San Francisco, Hayes Valley is the place to be!

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San Francisco is more than the Golden Gate, Mission street or the cable car. Hayes Valley is the place to be!

Which area: Hayes Valley, with its restored Victorian buildings, central green space, innovative shops, nice hip coffee shops and casual eateries.

Your coffee moment: If you want a nice coffee break at the multi-purpose outdoor Proxy space, than go to Ritual Coffee. It wasn’t that long ago that Ritual Coffee was “just” a pop-up shop made from a shipping container. There is an outdoor cinema as well.

What to do: Wander around and discover. Hayes Valley is a stone's throw from an arts circle that includes the Davies Symphony Hall, SF Jazz Center and Sydney Goldstein Theater. Hip boutiques, independent bookstores, and pop-up art galleries make Hayes Valley an object of envy to residents and non-residents. So take a shopping bag with you.

Japantown to visit: San Francisco's Japantown is a fun place to explore. Japantown is a 6-block area of shops and restaurants along Post Street in the Western Addition neighborhood. Not far from Hayes Valley. In a way, it's like taking a quick trip to Osaka. Immerse yourself in Japanese culture. A huge variety of Japanese items calling out to be purchased or eaten!

Late lunch: If you have enough of exploring this fantastic district and you want to have a nice late lunch, you can go to Palm House. Try the delicious Brussels sprouts. Palm House is situated behind the second oldest palm tree in San Francisco. You can see this palm tree through the glass rooftop in the restaurant. So look to the sky and you will meet this oldy!

(And thanks for all these great tips and tops Karin Norbuis ;-).

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San Francisco, glamping in an Airstream and wineries to visit!

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A luxury Airstream outdoor experience in the Red Woods with campfire, marshmallows and wine. Who doesn't want that?!

Russian River AutoCamp is a great place to be. Surrounded by the Red Wood Forest you can stay in a beautiful Airstream and chill out.

Which area: Guerneville in the Russian River Valley of Sonoma County, California, United States.

Where to go: Book a stay at AutoCamp. They offer overnight lodging and accommodations in modern Airstream suites. A great experience to glamp, you don't want to miss it!

What do you need: You need a toothbrush and toothpaste...the rest is already organized. Towels, shower gel, toiletpaper, coffee & tea, blankets,'s all there.

What to do: Buy some wood and a marshmallow kit in the clubhouse of AutoCamp. And settle a wine arrangement to be sure you start a great night near the campfire.

Nice to do the next day: You can use the bikes for free at you can make a little round tour to Guerneville and the Russian River. And when you have checked out you can drive with your own car to several wine estates. Such as Iron Horse and Viansa. California has it all!

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San Francisco, flying to Sonoma and drinking Korbel champagne

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San Francisco
San Francisco, feeling like a bird in the sky, heading to Sonoma!

Try to find a pilot who can fly you to Sonoma, buy a bottle of the delicious Korbel champagne and fly back over the golden gate to SanFran again, while enjoying this golden drink!

Which city: San Francisco, United States of America.

Where to go: Go to San Jose and find a pilot who can fly you to Sonoma.

What to drink and eat: Buy a bottle of Korbel campagne at Sonoma and take some snacks with you.

What to do: Enjoy the view over San Francisco and the beautiful landscape of Sonoma.

What to love: To feel like a bird while flying over the Golden Gate and to have the best champagne of Sonoma on the return flight.

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San Francisco, SFMOMA, Yerba Buena Gardens, Martin Luther King Memorial, Gallery Berggruen and The Mexican Museum

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San Francisco
San Francisco: art and culture everywhere around Yerba Buena Gardens!

Wander around in the area of the Yerba Buena Gardens where art is all around you.

Which city: San Francisco, United States of America.

Where to go: The SFMOMA is completely renovated and worth a visit. Gallery Berggruen is a new spot opposite the museum and visit the The Mexican Museum that will be opened soon. Be suprised by the Yerba Buena Gardens with a fantastic Martin Luther King memorial on the side.

What to drink and eat: Buy a coffee and a red velvet cupcake in a coffee shop near the Gardens and enjoy all of it on a rock inside Yerba Buena!

What to do: Visit the exhibitions in de SFMOMA or Gallery Berggruen. Take a look at the imposing Martin Luther King Memorial or just lay down in the Gardens and enjoy looking at the variety of people and students who enjoy the Gardens with you.

What to love: The contemporary art, the Mexican Museum or the peaceful ambiance in the Yerba Buena Gardens in between the hustle and bustle of San Francisco's downtown.

