7 Reasons I (Kind of) Hate San Francisco
 
San Francisco

7 Reasons I (Kind of) Hate San Francisco

If I had a dollar for every time someone told me San Francisco was his or her favorite city in the United States, I could retire comfortably, like, yesterday. The backdrop to ubiquitous 90’s sitcom Full House, San Francisco’s image in popular culture is just as overwhelmingly positive as its reputation among travelers.

I took my fifth trip to the fabled “City by the Bay” a few weeks ago, and I was shocked, upon arriving to the boarding gate for my flight back to Austin, how relieved I felt to be leaving, the personal circumstances of said trip notwithstanding: I kind of hate San Francisco.

Here’s why!

1. The novelty wears off quickly

Hills, row houses and the Golden Gate Bridge, oh my! Part of why I loved San Francisco so much the first time I visited, back in 2004, is because I felt so excited to see iconic sights such as these in flesh after years of having only experienced them via the ether. After a few trips, however, the charm I feel upon hopping onto a street car is no match for the shade the driver throws on me when I ask him to make change for a $5.

2. San Franciscans are rude and snobby

And in San Francisco, bad attitudes among public employees are just the beginning. Nearly everyone I’ve encountered in San Francisco has had some kind of chip on his or her shoulder, from waitresses, to Airbnb hosts, to random people I’ve met on the streets and asked for information. Remember that South Park episode RE: Prius-driving San Franciscans getting high on their own farts? It basically sums up my feelings on the matter.

3. It’s too cold!

With an average yearly temperature of just 59ºF (15ºC), San Francisco is just too fucking cold for me, which says nothing of the perpetual fog, lack of sunshine and cool breezes that tend to blow through. Yes, I know that San Francisco has “micro-climates,” that Oakland and Berkeley are warmer and that the cold is part of the experience. Whatever. Bite me.

4. It’s too expensive!

Pricing data for San Francisco isn’t as readily available as climate data, so in this instance I’m going to have to rely on anecdote, rather than hard facts. But whether you’re being sassed by a spiky-haired waitress at a pretentious breakfast joint, taking a scummy public bus across town or being levied a surcharge for an extra person in your Airbnb apartment, you’re going to pay significantly more than you would anywhere else in the U.S., a premium that may or may not actually be worth it.

5. San Francisco has a major homeless problem

I am not a classist person, and I don’t have an inherent problem with the homeless. But in many areas of San Francisco (I would actually argue most areas) there are more homeless than non-homeless. Now, I’m not sure if that’s to do with San Francisco’s consistent (if cold) climate, freeloader-catering public policy or some other factor of which I’m not aware. But if I’m going to pay $16 for a half-assed eggs benedict, I don’t wanna watch someone shit in public while eating it.

6. The rest of Northern California is much more pleasant

Whether you cross the Golden Gate to Sausalito, head south to bohemian Santa Cruz or drive inland to the Napa Valley, Northern California is a veritable paradise for travelers, which says nothing for the rest of the Golden State. If San Francisco were located in, say, Oklahoma, or South Carolina, I would probably like it more, because it would be the best thing around by a long shot. But part of why I find myself hating San Francisco, the more I travel there, is that it’s really not all that RE: California.

7. The personal circumstances of my last trip to San Francisco

Remember how I shrugged off the circumstances of my recent trip to San Francisco in the intro to this article? Well yeah, I can’t really shrug them off – San Francisco is where I said goodbye to the Australian boy I fell madly in love with when he was passing through Austin, a relationship whose cosmically-tragic unraveling I lamented in a recent blog post. I will forever associate the cold, expensive, homeless-infested streets of San Francisco with the fact that I may never see him again.

About The Author

is the author of 670 posts on Leave Your Daily Hell. Robert founded Leave Your Daily Hell in 2010 so that other travelers would have an entertaining, reliable source of information, advice and inspiration at their fingertips. Want to travel more often? Subscribe to email updates today!

 
 

  informs, inspires, entertains and empowers travelers like you. My name is Robert and I'm happy you're here!

 
 
 

Get Email Updates

Like what you're reading? Sign up to receive my weekly email newsletter – it's like a trip around the world to end every week!

Upcoming Trips

  • The Balkans August 24-September 13
  • Western USA Road Trip October 26-November 8
  • Costa Rica December 22-27
  • Panamá December 28-January 5
 
 
  • LeighG

    SRO Managers give people filthy & infested chairs.

  • smluca

    I’m so glad I came across this post. I loathe SF. Everything you said was ON POINT!!! Can we also talk about the fact of how people here hate people from LA? When I tell people I came from LA I am greeted with a sneer and a “I’m sorry.”
    Seriously?! Every time I came across someone who moved from SF to LA I never reacted that way! In fact, I was welcoming! The weather BLOWS (yes pun intended.) i miss my legit 76 degree weather where the sun feels so great on your skin! But here you are greeted with a 15 mph gust of wind that you feel all the way to your bones. If I hear the word micro-climate again I think I will scream!! For once I’d like to eat some ice cream outside when it is actually warm enough.
    I moved for my husband and believe me when I tell you I cry about moving here almost every day. I’m an extrovert who makes friends so easily (I’ve lived in various places around the world and made friends) but here – rudest people ever and completely pretentious! Even while living in LA I never met pretentious people – ever! Here they are everywhere. I am a part of a fashion group (and let me say I also think the women here are not pretty and no fashion style except for wearing black) and all they talk about are $100 t-shirts, $500 ballet flats, and $12k watches. WTF?!?
    SF and Karl the Fog I HATE you!

  • Swagkid 2000

    If Craigslist is any indication, this town that used to be at the center of true progressive values has become nothing but a center of elietest, snobby, snooty, racist, class separating clowns who care nothing about anything except what kind of wine do you drink and bouncing new tech ideas off of each other. I’m from NYC. I’m retired and have been thinking about going out there to hang out for a while, just to experience it cause I have always loved San Francisco, during the late 60’summer &
    70″s & even the 80’s, but that town has turned into the epitome of greed, classism, & snobbery. The Warriors basketball team deserve better to represent! I’ve taken my ad of craigslist to room with somebody. I would never want to live with these snobs. I think I’ll stay in my 3 bedroom house in the Poconos of Pennsylvania outside NY, where my mortgage is minniscule compared to a San Francisco studio apt that is the size of a shoebox!

    Oh San Francisco. What has become of my town?

  • How sad 🙁

  • Leigh Goodwin

    Interesting point.

  • Leigh Goodwin

    Sad.

  • Leigh Goodwin

    Hypnosis can help you forget (thank goodness), or at least come to positive, detaching terms of a nightmarish experience.

  • Leigh Goodwin

    Interesting post.

  • Leigh Goodwin

    Last paragraph really interesting.

  • Leigh Goodwin

    Deep quotation.

  • Leigh Goodwin

    @ 100 miles distance, with no helicopter or small aircraft, ain’t nobody going nowhere! It’ll be akin to sitting in what you make after all.

Previous post:

Next post: