Whether you have or haven't purchased souvenirs for your family, you always return from a holiday with two things you didn't originally pack - a tan (or at least that holiday glow) and a few extra kilos. And when it comes to exploring the United States the extra baggage joining you on the flight back across the Pacific is usually even heavier.
But San Francisco now boasts a holiday experience where foodies can stay fit while still indulging in the city’s culinary delights. And it’s all done along the road less travelled.
While hiring a bike and riding down to the Golden Gate Bridge is completely worth your while there are a few hidden gems within the city which your taste buds and bodies will enjoy.
The Mission District has long been known about town as one of the more undesirable areas, but with the technology boom luring the young and ambitious to San Francisco the growing population is spreading out of the city and the Mission District is now home to the young and hip. And what do they demand? Cool bars and great restaurants, of course.
The most efficient way to explore The Mission District's culinary best is through a food tour in the area. From fish tacos and margaritas to salted caramel ice cream, Avital Tours talk you through the history of the area as you hop from restaurant to restaurant enjoying some of the best entrees, mains and desserts on offer.
And how are you keeping these kilos off? Walking, of course. You walk two and a half kilometres throughout the tour, and can cover another ten kilometres on a walking tour taking you off the beaten path to enjoy the sweeping views of Twin Peaks, Golden Gate Park and downtown San Francisco.
And if you get the taste for more, it’s worth hiring a car and spending a few days at Yosemite National Park – approximately a three hour drive from San Francisco – to take in some of the most spectacular views in the world.
But back in the city of San Francisco, Delores Park is home to the loudest laughter and music on Friday and Saturday afternoons, with many of San Francisco's locals meeting to share wine and good times on the infamous lawn. Join them, picnic rug in hand for an authentic afternoon in the city.
So go off the beaten track to see a city blossoming in change. As Robert Frost put so eloquently “two roads diverged in a wood, and I – I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference.”
It will for you, too.
Must Eat restaurants and cafes
In and Out. Disclaimer: A fast food culinary experience every tourist must enjoy. However, we cannot ensure the burger and fries will not go straight to the thighs. But it is most definitely worth it.
Where to stay and how to get there
Since December Qantas have re-introduced direct flights to San Francisco, making it much easier for Australians to get to the Golden Gate City. See available flights direct to San Francisco here.
For affordable and easy accommodation stay at the Handlery Hotel Union Square which is close to the city centre, 1906 Mission which is close to the Mission District or rent an apartment through AirBnB.
For more information check out VisitTheUsa.