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Your Local Guide
Hi, my name is Ben Koss and I am happy to be a part of the Extranomical Team. Prior to Extranomical, I was leading groups of young people on cross-country and regional camping trips all around North America, some of which include - Grand Canyon, Canadian Rockies, New Orleans, New York, etc. This was a seasonal work, which allowed me time to travel to great places like the Himalayas, Patagonia, Eastern Europe, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia. While over in Asia, I decided to stay in one place for a while and began teaching English in South Korea. It was a great experience over in the land of the morning calm, but being in a foreign country or constantly on the move year after year was catching up with me, so I returned to the West Coast. I have lived my entire life on the west coast, spending the past six years in San Francisco. For all six years I have been a driver and guide with Extranomical Tours. When not behind the wheel there is a good chance you will find me running on some of the epic trails and mountains of northern California. From Mt. Tamalpais just north of the Golden Gate Bridge to the high sierras of Lake Tahoe and Yosemite. With all that running it works up a big appetite. I enjoy sampling the wide variety of food in the city from dim sum to burritos. And checking out all the new microbreweries is a great way to see the city as well. I am also and avid traveler and sports fan.
Trips Guided by Ben
- 1) Walk the Land's End trail - walk the Lands End trail from Ocean Beach to the Golden Gate Bridge. Look for humpback whales and climb on the old military batteries above Baker Beach.
- 2) Check out the Top of the Mark - if you want a classier environment, with pricier drinks. Check out the Top of the Mark bar at the Mark Hopkins hotel in Nob Hill. Killer views. Same with the bar at the top of The Marriott Marquee on 4th st.
- 3) Wander around North Beach - North Beach is my favorite neighborhood in the city. Great oysters, cioppino, soto mare, coffee, and pastries at Cafe Trieste, and drink in one of Jack Kerouac's old haunts, Vesuvio.
- 4) Check out the AT&T Stadium - go to a SF Giants baseball game. Great views. Try the Garlic fries.
- 5) Go on a road trip - Road trip! head North to Pt. Reyes on Highway 1. A beautiful drive North across the Golden Gate Bridge will lead you along coastal Bluffs to Pt. Reyes 60 minutes north. There are a couple quaint small towns, but the park is the real highlight. You can drive all the way to the light house where there are amazing ocean views and endless white sand beaches with crashing waves. Abundant wildlife also, Deer, Coyote, Bobcat even MT. Lion. I like this trip best on a sunny winter day when all the hills are green.
- 6) Take a ferry to the Angel Island - most locals don't even get there. It's overshadowed by that small island, the one that used to be a prison, but Angel island is a slice of paradise in the Bay. Miles of hiking trails await. They also have bikes for rent. Grab the morning ferry from pier 41. It could be the highlight of your trip.
- 7) Stroll through the Farmer's Market - Saturday Farmers Market at the Ferry Building. Lots of local produce, cheese, coffee and vendors. After buying your carrots and arugula, have a burger at Gott's.
- 8) Go to the top of Mt. Tamalpais - go to the Top of Mt. Tamalpais, preferably by foot, not car for 360 degree views of the Bay Area. When it's cloudy in the city, it's always sunny on the top of Tam! Bonus points for going over to Ridgecrest Boulevard - the most beautiful mile of road in northern California.
- 9) Visit a museum - if the weather isn't cooperating go to a museum, The new MOMA is fantastic or the academy of sciences will keep you entertained and occupied for hours.
- 10) Grab some local beer - if you're 21 or older and like a cold beer in a unique local environment go to Zeitgeist. Voted best bar in the City. 80 beers o tap, huge outdoor patio. If you really want to fit in there's a tattoo parlor next door. Go there first!