To immerse yourself in the culture, cuisine and political radicalism that California is famous for, there’s no better place to start than the distinct neighbourhoods of San Francisco
San Francisco has long been a creative incubator and cultural melting pot – a catalyst for social change, technological innovation and good times. It’s also a must-visit for anyone considering a Californian road trip, or indeed any great American road trip – after all, it was repeatedly visited by Sal Paradise in Jack Kerouac’s seminal On the Road.
This ravishingly beautiful bay city was home to the beat generation of writers that Kerouac spearheaded in the 1950s, the birthplace of the counterculture and hippie movement of the late 1960s and 1970s, and fertile ground for the jazz, rock and experimental music scenes, in the bars of Haight-Ashbury. And despite the city’s countless historic charms, including the Golden Gate Bridge, crooked and colourful Victorian-era homes, and cable cars tracing the slopes of some of the city’s 48 hills, this fiercely progressive and fun-loving city continues to innovate and inspire, with a groundbreaking farm-to-table restaurant scene, vibrant street art and palpable progressive vibe.
Top: City Lights bookstore. Below: manager Elaine Katzenberger