San Francisco is one of the few US cities that pulls off a resemblance to its European counterparts. Its manageable size, fabled history and dreamy cityscapes lend San Francisco the sort of quaint charm that attract Americans to cities such as Florence. But San Francisco still retains its own identity, fixed as it may in the 60s free love movement and Beat counter culture.
Aside from being one of the highest educated, athletic cities in America, San Francisco is also home to great food movements by the likes of Alice Waters and a growing number of artisan chefs and bakers that are elevating food and the process behind it to high art. For sweet and savoury snacks like oak-bourbon caramels, drop in to the Tell Tale Preserve Company. Meanwhile, the Trouble Coffee Company on Judah Street is breakfast heaven; and Polly Ann Ice Cream will send you over the moon.
The San Francisco state of mind is mostly about eating, sourcing and building locally. Handmade crafts and clothing are big in San Francisco for this reason, and shops like Woodshop, selling heirloom-looking furnishings and graphic art, are all the rage.
Thankfully the city has escapes like Golden Gate Park where you can relax, read a book and take in the impressive landscape architecture and planning by Fredrick Olmstead, the creative genius behind New York’s Central Park.