Things To Pack For A Trip To Hiking San Francisco

San Francisco is an enticing place where people from all over the world gather throughout the year to experience the fun, the food, the folks, and everything else the place has to offer. It’s one beautiful city perched on top of strings of hills and remains one of the most enticing places for tourists and city dwellers alike. This melting pot of cultures remains bustling with businesses sprawling and providing more interesting activities and sceneries for everyone to enjoy year in and year out.

Many do not know, however, that there is another resident within the locality that is present all year round. Karl, the fog, envelops most of the city, bringing with it chilly winds even on summers. So, if you are planning to visit the place, it would be a smart thing to know the things that you need to pack for a trip to San Francisco.

As for the weather, San Francisco sometimes confuses travelers for the weather there is not like most places. You can not expect to have sunny summers and windy and cold winters all the time. It’s actually the other way around. Thus, you won’t see many people on the streets wearing shorts during summers as there could be unexpected rain showers during this season. September and October are usually warmer, while it can be rainy in January and February. There are also several temperature changes happening within the day, so you should be ready when an unexpected shower starts to fall on a seemingly warm day.

It’s one huge travel destination that you cannot explore for just a few days. It is necessary that you plan ahead to have an enjoyable and memorable experience, whether you are visiting the place alone, with your family, or with travel buddies. While exploring the city, it will be easy to pinpoint who are there for the first time or otherwise, nonetheless. If you don’t want to be mistaken as one, you should consider packing these items for your visit to SF.

Rain jacket

Average rainfall within the city may be quite deceiving as any changes in the Pacific Ocean will affect the temperature and there may be rain showers any time of the day. To enjoy your visit throughout the day or your trip it is a must that you bring with you a rain jacket. It will also help if you will list things that you can enjoy why it’s pouring or drizzling on the streets.


Did I mention that it can be drastically cold during summer time in the SF area? Many get disappointed with the sudden change or when they find out that the temperature is not what they expected. So, it is a smart decision to pack a sweater if you plan to visit the place during this period. Although there are many in the city’s attraction that offer merchandise that you can wear while on a visit if ever you fail to include this to your baggage, it will still be wise to bring a more personal and custom-fit item than wear one that you just bought from within the vicinity.


This is an accessory that has many other uses. It is also light to pack and will not need a lot of space. You can just actually wrap it around your neck and it will make the walk or the travel cozier.

Tights and leggings. Unless you visit SF area during the warm months, having or wearing tights or leggings will prove to be more suitable during the cold months when visiting San Francisco. Females can even wear it under the skirts or minis and look more fashion forward at the same time move about more effortlessly than having to wear a thick clothing while walking around the area.


It’s something that you would not want to leave out from your list. There so many inviting waters within the area, whether natural or man-made, and you would not want to miss out on all the fun. Bring a swimsuit with you and enjoy the waters as much as you can.

Sandals. There will be a lot of opportunities for you to walk around and explore the beach or walk around the hotel. Wearing sandals will be more comfortable when roaming around these places, especially if you come around those months when the sun is all up and the climate is warmer.

Comfortable shoes

A pair of sneakers that you can wear while walking, riding, or hiking within the area will make each moment more manageable. There are so many hills and plains that you can explore the area and go around with tight-fitting or uncomfortable heels will be hard on your feet and your body as well.


Wearing one will make the chilly days more acceptable and will allow you to enjoy the sceneries without having to worry about your hair getting messed up by the frequent winds.

Sarong. This piece of clothing can actually be turned into a picnic blanket, a shawl, towel, and more. Style-wise and functionality it is versatile. It is also lightweight and won’t take up much space on your luggage.


Unpredictable rain showers are common within the area. Unless you want to get soaked while roaming around, it is best to bring a two or three-fold umbrella.


You would never want to expose your skin to the harmful rays of the sun without any protection. You will need much of this, so make sure you bring a bottle of a full-protection sunscreen product. Just make sure that you choose one that has safe ingredients in it.

Water bottle

When you’re spending most of your time wandering around outdoors, carrying a water bottle for hiking is essential. Again, using an eco-friendly bottle instead of a disposable plastic one is par for the course in San Francisco, so pick up a stainless steel version before your trip.

Portable phone charger

Once you stepped into this beautiful city, you would want to keep mementos and keep track of all the things that you do while exploring its beauty. Keep a portable phone charger with you. You don’t want to have a drained phone battery when you are still halfway through the day.

Travel camera

You will be happy to snap a photo of every interesting places or activity that you do while in the SF area. It’s worth the time and effort. You can always go back in time through those memories that you have captured through the lens.


It’s good to have these, especially if you plan to hike up the steep hills within the area. You’ll see things clearer at different angles.

Energy bars

This keeps you powered up while on the go and want to have a more convenient and economical travel.

Reusable bags

I’m pretty sure you will find a lot of interesting souvenirs to keep or to bring for friends and relatives. Tuck them all up inside these bags.

When it comes to the dress to wear, casual is best suited most of the time. However, if you plan to visit high-end restaurants, you may want to call in first to verify if they do have a dress code.

