hi there , can you tell me the differences between los angeles & san fransico ?
Oh, man. Where do I begin?!
Weather. On average, it’s much warmer (maybe ~10 degrees F warmer) in Los Angeles than it is in San Francisco and, clearly, San Francisco is much foggier than Los Angeles (but that’s okay, LA - you have smog). It’s not difficult to leave the 60 F weather in SF, though - just drive over to Berkeley or Oakland, and could very well be 75 F. Anyway, LA is a very sunny place.
Land. LA is mostly flat. SF has tons of hills, some very steep.
Public transportation. There are, of course, buses and taxis in LA, but people usually get around by car. It’s a nightmare trying to find parking in SF (in most places, anyway), so a lot of people take MUNI or BART. And while we’re sort of on the topic, LA’s traffic is TERRIBLE. SF’s isn’t much better, but at least we have other options.
Business. Hollywood is a major part of LA, so successful media companies and law firms thrive there. SF is home to tons of equally successful tech and biotech companies.
Sports teams. We love our kickass Giants, 49ers, and Warriors (though they’re based in Oakland) to death. LA’s beloved Dodgers are our baseball rivals. They don’t have a football team, but they do have two basketball teams: the Lakers and the Clippers.
Rent. Because LA has more space, it also has tons of huge, expensive houses. SF has some incredibly expensive houses, too, but I have a feeling our average apartment rent is a lot higher than the average rent in LA.
Landmarks and attractions. Most of LA’s landmarks are film industry-related: Hollywood sign, Walk of Fame, Chinese Theatre, Dolby Theatre, etc. SF’s landmarks are separate from each other and spread out around the city: Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, Pyramid Building, Castro Theatre, Ferry Building, and Coit Tower (to name a few).
Clearly, I only scratched the surface (and I’m obviously biased). LA has a reputation of being progressive, but very into appearances; SF is known to be a more urban and liberal city. Like anywhere in the world, both cities have their pros and cons. I’d recommend taking the time to visit both, if possible.
Hi so I'm from the Midwest and I'm going to San Francisco for the first time this April. What are some things to do other than go to fisherman's wharf and go shopping and so fourth, I guess what I'm asking is what are some cool things to see/do other than the basic tourist stuff?
Eat! There’s so much good food in the city. Some random places I love are: Ebisu (Japanese), Nopalito (Mexican), Sunflower (Vietnamese), Ike’s (sandwiches), Lefty O’Doul’s (restaurant/sports bar), and Great Eastern Restaurant (dim sum).
Walk around and enjoy the sights/sounds/smells of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market (only open on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday mornings).
Marvel at the Palace of Fine Arts.
Take a stroll in Golden Gate Park and explore the Japanese Tea Garden.
Watch a SF Giants ballgame at AT&T Park (night games are more fun, in my opinion).
Have a picnic at Baker Beach (not in the nudist part, though… unless you’re into that sort of thing).
Enjoy the view at Twin Peaks (I don’t think it’s a “basic tourist” thing to do).
Hi! I am so excited to find your blog! I am moving to either the North Bay or East Bay in a matter of weeks and desperately need some advice on where NOT to go in the city or around it. Anything helps! Thanks!
Hello! =) It’s probably a good idea to avoid the Tenderloin at night (it’s not as bad in the afternoon, but only if you have a reason to be there). Hunter’s Point also has a bad reputation. Golden Gate Park at night doesn’t usually have much going on (except the occasional event), so maybe stay away from there. Golden Gate Park during the day, however, is wonderful.
Oakland, in my opinion, is not as bad as people make it out to be. Downtown and uptown Oakland are lovely (and cheaper than downtown SF), but maybe make sure you aren’t by yourself. As for East Oakland, there’s almost no reason to ever be there.
I don’t remember the last time I was in Richmond, but it has an awful, awful reputation and the highest crime rate per square mile. Sorry for the bad review, Richmond.
Regardless of where you are in/around the city, it’s always a good idea to be aware of your surroundings (and your pockets!).
I hope this was even a tad helpful. Enjoy your move! =)
I'm a 20 year old from a a very small town in southern California and I plan on moving up there in the fall. I know it's expensive and I've done a lot of homework on the city. I plan on taking 10k with me. Is that enough tell I find work? Thanks
I’m going to answer this question as simply as I possibly can because I don’t know enough about your situation to make any fair assumptions.
If by “taking 10k,” you mean that’s all you have on you and in your bank account, it may:
be enough — IF you’re planning to live with at least one other roommate in an inexpensive apartment. Finding a job in the city, as I’ve mentioned before, is not difficult IF you aren’t picky (If I were you, I’d even start applying to open positions now).
not be enough — If you’re planning on living alone and/or in an expensive part of town. If it takes you more than two months to find a job, you might be in trouble.
There are just so many things to consider! I’m not the kind of person who is comfortable living paycheck-to-paycheck, so I’m trying to give you some sort of expense-cushion in my answer.
This is the part where I imagine a (not really)worst-case scenario and throw random numbers in: If your contribution to rent is $1,000/month and you’re making $10/hour (minimum wage is $10.55, but I’m trying to make the math easy for myself) AND you’re working 40-hour weeks, you’ll be making ~$1,600 (before taxes). Which means your net monthly take-home is ~$600 (before taxes, and not including utilities or food or other bills or fun). Is that okay with you?
