The West Coast undoubtedly has some of the most beautiful sites and cities in the United States. So, for the sake of adventure and aesthetics, our tailgate-friendly RV is going to burn some rubber on the way to San Francisco, California and Seattle, Washington.
San Francisco, California is undoubtedly a diverse city that appeals to everyone from technology buffs to hipsters to die-hard sports fans. San Francisco is best understood by its various neighborhoods, which all provide a different experience worthy of having either before or after your game day hangover. And regardless of the time of the year you visit this glorious city, the average high year round is always between 58 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit, with the average low between 47 and 56 degrees Fahrenheit.
Union Square appeals to any fashionista, with plenty of shopping that’ll send you home with some extra luggage (so if you’re flying, fly Southwest). Fisherman’s Wharf is home to the biggest tourist spots, and 75% of visitors to SFO make it part of their itinerary. Castro/Upper Market is the “gay capital of the world”, and Haight/Ashbury is historically Victorian in appearance. Chinatown in SFO is one of the oldest and largest in the U.S., and there is also a Japantown/Fillmore section to the city, as well. For a scenic experience, Nob Hill has the best view of the San Francisco Bay, which should be experienced from a cable car. SoMA (“South of Market”)/Yerba Buena consists of two square miles of nightclubs, trendy restaurants, art hubs and the ballpark. It also features Mission Bay and South Beach.
North Beach features Italian restaurants, bakeries and gelato, as well as jazz clubs and galleries. The Mission District is the oldest neighborhood in San Francisco, and was founded by Spanish settlers. Today, it features new restaurants and galleries, “hipster” dives and bakeries, boutiques, murals and many other sites that artists and young people in the city gravitate to.
Golden Gate Park/Sunset is where you can find a lot of the natural attractions that make San Francisco truly unique. Between the vast, sandy wilderness, botanical garden, arboretum, carousel and wild buffalo that inhabit the space, there is no shortage of activities or attractions. Spanish colonial design and architecture pay homage to San Francisco’s roots in the Beach and Park Chalet, where pubs, dining, shopping and historic artifacts are all inviting sites that can accommodate groups of all shapes and forms.
Also within the Golden Gate Park, Strawberry Hill is an island in the middle of Stow Lake, and the highest point. Strawberry Hill is a wonderful location to go hiking or have a picnic, as well as take a walk near the waterfall, or to see its historical Chinese temple-like structure, which was a gift from Taipei to the city of San Francisco. The structure pays homage to the Chinese settlers who immigrated to California. Anyone enjoy bird watching? Foul sighting is fair game at Strawberry Hill.
Seattle, Washington has a reputation for overcast skies and rainy weather, which unfortunately clouds the perspective on what is actually a beautiful and culturally fascinating city. Filled with plenty of unique and visually pleasing sites are found in this Pacific Northwest haven.
Without a doubt, the Space Needle is one of the most iconic buildings in the average person’s schema of Seattle. Standing at 605 feet tall, the tower’s restaurant Sky City rotates one full orbit per hour, and provies excellent views of the city. The Space Needle is part of Seattle Center, which was the site of the 1962 World Fair. The Seattle Center is home to a children’s museum, theater, amusement rides and the monorail—fun to be had for sports fan of all ages! The Seattle Great Wheel is another well-known feature of Seattle, as well, and a fun place to visit with your family, significant other or friends.
For budget-friendly entertainment, taking a stroll along the Seattle Waterfont is a wonderful place to watch ships come in and depart from the port. Alki Beach in “West Seattle” provides an expansive view of the Elliott Bay. Kenny Park also provides a quintessential after-commercial break vantage point, where you and your traveling buddies can see the ferries on Elliott Bay, the skyline with the Space Needle and in clear skies, even Mt. Rainer is in view. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park is a free museum documenting the city’s history from the devastating fire to the rejuvenating Gold Rush.
Caffeine junkies will likely think the name of Pike Place Market sounds familiar. An open-air shopping market, Pike Place Market began as a farmer’s market and is the location of the original Starbucks. Here, you can cure your hangover with a venti latte and browse the food, arts and crafts, or partake in a one-hour historical tour of the market that is offered on a daily basis.
The kid-friendly Museum of Flight is 10 minutes from downtown and features all kinds of flying machines from the primitive gliders (including one from the Wright Brothers), to the first Air Force One, and a Concorde jet.
Other sites in Seattle include Bill Gates’ House, the Japanese Garden, the Washington Park Arboretum and Mt. St. Helens Volcanic Monument. The latter offers climbing the active volcano as an option for both beginning and experienced mountaineers, or a trip to the science and learning center for an educational approach to get closer to natural science.
San Francisco, California and Seattle, Washington are both amazing cities that provide an unusual, but awe striking combination of urban life with culture and nature. An NFC West away game is a must for any adventure-seeking sports fan with a bit of a tree hugging side and a flair for interesting architecture and diversity. Just make sure you pack a scarf an umbrella with your finest tailgating gear.