Campus Life

Students Share Favorite Places to Take Their Parents

USF families explore San Francisco’s best spots

by Mary McInerney, USF News

A giant Ferris wheel, an island in San Francisco Bay, and an albino alligator are some of USF students’ favorite San Francisco things to share with their parents when they come to visit.

“I would take my parents to Angel Island, which is a short ferry ride from the city and a great way to spend an afternoon,” said Nikita Landfield ’26. “Pack a lunch and enjoy one of the many hikes around the island, with a view of the whole bay."

Himatpreet Buttar ’24 said her favorite place to visit with her family is Golden Gate Park, which is a short walk from the USF campus.

“My mom loved the Japanese tea garden; she loves being out in nature surrounded by plants and older architecture,” Buttar said. “My dad liked Cal Academy (of Sciences) because of the many new things he learned and saw, especially the albino alligator, Clyde. My sister loved the SkyStar ferris wheel even though she was scared at first but the sights from up there were breathtaking and beautiful to enjoy.”

Najashi Belcher ’24 recommends taking parents to Salt & Straw in nearby Pacific Heights to try some of their quirky flavors of ice cream, served in homemade waffle cones. Sample some goat cheese Marionberry habanero or maybe honey lavender while you’re there.

From there, consider heading to the Painted Ladies (also known as the “Full House” houses at Alamo Square) or Twin Peaks to take in the 360-degree views of San Francisco, the bay and the ocean, Belcher said. Both are a short drive from the USF campus.

And if you make advance reservations online, Belcher said, you can take a tour of Alcatraz with your parents.

Catherine Rivera ’24 has an entire itinerary for when her parents come to town.

“When my family visits, I love taking them to Lands End, Presidio Tunnel Tops, eating on Clement Street, the Marina District, and Hayes Valley,” she said.

Rivera also suggests checking out the Ferry Plaza Farmers’ Market, which happens every Saturday, Fisherman’s Wharf, and shopping downtown.