So, you finally come out to California for your sun-filled, beach-tastic vacation, and what happens? It decides to rain. It's nothing personal: the Northern California weather can be indecisive, with warm snaps in the winter and rain storms pretty much any time. The good news is, the rain isn't always here to stay. And the better news is, even when it's cats and dogs outside, there are still plenty of ways to experience everything that makes Northern California special.
It's easy to get lost sometimes in San Francisco's urban center: between all the skyscrapers, the traffic, the cultural offerings, and the endless options for nightlife, we can all get caught up in the hustle and bustle of city life.
Whether you love the day or hate it, we can all agree that Valentine's Day is good for at least one thing: an excuse to indulge in all things sweet and gooey, chocolate-covered and caramel-smothered. And this February 14, whether you're with a special someone or rockin' it single style, San Francisco has no shortage of ways to make the day a little sweeter.
Winter in Northern California means cool, bright days and crisp, chilly evenings. It also means always having a great excuse to duck into someplace cozy for a pick-me-up. From fire-lit bars, to brick-oven-warmed bakeries, to restaurants chock-full of cozy ambiance, we asked the staff at our seven Norcal hostels for their favorite local spots to warm up. Read on for their picks, and get ready to settle in for the winter.
The first time you take a stroll through the Tenderloin, the San Francisco neighborhood surrounding HI-City Center, you might feel a little disoriented: you thought you were in San Francisco, right? So what’s with all the Vietnamese signs, restaurants, and markets?
There are a number of things I find myself feeling grateful for this morning: my body's unprecedented cooperation with actually getting out of bed when the alarm went off, despite the heavy darkness outside my bedroom window; the clear passage to the counter at my favorite coffee shop, free from its usual crowds in the still-fuzzy first light of day; and the perfectly timed arrival of the 49 bus, which takes me from the Mission, the San Francisco neighborhood I call home, to Fort Mason, the little national p