my highlights and secret spots

Meine Höhepunkte und geheime Plätze von San Francisco

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Hallo mein Aviator,

letzten Dienstag bin ich von meinem Urlaub aus Kalifornien zurück gekommen. Ich flog nach San Francisco, dort verbrachte ich fünf Nächte bevor ich meinen Roadtrip nach Los Angeles startete. In diesem Artikel möchte ich die Höhepunkte meines Besuchs in San Francisco mit Dir teilen und ein paar Empfehlungen für einen Trip in diese fantastische Stadt geben.

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Während meiner Dienstreisen als Pilot, wie privaten Reisen erkunde ich die Städte ohne einen fixen Plan. Auf diesem Weg entdecke ich schöne Orte ohne explizit nach diesen Suchen zu müssen. Ich verwende keinen Reiseführer. Stattdessen beherzige ich den Rat von Einwohnern oder dem Concierge des Hotels. Ich versuche in der unbekannte Stadt wie ein einheimischer zu leben. Das mag sich zunächst komisch anhören, jedoch erlaubt mir dies die Orte aus einer ganz anderen Perspektive zu erkunden und nimmt mir den Druck alles gesehen haben zu müssen. Ich nenne dies Sightseeing 2.0.

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Blick vom Balkon meiner Suite im Hilton Union Square

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Wo wohnen und parken?

Für einen kurzen Städtetrip wähle ich meine Unterkunft so zentral wie möglich. Auf diese Art verliert man keine kostbare Zeit und man die Möglichkeit sich jeder Zeit frisch zu machen. Mein Hotel in San Francisco war das Hilton Union Square. Ich mag die Lage des Hotels sehr, da es mitten im Zentrum der Stadt liegt, mit einer großen Auswahl an Geschäften und Restaurants in der unmittelbaren Umgebung. Glücklicherweise erhielt ich ein Upgrade auf eine Suite auf der 36. Etage mit einer überragenden Sicht über die Stadt. Die Suite hatte sogar einen großen Balkon. Jeden morgen genoß ich mein Frühstück im Poached restaurant, welches viele gesunde Optionen, wie Smoothies, Quinoa Haferbrei, Nüsse, frisches Obst, usw. anbot. Ich empfehle einen Cocktail in der Cityscape Bar auf dem höchsten Level des Hotels. Von dort hast Du einen Panoramablick über die ganze Stadt.

Die Parkplatzsituation in San Francisco ist furchtbar. Den günstigsten Tagespreis, den ich finden konnte betrug 35$. Die meisten Hotels verlangten sogar um die 50$ pro Nacht. Am besten besichtigt man die Stadt ohne Auto und nutzt den Fahrdienst UBER stattdessen.

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Meine Suite im Hilton Union Square

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Was unternehmen und was besichtigen?

Es gibt unzähliges zu erkunden in San Francisco. Da die Stadt auf mehreren Bergen errichtet wurde ist es interessant diese aus verschiedenen Blickwinkeln und Aussichtspunkten zu sehen. Du wirst vielleicht festgestellt haben, dass ich manche großen Touristen Attraktionen ausgelassen habe. Ein Beispiel ist Alcatraz, da ich keine Attraktionen unterstütze, die überteuerte Eintrittspreise verlangen.

Coit Tower

Dieser 64 Meter hohe Aussichtsturm ermöglicht eine 360 Grad Sicht über die Stadt. Du solltest den Turm bei gutem Wetter besteigen. Der Weg hoch zum Standort des Coit tower führt durch einen kleinen Stadtpark, also lasst das Auto lieber zurück und geht zu Fuß. (Wer mit dem Auto direkt vorfährt verpasst den schönen Weg zum Turm.)

 

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Historische Kabelstraßenbahn

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Painted Ladies

In der Nähe des Alamo Square, findest Du wunderschön bemalte Häuser, die nach dem Victorian und Edwardian Stil gebaut wurden. Bekannt aus verschiedenen Kinofilmen. Stelle sicher, dass Du die Straße ganz rauf läufst, dort wirst Du mit einem schönen Hintergrund hinter den Painted Ladies belohnt.

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Vor den Painted Ladies mit einem 6er BMW

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Ferry Building Marktplatz

Das historische ferry building ist ein berühmtes Wahrzeichen und absolut sehenswert. Zusätzlich kannst Du Dienstags, Donnerstags und Samstags einen Wochenmarkt besuchen.

Dolores Park

Dies ist ein schöner Park im Castro district. Ein guter Ort um von der Großstadt Hektik zu entspannen und man hat darüberhinaus eine super Sicht auf  San Francisco.

