Sometimes it's the tourist attractions and popular spaces in the city you live in that help you truly understand how lucky you are to call it home. For me, this city is San Francisco. A remarkable place that was not such an easy transition for me when I first moved into its wild neighborhood of Haight Ashbury. In the beginning, my journey in this city was one good day, then a few not so good ones. I'd take one step forward then take two steps back when it came to getting comfortable here and staying genuinely happy. I wasn't that person that instantly moved here and instantly loved it. A transition from the stunning, coastal town of Santa Barbara was filled with an abundance of friends, beach days on the regular, skipping class to stroll along pristine State Street sprinkled with palm trees and red tiled buildings. A place you could drive (and park) anywhere all in a matter of minutes and where the sun never stopped shining. So you can imagine what types of challenges I faced when I moved in the middle of August and didn't see the sun for two straight weeks. I've since fallen in love with San Francisco and everything that comes with it. Yes, even Muni rides.
As of today, I've lived here for three and a half years and during these past few weeks I've conquered some things on my never ending "to see" list and one in particular was to check out Coit Tower, and hey...it was a great excuse for an Italian style afternoon in North Beach after! So why not jump into an elevator of tourists who traveled 2,800 miles from Cape Cod to experience the same views I traveled 20 minutes for? I can't remember the last time I went to Coit tower, but according to my mom we went often as a family when I was very young. Although I don't remember those trips, I can guarantee that the sky was not as clear and that the air was nowhere close to being as warm. It was one of those perfect spring days, where the air stood still and the smiles were as bright as the surrounding buildings and homes. The kind of day when everything works together to remind you just how good of a life you have.
When you make your visit, there are definitely some things worth knowing. If you are a San Francisco resident, $6 will get you to the top (add an extra $2 if you are visiting from out of town.) There is a small parking lot at the top, but there is a 30 minute limit so if you can, try to park along designated areas at the base of the hill. If you see a spot before you drive to the top, grab it then climb up the beautiful Filbert Street stairs to the entrance. Once you've seen the 360 degree view of the city, head to the bottom of the tower and check out the murals from 1934. This area was just renovated and as intriguing as ever. What to do after? Walk, drive, or skip over to the main streets of North Beach (Green & Columbus) to visit the bakeries, parks and restaurants of "little Italy." If the weather is nice and warm, enjoy lunch at one of the many sidewalk cafes in the area. Even better? Get food to-go then picnic in Washington Square Park!
Have you visited Coit Tower since it's recent renovation? I'd love to hear where you go for amazing city views! How have you celebrating this amazing weather? Looking for more San Francisco hidden and not so hidden gems? How about some stellar SF day trips? Then stay connected on Instagram and Facebook!