TravelSmart Mobile App – Don’t Leave Home Without It!

TravelSmart Mobile App

Allianz Global Assistance, a leading provider of travel insurance and travel assistance, has launched an impressive and updated mobile app – TravelSmart™What’s so special about this travel app? As someone who travels often, I want to be confident that I have as much information as possible at my finger tips, especially if an emergency arises.

The cool thing is that this app is free and anyone can download it even if they don’t have a policy with Allianz. Be prepared for travel emergencies and get help fast with the TravelSmart app from Allianz Global Assistance.

So what makes TravelSmart better than other apps?

The TravelSmart app features a simpler and more intuitive user interface that gives you access to all the travel information you need like travel insurance details, claims status, flight status, and local emergency numbers – all from the app’s home screen.

In Case of Emergency

You can easily and quickly get help in case of a travel emergency. The TravelSmart Contact Us button on the home screen allows travelers to reach Allianz Global Assistance medical assistance or customer service from anywhere in the world with just the touch of a button. The app includes a global directory of medical facilities, police stations, and US Embassies, as well as expanded options to quickly get in touch with Allianz Global Assistance. If you happen to be an Allianz Travel Insurance policyholder, you can log in with your account information to get access to a full suite of policy management and claims filing capabilities.

For Policy Holders

Access to Allianz Travel Insurance policies including the ability to store policies in the app and access a policy from the app’s home screen so travelers can quickly access their travel insurance benefits.

File and Track Claims using the app to initiate a claim, update or add documents, select your preferred claim payment method or check the status of an existing claim. Customers can start their claims process on the go and select direct deposit or debit card payment to receive their payment faster than check by mail.

But you don’t have to be a policy holder to download and use the app because there is so much more the app can do for all travelers!

Flight Status Tracking

Real Time Flight Status Tracking allows app users to track their upcoming flight by adding a flight using the “My Trips” feature. Users can search upcoming flights from any itinerary on any airline, and add them to their trip with just a few taps. The app provides on-time status and gate information for flights departing within 3 days to help travelers prepare for the next leg of their trip. Easily add your upcoming flight(s) into TravelSmart using airport locations and dates, or by flight number and date.

Assistance Around Me

An Assistance Button on the home screen takes users to the “Assistance Around Me” database, which uses geolocation to direct travelers to local hospitals, doctor’s offices, pharmacies, police stations and U.S. Embassy locations and includes turn-by-turn directions. Allianz Global Assistance flags recommended hospitals within the app so travelers can identify vetted facilities quickly.

If you need to fill an emergency prescription overseas, TravelSmart gives you the universal name for more than 750 common medications so you can be confident you’re asking for the medication you need.

Emergency Numbers

Global Emergency Numbers from the Home Screen means travelers with enabled geolocation can dial the appropriate number for police, fire, rescue, and the US Embassy for over 200 countries in seconds.

Medication Information

A Medication Dictionary allows users to store a photo of their prescription label and find international names for more than 750 common drugs.  These features make refilling prescriptions faster and easier while traveling.

First Aid Help

A First Aid Terms Translation feature provides translations for 60+ illnesses, injuries and first aid needs into 18 common languages so that nothing gets lost in translation, especially in an emergency. Nothing gets lost in translation. Quick: How do you say “food poisoning” in Portuguese? Get 60+ first aid terms translated from English to 18 common foreign languages for easy reference if you need to communicate about your health while abroad.

The TravelSmart app is free and will be available in the App Store or on Google Play starting in mid-November. More information is available at www.allianztravelinsurance.com/travelsmart

I know I won’t be leaving home without TravelSmart!

This is a sponsored post. I have been compensated for my review. All opinions are my own.




Disneyland – Adults at Kids Prices – One Week Sale from Get Away Today!

Disneyland Ticket Black Friday Sale

Happy Thanksgiving Week! What a great Black Friday sale! For one week only, beginning today, Get Away Today will offer Adults at Kids’ Prices on all 2018 three, four and five day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper tickets! This is a big deal for a few reasons:

  • There are NO blackout dates AND it’s their most popular ticket offer
  • Not only is it Adults at Kids’ Prices, it’s based on 2017 prices – so you can get 2018 tickets for lower than the regular 2017 prices
  • It can be combined with their Disneyland Resort Hotel sale (save up to 25% on select dates), Extra night free hotel offers, and exclusive Get Away Today hotel perks for the most savings
  • Can be purchased with their Layaway Plan – only $125 down
  • When you book a package, you can use promo code – OPENSUITCASE for even more savings

This sale starts today, Tuesday, November 21 and must be booked by 11:59 p.m. MT on Cyber Monday, November 27, 2017. Visit GetAwayToday.com to purchase your tickets!




