Presenting…the 2016 Best of San Francisco By Billy Awards! (Yeah, they’re a little late. But I’m sure you don’t mind. And after this, it’s finally on to India!)
Obviously I liked San Francisco enough to move here. But I always thought it was overrated as a sightseeing destination. Starting right away with Day 1 of my official sightseeing in San Francisco last April, I realized just how wrong I was.
After my first day out in San Francisco, following the Barbary Coast Trail, I didn’t think any future day could beat it. San Francisco totally enthralled me on Day 1. And it didn’t hurt that the weather was uncharacteristically perfect. But once again I was wrong. One day was able to beat out Day 1.
San Francisco has world-famous attractions like the cable cars and Fisherman’s Wharf. But setting renown aside, what really is the best take-in in San Francisco?
As my hometown of Boston is quite the museum town, San Francisco has a lot to live up to. But sure enough, it’s up to the task! (San Francisco has plenty great museums. Like with every other category here, these are just the best from my 2016 sightseeing. There are more very good museums coming up that I saw in 2017.)
There’s one thing I learned above all else in my first season of sightseeing in San Francisco. The best art in San Francisco is free.
The architecture that San Francisco is probably most known for is the brightly painted Victorian houses all over town. But there’s so much more than that to architecture in San Francisco.
Best Historical Site
Coming from Boston, I’ve always looked down on California when it comes to sites of historical significance. In 2016, San Francisco set me straight. There’s plenty of history here.
There’s plenty worth remembering in San Francisco. Here are the best remembrances.
Best House of Worship
Here are some of San Francisco’s most inspirational places.
Boston has so many great historic cemeteries. I was surprised to find out that wasn’t the case in San Francisco. Due to population growth during the late 19th century and into the 20th century, almost all of San Francisco’s dead bodies were moved outside the city. Just 2 cemeteries remain in the city. One is the San Francisco National Cemetery on the grounds of the Presidio. I only briefly saw that one from the bus as I got shuttled across the Presidio on Day 5. The other one, which I visited on Day 4, is prominently featured in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Vertigo”.
Best Park (that isn’t Golden Gate Park)
I wouldn’t be hitting up Golden Gate Park until 2017. And I knew it would be ludicrous to name any other park San Francisco’s best. Hence the very specific category.
Like Boston, San Francisco is a supremely walkable city.
But Wait, There’s More…
San Francisco just has too much going on. I need to spread the 2016 BSFBB Awards over 2 posts. There’s just too much! Part 2 will include (among other categories) San Francisco’s best surprises and hidden spots, the best in dining (including, of course, San Francisco’s best ice cream!), and alas, San Francisco’s biggest tourist traps.