Hi there, me and my boyfriend are flying to san Francisco 8th June, travelling to napa 14th of June, then to LA on the 18th before heading back to Manchester on the 23rd!
Can anyone recommend any must see places, or any little tips on hidden gems, low/medium budget, interested in the arts/food, not so much history but it's always good to see some!
Many thanks, Rachel x
Having lived in SF for 25 years, I know the area pretty well. Are you doing something special in Napa? I ask because Napa is nice, but now rather commercialized. I prefer the Sonoma and Marin coast area to the west for many reasons. Don't overlook the Monterey Peninsula area about 100 miles south of SF (Carmel, Monterey) - just don't go on a weekend (gets extremely crowded).
Use public transportation in SF since parking is expensive, and a car just gets in the way - this is a rather tiny city in size. I prefer to walk and also use the lightrail and bus systems (the MUNI as well as BART for areas outside the city and airport).
When I lived in SF, one of my favorite things to do was to ride my bike out to the ocean through Golden Gate Park and then across the Golden Gate Bridge into Marin County. You can also take the ferry to Marin (Sausalito or Larkspur).
SF is now quite expensive (the reason I moved to Oregon - less costly and less crowded up here), so bring dollars in some quantity (remember that 18% tipping is expected at restaurants).
Don't miss the Mexican Food in the Mission District - especially the Mission Burritos (just follow the crowds - you can take BART to 16th or 24th Street). Also don't miss the awesome views from the top of Twin Peaks and or Buena Vista Park.