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Dolores Park im Castro district

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Golden Gate Bridge

Die ikonische Hängebrücke befindet sich am Eingang der Bucht von San Francisco. Es ist wirklich schön mit einem Cabrio, mit geöffnetem Verdeck, über die Brücke zu fahren. Wenn Du sportlich bist, schlage ich vor, ein Fahrrad bei Fisherman's Wharf zu mieten. Die Fahrt zur Nordseite der Golden Gate Bridge dauert ca. 1 Stunde mit dem Fahrrad. Die spektakulärste Erfahrung ist jedoch mit einem Propellerflugzeug über die Stadt und die Brücke zu fliegen. Ich war wirklich glücklich, dass Trent, ein ehemaliger U.S. Air Force Captain, mich eingeladen hatte einen Flug über die San Francisco Bay zu unternehmen.

https://www.facebook.com/pilotpatrick/videos/vb.373722572693345/1414910038574588/?type=2&theater

Siehe die lange Version des Fluges auf meiner Facebook Seite @PilotPatrick

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Piper Acher auf dem San Carlos Flughafen

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Rundflug in einer Piper Acher mit Trent

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Twin Peaks

Auf der Spitze der Twin Peaks kannst Du einen der schönsten Aussichten über die Stadt genießen. Wirklich romantisch ist es bei Sonnenuntergang.

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Sicht von den Twin Peaks bei Nacht

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Lombard Street, es lohnt sich anzustehen, um sie entlang zu fahren

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Wo essen?

Ich war sehr glücklich, dass es eine zahlreiche Auswahl an gesunden Restaurants gab. Ich nutze die App "Happy cow" um Restaurants und Supermärkte in meiner Nähe zu finden. Du weißt, dass ich sehr wählerisch bin wenn es ums essen geht. Hier sind ein paar Restaurants, die ich empfehlen kann:

Gracias Madre: Mexikanisches Restaurant mit veganen und biologischen Speisen in einer weniger schönen Nachbarschaft. Moderate Preise.

Greens Restaurant: Vegetarisches Restaurant in einem alten Hafengebäude nahe des Marina District. Steve Jobs war dort Stammgast. Große Fenster mit schönem Blick auf die Marina und die Golden Gate Bridge. Hohe Preise.

Seed and Salt: Veganes Café und Bistro im Marina District. Gesunde Snacks und Smoothies in einer angesagten Nachbarschaft.

 

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Greens Restaurant

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Geheime Plätze

Während meines Aufenthalts in San Francisco habe ich zwei schöne versteckte Plätze entdeckt. Ich möchte diese mit Dir teilen, damit Du sie ebenfalls genießen kannst. Bitte gib die Infos nicht weiter, damit sie geheim bleiben!

Versteckter mini Park: In der Mitte von San Fransico am Ostende von Vallejo St. wirst Du einen Platz finden, der Ina Coolbrith Park heißt. Du wirst wahrscheinlich nur wenige Menschen in der kleinen Oase antreffen, während Du die großartige Aussicht auf die Stadt genießt.

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Ina Coolbrith Park

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Golden Gate Schaukel: Ich habe den Namen frei erfunden. Auf einem kleinen Strandabschnitt an der Nordseite der Golden Gate Bridge findest Du eine Schaukel an einem Ast eines Baumes befestigt. Während Du Richtung Pazifischen Ozean schaukelst, kannst Du den Blick auf die Golden Gate Bridge genießen. Um dort hin zu gelangen musst Du Dein Auto auf der Nordseite der  Tower Golden Gate Parkplätze abstellen. Von dort folgst Du einfach den Schildern Richtung Kirby Cove. Es dauert ca. 30 Minuten um den Strand zu Fuß zu erreichen.

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Kirby Cove

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San Francisco ist ein außergewöhnlicher Ort und es lohnt sich diese Stadt in Kalifornien zu besichtigen. Ich hoffe meine Tips sind hilfreich für Deinen nächsten Trip in diese einzigartige Stadt. Du solltest Dir mindestens vier ganze Tage einplanen um die Stadt zu erkunden. Ich empfehle nicht während der heißen Sommermonate anzureisen. Das Wetter Anfang Mai war perfekt.

Was magst Du am meisten an San Francisco?

Happy landings und Sightseeing!

Dein Pilot Patrick

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my highlights and secret spots

My highlights and secret spots of San Francisco

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Hello my Aviator,

last Tuesday I returned from my vacation in California. I flew into San Francisco, where I spend five nights before I started my road trip down to Los Angeles. In this blog post, I want to share my highlights of San Francisco and give you some recommendations for a trip to this fantastic city.

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During my travels as a pilot as well as on my private travels I explore a city without any fixed plan. This way I discover beautiful spots without even searching for them. I do not use any kind of tourist guide. Instead, I follow the recommendations of local people or of concierges in the hotel. I am trying to live like a local in an unknown city. This might sound strange but that way I can explore the city from a totally different perspective and this relieves the pressure that I have to see everything. This is sightseeing 2.0.