5 Tips for Planning a WDW Vacation Without Over Planning

WDW Planning

With the holidays right around the corner and so many of you planning to give the gift of Disney, I thought it was a good time to republish these tips for planning a Walt Disney World Vacation without Over Planning!

Even though I visit Walt Disney World regularly, I’m still always on the look-out for new information, fun things to do and great videos to watch with my grandchildren to prepare them for their next trip. My favorite spot for all things WDW is Jones Family Travels because they visit everything in the area, not just Disney Parks and they also make the BEST videos of their travels!

Walt Disney World Resort is a perfect vacation destination for families, friends or even all by yourself! I visit several times a year because there is so much to do, we rarely do the same things over and over again. Many people that have never visited WDW before or haven’t visited often, sometimes feel a little overwhelmed when they start planning. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming or confusing – it’s vacation! Go with the flow – I know-I know -every says you can’t. Everyone says that you have to plan every last detail. But you really don’t have to. I go often with very few plans except for where I will stay and maybe a handful of dining reservations. I don’t want to go on vacation and spend endless hours creating a schedule before hand. I don’t want to be on a schedule when I’m away either. There have been times that I have decided to go with only a few weeks notice so end up going with no plans at all!

There are really only a few important things to do in order to plan your trip. Before planning be sure to sign up on-line for a My Disney Experience account to make your planning easier. Also download the app so you can do some planning from your phone also!

Choose When to Go and For How Long

Many people can only travel at certain times of year due to work and/or school, so if that’s the case for you, you will need to make your reservations as early as you can. Summer and school holidays are busy times at Walt Disney World.

There are also several special events and celebrations during the year that you may want to see. Two of the biggest events at the Magic Kingdom are Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. They both occur on multiple dates over several weeks. Epcot hosts some seasonal festivals as well the International Flower and Garden Festival and the International Food and Wine Festival. You can find the exact dates when you are planning on the Walt Disney World website.

If you want to “do it all”, you will need at least a week or more. There are 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, Disney Springs shopping district, mini golf, shows, parades, etc. The more you want to do, the longer you will need to visit. Or better yet – plan two trips at once! The first trip do some and the second trip do whatever you missed! When purchasing your park passes, you save more per day on longer tickets.

Book as early as you possibly can. This will help you get not only the hotel you want to stay in but your dining reservations as well. If any specials or discounts come out from Disney after you make your reservation, you can call and ask them to apply the discount to your reservation.

Stay On-Site or Off-Site

Families that do not visit often should definitely stay on-site. Walt Disney World Resort offers several different levels of resort – value, moderate, deluxe – as well as villas. Staying on property makes things much easier for getting to and from the parks, to and from the airport, as well as many other benefits. Guests staying in a Disney resort get Extra Magic Hours when the park opens a bit earlier or stays open a bit later just for on-site guests. You can have packages delivered to your hotel from the parks, add on the Disney dining plan (or hopefully get it free on a special offer), free parking if you drive your car to the parks and so much more. If you stay off-site you will have to pay daily for parking and also risk during busy seasons the parks closing to off-site guests because of crowds.

What’s Your Budget?

Once you have decided when to go and if you will stay on-site or off-property, decide what your vacation budget will be. This will better help you in choosing a hotel for your vacation. Reservations can be made for room only or for complete packages that include your park passes and dining plan if you decide to purchase it. You can secure your package reservation for $200 deposit with the balance due 30 days prior to travel. You can secure your room only reservation for the cost of one night stay with the balance due at check-in. Once you have a reservation, you can also make periodic payments towards the balance. 

Don’t forget to budget for food and shopping too!

Dining Reservations

There are so many restaurants to choose from between the parks, Disney Springs, the resorts – it can be maddening! Dining reservations can be made up to 180 days (6 months) in advance. It is highly recommended you make reservations as soon as you can, especially if you would like to dine at a specific location. Character and specialty meals MUST have a reservation. Actually, any table service restaurant requires a reservation. The dining choices do fill up fast and you don’t want to be disappointed. 

