This blog is our opinion about the sites and experiences you should not miss in Sanny Fanny! Also, we will provide recommendations on how to get to the site (we shall assume that you’ll be traveling from the University of California Berkeley to San Francisco). Let’s get started!
1. Travel over the Golden Gate Bridge:
The Golden Gate Bridge, the most famous bridge in the world, spans 1.7 miles and is a must-go. If you’re a frequent San Francisco goer (which most of you will be, since it is free from Berkeley to San Francisco, yay to Clipper Concession Card), you’ll most likely start your trip from Salesforce Transit Centre (take bus F from UCB, the last stop will be Salesforce Transit Centre). There are multiple ways to get to the end of the bridge and we recommend two ways:
- Take a private hire car from Salesforce transit centre to H. Dana Bowers Rest Area & Vista Point – Northbound.
- Board Route 130 at Salesforce Transit Centre (Bus Plaza, Bay A) or along Mission Street (north side of the street, GGT marked stops only). Remain on board until the first stop after crossing the Golden Gate Bridge.
Take pictures! Pose! Enjoy the weather! Take in the scenery! These are just some of the amazing things you can do while walking across the Iconic bridge. After walking across the Bridge, you can return to Downtown, Salesforce Transit Centre, or Union Square by boarding Routes 101, 130, and 150 at the southbound Toll Plaza bus stop, which is adjacent to the Administration Building.
2. See the sea lions!:
Tired of seeing otters in Singapore? (No hate to the adorable otters) Feast your eyes on the magnificent sea lions at PIER 39! PIER 39 is a waterfront marketplace that is one of San Francisco’s most popular attractions. At the docks of the pier, you will be able to watch the antics of the sea lions (no feeding is allowed unfortunately ☹). Treat yourself to multiple food options too! (More towards seafood). There are multiple ways to get to Pier 39, but we shall recommend one we found the most worth it:
- Take the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit, the MRT equivalent of the Bay Area) from Downtown Berkeley to Embarcadero and head towards the Ferry Building. Explore the different piers as you head your way towards Pier 39 (it is quite a stretch, but the sights are worth the walk!)
3. Have a picnic in a park, or just have a stroll:
Botanic Garden picnics will no longer feel the same after you have a picnic in San Francisco. There are so many parks in San Francisco where you can lay down a picnic mat and enjoy a delicious meal. We recommend having a picnic in the iconic Golden Gate Park (what other place offers an iconic bridge in the backdrop?). Besides the famous bridge in the background, you will find scenic spots outside the California Academy of Sciences and at the Conservatory of Flowers. Here is our recommendation on how to get to Golden Gate Park:
- Take the BART from Downtown Berkeley to Embarcadero. After, Take the N Judah (tram) from Ocean Beach to Carl St & Stanyan St. Afterwards, it will take a few minutes of walking to reach the start of Golden Gate Park.
4. Explore Chinatown:
Reminisce Asian food in America? Fret not, Chinatown is here to save the day! San Francisco’s Chinatown is renowned for its restaurants, food markets, temples, and exotic shops. Here, you can buy traditional Chinese remedies from herb shops (perhaps to cure your jetlag), pose in front of murals, and treat yourself to a scrumptious dim sum lunch. Chinatown spans 24 blocks (a lot to explore, that’s for sure), and the entrance begins at Grant Avenue and Bush Street, also called the Dragon’s Gate. Here is how to get there:
- Take bus F from UCB to Salesforce Transit Centre. After, walk about 15 mins from there to the dragon’s gate (while walking, you can explore the layout of the city too!)
5. Get Cultured:
One does not simply say that they have completed an exchange without a cultural experience. So… Get cultured! The de Young Museum, The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Legion of Honour, the Asian Art Museum, and the Museum of Craft & Design. These are just some of the myriad institutions and galleries that are staunch to the exceptional classical and contemporary arts. If you are looking for a place that offers an aquarium, a planetarium, a natural history museum, and a four-storey rainforest all under one roof (awesome, we know), look no further than the California Academy of Sciences! Amazingly, the California Academy of Sciences and the de Young Museum are in Golden Gate Park (yay). Thus, you can follow the suggested traveling route mentioned in point 3.
With all that said, what are you waiting for? It’s time to start exploring San Francisco!