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Helen Conte

Westbury, New York Travel Agent

An Insider’s View of San Francisco

San Francisco is a place I keep returning to and each time I go, I find new things to enjoy and share with my clients. It is an easy place to love because it is so beautiful and it is compact and easy to get around. I also got an insider’s view for many years, because my daughter was living there.  

We always visit Pier 39. It is very touristy, but the sea lions, seafood eateries and festive ambiance make it enjoyable every time.  

The city is rightly known as a great foodie destination. There is always some new special restaurant to try. Sometimes the concepts are quite offbeat, like dining in complete darkness; the food was great but the darkness was disconcerting.

I always recommend visiting Alcatraz Island. It is pretty to get there by ferry, but then you think that if you were going across the Bay to be locked up, it wouldn’t be so enjoyable. The tours make you realize the desperation that prisoners must have felt to have tried to escape. These days though, it is fun to pose behind the bars for selfies. 

One of my favorite memories was a trip to Muir Woods National Monument. The size of the trees is astounding and part of our national heritage. Our whole family went, from my young grandchildren to my 90-year-old mother-in-law. She was in a wheelchair and it is nice now to think back about how thrilled she was watching the children running through the forest. It was one of our last trips with her and a great memory for us all. 

Whether you want to combine San Francisco with a visit to the wine country or simply enjoy an urban retreat, I can help you to experience the heart and soul of San Francisco.