If you can’t find the reservation you want on-line, call the dining reservation line. Sometimes – not always – a Cast Member is able to find some availability for you. You can also check back every so often since sometimes people do cancel reservations for one reason or another.

Also remember, there is nothing wrong with not having reservations for a table service location. You can eat some decent and very nice meals in many of the quick service locations without a reservation. 

Pick Your FastPasses!

Walt Disney World lets you plan your FastPasses earlier if you are staying on property with a package reservation. If certain attractions are important to you, definitely book your FastPass reservations at 60 days before if you are staying on property with a package or 30 days before if you only have park passes. Favorite attractions like the 7 Dwarfs Mine Train and Frozen Ever After will have long wait times without a FastPass.

Are you a plan every second or a fly by the seat of your pants WDW visitor?




Pixar Fest Coming to Disneyland Resort

It’s no secret that I love Pixar movies! Every Pixar movie teaches a lesson. Sometimes the lesson openly hits you in the face. Other times it’s much more subtle – but it’s always there. The stories, the lesson, the colors, the characters – each and every Pixar movie comes to life in a special way. I can’t wait for Pixar Fest!

Pixar Fest Disneyland
Together Forever Fireworks. Photo Credit: wdwnews.com

Pixar Fest, the biggest Pixar celebration ever to come to Disney Parks, brings guests together to celebrate friendship and beyond beginning April 13, 2018, at the Disneyland Resort.

During this limited time event, some of the beloved stories from Pixar Animation Studios will come to life in new ways at both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure Parks, with characters and experiences from films such as Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Finding Nemo” and “Up.” Guests will join the fun as they experience a new fireworks spectacular, the return of two favorite parades with fresh new Pixar surprises, new décor, atmosphere entertainment, creatively themed food and beverage and exclusive event merchandise.

A new fireworks show, “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular,” will celebrate Pixar stories through the decades as it lights up the sky over Disneyland, connecting guests with characters they’ve come to know and love. Along with dazzling pyrotechnics and memorable music, a heartwarming story celebrates the theme of friendship, an ever-present concept in Pixar animation. Guests are invited to embark on an emotional journey that begins with the meeting of unlikely Pixar pals and follows their adventures as they overcome obstacles and forge everlasting friendships. “Together Forever” comes to life through projections on iconic park locations: Sleeping Beauty Castle, the water screens of the Rivers of America, the façade of “it’s a small world” and the buildings of Main Street, U.S.A. The grand tradition of Tinker Bell flying over Sleeping Beauty Castle also gets a Pixar twist, with a special flyover by Buzz Lightyear.

For the first time, “Pixar Play Parade” will make its way through Disneyland Park this spring, and it’s being led by someone new. The parade will begin just as all Pixar films have, with an appearance by Pixar’s iconic lamp from the short film “Luxo Jr.” Other new parade elements will welcome characters from “Up” and “Inside Out.”

Also on April 13, the guest-favorite “Paint the Night” parade returns, and this time the parade’s 1.5 million, brilliant LED lights and catchy tunes come to Disney California Adventure.  “Paint the Night” features pals from Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.” and “Cars.” And another beloved Pixar story will join “Paint the Night” later in the year, adding to this guest-favorite experience.

A collection of Pixar Shorts will be featured at the Sunset Showcase Theater at Disney California Adventure during most of Pixar Fest, including favorites such as “For the Birds” and “LAVA.” The short films will rotate during the celebration.

A musical troupe will entertain guests with Pixar-inspired performances in the Paradise Gardens area of Disney California Adventure. Guests may also discover opportunities to greet Pixar characters, and younger guests will enjoy crafts and an activity area.

For those who wish to get into character and celebrate friendship, an exclusive Pixar Fest charm bracelet will be part of the merchandise selection. With multiple bracelet options and a variety of charms with fun friendship messages and Pixar characters, guests can mix and match for themselves, or friends and family.

A celebration of friendship this big is only complete with beloved characters like Buzz, Woody and Jessie from “Toy Story,” Mike and Sulley from “Monsters, Inc.,” Nemo and Dory from “Finding Nemo,” and Lightning McQueen and Mater from “Cars.” Those pals – and more – will be part of the fun at Pixar Fest.

All these exciting changes add to the existing attractions and entertainment in the parks that feature many favorite Pixar characters.

