From West Bay to East Bay, along with a Santa Cruz Getaway, & a taste of Pride

There is just something about San Francisco that is so refreshing whenever I come up to visit. Maybe because it’s known for its stunning views, cool summers, fog, architecture, and famous landmarks, and the people are just happy there overall because it’s the perfect balance of what summer should feel like – sunny, but not too hot, and it can definitely get windy, but not too cold. It’s just perfect and that is why people love living there.

It’s definitely an awesome place and every neighborhood you go to has their own feel, personality, and identity, which makes it one-of-a-kind.

The Bay (aka San Francisco) area has plenty of attractions, from the Golden Gate Bridge, Mount Sutro, Alcatraz, Marin, Pier 39, Fishermans Wharf, the Presidio, a few lakes, and other parks (ie. Dolores Park), which makes the city more enjoyable because you can just find a lake or park close by and just sit there and relax. The city is also super bikeable because it has bike lanes throughout the city, plus you can travel by BART which is convenient, fast, and fun to explore the bay area.

I was staying in the East Bay and there isn’t much to do there, but it’s a quiet place to live away from the city or raise a family. The microbrew culture is pretty popular and deeply rooted in the Bay so if you’re looking for Breweries to go to around San Francisco and San Leandro, there’s 21st Amendment and Drakes, which are the ones I went to. I’m not a beer drinker, or any drinker really, but I went with friends, and these places have plenty of enjoyable and modern craft beer, and they have quality food trucks right outside.

The first day I went to Golden Gate Park, which is a really big park with a lot of open space and consisted of special places you can visit in the park like different lakes, the Japanese Tea Garden, the science museum, etc., so you won’t get bored. It’s a pleasant place to walk around or have a relaxing picnic, rent a pedal boat, go biking, and you can spend hours exploring the museums there.

Since I’ve been to the Bay before I wanted to visit different places I’ve never been to yet and go to places that are less touristy, but it is hard to do everything when you are there for only a few days because there is so much to do, on top of visiting friends, and wanting to eat at the best spots in San Fran.

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There are plenty of nice scenic places to get a great picture of the Golden Gate Bridge and since it was Gay Pride week, I didn’t want to go somewhere too crowded. So on a sunny and beautiful day, I went to Baker’s Beach, which is the perfect spot to get a gorgeous picture of the bridge, it’s easy parking, the sand is soft, clean, the sound of the waves are peaceful, and remember that some parts of the beach are nude, which I actually didn’t know that until I got there. Oops! And remember to bring a jacket because it can get pretty windy sometimes.

Let’s talk about a little food in San Francisco. Just like Los Angeles, they have a variety of diverse cuisine and eating establishments to your liking, so whatever you are craving, it’s in the city and pretty damn good.  If you go, you should hit up any Tacquiera place, which is all over. One of my favorite places I would recommend going to is the rooftop restaurant, El Techo, which means “rooftop”. LOL. This place is decently crowded and depending on the day and time you go you can wait to as little as 15 minutes and the longest I had to wait was approximately an hour but that’s because I came during a busy dinner time during Gay Pride week on a Saturday, but while you are waiting there’s plenty of things to do because they will call or text you when you’re table is ready. It’s worth the wait as well because they serve great Latin American street food.

Another really good place to go for brunch is Mama’s on Washington Square in the West Bay of SF, but since it was a busy week and it was going to be too crowded, I decided to eat at another place I’d recommend for brunch which is Portals Restaurant in Oakland, which is in the East Bay of San Francisco. If you’re looking for a change in scenery, Portals is a cute and stylish restaurant with wooden benches outside a patio with a slight view of Lake Meritt, if you dig that kind of outdoorsy seating area vibe. They serve unique and new American food and they serve bottomless mimosas. YUM! And after you eat, you can take a nice little walk or relax in Lake Meritt and do some duck watching. 🙂

Lake Meritt

On a day trip, my friends took me to their small hometown, Santa Cruz. It’s definitely a nice place to get away from the city and located along central California’s coast. For a small town, it has a variety of things for you to do and you can go from walking on the beach boardwalk to watching surfers “Chasing Mavericks” to adventuring the wildlife along with exploring and enjoying Santa Cruz’s one-of-a-kind and charming lifestyle. And there is always plenty of events happening in this vibrant town, and basically, “this is just how they Cruz.” (see what I did there..lol)

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Since I was there during Gay Pride, I had to experience a little something about it. Little did I know, I wanted to sit and have a relaxing day at Dolores Park and when my friends and I got there, it was a pretty BIG PARTY. Everywhere you go, it’s a party in San Francisco during this beautiful week. Traffic is busy and long, it’s crowded, and even though I didn’t get my relaxing day at the park it was so fun being surrounded by all types of love and I’d recommend everyone to experience Gay Pride one day. 🙂

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