I went to San Francisco this September, and I absolutely loved it. I found it to be an interesting combination of Southern California (Los Angeles, San Diego) and Portland, Oregon. In terms of weather it is typically kind of Northwest (a lot of fog, chilly, weather variations, wet, the lot). The public transport is similar to that of the Northwest, wherein it exists and it works well, but it still plays second fiddle to those with cars; the exception, I'd say, is that the city seems to make the effort to use their older cars and everything is electrical. Overall, I absolutely loved the public transportation.
The similarities to Southern CA come from the diversity (which trust me, is rather lacking in Oregon), wealth and variation of the area, both in demographics and in shopping/entertainment. That and a lot of the little stores and set ups just reminded me of downtown L.A.
In short, I love this place to death and I want to live there now. SO FUCKING MUCH.
I stayed at a hostel called the Adelaide that also runs another nearby hostel (like a block away) called the Dakota. For the first week or so it was the Adelaide, which I generally liked. It was generally pretty good, other than some class-less cunts I had the misfortune of having to room with a few days into our stay. But assholes aside, it was great.
As to activities, I should say that these CityPasses are so absolutely worth, I can't emphasize that enough. They worked as bus passes (for city buses and rail cars) which was a great value, but overall saved us a ton of money since SF is not a cheap place to be, and many of it's sights (that we got entrance for with the passes) are quite expensive. The city pass itself is $69 per person, but it is all worth it. For instance, each admission was priced at about $25-30, so if you go to each one you definitely get a good deal. I'm glad I had these because honestly, had I actually paid for much of what I saw I would have been a bit upset as everything was very expensive and not necessarily as large as what I was used to.
For instance, The California Academy of the Sciences was absolutely awesome, but I admittedly found parts of it to be a bit of a "quick pass through" as compared to the Los Angeles Natural History Museum, which is my favorite place on earth. I will say that this museum was "better" in the regard that it had far more life there, and I really like that.
But don't get me wrong, it was awesome.
Pictures for proof:
One of the best things ever, I have never heard of these cuttlefish and my mind=blown. So beautiful.
Honestly I can't put up all the pictures that were taken but it was a wonderful, wonderful experience.
Also visited the art museums, they were lovely too. I won't put up many pictures (copyright issues? also lack of space) but they were, on the whole, very worth it too.
The Aquarium of the Bay (at Pier 39) was also awesome. A bit small but so lovely! In terms of interaction with animals they were also far better than the museum.
A battleship they had. There was also a submarine (which I went into):
A WWII submarine, which was cooler than I had initially given it credit for. It made me very slightly seasick but it was cool to see the very cramped living spaces in there. The only other person in there was a Russian guy, lol.
This may be getting too big so I'll make another entry.
As an aside, this is my TripAdvisor profile, if you want to see some of the reviews I left:
NOTE: All of the pictures and video in here and in the subsequent post were taken by me. All recommendations and reviews are also fully mine, I wasn't paid for anything.