Recently, North California has been extremely rainy and even stormy, so it’s been hard to welcome Spring. The midterm season was almost over, and I was looking for a weekend trip to San Francisco. But no, I was stuck in Berkeley again. However, regardless of the rain, I still want to explore the thirteenth-largest city in the United States. Here is a traveling guide to San Francisco — a rainy days version.
San Francisco Ferry Building is a historical transportation hub for ferries traveling across San Francisco Bay. It’s built in classical European architecture with a clock tower (which is now under construction). In 2003, the building reopened to the public as the Ferry Building Marketplace, where people can enjoy local meals and regional artisan products with incredible views of San Francisco Bay. You can see the scenery of the Bay Bridge from the terrace of the Ferry Building. Take your time and explore the marketplace with endless food options. I ordered a sweet latte from Blue Bottle Coffee and bought a strawberry swirl cheesecake from Cheesquakes. The combination was amazing. Ferry Building can be easily accessed from the Embarcadero BART station.
One of the best indoor activities would be going to the art museums. There are many art museums in San Francisco, and one of my favorites is the SF MOMA (San Francisco Museum of Modern Art) and the De Young Museum. SFMOMA might already be familiar to some of us. I visited SF MOMA during the Golden Bear Orientation. Oh, it was raining that day too. The museum has seven floors of exhibitions with special featured exhibitions mostly on the top floors and permanent exhibitions on the lower floors.
On the first Thursdays, SF MOMA gives free admission to Bay Area residents. When I first visited SF MOMA and claimed myself as a UC Berkeley student, they gave me free admission, but I’m still unsure whether admission is officially free for UC Berkeley students. The De Young Museum also showcases American art from the seventeenth through the twenty-first centuries. As it is located in the middle of Golden Gate Park, it’d be nice to walk in the park with light rain.
Pier 39 is definitely one of the best tourist attractions in San Francisco. Built in the 1970s, Pier 39 has excellent dining, sea lions, live performances and attractions. Since it’s a small place and you’d spend most of your time exploring the shops and watching sea lions, it would still be a good option for rainy days. There are so many shops selling San Francisco souvenirs such as magnets, keyrings, stickers and t-shirts. If you’re searching for a magnet, remember that the souvenir shops at the inner corner of the pier are cheaper than the shops at the starting point of the pier! Don’t fall for it! Also, there’s a photo booth and merry-go-round in the middle of the pier. I highly recommend you try the Biscoff latte from Lotus Biscoff Coffee Corner and watch the sea lions. You can also end your day by getting a decent dinner from the Fisherman’s Wharf, which is 10 minutes away by bus.
I know that Union Square is outdoors. But, there are many shopping malls where you can spend your time indoors, especially if you’re craving for shopping and willing to spend money. The biggest mall within Union Square is the Westfield Mall and Macy’s. From the top floors of Macy’s, you can look down at the whole view of Union Square. You can grab a decent meal from Mo’z Cafe, Tad’s Steakhouse, The Grove – Yerba Buena, Mazarine Coffee, Asha Tea House and Boba Guys, my favorite boba place. If you love escape rooms, there’s also a place called “The Escape Game” — the most popular escape room in San Francisco.
Of course, if the weather escalates beyond just the usual rain, stay indoors in your comfy dorm or apartment and plan for your next weekend trip to San Francisco.