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Your Local Guide
My name is Phil Siegel and I am originally from outside Detroit Michigan. My love of travel began in high school, when I was an exchange student in Sweden. Between then and now, I have built up a travel resume of cities all over the US, Europe, and Asia. (Australia is my next frontier). I have called San Francisco my home base since 1983. What I find so special about the city is the open, caring and cooperative feeling that the city offers. No matter how bad a day gets, I can just drive to the top of Twin Peaks or across the Golden Gate Bridge and get a view of the city and it automatically revives me. In 2013 I got married to my husband David who is from Barcelona. As an international family, it presented a challenge to decide which city we should live in – the most gorgeous exciting city in the US or the most beautiful and exciting city in Europe. The decision was easy – we live in both cities. I spend much of the year as a guide for Extranomical in SF, Yosemite, Muir Woods, Monterey and the wine country. The other parts of the year, you can find me giving walking tours around the streets of Barcelona. So if you miss one of my tours in the Bay Area, maybe I will see you in Spain.
Trips Guided by Phil
- 1) Eating Burmese food at Mandalay restaurant - This is the most unusual and wonderful restaurants to experience in SF. The flavors and textures are different from any of the other (delicious) Asian cuisines. Don’t forget to try the Tea Leaf Salad.
- 2) Picnic in Dolores park on a sunny afternoon - There is not a better place in the city to people watch or get a tan. And the view of downtown from the top of the hill is unparalleled.
- 3) People watching at a north beach cafe - Just listening to the number of different languages that pass by makes you realize that you are in the center of one of the most diverse cities in North America. Any of the cafes and restaurants offer Italian comfort food at its best.
- 4) Seeing beach blanket Babylon - Beach Blanket is the longest running cabaret show in North America — over 40 years. The premise is that Snow White goes around the world looking for love and along the way meets everyone that is in the news. With 10’ tall hats and hysterical lyrics the show changes every day and is unique to San Francisco.
- 5) Watching the lights on the bay bridge from the Embarcadero at night - The Golden Gate Bridge gets all the (well deserved) attention, but is little sister just got dolled up with computerized lights that dance all night long. Not to be missed.
- 6) Strolling along ocean beach at sunset - who can resist a pink and orange sunset over a one-mile stretch of beach. This needs to be timed to be experienced when the fog is not around.
- 7) Hiking around angel island on the 5 mile trail - One of the unknown delights of the city is Angel Island, a former processing center for new immigrants to SF. Today it is a huge wilderness that boast views of SF, Marin and Alameda counties from this great hiking trail.
- 8) Seeing Muir woods at 8 am before the crowds - The experience of Muir Woods is best in silence. Very few people know that if you come early, no one is around and you can have the trees to yourself.
- 9) Watching the fog roll over the city any summer afternoon from treasure island - The man-made island in the middle of the bay was supposed to be the site of the international airport before it became a WWII navy base. It boasts one of the most romantic view of the SF skyline.
- 10) Attending any neighborhood street fair - All summer long, there are street fairs and festivals all over San Francisco. Whether you want to hear Jazz at the Fillmore Fair, or eat amazing Mexican food at the Mission street Fair or watch the kooks at the Haight Street fail, there is always an urban party somewhere all summer.