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Has San Francisco Lost Its Charm? People Debate Whether San Francisco Is No Longer Nice to Visit

With iconic landmarks, stunning natural beauty, and unique culture, San Francisco is one of the most popular travel hotspots. But with all good things, they start to fade with time. One traveler asked the internet if San Francisco is still a nice place to visit nowadays, and people responded.

Note: Some quotes in this piece have been lightly edited for grammar.

For the Birds 

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A recent San Francisco visitor hit all the “must-see” spots and said it was a wonderful experience. Just make sure you skip one destination if you fear feathered friends. “Do NOT go to Alcatraz Island if you have a phobia of birds. The island is a bird sanctuary completely overrun with creatures with feathers,” they said. “It is loud and very smelly.”

Comeback Kid 

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“Yes and no,” one recent visitor said about whether San Francisco is still nice to visit. While they lauded San Fran for its diversity, walkability, and seemingly endless ways to keep busy, they said there are still places to avoid. “They need to sort out its laws and crack down on crime, but SF will always come back.”

Take a Walk 

San Francisco with the Golden Gate Bridge.
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“Absolutely,” another adoring visitor says about whether San Francisco is worth visiting, adding that it’s one of the most scenic, distinctive, and interesting cities in the US. “You could walk all the way across the city between the bay and the ocean in a couple of hours.” 

Dodging Downtown 

Woman making a "no" sign.
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One San Francisco resident of over 50 years says their city is second only to New York City regarding population density. Because of this, they prefer to live in the less crowded suburbs and commute downtown for special occasions. “I’m glad I don’t live there, but I enjoy visiting.” 

Bittersweet Visit 

Closed sign hanging on a business door.
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A former San Francisco resident says they felt depressed about what the city has come to after their most recent visit. “It was my home for 25 years, and it certainly didn’t feel like it when I was there.” They said the city felt like a ghost town, with many downtown stores closed. 

Avoiding the City 

Pile of trash on the side of a street.
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One person was shocked at the trashed streets and unhoused population on Market Street on their first visit in 1968. Now a Bay area resident of over 40 years, they say it’s only worsened. “I realize that several large US cities have similar problems, but it sounds like SF is one of the very worst. My wife and I don’t even go into the city anymore.”

Not for Everybody 

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“It is [still nice enough to visit], with some disclaimers,” one frequent visitor says about San Francisco. They say to avoid the Tenderloin area at all costs, and if you’re not comfortable with a dense homeless population, you might not enjoy it. “But it is a scenic, if goofy, city.”

Cautionary Tales 

Money eyes.
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One newly minted San Francisco resident has found the city delightful, with a few cautions. Like others, they agree that homelessness is a persistent problem. They also say the high cost of living is rough for residents, but that’s not an issue if you’re popping in. 

Changing With the Seasons 

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“If you walk or use public transportation, you will encounter a different San Francisco,” one person warned. “The level of filth and destruction is disturbing and often completely shocks tourists. On a sunny day, the beauty of the place overtakes these negatives for the visitor; on a grim, grey, or rainy day, one can feel different.” 

Worth It 

Full House row of houses in San Francisco.
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One traveler recently returned from a one-night stay in San Francisco. Despite their expectations, they “hardly saw more than two or three homeless people the entire time and did not see or witness any crime.” They said the city is beautiful, clean, and well worth the visit.

City Savings 

Man holding an ice cream cone.
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One frugal visitor knows San Francisco tourist traps can get pricey. If you’re ballin’ on a budget, they suggested visiting one of the city’s many free/cheap museums or grabbing an all-inclusive sightseeing pass to save money if you want to hit the hot spots. 

Take the Trip 

Traditional San Francisco houses.
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A San Francisco fan raved about the city’s vistas, historic architecture, enchanting streetscapes, glorious weather, and more, making it a great visit. Not to mention the “magnificent beaches, amazing ferry rides, and small restaurants featuring a panoply of the world’s cuisines.” 

Lots To Love

People looking at Golden Gate Bridge.
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One world traveler says they’ve been to many major cities, and San Francisco is one of the most beautiful in the world. “It’s incredibly diverse, progressive, creative, and next to New York, the most international city in America.”

All the Right Reasons 

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Another San Francisco fan says it’s one of only a few “World Class Cities” in America, attracting thousands of creative, talented folks from all over the world. “It’s the true capital of the high-tech, financial, and biotech industries,” they said. Plus, the weather is lovely. 

Bay Love 

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“The short answer [about whether San Francisco is nice enough to visit] is: Of course,” another happy visitor said. “I would just say that The City by the Bay is beautiful and very unique. The culture, vibe, and people make it very worthwhile to visit the city.” 

Source: Quora

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