A couple weeks ago Robin and I were walking around Stow Lake, our favorite part of Golden Gate Park. In one area there’s a waterfall and around the corner, a Chinese Pavillon. I suddenly realized that if you didn’t know that waterfall was in the middle of San Francisco, it could pass for being in Thailand, or Bali. That Pavillon could easily pass for being in a beautiful Chinese garden instead of America. That’s when we were inspired to start a new photo project about San Francisco, the Chameleon City.
We made a list of all the places around the city that we thought could pass as somewhere else in the world. We narrowed it down to our top favorite 8 locations and created a photo for each spot. Over the course of the next 8 days, I’ll be sharing one photo a day on Instagram. It’s been a lot of fun working on this series and I can’t wait to share each photo with you! I’ll be updating this blog post each day with the new photo I share on Instagram.
So, if you want to follow along with this series, make sure to follow @TheWhimsySoul and turn on post notifications so you can catch each part of the series!
The Redwoods… or San Francisco? Did you know there is a patch of Redwoods within the San Francisco Botanical Garden? 🌲 This photo is kicking off an 8-day photo series — San Francisco, the Chameleon City. There are a lot of corners of SF that could totally pass as different spots in the world. Over the course of the next 8 days, we’ll be taking you all across the globe… but within San Francisco. 😝This city is such a hodge-podge of cultures, I’m so excited to share all the amazing corners of this city & hopefully make you fall in love with it like I am! ❤️ Tomorrow, I’m taking you to….🇨🇳 #SFChameleonCity #whimsysoultravels #redwoods #sfbotanicalgardens #onlyinsf
China …. or San Francisco? 🇨🇳 This Chinese Pavillion is a hidden gem on the banks of Stow Lake. Right after we snapped this photo, an elderly woman walked up and started doing her morning exercises in the pagoda. I love that it gets actively used for prayer, exercise and all sort of gatherings. ❤️ #SFChameleonCity #whimsysoultravels #onlyinsf
The Netherlands…or San Francisco? If you venture out to the West side of the city, you’ll find two windmills on their side of the Golden Gate Park! 💨 They were originally installed to help pump water to help build the park and other structures in the city. They aren’t operational anymore, but are still incredibly beautiful, especially when all the tulips are in bloom (like right now!) I recommend visiting at golden hour on a clear/sunny evening. Afterward, walk across the street to Ocean Beach to catch the sunset!! #SFChameleonCity #GoldenGatePark #windmills #onlyinsf⠀
Paris…. or San Francisco? This house is just a block North of Alamo Square and has major France vibes! I love all the different architectural style of houses in this city, but this is the only one that makes me feel like it was originally built in Paris. Make sure to check it out next time you visit the Painted Ladies! 🇫🇷 🏠 // psstt – shop this dress and purse right here! http://liketk.it/2x34J #liketkit @liketoknow.it #SFChameleonCity #Paris
Iran… or San Francisco? 🇮🇷 I was giddy to discover this theater on Geary Street that looks a bit like a mosque! 😍 I've been having a blast sharing my #SFChameleonCity photo series with you! If you don't know what I'm talking about, go check out that hashtag! I have three more photos to share, so hold onto your butts, because I'll be taking you to 🇮🇩🇮🇹🇯🇵 ✈️ #iran #whimsysoultravels #onlyinsf
Japan… or San Francisco? The Japanese Tea Garden makes you feel like you were magically transported to the other side if the world. It’s hard to believe that just outside this garden is a bustling city. I have this garden on the blog today! Pop over to the link in my bio to learn the hack for entering for free (usually it’s $9!) & other tips for visiting! 🇯🇵 #SFChameleoncity #japaneseteagarden
Bali… or San Francisco? This waterfall at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park feels like it shouldn't belong in the city, because it's always so misty and tropical feeling. We take a lot of walks around this area & this waterfall is always my favorite part! ❤️ // Having so much fun sharing all these #SFChameleonCity photos with you! Tomorrow is the last day, I'll be taking you to a city I lived in for 5 months… any guesses?? #whimsysoultravels #whimsysoul #onlyinsf
Rome… or San Francisco? The Palace Of Fine Arts in SF gives me MAJOR Roma vibes. At times it looks SO much like the Roman Forum, the ancient ruins that sit next to the Colosseum. 🇮🇹🏛 Did you know I studied abroad in Rome while in college? I lived a few blocks away from the Vatican. It happened to be the Spring when the pope resigned (which hasn't happened in over 600 years) and the Cardinals had to pick a new pope. People from all over the world came to the city to be present for the conclave. All the cardinals gather in the Sistine Chapel and basically stay there until they pick a new pope. To communicate with the outside world, they burn special papers. Black smoke means they still haven't settled on someone, but white smoke means they did. The night that Papa Francesco was voted in came as a surprise, as most people thought it would be the next day that the conclave would end. Thankfully we had the news on and one of my roommates noticed that the smoke was white this time. I had my shoes on already – I remember grabbing my keys and running with my roommates to the Vatican. Within a block or two, other people in the city join us running and the closer we got to the Vatican, even more people were running in the streets. Probably only 20 minutes passed since the white smoke appeared but St. Peter's Square was PACKED. It felt like what I think the World Cup probably feels like — people from all over the world with their country flags, cheering and hoping their cardinal will be the new pope. When the Cardinals and Papa Francesco emerged on the balcony, the plaza erupted with cheering. I'm not a very religious person, but that night was one of my most favorite memories while living in Rome. I highly recommend you visit Italy one day! Especially Roma, my seconds home-a. #sfchameleoncity #onlyinsf #rome #romanforum