By Roman (Germany), CISL SF student

Stanford University CampusSan Francisco is an amazing city and there are a lot of great things to see and do. But if you stay in the city for longer than a month, you should also discover other places in the Bay Area. Today I will recommend some places to go.

Stanford University

Named after Leland Stanford Junior, this is one of the most prestigious universities in the United States. The campus in Palo Alto, just south of San Francisco, is probably one of the most beauti­ful in the world. The Stanford campus doesn’t seem like a university campus. If you go there, you will feel like you are visiting a big park. And this “park” offers a lot of interesting facilities, like the Memorial Church, the Cantor Arts Center, and Stanford Stadium. This makes Stanford not only interesting as a university, but also a great place to visit a museum or to see a Stanford Cardinal football game.


Oakland, CaliforniaThe city on the other side of the bay doesn’t have a very good reputation. Oakland is known as a city with economic problems and a high crime rate. Even though I had heard things like this before, I decided to go there and discover this city. The downtown area of Oakland is not very spectacular but it’s nice. If you go to Chinatown, you will see fewer tourist places than in San Francisco, but more authentic Chi­nese stores and restaurants. Meanwhile, Broadway and Telegraph Avenue are very interesting streets for people who are interested in architecture, because of their beautiful art deco buildings. My advice for your visit: Take a ferry from San Francisco and you will arrive near Jack London Square, a entertainment area with a lot of restaurants on the waterfront.

Sonoma Valley

Located just north of San Francisco, Sonoma Valley and Napa Valley are the most popular wine ar­eas in northern California. A lot of the local wineries are worth a visit because of their nice landscapes and, of course, because of their very good wine. Most of the places offer special deals for wine tastings, which means you can try a lot of different wines and learn how to taste them. I visited four different wineries in one day on a guided bus tour. My favorite place was Cline Cellars, a very nice vineyard near the city of Sonoma. Cline Cellars offers a big variety of white and red wines, and while visiting you can also learn something about Californian histo­ry, because this place used to be a Mission, a relic of the Spanish colonization of California.

These are only three places out of many, and even in these places there are a lot more things to do than I could mention here. But now you know some interesting spots outside of San Francisco and you can go on to discover the wonderful Bay Area.