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San Francisco in 48 Hours

I managed to pack in a lot of sight-seeing into just two days in San Francisco.

Here’s what I did/saw:

Admired the skyscrapers in the Financial District

Saw the Christmas lights in Union Square

Sampled clam chowder (yes, in a sourdough bowl) and saltwater taffy

Explored Chinatown’s gastronomy

Went to the Golden Gate Bridge

Strolled around Ghirardelii Square

Toured Alcatraz

Walked around the touristy Pier 39

Found San Francisco’s curviest street; Lombard

Wished for bay windows

Though I’ve been to San Francisco before, it was great returning as it has been a few years. It definitely struck me as a livable city, and has been added on to my now rather long list of places in the world that I could definitely consider calling home for awhile.

Though 48 hours is enough time to see most of the major sights, it felt a bit rushed, and I would recommend at least 3 days to maximize your time in the city. I, however, had to return back south to visit with my family in San José, go wine-tasting and explore the super-charming towns of Carmel and Los Gatos. Stay tuned!

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San Francisco’s Chinatown

During my recent trip back to the United States, I stopped not only in my beautiful city of Seattle, but also in San Francisco, for a week of relaxing with loved ones and sight-seeing. I had been to San Francisco’s Chinatown a few years before, but the memories were fuzzy, so I made sure to include it on my itinerary this time around.

I’m so glad I did.

Street Art in San Francisco’s Chinatown

Chinatown, as to be expected, is certainly unlike the rest of San Francisco. Old men teeter down the streets, the scent of sautéed ginger lingers near restaurant entrances, and street markets offer everything from fake Prada bags to live turtles.

The streets transport you to what one may imagine of population-heavy China: congested, lively and full of sensory surprises.

Lunchtime in Chinatown

An essential to-do on my Chinatown list was to stop for some ethnic fare. Hello, Mongolian beef, pot stickers, fried rice, General Tso’s chicken and Thai iced-tea!

Chinese lanterns were everywhere.

With a full belly, I continued through Chinatown, snapping shots of the traditionally-styled architecture before moving on to a different SF neighborhood.

Fun Facts About San Francisco’s Chinatown:

  • It is the largest Chinatown in the world. Well, outside of China itself.
  • It is the oldest Chinatown in North America.
  • It draws more visitors than the Golden Gate Bridge.
  • It is one of the most densely populated neighborhoods not only in San Francisco, but in the entirety of the United States!

Have you ever been to a Chinatown? Where? How does it stack up to San Francisco’s?

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    I'm Christine - a 25 year old expat living la vida Española on the Mediterranean coast in Spain!

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