Thanks in large part to Silicon Valley, the price to live in San Francisco has skyrocketed, making it the most expensive city in the United States. Which other American cities can boast an average rent of $3,500 per month with a dramatically different cost of living? While New York City may come to mind, it’s still less expensive than SF.
In spite of what it costs to live here, many people still do so. After spending time here, it’s easy to understand why. There simply tons to do, see and love about this place – all throughout the year. So, here are some of the coolest things about living in San Francisco. Use this list to plan a trip, prepare for a move or to ensure you’re making the most out of already living here. Keep in mind though that if you’re thinking about relocating, consult an immigration lawyer first to see your options!
Living in San Francisco means you’ll be enjoying some of the best food in the world. With over 3,000 restaurants and some of the best chefs, this city boasts a culinary scene unlike any other.
Fortunately, some of the best eats are the budget-friendly ones! You can find plenty of cheaper alternatives, including Indian naan pizza, dim sum, Korean burritos, and much more.
Plus, you definitely shouldn’t miss out on the incredible baked goods, such as the Bostock pastries from B. Patisserie, the bread from the Mill Bakery, and the croissants from the Arsicault.
Parking is horrendous here, traffic is impossible, and the public transportation system can be frustrating. So, it’s a good thing that San Francisco is such a great city for walking.
Since it’s not a huge city, it is relatively easy to walk or bike to almost anywhere you want to go, passing amazing sights en route. The SF scenery is absolutely stunning with the city’s winding streets, impressive murals, the large mountains, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Pacific Ocean. Also, all the hills around make for great cardio!
San Francisco seems to have a museum for everything. If you can think of it, you can find a museum for it. Some of the biggest art museums include the Asian Art Museum, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the de Young Fine Arts Museum, and the Legion of Honor. Other museums you should definitely check out include the Museum of the African Diaspora, the Contemporary Jewish Museum, and the Museum of Craft and Design. And families should definitely not miss out on the Exploratorium and the California Academy of Sciences. When settling into San Francisco, support your local cultural institutions by becoming a member, which often includes exclusive perks like late-night events.
San Franciscans love everyone. They open their hearts to all, regardless of how different they might be. Across the country, this city is absolutely known for being one of the most liberal. The only thing people living in San Francisco don’t tolerate whatsoever is intolerance.
You’ll easily find at least one festival taking place practically every weekend. When summer starts though, the community really comes together because that’s when neighborhood street fairs begin.
These fairs have become a tradition. They’re all about people coming together to listen to live music, check out some local artists, and savor awesome food. A few of the biggest can be found in North Beach, the Haight, and the Marina.
The Golden Gate Park has some of the best attractions in San Francisco. There are also some quiet areas where you can take a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Take some time to enjoy the Japanese Tea Garden, the Botanical Gardens, the California Academy of Sciences, and the Rose Garden, just to name a few.
You definitely need to check out Lindy in the Park for some free swing dance lessons. It’s a great way to get your heart rate up and meet new people.
When you’re living in San Francisco, you have the opportunity to buy fresh, local veggies all the time. According to SF Environment, this city hosts around 15 markets. The most popular is at Ferry Plaza, but you can also find them at Fort Mason, on Clement Street, at the Civic Center, and throughout different neighborhoods.
Ever since Ghirardelli opened its doors in 1852, San Francisco has become the place for chocolate. In this city, you don’t simply pop down to your local supermarket for some of this delicious sweetness.
No, when you’re living in San Francisco, you check out the many artisanal chocolatiers, bean-to-bar makers, and even chocolate curators. Your taste buds will be dancing in delight. Bring on the chocolate!
People say the Italians are coffee snobs. Well, they’ve got nothing on San Franciscans, who have taken coffee to an entirely new level. It’s not just coffee anymore either. It’s an artisanal coffee. This distinction is very important.
Don’t worry, though. With places like Four Barrel, Philz, Ritual, Contraband, Sightglass, and so on, Without much effort, you’ll soon become a fellow coffee snob in no time.
Surprisingly, you can find plenty of free stuff even in the most expensive U.S. city. You just have to be determined and keep your eyes peeled. For instance, museums have free days, farmers market vendors will get you some free food every now and then, and free entertainment isn’t all that hard to come by.
Since living in San Francisco means paying ridiculously high rents, the locals love to hunt down those freebies. It’s definitely a practice you want to adopt.
While this list provides a lot of positive reasons for loving San Francisco, there’s also a major negative that needs to be addressed.
The attractiveness of job opportunities among the other quality of life perks mentioned above has made the house hunt in San Francisco especially tricky. Over the years, the supply has not been able to catch up with the growing demand. For those moving to San Francisco, understanding which neighborhood to live in can be tricky, especially when the prices and the vibe can change from one block to the next. Starting your apartment search with a company like Blueground means you’ll have a prevetted list of homes in safe areas near public transport hubs.
Furthermore, every property comes fully-furnished, completely equipped and move-in ready. Hundreds of Blueground’s renters have settled into their Bay Area pad, without the hassle and headaches of open houses and landlord liaisons, by opting for a furnished turnkey home. All you have to do is show up and start living.