Each year I always have a friend or family member visit me from outside of San Francisco and each year I show them the same tourist attractions. After talking to some people around campus, I have discovered many different things in San Francisco that would be fun to do with tourists.
I spoke with senior Perry Arnold about what he likes to do around San Francisco that is not in a typical tourist activity. Arnold said, “On my trip to the beach I walked through Golden Gate park and found bison. I could not believe there were bison in the middle of a city!”
On John F. Kennedy Drive and Chain of Lakes Drive E. there is a small herd of bison. When Arnold accidentally ran into the bison he was on his way to ocean beach where he likes to watch the kite surfers “because they are really cool and do awesome tricks”. These are two interesting attractions that are not typical tourist traps where you will have to wait in line for hours surrounded by a huge crowd. It is nice to escape from the city in the parks of San Francisco, like Golden Gate.
Junior Gina Minutillo also had a good experience in Golden Gate Park last weekend when she discovered Stow Lake. At Stow Lake, you can rent out paddleboats by the hour and take your friends on a ride around the lake. You can see many different parts of the park that you will not see when walking around. Minutillo said, “The water was very green but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I liked being in nature. It is a nice place to walk around and have a picnic as well.”
Stow Lake usually isn’t crowded or full of tourists; it is a nice trip to take and get away from the city noise and into nature.
Close to Golden Gate Park is Haight Street, which most tourists like to visit because of its known history. Last weekend, senior Kaity Green was giving her mother a tour of the city but she did not want to do typical tourist things. While walking around the Haight she discovered Lynn Gentry, also known as “the poem man”. Green said, “I was walking down Haight Street and on the corner of Haight and Ashbury I saw this young man typing on this old school typewriter. I found out that he was ‘the poem man’ and he writes customized poems about anything you want. You name the price and tell him about yourself and he will write a poem for you. My poem was so moving I almost started to cry!”
Haight Street has new surprises to be found on every corner.
Now you are not limited to show your friends and family Pier 39, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Chinatown. Instead you can take a break from the city and wander through Golden Gate Park to check out bison and maybe have a picnic near Stow Lake. Or if you really enjoyed being in San Francisco, you can get a customized poem for you or a loved one to remember this crazy, wonderful city.