At Disneyland

  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters: In this interactive attraction, guests fire lasers to help battle Evil Emperor Zurg, who is trying to steal the batteries from helpless toys.
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage: Guests take a submarine voyage to explore the world of Nemo and his underwater friends.
  • “it’s a small world”: Woody, Jessie and Bullseye from “Toy Story” are among the many toys and dolls found in this classic attraction.
  • Character encounters with Pixar pals: Guests can continue to meet Merida from “Brave” in Fantasyland and Woody and Jessie from “Toy Story” in Frontierland.
  • “Fantasmic!”: Favorite Pixar characters appear in the finale of “Fantasmic!” nightly on the Rivers of America.

At Disney California Adventure

  • Cars Land: Guests step into the world of Radiator Springs with three attractions plus themed shopping and dining locations across 12 acres.
  • Toy Story Mania!: Guests shrink to the size of toys and take aim at objects to score points in 4D midway-inspired carnival games hosted by the characters from the “Toy Story” films.
  • “a bug’s land”: Shrinking to the size of a bug, guests experience this story through family-friendly attractions.
  • Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!: Guests take a wild taxi ride through Monstropolis with Mike and Sulley as they search for their lost human friend, Boo.
  • Turtle Talk with Crush: Crush, the sea turtle from “Finding Nemo,” interacts with guests in live, real-time, animated conversations.
  • “World of Color”: Characters from “Finding Nemo,” “WALL-E,” “Toy Story,” “Up” and “a bug’s life” appear in this nighttime water spectacular which combines animation, music, lights and color with more than 1,200 fountains.
  • DJ’s Dance ‘n Drive: Interactive dance party in Cars Land invites guests to move to the music.

Pixar Pier – Photo Credit: wdwnews.com

The wonderful worlds of Pixar will get a new home at Disney California Adventure Park when Pixar Pier opens in summer 2018, transforming the area that is now Paradise Pier with the thrilling, new Incredicoaster, four new imaginative neighborhoods, plus entertainment, themed food and beverage, and merchandise. Guests will experience Pixar stories and characters in incredible new ways on this seaside waterfront at the Disneyland Resort.

Pixar Pier, a permanent land along the southern shore of Paradise Bay, will debut during Pixar Fest, a limited-time event that begins April 13, 2018. As a new land, Pixar Pier will introduce the exciting new Incredicoaster plus four whimsical neighborhoods where guests step into beloved Pixar stories.

The first neighborhood is inspired by Disney·Pixar’s “The Incredibles” and it will open in summer 2018 with the Incredicoaster. Permanently transformed from the attraction that is now California Screamin’, Incredicoaster will invite guests into a mid-century-modern-style loading area where they board vehicles with a distinctive, new look. New character moments, new scenes and special effects, and an exciting musical score will connect the attraction’s story to Pixar’s “The Incredibles 2,” which opens in theaters June 14, 2018.

The neighborhood inspired by Disney•Pixar’s “Toy Story” will be developed around the popular Toy Story Mania! attraction. Another new neighborhood, inspired by Disney•Pixar’s “Inside Out,” will debut a new family-friendly attraction that’s scheduled to open at a later date.

A fourth new neighborhood will celebrate a collection of guest-favorite Pixar stories. Mickey’s Fun Wheel will be themed with a new look and each of the 24 gondolas will showcase a different Pixar character. The iconic face of Mickey Mouse will continue to beam happiness across the Paradise Bay side of the wheel. At the Games of the Boardwalk, which currently includes a game called Bullseye Stallion Stampede, guests will find that all the midway games will be inspired by Pixar characters. New games are expected to include characters from “A Bug’s Life,” “La Luna” and “WALL·E.”

To prepare for these big changes, several attractions will close Jan. 8: California Screamin’, Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Games of the Boardwalk and Sideshow Shirts.

Ariel’s Grotto restaurant and the Cove Bar will be transformed into a Pixar-themed lounge offering sparkling views of Paradise Bay and the new Pixar Pier. Ariel’s Grotto and Cove Bar will close Jan. 8, with Cove Bar reopening briefly in April before its permanent transformation. Guests wishing to reserve “World of Color” dining packages after Jan. 7 may consider Carthay Circle Restaurant or Wine Country Trattoria.

The remaining areas of the original Paradise Pier – including Paradise Gardens, Silly Symphony Swings, Jumping Jellyfish, Goofy’s Sky School, Golden Zephyr and The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure – will become a new land called Paradise Park.

