If you haven’t been to San Francisco yet, start researching. Then do whatever it takes to get there – whether that means by train, plane, ferry, car or air charter. You’ll enjoy a special experience and really get a sense of the culture while there. San Francisco is a unique city well worth exploring, with a fascinating international flair to it.
4 Reasons Why San Francisco – Cultural Immersion
Here are four reasons why this city is a must-visit…
Very few American cities possess an identity based on the composite of their neighborhoods.
Much of America is inundated with strip malls, suburbia and sterile, commercial culture. Cities like New York City, Boston, Chicago, New Orleans and of course San Francisco are leading examples of the depth and breadth that unique neighborhoods offer to a metropolis.
San Francisco’s Chinatown is the largest outside of Asia and the oldest in America. North Beach in San Francisco has a European flair with its many cafes, street side trattorias, beatnik history and innocuous red light district.
Chinatown and North Beach sit right next to each other. Therefore, in a matter of blocks, you’re transported between two worlds.
The Food Culture
Many people outside of America think the quality of American food isn’t great.
However, when your perspective is limited to McDonald’s (which are almost nonexistent in San Francisco), hot dogs and pizza, you’re unaware of true American culinary pleasures. These iconic foods misrepresent America’s gastronomic talent.
In contrast, San Francisco features regional dishes where you’ll find magic at the end of a fork.
Eating here is done with sophistication and purpose. San Franciscan chefs continually stretch the boundaries of their trade. They create decadent, original dishes you’ll only find here.
San Francisco offers some amazingly delicious fresh seafood. There’s any kind of Asian food you could ever imagine. You can easily enjoy fabulous Mexican. And given its access to the rich, diverse California growers, there’s locally sourced, artisanal food products: milk, cheese, mushrooms, meat and many more.
The Street Culture
Much like bustling European cities, San Franciscans love to be on the streets. People greatly enjoy walking here, and why not?
With so many neat places to discover, tucked all over the city, the only way to uncover them is to get intimate with the city and walk.
The many bicyclists, street vendors, trolleys, cable cars, even the elderly Chinese men pushing around their hand trucks in Chinatown translate into an unmistakable lively and boisterous atmosphere on the street.
The streets have a pulse that ebbs and flows. You will feel it and become a part of it. As a result, San Francisco has some world class “people watching.”
Pull up a street side chair and a beer in the financial district to watch the locals, or go to North Beach and enjoy a cappuccino while life soothingly settles into a slow drip. The music scene in San Francisco is also top notch. You may well enjoy some tunes as you wander the streets.
A lot of people from around the globe call San Francisco home. Sure you’ll undoubtedly see lots of foreign tourists in Fisherman’s Wharf and along the Embarcadero. However, you’ll be surprised by how many you encounter off the beaten tourist path.
Whether it’s a French couple on BART (the local metro service), a Russian coed heading across the bay to Oakland, a lovely Italian woman that can barely speak English working in a bakery, or a Mexican mother doing her produce shopping, San Francisco’s diversity astounds.
Usually this kind of diversity owes to a city being a vital transportation hub. The port of San Francisco deserves credit for attracting an impressive multicultural assortment.
Many things to do in San Francisco
Also, be sure to check out all the attractions at Golden Gate Park where you can experience even more culture and insight into this engaging city.
Have you been to San Francisco – did you enjoy your visit?