Meghna and Avni: San Francisco, CA, USA
Today we are beyond excited to have Meghna and Avni, two travel bloggers from the Bay Area who run the website: bookwormsandtravelbugs.com. If you love stories and tips from the lives of travelers, be sure to read their vast collection of articles and reviews!
Without further ado, Meghna and Avni:
Tell us about yourselves!:
We are Meghna and Avni, software engineers by profession, ex-roommates at USC, where we bonded over our common love for travel, books and tech. Eventually as we both moved to Northern California, Bookworms and Travelbugs came into fruition as a place for our travel stories and book reviews. We both love San Francisco; it's the city where we meet and hang out the most.
What makes San Francisco so special?:
San Francisco is the perfect blend of history and modernity, which lends a unique vibe to this city. This is a true melting pot, with people from all over the world, doing all kinds of amazing things. It is the hub of innovation, in terms of technology, culture, and cuisine. The geography of this hilly city is also quite interesting, the steep slopes offer an interesting workout if you’re walking or biking, or helps enhance your parking technique if you’re driving ;-)
Have you found any "hidden gems" in your city?:
DOSA on Fillmore is popular for it’s delicious food, but I think the drinks there are often overlooked. The cocktails are fun with a unique take on the classics.
Escape from New York Pizza is very popular and has multiple branches throughout the city. The Potato Pesto garlic pizza is a must-have.
Nick’s Crispy Tacos—This restaurant serves as a Mexican food joint by day and a dance club at night serving various combinations of delicious burritos and tacos.
Another recommendation would be the Tartine bakery where people line up from 5 am to get the freshly baked goodies and fresh sandwiches.
A few of our favorites (not-exactly-hidden gems):
The Palace of Fine Arts - Must-see if you are an architecture buff.
The Stinking Rose, SF - Italian food with a garlic theme.
Pancho Villa - An expansive menu for vegetarians as well, is a recent favorite for burritos, tacos, nachos and aguas frescas.
Mitchel’s Ice Cream - Try their unique exotic flavors.
Where is the "place to be" if you want to meet new people and hang with the locals?:
Foley’s Piano bar is a entertaining and lively place to spend a few hours, with live dueling pianists. Lots of locals hang out here after working hours, drinking and making merry.
Zeitgeist is another place to hang out if you like your beer. The back garden has long benches that make for easy socialization with your neighbors over a pint of over 60 beers they have on tap.
Where do you go to enjoy nature and is there any specific outdoor activities you would recommend?:
Muir Woods is our top recommendation for outdoor activities. The drive up to Muir Woods is only about an hour from San Francisco, is very scenic with little peaks of the Pacific and contains around 6 miles of hiking trails. The park, with its giant redwood trees and the sun filtering through, is a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. You can continue hiking in the Mt. Tamalpais State Park or head over to Stinson Beach(a short drive away) which is a great location for a picnic.
Lands End is a personal favorite though. It offers a medium intensity coastal hiking trail with a couple of outlets to the beach and offers fantastic views of the Golden Gate bridge and the Pacific Ocean.
Baker Beach is another spot to just hang out, with the Golden Gate bridge as the beautiful backdrop. If you are lucky, you get to spot dolphins having a nice time in the ocean.
Best place to get a Cup of Coffee?
Blue Bottle Coffee wins hands down!
What is the most memorable moment you've had in your city?:
The most memorable day was definitely the very first one we spent in the city together. This was before our travel-blogging days, we explored the city with a borrowed camera, a rental car, and a friend whom we forced to tag along. We had an absolutely grand time and clicked a bunch of fun pictures, and then forgot the camera on a bench at Treasure Island that night.
Lastly, if someone had one day to explore your town, what would you have them do to get the most out of their time?:
As a one day itinerary, we would recommend starting from Crooked Street. After driving through Crooked Street and then walking through the stairs, head over to the Golden Gate Bridge and walk a few steps on this historic bridge. Next spot would be to go to the Marin Headlands where you can view the Golden Gate Bridge from a height. On your way back, stop at the Palace of Fine Arts.
Move on to Pier 39 to watch the sea lions, take a cruise, shop on the boardwalk and indulge in the delicious clam chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl with a grilled cheese at Boudin. For dessert, try the popular Ghirardelli square just few short steps away(watch out for the long lines). To wrap up, head to either Treasure Island (my personal favorite), or to Twin Peaks for a spectacular night view of this beautiful city.
Another plan would be to start at Muir Woods and enjoy a waterfront stroll followed by lunch at one of the many restaurants in Sausalito and work your way into the city. Sausalito also has a vista point for an amazing sweeping view of the SF skyline.