The opening of Pixar Pier will add to the fun of Pixar Fest, a celebration of friendship that begins April 13, 2018. Pixar Fest will include the new fireworks show, “Together Forever – A Pixar Nighttime Spectacular;” the return of “Pixar Play Parade,” appearing for the first time at Disneyland Park; the return of “Paint the Night,” performing this time at Disney California Adventure, and new elements added to each of those parades. In addition, guests will find friends from Disney•Pixar films, creatively themed food and beverage items and merchandise that’s exclusive to Pixar Fest.

All of these exciting changes add to the existing attractions and entertainment that feature many favorite Pixar characters and stories:

At Disneyland

  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters: In this interactive attraction, guests fire lasers to help battle Evil Emperor Zurg, who is trying to steal the batteries from helpless toys.
  • Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage: Guests take a submarine voyage to explore the world of Nemo and his underwater friends.
  • “it’s a small world”: Woody, Jessie and Bullseye from “Toy Story” are among the many toys and dolls found in this classic attraction.
  • Character encounters with Pixar pals: Guests can continue to meet Merida from “Brave” in Fantasyland and Woody and Jessie from “Toy Story” in Frontierland.
  • “Fantasmic!”: Favorite Pixar characters appear in the finale of “Fantasmic!” nightly on the Rivers of America.

At Disney California Adventure

  • Cars Land: Guests step into the world of Radiator Springs with three attractions plus themed shopping and dining locations across 12 acres.
  • Toy Story Mania!: Guests shrink to the size of toys and take aim at objects to score points in 4D midway-inspired carnival games hosted by the characters from the “Toy Story” films.
  • “a bug’s land”: Shrinking to the size of a bug, guests experience this story through family-friendly attractions.
  • Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!: Guests take a wild taxi ride through Monstropolis with Mike and Sulley as they search for their lost human friend, Boo.
  • Turtle Talk with Crush: Crush, the sea turtle from “Finding Nemo,” interacts with guests in live, real-time, animated conversations.
  • “World of Color”: Characters from “Finding Nemo,” “WALL-E,” “Toy Story,” “Up” and “a bug’s life” appear in this nighttime water spectacular which combines animation, music, lights and color with more than 1,200 fountains.
  • DJ’s Dance ‘n Drive: Interactive dance party in Cars Land invites guests to move to the music.

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About the Disneyland Resort

The Disneyland Resort features two spectacular theme parks – Disneyland (the original Disney theme park) and Disney California Adventure Park – plus three hotels and the Downtown Disney District, comprising unique dining, entertainment and shopping experiences. The Resort’s hotels are the luxurious, 948-room Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, which also features 50 two-bedroom equivalent Disney Vacation Club units; the magical, 973-room Disneyland Hotel – both AAA Four Diamond properties – and the 481-room Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel with its “day-at-the-beach” theme. For information on attractions and vacations at the Disneyland Resort, visit Disneyland.com, call (866) 43-DISNEY or contact local travel agents. Located in Anaheim, Calif., the Disneyland Resort opened July 17, 1955. Open daily, year-round.

About Pixar Animation Studios

Pixar Animation Studios, a wholly owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is an Academy Award®-winning film studio with world-renowned technical, creative and production capabilities in the art of computer animation.  The Northern California studio has created some of the most successful and beloved animated films of all time, including “Toy Story,” “Monsters, Inc.,” “Cars,” “The Incredibles,” “Ratatouille,” “WALL•E,” “Up,” “Toy Story 3,” “Brave,” and “Inside Out.” Its movies have won 32 Academy Awards® and have grossed more than $10 billion at the worldwide box office to date. “Coco,” Pixar’s 19th feature, opens in theaters on November 22, 2017.




6 Absolute Must-See’s in San Francisco That are FREE!

Free Things San Francisco

A visit to San Francisco can be exciting, exhausting and full of some really neat things to see and do. It can also be expensive depending where you are visiting from. Did you know that many of the greatest parts of San Francisco can be seen for free? San Francisco is home to a little bit of everything – and you might as well see as much as you can when you get there!

Sea Lions on Fisherman’s Wharf

Photo Credit: WallyG via Flickr

The sea of sea lions camped out on PIER 39 are boisterous and loud but definitely a sight to see!  The sea lions haven’t always been there. The began taking over the dock in January 1990 shortly after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. At first they numbered less than 50, but due to a plentiful herring supply, available space and the pier’s protected environment, the population grew to more than 300 within a few months. In the winter, the population can increase to 900 (mostly males). During the summer months, the sea lions migrate south to the Channel Islands for breeding, but in recent years a small group stays year-round.