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Balcony of my suite in the Hilton Union Square

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Where to stay and park?

For a short city trip, the location of my accommodation should be as central as possible. This way you do not loose time and you have the chance to refresh during the day My hotel was the Hilton Union Square. I really liked the location of it because in was in the middle of the city with a lot of shops and restaurants around. I was lucky to be upgraded to a suite on the 36th floor which gave me an awesome view over the city. The suite even featured a balcony. Every morning I enjoyed breakfast at the Poached restaurant which offered healthy meal options like smoothies, quinoa oatmeal, and fresh cut fruits. Do not miss to have a cocktail at the Cityscape Bar on the top level of the hotel granting you a panoramic view of San Francisco.

The parking situation in San Francisco is horrible. The minimum price I found for an overnight parking spot was 35$. In most hotels, it is even around 50$ a night. Best is to arrive without a car and use the taxi service of UBER instead.

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My suite in the Hilton Union Square

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What to do and what to see?

There is so much to discover in San Francisco. Since the city is built on numerous hills it is exciting to see the city from different angles and viewpoints.  You may find that I left out on some big touristic attractions. One example is Alcatraz because I do not support attractions with extremely high unreasonable admission prices.

Coit Tower

This 64-meter sightseeing tower gives you 360 degrees view of the city. Make sure you go when the weather is good. The way up to the base of the Coit tower takes you through a small park so leave you car behind you.

 

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Historic Cabel Cars

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Painted Ladies

Close to Alamo Square, you will find beautiful painted Victorian and Edwardian style houses. Well known from movies. Make sure to go up on top of the square and you will be rewarded with a great background behind the Painted Ladies.

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in front of the Painted Ladies with my BMW 6 series of Sixt

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Ferry Building Market Place

The historic ferry building is a famous landmark and worth seeing. Additionally, you can visit a farmers market Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

Dolores Park

This is a beautiful park in the Castro district. A nice spot to relax from the hectic city and you can enjoy a beautiful view of San Francisco as well.

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Dolores Park in Castro district

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Golden Gate Bridge

The iconic suspension bridge is situated at the entrance of San Francisco Bay. It is really nice to drive with a convertible top down over the bridge. If you are more sportive I suggest renting a bike at Fisherman's Wharf. Either way to the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge is about a 1-hour drive. The most spectacular experience is to go on a flight on a propeller aircraft. I was really lucky that Trent, a former U.S. Air Force Captain invited me to go on a flight over San Francisco Bay area.

https://www.facebook.com/pilotpatrick/videos/vb.373722572693345/1414910038574588/?type=2&theater

Watch the long version of the flight on my Facebook page @PilotPatrick

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Piper Acher at San Carlos Airport

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Scenic flight in a Piper Acher with Trent

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Twin Peaks

At the top of the twin peaks, you can enjoy one of the most amazing views over the city. Great all and really romantic during sunset.

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View from the Twin Peaks at night

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Lombard Street worth waiting in line to drive down

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Where to eat?

I was really happy that I could choose from numerous healthy restaurants. I use the app called "Happy cow" to find restaurants and supermarkets around me. You know that I am quite picky when it comes to food. Here are some places I can recommend:

Gracias Madre: vegan and organic Mexican food restaurant in a not so nice neighborhood. Decent prices.

Greens Restaurant: vegetarian restaurant located in an old pier building close to the Marina district. Steve Jobs used to go there. Big windows give a nice view of the marina and Golden Gate Bridge. A little bit pricey.

Seed and Salt: Vegan café and bistro located in the Marina district. Healthy snacks and smoothies in a trendy neighborhood.

 

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Greens Restaurant

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Secret spots

During my stay in San Francisco, I discovered two amazing hidden spots. I want to share with you the location so you have the great experience. Please do not tell anyone else so it remains a secret location.

Hidden mini park: In the middle of the San Fransico at the east end of Vallejo St. you will find a place called Ina Coolbrith Park. You may encounter only a few people while enjoying an amazing skyline in a small oasis.

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Ina Coolbrith Park

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Golden Gate Swing: I made this name just up. At a small beach located on the north side of the Golden Gate Bridge, you will find a swing installed on a branch of a tree. While swinging out to the Pacific Ocean you can enjoy a view of the Golden Gate Bridge. To get there you need to park your car at the North Tower Golden Gate Parking from there you follow the signs to Kirby Cove. It takes about 30 mins to reach the beach by foot.

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Kirby Cove

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San Francisco is a remarkable a place and definitely worth visiting in California. I hope you find my tips helpful for your next trip to this unique city. You should plan to stay a minimum of four full days to explore the city. I would not choose hot summer months because then city seeing can be quite exhausting. I encountered amazing weather during the beginning of May.

What do you like about San Francisco?

Happy landings and sight seeing!

Your Pilot Patrick

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