Saturday, December 5, 2009

Thank you Matt!

My wonderful friend Matt, who lives in SFO, composed a list of stuff do while you are there. It was so long, he couldn't post it as a comment, so I am publishing it here on his behalf.

Matt (and all other friends in SFO), I am sorry I didn't call you guys up. My boyfriend informed me we were seeing friends the very last minute. I thought we were doing a "couple trip" until then. So, I ended up meeting his friend, instead of you guys. :( I missed you all, too!

"Hi Duygu, I'm glad to hear you're well on your way to falling in love with CA :) I have a ton of more suggestions to add, but I'll just add a few for now:

+3 for Big Sur: (1) For those interested in a magical beach view, check out "Point Lobos" especially in the winter when the crashing waves spray 50-75 feet in the air and one can watch seals sunbathe and dive for meals. (2) My favorite beach there is "Julia Pfeiffer" where one can watch the sunset through tunnels bored in the cliffs by waves: beachPh (3) For those in the mood for a more committed adventure, pack your sleeping bag, tent, backpacking stove and hit the trail our of Big Sur state campground up to "Sykes Hotsprings" -- a 10 mile, beautiful hike through redwoods, bay trees, madrone and CA oak to a natural hot spring hidden deep up the valley. Soak your soar body and jump in the invigorating cold stream!

Further North on Highway 1: you come to "Half Moon Bay" area, which is a rather cute and fun town. I also enjoy another town called "Princeton by the sea" ~15 mi further north. "Ketch Joanne" is a great greasy spoon and has delicious fish and ships. If you're in the mood for something a little classier there's "Sam's Chowder House" a 1/4 mile south of town -- yummy local seafood! The world-famous "Maverick's Beach" -- home to some of the world's biggest surfing waves (only a few times a year) is just a short hike over the ridge from town -- this is one of my favorite beaches in CA.

In SF proper: Soo much good stuff in this city. Here are a few highlights:

Eats: (1) "Cha-Cha-Cha" in the Mission (a historically Latino neighborhood) is a lively old-time SF restaurant with strong Cuban influences. (2) down the street is "Weird Fish" -- a fun spot to get great little plates. (3) those willing to pay more can have a classy Another cool stop is "Tataki Sushi" which is (as far as I know) the first (and only?) 100% sustainably fished sushi restaurant! (5) "San Tung" in the Inner Sunset has the best Chinese-style chicken wings you will ever have. (6)"Brother's Korean BBQ" on Geary street is fantastic -- you cook yourself over mesquite wood coals -- delish!

Drinks: (1) "Bruno's" and (2) "Medjool" are great, big clubs in the Mission. Check out the (3) “Elbo Room” for a more relaxed space, or really any other bar in the popular 16th street and Valencia Street area. The Marina district is also known for its nightlife – more the preppy type in general. I like (4) “MatrixFilmore” and (5) “City Tavern” just 1 block down Filmore Street.

Fun: (1) "Planet Granite" rock climbing gym in the Presidio looks onto the Golden Gate bridge and has great facilities. (2) "SFMOMA" is a wonderful museum and always worth a stop. (3) "alemany farmers market" is super colorful and has amazing local food -- one really gets a feel of south-american and south-east-asian and californian growers all rolled into one place. (4) "Dolores Park" is a great place to hang when the weather is nice -- enjoy the hippies, random jam groups, and the guy who sells gourmet mushroom truffles:

North still of SF: The "Marin Headlands" is an incredibly beautiful area, and soooo close to one of the major metropolitan centers of the US. It was all military land housing secret bases through the cold-war era (many of which you can visit in their decomposing states), but now it's national park land. I recommend visiting the "Point Bonita Lighthouse" which is only open like 12:30-3:30 Sat-Mon. Teetering on the edge of its own personal island cliff, it has ridiculous views of the ocean and SF bay and harkens back to an older age. If you want to stay in the area for cheap, check out the "Marin Headlands Hostel" is very simple, but good.

A little further north and you'll come to the world-famous "Muir Woods" which is one of the closest places to SF to walk among what's left of the ancient redwoods. Some of these trees are 3000 years old. This area is very accessible, with almost disney-land-like paved pathways. For those more adventuresome, hike the "Dipsea Trail" all the way to "Stinson Beach" -- about 10 miles round trip but an absolutely beautiful hike through open hills covered with golden grass and oak trees, to cool valleys filled with ferns and moss-covered bay trees. Once at Stinson you can eat at the "Parkside Cafe" for a tasty stop. The beach is just a walk through the park from there."


Mary said...

Be sure to check out Princeton Seafood Co. if you come to Princeton. The crabs are delicious and very fresh. There is a little tiny seafood market and a restaurant with the BEST clam chowder around.

duygusar said...

Mary, are you Zeynep's beloved Mary or are you someone else's? :) I couldn't access your profile, so couldn't figure out who you were. Either way, you rock for the clam chowder suggestion. Clam chowder makes the world a better place. :)