The nearby Sea Lion Center (also free) is a hub for all things sea lion, including interactive displays, educational videos and many fascinating presentations led by Aquarium of the Bay Naturalists. Touch a sea lion pelt, size yourself up next to a real sea lion skeleton and more.

Cable Car Museum

The Cable Car Museum was established in 1974. It is operated by the Friends of the Cable Car Museum as a nonprofit educational facility. The museum is free and is located in the Nob Hill neighborhood of San Francisco,

Located in the historic Washington/Mason cable car barn and powerhouse, the museum deck overlooks the huge engines and winding wheels that pull the cables. Downstairs is a viewing area of the large sheaves and cable line entering the building through the channel under the street. On display are various mechanical devices such as grips, track, cable, brake mechanisms, tools, detailed models, and a large collection of historic photographs.

The museum houses three antique cable cars from the 1870s. The Sutter Street Railway No. 46 grip car & No. 54 trailer and the only surviving car from the first cable car company, the Clay Street Hill Railroad No. 8 grip car. The museum store offers a variety of cable car memorabilia, books, clothing, cards and even genuine cable car bells!

Chinatown

Photo Credit: F Towery via Flickr

San Francisco Chinatown is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia as well as the oldest Chinatown in North America. It is one of the top tourist attractions in San Francisco and covers 24 city blocks. It’s easy to spend a day (or more) here, exploring the streets and alleys, browsing the shops and enjoying the authentic Chinese food. More people visit Chinatown annually than the Golden Gate Bridge.

Chinatown is where the village of Yerba Buena, later to be San Francisco, started. Portsmouth Square had the first houses in the city and Grant Avenue was San Francisco’s first street. When gold was discovered in the mid-1800’s, the rush to dig for gold brought thousands to the area, including many Chinese, who settle there. 

What is now Chinatown became a crowded and crime-ridden district for many years, due to a number of factors (too much gold, too few women, corrupt government officials, housing and immigration restrictions on the Chinese, etc.). The entire area was destroyed in the fire that followed the 1906 earthquake.  

The two main holidays celebrated in San Francisco’s Chinatown are Chinese New Year, in February, and the Autumn Moon Festival in mid-September.

Chinese New Year is an extremely festive time of year in San Francisco’s Chinatown, accompanied by a massive parade attracting a million viewers, along with a number of other events, including a street fair, and mountains of fireworks.

Haight Ashbury

Are you a hippie at heart? The birthplace of the 1960’s counterculture movement, Haight-Ashbury draws a lively, diverse crowd looking to soak up the historic hippie vibe. Upper Haight Street is a hodgepodge of vintage clothing boutiques, record shops, bookstores, dive bars and casual, eclectic restaurants. Bordering Golden Gate Park, the neighborhood features many colorful, well-preserved Victorian homes, including the storied Grateful Dead House and the house that Janis Joplin lived in.

Lombard Street

Photo Credit: traveljunction.com via Flickr

Known as the “Crookedest Street in the World,” Lombard Street is one of San Francisco’s most popular landmarks. Every year, hundreds of thousands of visitors walk or drive down its eight sharp hairpin turns. Surrounded by Russian Hill mansions and perfectly manicured landscaping and flowers, it is also one of the city’s most scenic streets. Take a spectacular photo at the bottom of the curvy portion looking up or enjoy the breathtaking view from the top looking out onto the San Francisco Bay and the Bay Bridge. Although it’s a steep walk up Lombard Street, visiting doesn’t take a lot of time.

Mission Mural Walk

Photo Credit: SFGate.com

Spending the day in the Mission District offers you a chance to see the oldest building in San Francisco as well as dozens of colorful outdoor murals. A self-guided walking tour allows you to see most of the colorful district in one day.

Seeing the area does involve a lot of walking. However, the neighborhood is flat so the walking is easy. There are also cafes and restaurants along the way where you can stop, rest and snack.

The San Francisco Mission houses more than 50% of the city’s colorful street murals. You can find more than a dozen of them in Clarion Alley alone. The murals here range from political events to pieces about the changes happening in this neighborhood.

You will find another large concentration of Mission murals on Balmy Street. Many people refer to these as the “Balmy Alley Murals” since Balmy Street is more of an alley than an actual street. Included here are political murals as well as religious and fun San Francisco based murals. This area also has a few funky 3-D murals too!