Chalo San Francisco

San Francisco

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S

an Francisco Bay Area is home to a large Indian population, thanks to the thriving Tech Industry.

If you are hungry, there is always a Chaat Corner or a Dosa Place nearby to satisfy your cravings. There is no dearth of entertainment options either. You can catch an Indian movie playing in numerous Movie Theatres or attend concerts by Desi artists throughout the year.

San Francisco is served by three international airports: SFO, OAK & SJC. SFO is the closest airport to the City and most of the international flights land there. Some international airlines such as ANA are now also flying into SJC (San Jose Airport).

The weather is always pleasant but don’t forget to pack a jacket since it can get windy and cold even during summer months. In fact, the weather can change dramatically in a matter of few hours. It could start off as a cold foggy morning and then turn out to be a beautiful warm and clear afternoon. So, best advice would be to dress in layers. Take off or put on layers depending on the current conditions. Don’t worry, even if you forget to bring your jacket, though. There are numerous places where you can buy San Francisco logo jackets at a reasonable price. By the way these San Francisco jackets are one of the most popular souvenirs that visitors buy.


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Top Places to visit in San Francisco

Golden Gate Bridge

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SF Golden Gate Bridge with both the spans visiible
Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

In San Francisco, you have to visit the Golden Gate Bridge. It is an iconic piece of Californian history. While crossing the bridge, you’ll see the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Bay on the other. The bridge connects San Francisco to Marin County. Once you reach the Marin County side of the bridge, you can park your car and take beautiful pictures of the bridge.


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Fishermans Wharf

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Pier 39 flags
Pier 39, San Francisco

After visiting the Golden Gate Bridge, drive over to the Fishermans Wharf, also known as Pier 39. It is one of the biggest tourist attractions in San Francisco. It is lined with shops that range from food to candy to souvenirs. It hosts very famous restaurants, specialty shops and cafes. Budding artists are sometimes playing live music and promoting their new CDs. The entire environment is very refreshing and lively.

You can buy unique things such as salt water taffy at the Fishermans Wharf. You will always find Sea Lions lounging on the rocks. They are great for pictures. To celebrate the sea lions, there are bronze statutes of sea lions on the pier.


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Union Square

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Night shot of San Francisco Union Square
Union Square, San Francisco

If you feel like shopping, go to Union Square. It is filled with famous name-brand stores, such as Apple, Burberry, Cartier, and many more.

If you go in winter, you will also find an open air ice skating rink there. The rink is a lot of fun for skating with your friends. There is normally a crowd and a line, but it is worth the wait. Even if you’re an adult, you should definitely go because it brings out your inner child.


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Lombard Street

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View of lombard street with cars coming down the crooked street
Lombard Street, San Francisco

When you are done with shopping at Union Square, drive over to Lombard Street. This street is known around the world as the Crooked Street.

First drive the steep uphill on Lombard street to get to the top and then start driving down the zig-zagging road. The street is lined with houses and in the middle are huge barriers of flowers. If you don’t want to drive down, there is also a sidewalk which you can use to walk down the street. No matter how you go down, the street has amazing views of San Francisco.

Don’t forget to take lots of photos here.


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Ghirardelli Square

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Ghirardelli Square
Ghirardelli Square, San Francisco

Another place to visit in San Francisco has to be Ghirardelli Square. It is about a 10 minute walk from Fisherman’s Wharf.

Grab an ice cream, chocolate bar, or just sit at the fountain. If you want, you can also get a tour of the chocolate factory. It’s a fun experience for the kids and the parents can take a break from walking around San Francisco. At the store, they always give out free samples of the new or the seasonal flavors.

It’s a great place for taking pictures, especially at night when the sign lights up. It’s absolutely beautiful at night.

There is a parking garage for the customers and make sure to get it validated with any purchase made at the square.


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Mandirs and Gurudwaras

Mount Madonna Hanuman Temple, Watsonville

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Entrance of the Sankat Mochan Hanuman temple at Mount Madonna, Watonsville, CA
Hanuman Temple

Located in the Santa Cruz hills, there is a beautiful private retreat and conference center called Mount Madonna Center for Creative Arts and Sciences. Within the grounds of this retreat center there is Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple. The temple was established in 1978 and the scenery is breathtaking. Over the years, this temple has expanded to accommodate the ever increasing number of visiting devotees. Aarti is performed ever day at 6:30am and 6pm. If you are in the area, plan on visiting for Saturday Aarti and you will be amazed at the number of devotees present. And don’t forget to register before you go. More information can be found here.


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Sikh Gurudwara, San Jose

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Front of the Sikh Gurudwara in San Jose, CA
Sikh Gurudwara, San Jose

Sikh Gurudwara, San Jose is perched atop hills in Evergreen area of San Jose. It’s one of the largest Gurudwaras in US with huge Darbar and Langar halls.

There are fountains in the front that are lit up in the evening. You get a view of all of San Jose and on clear days you can see as far as San Francisco. It’s very peaceful place to visit, not to mention the delicious langa that is served daily.

More details can be found at http://www.sanjosegurdwara.org/


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Shiva Vishnu Temple, Livermore

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Entrance of the Shiva Vishnu Hindu temple in Livermore, CA
Livermore Temple

Livermore Shiva Vishnu Temple is located about an hour drive to the east from San Francisco. It is a beautiful temple and also Hindu Community and Cultural Center. The temple is very clean and the pujaris are very nice and knowledgable. Not to mention the yummy prasadam that you can buy inside the temple. There are a lot of cultural and language classes offered to the community. For more information about the temple can be found here.

Livermore temple hours of operation:

Monday-Thursday
  9 AM to 12 Noon
  6 PM to 8 PM

Friday, Saturday, Sunday &   Holidays
  9 AM to 8 PM

 


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