Showing visitors, especially international visitors who’s never been in your country before, around a city is both fun and stressful. You get to play tourist, going to all of those spots you secretly enjoy but don’t dare admit to when around other natives. But you also face a lot of pressure to create that perfect itinerary, that blend of famous and lesser-known attractions and activities that will leave your visitors understanding why you love your city without exhausting them so much that they can’t wake up to face another day of sightseeing.
Hubby and I play host to visitors quite a bit and I think we get better at it with each time. Our 1 and 1/2 days with our visitors were spent doing and visiting the following in San Francisco:
1st evening: Golden Gate Bridge, Marin headlands, Baker Beach, Ocean Beach, Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden, dinner at Beach Chalet (window seats for the view of Ocean Beach and the Pacific Ocean as the sun sets and the embers from the bonfires burn strong).
1st full day: Fort Mason Farmers’ Market, Palace of Fine Arts, Chestnut Street, Union Street, Lombard Street, Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 (lunch was clam soup in a sourdough bread bowl of course), Alamo Square, Twin Peaks, Castro, AT&T Park, Embarcadero, Union Square, dinner at Cheesecake Factory (don’t knock the view), drinks at the Marriott’s The View.
I’m really liking these new sitting / plant / bike rack spaces that the city has installed along Powell Street. Definitely gives the men a place to rest while their women shop up a storm.
Whew I’m tired! Good thing is that they return to San Francisco after 2 and 1/2 weeks of exploring some of the national parks and southern California (yeah they’re Europeans) so we’ll get to go to the Academy of Sciences for Thursday Nightlife, watch a Beach Blanket Babylon show, have dinner at North Beach, eat at Belden Alley, perhaps Chinatown, etc. while they visit Alcatraz Island and other sites during the day when we’re at work. We also meet up with them in Los Angeles while they’re down there to play tour guides again. Visitors = good excuse to have fun and go out.