I realize this isn’t one of my more helpful responses - so sorry! BUT You’ve done your homework on the city, so I’m sure you’ll thrive here! =) Just come as prepared as possible, is all I’m saying!
Ugh so I'm a 17 year old as a junior in high school and words can't describe how much I WANT to move to SF and study at SF State...but living there is so pricey and do my dreams are crushed...
If SFSU is your dream school, then apply! =) There are always financial aid and work-study opportunities (it’s not that difficult to find a part-time job in the city, as long as you’re not too picky). I’m sure you’ve already thought this through, but also make sure that you want to attend the school for reasons other than location (know what majors/courses SF State has to offer).
Point is, go for it! It’s always good to be practical, but just know that solutions to college costs do exist (i.e. live with roommates, get a part-time job, buy used books, etc.).
I would love to live in the Castro District because I'm a huge LGBT supporter and I would love to get a sense of living in that neighborhood, but the thing is I'm not lesbian or bisexual sooooo would it be odd that I go and live there?
Of course not! =) It’s made up of a fun, vibrant community that welcomes anyone and everyone. The neighborhood is pretty safe, the nightlife is fantastic, and there lots of great cafes (ahem, Cafe Flore)!
Really, you could live in any part of the city and still experience life in the Castro.
Best advice you can give to someone who plans on moving to the beautiful San Francisco city?
I hope you don’t mind that I’m practically copying and pasting from a previous answer I gave.
Depending on where you’re moving from, try not to be shocked by the cost of living. This might sound obvious, but just keep it in mind.
Get used to public transportation - MUNI and BART. There are a bunch of MUNI underground routes, but each of them only go in two (opposite) directions. BART works in a similar way, but you’d really only use it to get around outside SF. Also: take some time to know the differences between single rides/transfers.
Cable cars are wonderful, but they’re mostly for tourists. Be nice to tourists. Represent the city well.
Although it’s been pretty warm around here lately, make sure your wardrobe is ready for cool weather (the temperature is between 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit almost all year round) and rain.
Don’t walk around the Tenderloin alone, especially at night - unless you want to be bothered by crazy homeless people.
Learn about the neighborhoods. It’s just a good thing to know. Also, there are tons of great restaurants and hang-out spots outside of downtown.
I personally love taking walks along the Embarcadero. It’s clean and pretty scenic (and if you go far enough, you’ll end up at Pier 39). A lot of people jog along there, too.
Don’t be offended by SF street personalities (for instance, people holding up “No Sex” or “Jesus Christ Loves You” signs). Just ignore them and keep walking.
There are a great deal of homeless people in every part of San Francisco. I suggest that (if you want to give them something) you give them food, not money.
Try not to get carried away by street vendors.
Be open to trying different food (including ones from food trucks). Living in the city, you have so many options!
There is no shame in visiting tourist destinations/landmarks, even if you’ve lived here for years. It’s your city; enjoy it!
Bonus tip: If you’re out and about during commuting times (in the morning and early evening) - for the love of God, please walk at a decently brisk pace.
Best of luck! I hope you love it here as much as I do. =)
Hi. How much money should I take for food if I am staying more or less 6 days? thanks!! :)
That’s a difficult question to answer because it really depends on where you’re eating. The average tab, without drinks or tip, can be anywhere from $5-$50. So, I’ll answer it this way:
Assuming you’re only paying for yourself and you only eat two meals (lunch and dinner) a day at not-so-expensive restaurants, I’d say that you should bring enough for $15 per meal. $15 per meal x 12 meals (2 meals each day for 6 days) total = $180.
It’ll be a good idea to check Yelp before walking into a restaurant that looks expensive— actually, it’s a good idea to check Yelp before walking into almost any sit-down restaurant here because you really can’t judge a restaurant by its facade in San Francisco.
hi! I'm going to be travelling to san francisco in March, and was wondering if you had any staple recommendations for a solo traveller :) thanks!
Hmmm… well, the advantage of traveling alone is that you can go wherever you want and do whatever you want without anyone else complaining about where you’re going…
That being said, definitely check out all the tourist attractions if you’re a first-time visitor (and you have the time). Yerba Buena, Union Square (which looks even more beautiful at night), North Beach, Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf & Pier 39, Ghirardelli Square, Lombard St., Coit Tower, and Alcatraz (again, if you have time) are the ones that pop into my head right away. Haight & Ashbury is great, too.
San Francisco also has such an amazing variety of restaurants and fast food joints, so you should definitely take advantage of it. North Beach has some great Italian places and Chinatown has a lot of fantastic dim sum restaurants (go there for lunch, if you like Chinese food). I’m not sure what your budget is for food, but you might want to check Yelp before you go to make sure you don’t end up in too expensive of a restaurant. Food trucks generally serve delicious food, so that’s another really good option.
Keep in mind, of course, that San Francisco is a really expensive city. You can get around by cable car if you’d like to take the more scenic (and AWESOME) route, but it’ll cost you $5 (I think. I haven’t been on a cable car in a while). MUNI is cheaper ($2 if you’re over 17) and you can use the transfer they give you for the next 90 minutes.
Before you visit, it’s probably a good idea to plan out the order of places you’ll go to. Since you’re on your own, you can take advantage of all the time you have!
Pro tip: San Francisco stores charge $0.10 per paper bag. So if you’re planning on shopping a lot, maybe bring a couple of reusable bags.
Also: I know I’m not your mother, but pack a jacket with a hood in case in rains (plus, it gets pretty cold at night). =)