Fort Worth, Texas– San Francisco, the city on the bay. This haven of possibility, Mecca of the alternative has attracted generations of free thinkers, hard workers and daring wonderers alike since its first inhabitants. In the 1800s family’s rushed west for precious metals. In the 60’s they tuned in and ushered in a renaissance of culture and attitude; and today, The blending of customs and traditions has created a vibrant center full of unique experiences.
With 2 days to spare and a whole region to see I looked to mix the new with the old, the rural with metropolitan creating a sort of do-it-yourself charcuterie tray with all the trimmings. Quickly I realized I would need weeks to really see all that this city offered. Unfortunately, I may not have been able to piece together a whole plate but at the very least I got a taste.
# 1 Fisherman’s Wharf
Located in the northern part of the city and south of Alcatraz island you will find Fisherman’s Wharf. This stretch of pier started off as the angling hub of the 1800s, throughout the centuries it grew into one of the main attractions in San Francisco. From shopping, food, and inspiring sights of the bay you could almost put yourself in the shoes of the early settlers and get a glips into what they saw when they settled there.
Whenever I’m in San Francisco, the one thing I make sure to do is to stop by the wharf and get a bread bowl full of fresh clam chowder. If offered I always opt for the calamari and octopus’s addition for some extra protein and if weary from my travels or just plain thirsty ill almost always pair it with locally brewed Lagunitas IPA. These indulgences combined with the fresh Pacific air fades out all notion of life outside where you currently are and that’s what makes this particular place incredibly special.
# 2 Manas Peach Farm
Northern California is one of the few epicenters of fresh produce and agriculture in the world. Just outside the city limits of San Francisco lies farming towns that are plush with fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts. In fact, many of which Texans soon find on their tables. Unfortunately somewhere along the journey from Napa Valley to Fort Worth, they tend to lose a little enthusiasm.
Our expedition led us an hour past Napa near my family home town of Woodland. Here Lie the “Best Peaches in The West” aka locally famous Manas Ranch in Esparto, CA. This farm has been in the Mana’s family for 3 generations. “In the late eighteen hundreds, my family came from Spain and settled in the Yolo County area. They were ranchers in the Western part of the county along Putah Creek, raising nuts and stone fruit (apricots, peaches, and plums)”. At this ranch, they take the efficient approach of selling directly to the consumer. We walked up past the orchard and into a barn where they had a first & second quality harvest on display. The peaches that were in season were called O’ Henery and Cassie peaches. Here we sifted through the stock of peaches, jams, nuts, and apricots wanting to buy it all. We left with a modest amount of merchandise and enjoyed it all the way back to the city.
# 1 Golden Gate Bridge
You probably saw this coming, and that’s for good reason. The Golden Gate is symbolic to San Francisco the way the Statue of Liberty is to New York. Or the way the Stock Yards is representative to Fort Worth. They all seem to suggest to its visitors what human ingenuity mixed with a little hard work can accomplish. The sheer size of this thing is enough to force anyone to digest a nice slice of humble pie. It grounds you and you realize how small we actually are. This may be on your stop for a variety of reasons. Maybe you appreciate 20th-century architecture and engineering. Or possibly you need a new pic for Instagram. Who knows maybe it’s both but whatever way you need to reason it to get here, do so.