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San Fran flavours

If Vancouver had a cooler, hipper older brother, Id like to think it would be San Francisco. Nothing against our lovely city, but San Fran has seriously got it going on.

If Vancouver had a cooler, hipper older brother, Id like to think it would be San Francisco.

Nothing against our lovely city, but San Fran has seriously got it going on.

On a recent weekend trip down there I realized how much it felt like home, what with the greenery, ocean, and all around laid back vibes. But there was also a lot more city to explore, and interesting things to see, do and eat. Here are a few highlights from my mini holiday.


One of the first things I noticed about San Francisco is how beautiful it is. Ive been over the Golden Gate Bridge before in a car but I wanted to experience it in a different way. The Electric Tour Company offers electric bicycle and Segway tours over the bridge to Sausalito with a ferry ride return trip. It was awesome. And thats coming from someone who doesnt often go cycling. Youre allowed to go at your own pace and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and take photos. Plus the electric motor means that you can zoom along up hill and there are a lot of hills in San Francisco.


Theres no shortage of live music, cabaret shows and great pubs and bars in San Fran. I really wanted to check out something with a wow factor, so upon recommendation from a colleague, I opted for Beach Blanket Babylon, touted as Americas longest-running musical revue. The show takes place at Club Fugazi, a charming theatre located in North Beach otherwise known as Little Italy. In two words, Id describe it as fun and outrageous. The characters vary from idols like Bette Midler and Michael Jackson to political figures the Obamas, the Royals, plus some crazy ones that are completely made up. The musical numbers are satirical, packed with political and pop-culture spoofs. My friend and I were in stitches the whole time. But probably one of the most unique parts of what is already an extremely original production, are the gigantic hats that everyone on stage is wearing. I know, it sounds weird. But every single character was wearing an enormous wig or hat, and they got increasingly large as the night went on. Like so large that a normal person would definitely topple over wearing one. In the final number, the main character was wearing a giant wedding cake on her head that was probably at least four feet tall. Anyways, if youre in town and you enjoy musicals, Beach Blanket Babylon is a must-see. Info: .


Much like Vancouver, San Francisco is a food city. From fine dining to street-food, seafood to dim sum, the city has an option to suit every taste. A handy Google search led me to Tastes of City Tours, two-hour walking tours around foodie neighbourhoods in San Fran.

I choose the North Beach/Little Italy option, enticed by the promise of freshly roasted coffee, pastries and baked breads, and pizza. The tour started out at Café Roma, which serves delicious cappuccinos and has a bean roaster so we could see and smell the process of making a cuppa Joe. Next up was Z. Cioccolato, which featured delicious fudge and enough gourmet candy to satisfy a five-year-olds sweet tooth.

We also hit up a couple of bakeries for focaccia, sour dough, biscotti and sweet pastries. But my favourite stop was definitely Cinecitta on account of its authentic Italian pizza. The classic margherita was the perfect blend of cheesy and tangy with a crispy, thin crust. Info: .


If youre looking for a central location and ultra modern accommodations, Hotel Nikko is a great option. Located in the heart of Union Square San Franciscos primary shopping district this four-diamond hotel made my visit convenient and comfortable. I particularly enjoyed the heated 15-metre swimming pool and Jacuzzi and the pillow-top bed. But the hotel is also well-known for its Japanese restaurant Anzu and The Rrazz Room, a nightclub that offers musical headliners every night of the week. Info: