100 things I love about the Bay Area

I recently discovered a blog about living in France and it’s become a slight obsession of mine. One thing I DISLIKE about living at the western edge of the world map is the distance from Europe and everything I love about Europe, so when the writer posted a list of 100 things she loved about living in France, I got a bit nostalgic and sad (and grumpy). And then I realized that, whilst there’s a dearth of baguette and sunflowers around here, the Bay Area is maybe the best place in the entire world to live – it’s definitely the place I’ve been happiest. So I thought I’d write a list of 100 things I love about living here.

Some things may not be specific to the Bay Area – food or shops etc. But this is the only place I’ve lived in the US, so for me, it’s all part of the Bay Area experience.

Here we go.

  1. Our friends!
  2. The people!
  3. The weather!
  4. The Pacific Ocean
  5. The proximity to Hawaii
  6. San Francisco
  7. Sausalito
  8. Lappert’s ice-cream
  9. The Bay Trail
  10. The redwood forests

huddart redwoods

  1. My church
  2. Polite, respectful young people
  3. Being where all the cool stuff happens
  4. Teslas being as common as Nissans
  5. Hummingbirds
  6. Pelicans
  7. Jackrabbits
  8. Red Velvet Cake
  9. Vegetarianism being completely normal.


  1. Shane Company adverts on the radio
  2. The fog tsunamis
  3. Target
  4. Everyone being so ridiculously clever.
  5. Netflix
  6. Ranchos Huevos
  7. Watching the San Jose Sharks
  8. Eucalyptus trees.
  9. Having a pool.
  10. Brunch at Nini’s in Burlingame
  1. Ice-flowers
  2. REI
  3. Baby ducks outside our house
  4. Running in Huddart Park.
  5. Access to Tahoe.
  6. The Golden Gate Bridge
  7. 101cookbooks.com
  8. Apple Hill Harvest time
  9. My job!
  10. Cycling Canada Road
Lunch, Apple Hill style
Lunch, Apple Hill style
  1. Agapanthus season.
  2. Smitten Ice-Cream.
  3. The Cantor Center for Visual Arts in Palo Alto
  4. Its cafe!
  5. Wholefoods
  6. Camping in a good climate
  7. The Warming Hut on Crissy Field
  8. Night herons
  9. Pillar Point Harbor’s secret beach.
  10. The ability to race every single weekend.  

us family camping

  1. Jasmine season.
  2. Skiing four hours away (with no traffic)
  3. The view of the GGB peeking out above the fog from Hawk Hill.
  4. Cupcakes from Vanilla Moon in San Carlos.
  5. The steam trains at Roaring Camp.
  6. parkrun Crissy Field.
  7. The lack of humidity
  8. Green Apple Books
  9. Filoli Gardens and lunch in the cafe with the snooty volunteers
  10. Diversity

skiing squaw

  1. The Ferry Building clock tower.
  2. Santa Barbara six hours away.
  3. San Gregorio State Beach.
  4. Fish and Chips at Whale City Bakery & Grill, Davenport
  5. The Oakland Museum of California.
  6. Bonfire Night on Muir Beach.
  7. Sparkling wine on the terrace at Artesa in Sonoma
  8. The fear of mountain lions.
  9. The Iron Horse trail
  10. FINALLY having brown legs.
  1. Coffee from Zombie Runner in Palo Alto.
  2. A culture of acceptance
  3. San Francisco Running Company
  4. Big Basin State Park
  5. The Hikers’ Hut at Memorial State Park.
  6. Gold Country.
  7. The Picnic Basket in Santa Cruz.
  8. The view from the terrace at Sterling Vineyards.
  9. Uber.
  10. Food trucks
The Hikers Hut
The Hikers Hut
  1. Scoop Microcreamery in Palo Alto.
  2. Can-do attitudes.
  3. Rainbow coloured houses in San Francisco
  4. Fleet Week.
  5. Cabins (in the mountains)
  6. Succulents!
  7. The 280 motorway
  8. Living in flip-flops
  9. Cutting down Christmas Trees in Half Moon Bay
  10. Banana slugs


  1. Plant Cafe in Burlingame.
  2. The Stars and Stripes
  3. How every house in a street is different.
  4. Californian wine
  5. Halloween, US-style!
  6. Free parking in town centres
  7. The green hobbit hills in the East Bay after the winter rains.
  8. Black Bear Diners
  9. Bus companies called TART and FART
  10. Thanksgiving

rwc2 dude me stroller

  1. Pumpkin Patches.
  2. Hot Apple Cider
  3. The trail running culture
  4. Kara’s Cupcakes.
  5. Michelle and Barack.
  6. Farmers Markets
  7. Hustle
  8. $2 Target gloves for winter running
  9. Bay to Breakers 
  10. The lack of clique-y-ness

Tomatoes vegetables market

So there you have it. Things I love about this part of the world! Super-grateful to live here!

18 Comments Add yours

  1. Bean says:

    I love this….and may be copycatting in the near future! It also makes me very excited to spend some time in Cali!

    1. Cathryn says:

      I’m so glad you liked it – feel free to copycat!! I cannot wait to see you – i’m actually having to actively NOT think about it because I’d be too excited.

      1. Bean says:

        I am so excited too! Official countdown has begun!

  2. Layla says:

    Okay, this is just fantastic. Thank you for posting it — and for reminding me that I’ve spent my entire life in California but haven’t seen all the things you have (need to remedy some of that). But I can proudly claim that I was going to the Black Bear Diner long before there was more than one of them. 🙂

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thank you, I’m so glad you enjoyed it. You’ve spent your life somewhere incredibly special. Where have you not yet been? And I always think of you when we go to the black bear diner 😉

      1. Layla says:

        I probably haven’t been to at least a quarter of your list, or perhaps half — including cycling Canada Road, Apple Hill, or ANY of the ice cream shops you mentioned!

      2. Cathryn says:

        1) Smitten 2) Scoop. 3) Lappert’s. (Unmentioned bonus: Humphry Slocombe in the Mission)

  3. Jenny says:

    I especially love your list because it brought back so many memories of our time with you!

    1. Cathryn says:

      I know! It’s like a list of all the cool things we’ve done! Mwah xxx

  4. Jen says:

    Shane company ads? Really?? 😉

    1. Cathryn says:

      Come on, don’t YOU want a friend in the diamond business?

  5. Nic J says:

    Wow! Makes me want to relocate right now! Can’t beat a good old bit of gladness! Xx

  6. Louise says:

    Sat reading this while in rainy Leicestershire. Googling flights now… LOVE that you have been/are so happy there – and mostly jealous of your brown legs! Xxxx

    1. Cathryn says:

      I LOVE my brown legs. I have totally made peace with them being sturdy. Every time I look down at brown legs it makes me so happy.

  7. gracechua31 says:

    🙂 I’ve never lived in the Bay Area, but I’ve visited a fair bit, and it is an excellent place – even the little piece of the SF bubble that I’ve seen!

    1. Cathryn says:

      It is a pretty spectacular bubble.

  8. aleksruns says:

    My eyes immediately zeroed in on “Coffee from Zombie Runner” – I’m going there for the first time ever this weekend and will definitely try the coffee (along with lots of trail shoes, I hope)!

    1. Cathryn says:

      It’s a great shop but the coffee is REALLY good!

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