I got to enjoy some time with just the hubby in San Francisco last weekend. He was going for work so I tagged along. We lived here, well, south of here, from 2000 until 2002, roughly. And, I was surprised to realize that I haven't been back since. Our trips into the San Fran were usually to meet friends for dinner or sightsee with out of town guests, so we had limited familiarity of the city, but nonetheless, it's a great place to come and visit.
We went out to dinner with old friends we hadn't seen in many years, delicious spots where we lingered and talked until well after dessert was served and cleaned up. We were lucky that the hotel was located near the Ferry Building, for indie food and shops. And a cab driver recommended taking a walk along Chestnut Street near the Marina, where cute shops and cafés abound.
No kids meant no need to rush, yummy adult drinks, late nights and sleep-in mornings (just for me, David is deep in marathon training).
Things I Love About SF:
The weather - I forget what perfect weather is like until I walk out into the San Fran air. Cool in the morning, sunny and warm, with a lovely breeze, in the afternoon. And cool again in the evening. All year round - almost. Gorgeous.
The views - you're either looking at the phenomenal Bay, one of several expansive and beautiful bridges, the lush hills, colorful deco houses, cityscapes, green spaces dotted with flowers or sailboats bobbing in a harbor. It doesn't take long to rest your eyes on a photo-worthy spot.
The food - the commitment to fresh, local, organic food is everywhere. Don't settle for chains, finding the shops that offer real food is not hard to find. Not at all.
Things I Dislike About SF:
No cabs - unlike NYC (*see footnote), the cabs are sparse. They don't have the light on/off scheme, and in some parts of the city, at certain times, you will be lucky if one happens your way. Like most cities, they do have hailing apps you can get to alert nearby cabs, but it's still a pain.
The homeless population - thanks much to the weather, and maybe on the storied hippie culture, the homeless -- and we're talking freaky-crazy-dirty homeless -- are nearly everywhere. You will step over the legs of a passed out human at some point in your SF travels. Get ok with that.
Can't walk it - the hills, my lord, the hills! And the attractions are so far apart, thus the need for a cab. And thus the frustration of not being able to hail one. See above.
(* having NYC as the first big city I got to know well and love ruins most other cities. The city been around longer than most in the U.S., is compact thanks to its island location, and has a bunch of things figured out that other cities haven't gotten to yet. I can't help unfairly compare all other cities to NYC.)