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San Francisco, a boat tour, sea lions, at the fireplace, a photo booth & more

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After a long flight from Amsterdam to San Francisco we went to the harbor at Fishermans Warf. At Pier 43 we joined a fishing boat of the  Lovely Martha company. Lovely Martha belongs to the Rescino family and has been offering boat charters since long before the Golden Gate Bridge was even built. For fifteen dollars each you can join a small one hour boat tour. You can bring your own drinks and snacks if you want. The skyline of SanFran from the water is an absolute eye-catcher. Lovely Martha is favorite for sightseeing on the bay and to have a glimpse of the bottom side of the landmark Golden Gate Bridge! When you are under the bridge you may make a wish. It's like a (iron) mistletoe experience ;-)! The host of our trip was a 'famous' rapper who made some soundtracks for the new movie 'What are the chances'. He showed us on his mobile phone. And the end of the trip when you're back in the harbor you will see the big ship: SS Jeremiah O'Brien. This ship is one of two remaining fully functional Liberty ships and launched during World War II. Moored at Pier 45, Fisherman's Wharf, she is a premier San Francisco attraction.

After our boat trip we saw the famous stinky Sea Lions at Pier 39. We had dinner next to the fire place at Wipeout Bar & Grill, located at the entrance of Pier 39. Very cozy despite it being a tourist trap neighbourhood. The tuna bowl was delicious and highly recommended!

The day after we had a relaxing program. A nice photo booth experience in a small shop next to the Banana Republic flagship store on Grant Avenue was a good start of the day. We had lunch at the famous Boudin, the home of the San Francisco original sourdough bread. The flagship location of Boudin is at Fishermans Warf where you can see how bakers make bread with a recipe they've nurtured since 1849. However we had lunch at their downtown location. At the end of the afternoon we went to the cinema and watched the chick flick Bad Moms. Cold sea fog came into the downtown area and it was time to have a nap after another great trip to Frisco!

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San Francisco, a glimpse of Frisco, a snapshot of LinkedIn, the sfmta line N and Outerlands

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san francisco

When you have less than seven hours to spend in Frisco before you have to go to bed...make up your mind quickly about what to do! We decided to make a snapshot of the new head office of LinkedIn on second street. Next a small shopping experience on Market Street before we took the N line of the metro SFMTA, direction Ocean Beach. We exited on Judah street, had a glimpse of the ocean and went on to Outerlands for drinks and dinner. We arrived kind of late without a reservation but still got the chance to sit at the bar. We got a drawing from a local, sitting at the bar as well, to welcome us in Frisco. How sweet! Outerlands is such a nice restaurant. It is a cozy place with weathered-wood walls serving New American eats, housemade bread and a popular brunch if you are in time during the afternoon. The SMFTA metro service is excellent so we took the metro back downtown Frisco afterwards, walked to our hotel and hit the sack after a very shorty stay in SanFran!


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San Francisco versus Hong Kong

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San Francisco versus Hong Kong


If you're going to San a bike! That's what I did. Pacific Bicycle is a professional bike shop, and has an even more professional team. A friendly guy set me up on a Hybrid bike just after I landed in San Francisco. Quick checkout, free lock and a free helmet... didn't wear it! Okay, I know Safety is important and San Francisco has mountains and isn't as flat as The Netherlands, but still.

After I was done shopping at Whole foods and Target I followed my way to the Piers.They are located north of the Ferry Building and feature unique dining, retail and over an acre of public waterfront access. On clear days when there isn’t a lot of fog on the water you can see the Golden Gate Bridge from a distance while visiting Pier 39. Unfortunately that wasn't the case for me.

Time to have a quick bite...riding a bike makes you hungry! Salt House is a great gem in downtown San Francisco. It has great atmosphere, food and very innovative dishes made with fresh ingredients. What really stood out was the service, thanks to Taylor, the friendly bartender. And after enjoying a delicious meal it was time to catch some z's!


Hong Kong, a city that never never sleeps! The skyline of Hong Kong is fantastic. Visit a rooftop bar to have a nice view over the city, especially during sunset. It is up to you to choose to have a view of Hong Kong island or on the opposite of the river, to have a view of the main land.

Only on wednesday evenings you can visit the Hong Kong Jockey Club at Happy Valley for horse races. It is one of the most famous horse racing venues in the world. This famous racing place is situated in the middle of the Metropolis of Hong Kong island, surrounded by sky scrapers. It is a fantastic happening with thousands of people who bet on one or more horses. The green field will be prepared race after race and meanwhile people are standing in line to bet on the racing horses. I bet on four horses and one of them won the race! Music, drinks, performances…it is all in the game. Don’t hesistate to ask people which horse you have to bet on. They are more than willing to help you!

Le Boudoir in Soho is a nice pit stop after you counted your 'winning money’ from the races ;-). Le boudoir is a delightfully conceived cocktail lounge, evoking the seductive opulence and glamour of an 18th Century French palatial residence. 

If you want window shopping, Hong Kong is the place to be. For something different go to D-mop. D-mop is a very hip and stylish fashion shop where you can find a lot of unique brands for sale. They have not only fashion, but also books, music and accessoires with a modern twist. If you want to have a unique piece of clothing it is absolutely worth a visit. It is not cheap, but if you want to be original, I think you are more than willing to pay for it.

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