In January, you may experience more than usual rain showers than any other months. It is also the chilliest month of the year. The place gets wet throughout the month up to near the end of February. March welcomes a lot of festivities. It is the time when the rainy season ends. April is the sunniest. For for sunny days and a lot of sunshine, visit the place in August. However, the coldest average times in the city would be from June to August. September is the warmest month and the driest in the year. November is the wettest month in SF area. December is in the rainy season and the place experiences lots of winter storms. It is also one of the coldest time of the year.

With all these said, we hope that you will have one of the most enjoyable trips to San Francisco

Haunted San Francisco—The Atherton House

There’s nothing ominous about the house that sits at 1990 California Street, overlooking the intersection of California and Octavia.  In fact, it’s got a sunny disposition, with a bright yellow coat of paint and blue accents.  So, it came as a surprise to find out the house is haunted.

When I think of haunted houses, images come to mind of dark, mysterious homes with peeling paint and shutters akimbo.  You know the ones.  Each neighborhood has one.  The place that everyone talks about, where old Mrs. So-and-So died with her 50 cats.

One of the ghosts of the Atherton House centers around such a character.  In 1923, Carrie Rousseau, a single woman, bought the house, which was in disrepair at the time, and converted it into multiple apartments.  Taking unit 13 for herself, Ms. Rousseau reserved the adjoining apartment for her 50 cats.  When she died in 1974, at the age of 93, her cats stood in attendance.

However, there were accounts of paranormal activity while Carrie Rousseau was still alive.  Several tenants reported instances of rushing winds, when there were no windows open, and others were awakened by knocks on doors in the middle of the night.  One tenant fled his tower apartment upon seeing an apparition floating through his room.  After learning about the tragic history of the original owners, the tenants assumed they were being haunted by the spirit of George Atherton.

In the late 1880’s, Dominga Atherton, following the death of her oppressive husband, moved her ineffectual son, George, and scandalous daughter-in-law, Gertrude, into San Francisco from their farmhouse down on the peninsula.  Both women ran the roost.  Dominga, an immigrant from Chile, had a fiery disposition.  Gertrude was uncommonly independent for women of the time, bringing scandal to the family by writing racy novels.  And then there was George, who “barely had initiative to tie his own shoes.”

One night, the family hosted a dinner for visiting Chilean sailors.  Over the course of the evening, the sailors encouraged George to join them on their journey back home, an offer he eagerly accepted.  But the next morning, he began to doubt his decision, until Gertrude stepped in—wanting her husband off her coattails for several months—and goaded George into going, telling him that the respectable thing for him to do would be to stay in San Francisco and find a job.  George practically fled to the ship, but mere days into the trip, he died from kidney failure.  His body was returned to the Atherton home, pickled in a barrel of rum.  When the butler pried open the barrel, he said, “I know he’ll haunt me for the rest of my days.”

But decades later, when famed psychic, Sylvia Brown, held a session in the Atherton House, she only sensed three female spirits, who “just don’t like men.”  “One keeps saying, ‘This is my dwelling,’” she said.  With no proclaimed knowledge of the previous owners, Brown went on to describe these spirits using details that fit Dominga, Gertrude, and Carrie.  Right before ending her session, Brown felt a male presence, a pale and frail spirit.  Poor George is ineffectual even in death.

This story got me wondering about other homes in San Francisco.  Many of them are old.  Most of them are well-maintained.  How many of them have equally haunting histories?  If I did some digging around about my own home, an old Victorian, what kind of sordid past would I dig up?  Maybe it’s best if I just leave those ghosts alone.

Haunted San Francisco–San Francisco Columbarium

“In the midst of life we are in death.”

Nowhere is this quote more poignant than in the San Francisco Columbarium, where it is inscribed beneath the stained glass window of an elegant woman.

The Columbarium, built in 1898, is the last fragment of a cemetery that once stretched for 167 acres into what is now the Inner Richmond neighborhood—a reminder that there were once numerous cemeteries within San Francisco, before pressure from city expansion forced officials to move all the bodies to Colma.  The Columbarium now stands majestically at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac, Loraine Court.  Its Neo-classical columns and patinaed copper dome tower over the nearby homes.

My reasons for visiting the San Francisco Columbarium were twofold.  A building devoted to housing cinerary urns—with over 8,000 niches lining four floors— was too interesting to pass up.  And the building is said to be haunted.

It has been reported that the caretaker, Emmitt Watson, speaks of the ghost of a little girl who haunts the building near the niche where her ashes remain sealed in her urn.  Another account tells of a woman who felt a hand on her back while visiting the Columbarium.  When she turned, no one was there, but a white hand print appeared on her shirt.

On my visit, I didn’t see a little girl’s ghost and I didn’t feel a hand on my back, though their accounts weighed on my mind.  However, I did experience a closeness to the departed that I’ve never felt in any cemetery.  Most of the niches in the round building are fronted with clear glass, granting full view of the urns, many dating back to the early 1900’s.  Most urns are brass; others are ornate porcelain.  One niche holds two ceramic Elvis Presley busts.  Several contain memorabilia exhibiting the interests and passions of those whose ashes are at rest: little figurines of cats and dogs, tiny bottles of vodka or whiskey, or favorite books.  The niches vary in size, some are large enough for an entire family, others are shoe-box size cubbyholes.  Empty niches, many of which are marked reserved, await Death’s next victims.

I went to the Columbarium in search of ghosts.  Though I didn’t encounter any, the closeness I felt to the deceased will haunt me forever.