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National Geographic Lists San Francisco As A Top Travel Destination For Families

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The World can’t seem to make its mind up about San Francisco. Is it a fentanyl filled hellscape where used syringes and piles of human poop litter the street and wait for an unlucky passerby to step on them like a landmine? Or is it a promised land of prosperity with hills that rise to the Heavens situated on California’s golden coast?

Why aren’t my other openings this good? 

Anyway, National Geographic just listed San Francisco as one of the best places in the World to travel to with your family. And, despite my jadedness, they’re kind of fuckin’ right. 

It doesn’t matter if you shit on the City or praise it, you’re probably right. That’s why San Francisco is San Francisco.

Yes, Downtown is fucked. But Downtown is a fraction of what San Francisco has to offer. How much urine do you really smell at Ocean Beach? The answer is none. Golden Gate Park is fucking awesome and is way better than Central Park in New York City. 

Have I been to New York City? No. But I’ve read somewhere that if you say something with absolute confidence people will assume you’re right. 

There’s lots of great touristy stuff in San Francisco that is a blend of mesmerizing, beautiful and magical for a family vacation. To say San Francisco lacks that is a complete and utter lie. 

I remember when I was kid, I would beg my family to take me to Chinatown. I’m not Chinese, but when you’re there, especially as a child, you feel that you’ve entered a portal into a completely different reality than the one you’re used to. The red paper lanterns, the bustle of the street, the fog drifting across the brutalist architecture of the Hilton hotel towering over Portsmouth Square beside the iconic TransAmerica Pyramid. 

Are you really going to tell me that’s not cool? 

Look at Fisherman’s Wharf. Look at it. Look at those sea lions. Sea lions at the pier should be the average San Franciscan’s aspiration. The life of a sea lion in San Francisco is the life of a San Franciscan without landlords. You’re chilling. You’re by the water. You’re flopping around. You’re doing great. AAARRF ARRRF, motherfucker. 

Then there’s Twin Peaks. Holy shit, you haven’t seen a view until you’ve been up on Twin Peaks. Yes, it’s touristy, but guess what? Sometimes tourists go to things because they’re cool, you pessimistic fuck. 

Are you a progressive parent? Take them to the Castro and you can tell your kid how tolerant you are of something that’s not even edgy anymore. Get yourself a rainbow flag T shirt and a Ruth Bader Ginsburg bumper sticker. 

Then there’s Ghirardelli which has chocolate that’s really good. I know it can be expensive, but it still tastes delicious. 

Maybe you want to show your kids the “real World,” and you want to take them somewhere “gritty” or “authentic” or whatever other buzzword you can come up with to awkwardly be kinda racist and classist at the same time. Go to the Mission, eat a burrito, look at a mural, buy stolen toothpaste at the 24th Street BART Plaza from someone with a face tattoo. Feel alive. You’ve earned it. 

San Francisco is the best place ever to do anything. It’s also the worst place ever to do anything. We don’t need Nat Geo or anyone else to tell us that. 

We already know. 

It doesn’t matter if you shit on the City or praise it, you’re probably right. That’s why San Francisco is San Francisco.

And honestly, that’s all it ever needs to be.





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Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff - Bay Area Memelord

Abraham Woodliff is a San Francisco-based writer, editor and digital content creator known for Bay Area Memes, a local meme page that has amassed nearly 200k followers. His work has appeared in SFGATE, The Bold Italic and of course, His book of short stories, personal essays and poetry entitled Don't Drown on Dry Ground is available now!

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