New in Town - San Francisco expat city guide

18th February 2019
New in Town - San Francisco expat city guide

If you’re moving to San Francisco as a British expatriate, you’re more than likely familiar with its main sights. It’s hard to miss the iconic Golden Gate bridge. When it was completed in 1937, it was the longest suspension bridge span in the word. It no longer holds that title – eight bridges have since exceeded its length – but it remains a key transport link.

The city is also famous for Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Park and the towering Twin Peaks, which offer sublime views over the city.

As a tourist to the city, these are must-visit places, but when you’re moving to the USA to become a long-term resident, it’s the hidden gems around the city that hold the most attraction.

Art and culture

The contemporary city of San Francisco is made up of a pleasant mix of colourful streets, bringing residential properties, entertainment venues, restaurants, cafes and retail outlets together as one. This helps to create the sense of community and inclusion that the city is known for.

San Francisco is also home to a number of well-regarded performing arts institutions. For example, the San Francisco War Memorial and Performing Arts Center is one of the largest in the USA, made up of a number of individual venues. The San Francisco Opera and the San Francisco Ballet are both based at the War Memorial Opera House. Meanwhile, the San Francisco Symphony is based in the Davies Symphony Hall, featuring an impressive roster of regular classical music concerts and renowned guest soloists.

San Francisco is also known for its eclectic and exciting fairs, events and shows across the city. One of the most popular for art lovers is the Art Market San Francisco, the city’s premier art fair. Taking place in April 2019, this fair is in its ninth year and will feature 75 modern and contemporary global art galleries.

Keen botanists should consider a visit to the Conservatory of Flowers, filled with flowers, foliage and plants from around the world. It has a year-round programme of events and displays, and it offers a wonderful escape from the day-to-day bustle of the city.

Eating and drinking

San Francisco showcases innovative food, representing cultural favourites from around the world through its many restaurant and cafés. From high-end gastronomic delights, to authentic street food, there is something to suit every palette. The Eat Drink SF food festival is an annual celebration of all the region has to offer.

Many eateries in the city have a story. For example, Buena Vista (meaning ‘Good View’) was converted from a boarding house into a saloon in 1916. It is home to a world-famous Irish coffee recipe that remains unchanged since 1952. In fact, its Irish coffee is so popular that it is not unheard of for 2,000 Irish coffees to be made in a single day. Other than the liquor coffees, very little has changed at Buena Vista since its opening, including the Victorian flooring and the beautiful wood panel decor. Buena Vista is located in the classically picturesque Fisherman's Wharf.

For those looking for fine dining, there is no end of exceptional venues to consider. Saison, for example, offers high-end wood cooking with an open-plan kitchen dining area. It also boasts one of the country’s largest and most remarkable sections of Old and New World wines.

It’s worth exploring the many different areas of the city, as each one has a culturally different flavour and can give you a unique experience. You can live in the city as a British expatriate for a decade and still find new and unique places to visit.

Cadogan Tate specialises in moving to the USA from the UK, and also have services in place to move you and your belongings from one area of the USA to another, with years of experience handling fine art and antiques. Click here to get in touch about Cadogan Tate's moving to the USA service.

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