Photo attribution: Beyonce: By Jen Keys (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons Solange: Flickr/Creative Commons/ultra 5280/Via/

Photo attribution:
Beyonce: By Jen Keys (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Solange: Flickr/Creative Commons/ultra 5280/Via/

Behind every shining star is a doting, loving family member who would snatch that crown off her head in a second. Now, we’re not saying San Francisco resents her sister city Paris, but people brag about The City of Lights in a way that just invites an eye roll from any sibling. You might even say that Paris is the Beyoncé to San Francisco’s Solange. We do. Paris is elegant, fierce, and makes you feel drunk in love. San Francisco is youthful, sassy, and unpredictable. In a hypothetical elevator brawl, San Fran is swinging while Paris stands back and shoots a look that says “Knock it off, boo boo. I look too good in my €10,000 dress to break a nail.” In this installment of the Sister City series, we bring you what could be considered the coup de grâce: Paris and its sister city, San Francisco.

Carbs and New Creations: Good Eats from Paris to San Francisco 

Body- close up of two french style crepes, shallow dof. Some ingredients in the background

Paris food delivers both the salty and the sweet, a la Beyoncé. The more carbs the better; this city believes every woman should have a few curves reminiscent of Yoncé. Nosh on chocolate croissants, strawberry crepes, macarons, and baguette sandwiches teeming with artisan cheese. Eat up, bebes. Wash it all down with an espresso at a breezy Parisian café patio. Just like Beyoncé and her fellow Destiny’s Child-ren, this city caters to you.

Solange has made it clear that she doesn’t want her identity to be inextricably linked to her big sis. Much like her vibe screams “independent spirit,” San Francisco’s food culture doesn’t try to compete with Parisian cuisine, it dances to its own gastronomy drummer. Once upon a time someone mixed spinach, eggs, and ground beef in a skillet and called it dinner. These days, the dish is called Joe’s Special and it shows up on menus across the city. San Francisco is often at the forefront of food trends, including Asian fusion and other creative concoctions.

Famous Sights on Center Stage From San Francisco to Paris 

Body- Eiffel Tower, symbol of Paris

Both San Francisco and Paris make sister cities look good. Paris is replete with landmarks, from museums housed in former palaces to stunning cathedrals. Many Parisian places of note are historic, blending seamlessly into the otherwise chic landscape of the city. Just like Beyoncé is able to marry diamonds with untamed hair in a single look, Paris presents centuries-old monuments and trendy boutiques in a single square mile. Shop your way down the famed Champs-Elysees, at the end of which you’ll be met with the historic Arc de Triomphe. Visit The Louvre Museum, and upon exiting browse the underground collection of shops. Of course, you must also pay tribute to the famous tower, but we’ll get to that.

If Paris sights are chic and long-standing, San Francisco attractions are colorful and diverse. Solange is lively, and so are the most appealing landmarks and places in San Francisco. Take the bright red Golden Gate Bridge, for example. Some might say it’s trying too hard, but one thing is for sure: You can’t miss it. Fisherman’s Wharf is home to Pier 39, where you can indulge in a happy hour, spend some cash at the shops, and stop for a minute in front of street performers. Yes, like Solange, San Francisco still does small shows as well as big affairs. Also worth a mention: The Chinatown in SF is the largest of its kind on the continent.

Get a Move On in Paris and SF 

Body- San francisco Hyde Street Cable Car Tram of the Powell-Hyde in California USA

In a very Bey way, Paris hits you with more than you know what to do with. In this case, we’re talking about transportation: subway, tramway, bus, cabs, and private cars. Boom, if you need it, Paris has it. It’s like seeing Bey on stage with a wind machine, killer leather outfit, glitter makeup, and 10 fabulous backup dancers. It’s almost…too much, but all very necessary. Whereas Solange would get along great in San Francisco. She seems to enjoy changing her address a lot, and San Fran has a bevy of public transportation to get a girl like her from place to place. The Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) system connects San Francisco with East Bay cities, and you can also use it to get around within the city or to the San Francisco International Airport (SFO). The cable cars in Paris of the West have three routes. Hop on if you want to experience a breeze through your hair on your ride. 

One Thing You Can’t Miss 

Body- Conservatory of Flowers, San Francisco

Visiting Grand Paris and ignoring the Eiffel Tower is practically sacrilegious. The tower sparkles like a pop star every night, its tapestry of tiny lights glowing like sequins. In the morning sun, La Tour Eiffel is just as dazzling. No, they don’t polish it overnight. Much like Queen Bey, it woke up like this.

In San Francisco, the view from Hawk Hill is unparalleled. The peak sits inside the Golden Gate National Recreation area, and bird lovers go cuckoo for the raptor migration sightings here. All visitors, however, can appreciate the panoramic scenes of the Golden Gate Bridge and the ocean. The weather here, like Solange’s sassy temperament, doesn’t always align with local climate. Bring a jacket when you visit this grassy Knowles.

From the capital of France to the west coast of California, you will find no two destinations quite like Paris and San Francisco. Sister cities with equal charm and personality, this geographic partnership has a bond as strong as one forged by Tina and Mathew Knowles. Whether your journey takes you from SFO to CDG or from CDG to SFO, you’re in for a vacation worthy of Queen Bey’s approval.