Although not quite the sunny beach destination you might expect of a Californian city, San Francisco has a relatively warm, if foggy, climate where it hardly ever rains. I spent two fantastic summers living in San Francisco with BUNAC’s Work America programme and had some amazing experiences.
Finding a job with my J1 visa was a lot easier than I had expected and both times I managed to secure lucrative waitressing/bar work within the first week in Fisherman’s Wharf, an area that is unpopular with locals but is always a huge attraction for tourists waiting to visit Alcatraz (which is a must-see).
To experience the real San Francisco however, I recommend stepping outside Fisherman’s Wharf and taking a wander around Golden Gate Park to see the stunning De Young Museum and Japanese Gardens. Enjoy a mouth-watering burrito in the Mission district (the main Mexican area), and cool down with delicious homemade gelato from one of the many Italian cafes in North Beach, then take a stroll along the Marina for breathtaking views of Golden Gate bridge and the “dock of the bay” that Otis Reading sang about!
Getting around the city is quite easy as public transport is reliable and regular, but as the city is only 7 miles square walking is an even better way to get around! One of the best things about San Francisco is that, although it can be expensive, there is never a dull moment- it is a haven for culture, food and adventure and is just a few hours drive away from Lake Tahoe, Yosemite National Park and Napa Valley- the legendary winemaking region.
I definitely recommend a visit!