Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

San Fran So Satisfying

Newspaper article The Chronicle (Toowoomba, Australia)

San Fran So Satisfying

Article excerpt

Byline: Shelley Strachan

WINTER in America may be cold, but autumn in Northern California, San Francisco and the Monterey Bay in particular, is also surprisingly cool.

Footpaths hide under a heavy dusting of soft, amber leaves and away from the city streets there can be a hint of pine in the air. A complete change in temperature and weather can occur just moving from one side of the city to the other; these district micro climates can catch you by surprise and explain why everyone who knows you are going to San Francisco says "dress in layers".

Being able to layer up or down is vital.

San Fran, as the locals call it, is foggy, hilly and eclectic -- 39 per cent of its residents were born overseas. There are more than 50 steep rolling hills within the compact city limits, and ascending some of them feels not unlike a roller-coaster ride, gifting you with regular, spectacular vistas of roadways that drop away and taper off into a stunning blue Bay. No photo could ever do them justice.

Grab a nine-day San Francisco CityPASS and you will have all you need to go exploring.

A two-and-a-half-hour Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Tour costs $50 and take you to most parts, including the Mission, the Tenderloin, Nob Hill and the Haight-Ashbury District (think Janis Joplin and the Summer of Love in the 1960s), but be sure to take heavy duty layers on this one.

Nobody warns you about the icy fog that can roll in at any time, and if you are sitting alone on the open top deck of a Big Bus when you enter that fog on the Golden Gate Bridge, you will gasp in cold shock as I did.

San Fran is one of the 100 most-visited cities in the world and it's easy to see why.

Down by the by water, and looking out at Alcatraz on its lonely, sparse rock in San Francisco Bay, is Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39, an exciting hurly burly of music, entertainment, restaurants, ferries, shops and international tourists. …

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