actually a staircase here, I'm gonna turn this around so you can see what I see.
This hill is so steep, they've actually turned thesidewalk into a staircase.
The seventh thing to know is about POPOS.
What's a POPO? It is a privatelyowned, publicly open space.
This is one of themright here, but actually, there's a law in SanFrancisco that causes all major developments to create these privately owned, public open spaces.
They are not well-signed, they are not well-marked but the developers and peoplewho operate these buildings need to create these spacesto be open to the public.
This is one of the best ones, this is the one right next to the Apple store by Union Squareand the Grand Hyatt hotel.
It's got this neat Lovesign, it's got tables, the Apple store employees, they come out and clean them and keep the tables set up.
Why is this great? This one's open 24/7, it'sgot free wifi as well.
One of the other coolest POPOS is the Transamerica Redwood Forest.
Right behind the Transamerica building, there's this redwood forest inthe center of San Francisco.
This one closes at 5.
30so right now, it's closed, that is why it's empty.
You should definitely check out the POPOS while you're in San Francisco.
Something pretty unique to this city.
The eighth thing toknow is about Chinatown.
San Francisco's Chinatownis the oldest Chinatown in North America and the largestChinatown outside of Asia.
It's about a mile longand half a mile wide and it takes up 24 city blocks.
There are 100, 000 peoplethat live in Chinatown and Chinatown, San Franciscois the most densely populated neighborhood, westof Manhattan in New York City.
Chinatown, San Francisco is kind of like a city within a city.
When you're here in Chinatown, Chinatown has its ownculture, its own languages, two of its own hospitals.
I mean, Chinatown is soimpressive in San Francisco, that there are actuallymore visitors come to visit Chinatown than visitthe Golden Gate Bridge.
When you're in Chinatown, make sure to get somedelicious Chinese food.
The Chinese food here is really good.
It is said that San Francisco, Chinatown is what essentially introducedthe U.
to dim sum, so you'll find lots of dimsum restaurants, tea houses, bakeries and one place youdefinitely have to visit in Chinatown is down this little alley.
This is Ross Alley and on this alley is the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie company.
This is where the fortunecookie in the U.
They've been here since1962, making fortune cookies, fresh off that factory line.
You can get them in multiple colors, you can get them with chocolate, you can get custom names on the box, definitely stop by here.
If you take a pictureor you take some video, make sure you give them 50 cents 'cause otherwise they don't make any money and they've said they mighthave to go out of business because their rent's too high and people aren't buyingenough fortune cookies so make sure to support them.
Other little interesting Chinatown fact, well-renowned actor BruceLee was actually born in one of the hospitals herein San Francisco, Chinatown.
If you're looking for some tasty dim sum while you're in Chinatown, check out Golden Saba Seafood.
Why do I say so? I just ate there and hadsome pretty good dim sum.
What do I like about this place? Dim sum all day, so you canget dim sum for dinner too.
This is not the cheapest dimsum but it was pretty tasty.
The ninth thing to knowbefore you go to San Francisco is about Fisherman's Wharf.
Fisherman's Wharf isprobably the most touristy neighborhood in San Francisco.
I mean, I did mentionChinatown has a lot of tourists that go there, more therethan the Golden Gate Bridge, but people live in Chinatown.
This is all a manufacturedtourist destination.
It didn't used to be, this used to be the center for fishermen in SanFrancisco and actually, you can still find a littlespot in the middle of it where fishermen unload theirboats and actually work here in the middle of thismanufactured touristy place, but what's so cool aboutFisherman's Wharf is just one of San Francisco's iconicneighborhood, it has this vibe, there's street performers, there's lots of good food, so I do think you haveto make it down here, just don't expect itto feel super authentic because there are a lotof tacky souvenir shops.
One of the places youhave to go see, well, I mentioned Boudin earlier, there's also an outpostof In-N-Out Burger, I mentioned that earlier too, what did I not mention earlier? Well, the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory.
This place been in SanFrancisco for a long time.
They make some delicious chocolates and actually if you just go in the store, they'll give you a samplefor free for just walking in.
Definitely try their hot fudge sundaes.
Their fudge is to die for.
One of my favorite placesin Fisherman's Wharf is on historic pier 45, it's the Musee Mecanique and you can call this an arcade but that really wouldn'tbe doing it justice.
This place is operated bythe Museum of San Francisco and it's actually a museum of old coin operated games through history.
They have over 200 coinoperated games dating as early as the 1800s.
This is a really impressive place and you will find coinoperated games, pianos and things like that, thatyou won't find anywhere else and yes, they still operate on quarters, so bring your dollars, get your change, put your quarters in some of these things.
Some of them you play, someof them are just a show, kind of like the piano.
In addition to clam chowder, actually all manner of seafoodis popular in San Francisco, but the mecca of seafood ishere at Fisherman's Wharf.
Just across the street from Boudin, this is where all thecrab stands hang out, that's what they call them.
Pretty much all these placeswhen crab is in season sell it.
You can see some crab right here and they've all got these big boiling pots where you get one freshcooked, just for you.
Crab, lobster, shellfish, lobster rolls and you can tell they likeseafood because this stand says, if it swims we sell it.
Right across the street from the Fisherman's Wharf cablecar stop is The Buena Vista.
The Buena Vista is the place that's famous for inventing the Irish coffee.
Coffee, whisky, sugar and heavy cream.
A tasty drink.
And if you don't believeme, believe the plaque.
America's first Irish coffeewas made here in 1952.
So Fisherman's Wharf isthe most touristy part of San Francisco, althoughthe most touristy part of Fisherman's Wharf is thisplace right here, pier 39, kind of the center pieceof Fisherman's Wharf, at least the touristy part of it.
It is a two storyshopping center on a pier.
There's shops, there'srestaurants, there's an arcade, there's an aquarium.
Down at the end, there's kindof a neat, two-story carousel but the really cool thing here at pier 39 are the sea lions that areat the end of the pier.
They're sort of on theleft side of the pier.
There's been recorded as many as 1, 700 different sea lions that live here.
1, 700 sea lions.
Come and see them, hear them, smell them, bask in all the sea lion glory.
The tenth thing to know is about Alcatraz.
Probably the most famous prisonin all of the United States.
It's also been nicknamed the Rock.
You can see it there behindme why the rock because it looks like this prisonthat's been built on a rock.
There's only one way to get to Alcatraz and that's on a ferry, operated by the Alcatraz Cruises Company.
Other companies advertise Alcatraz Cruises but they just float by the island.
If you take one of them, you can't actually go on the island.
You'll see it here when theysay things like view Alcatraz, you're gonna be viewingit just from the boat.
So if you actually wantto go on the island, you need to book tickets in advance.
They often sell out a weekor more so book early, you can book them online.
The eleventh thing toknow is about day trips from San Francisco so ifyou come to San Francisco, there's some other greatplaces to go around the area.
The first one is Napa, the famous wine country in California.
There's this neat beachtown called Monterey.
It has a world famous aquarium and then kind of in the middle, there's this beach town called Santa Cruz.
It's a really classicCalifornian beach town.
So how long should youspend in San Francisco? I'd probably say about threenights in San Francisco and then you can do two days in Napa, you could do two days downin Carmel and Monterey.
He just wanted to say hey, so thank you very much and so about a week, ninedays, something like that would cover, I think, the whole region and so if you wanted to goto Santa Cruz or to Napa, you can click here to watchsome of my other videos on those destinations, you can find a link inthe descriptions below and I won't say goodbye because I'll see youin one of those videos.