By Marguerite Richards
What’s better than giving loved ones the perfect holiday gift? Giving a gift with a story! If you’re traveling to San Francisco this season, don’t just settle for bringing home cliché souvenirs: instead, scoop up locally made, SF-inspired goodies for friends, family, and yourself. Read on for our guide to unique, budget-friendly stocking stuffers with travel tales to tell.
The epicenter of all things trendy, beautiful, and delicious in San Francisco's hip Mission District, Valencia Street is more than just a thoroughfare: it's a melting pot. To the East of Valencia lies the old-school Mission neighborhood, where authentic taquerias are packed in several to a block and storefronts blast contemporary Mexican music. To the West, apartment rental prices soar, gourmet grocery stores thrive, and techies work on their tans in Dolores Park.
It's easy to know when you've reached the heart of San Francisco's Castro Street; it’s a place that boldly proclaims that you've arrived. Rainbow flags line the road and a giant art deco marquee that reads "Castro" announces the name of the theater it adorns and lets you know what neighborhood you’re in. Shops and businesses along the street entice customers with quirky names and humorous or provocative window displays. This part of town has a spirit of its own; one that is integral to the larger culture of San Francisco.
Officially a part of San Francisco, yet two and half miles away from the mainland, man-made Treasure Island retains an air of mystery, even in the eyes of many a San Francisco resident. But in the last few years, the island has begun to emerge from ambiguity and is distinguishing itself as a unique neighborhood with some of the most magical views San Francisco has to offer.