So you’ve decided to move to the golden coast, either to enjoy the waves of Los Angeles or the gorgeous views from the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Maybe the Bay Area is just calling out to you, with its artsy neighborhoods and Silicon Valley job opportunities. You heard the call way over on the other side of the United States, and now, here you are, moving to someplace like San Francisco to make a new home full of exciting adventures.

Congratulations. You’ve freed yourself from the frigid winters of New York City and opened yourself up to a golden new life. For hundreds of years, Western expansion has been prevalent in the United States, with pioneers heading across the country searching for greater fortunes and freedoms. You’re following a great tradition of hopefulness.

Once you’ve arrived in San Francisco, though, you may encounter a few challenges. First, you may not know how to find local businesses you love and trust in your new neighborhood. Everyone needs a local coffee shop, salon, and corner store where they know their name and feel comfortable. Whether it’s your local New York City deli or a Bay Area coffee shop, you feel truly at home when the local staff knows your name. And now, with COVID-19 social distancing regulations making you unable to leave your home, finding that perfect latte or pedicure is harder than ever. But it’s not impossible. Read on to learn about how to find yourself the perfect local manicure or vision care in San Francisco.

Ask your local barista about San Francisco’s cannabis culture.


One thing to know about the California culture before you step foot in San Francisco is that cannabis and its derivatives (CBD products, hemp, and more) are accepted and even celebrated. You may feel a hint of surprise to see CBD coffee at your local shop or CBD gummies being sold at your nearby corner store, but you shouldn’t. It’s just a part of the laid back California vibe that you’ll be getting used to. Consider trying a few drops of CBD oil in your latte or smoothie to see how you like the relaxation that comes with cannabidiol supplements. You can probably ask the barista behind the bar at the nearby coffee shop about San Francisco’s CBD culture for more insight.

As you’re trying out the cannabis culture, there are two things to bear in mind, though. Above all, if it’s your first time trying anything CBD related, make sure to run your experiments by a medical professional first. While CBD is approved by the FDA and isn’t harmful, you never know if it may interact with other medications you’re taking. It’s best to speak to a doctor first. Next, make sure that the gummies, joints, oils, or tinctures you’re trying are of the highest quality out there. The Legion of Bloom is one such resource, with high quality, responsibly sourced hemp products. Check out more about their products at

Use Yelp to find a nearby day spa.


You’re going to need a haircut or waxing done sooner or later, it’s just unavoidable. Actually, once you’re in San Francisco or Los Angeles, you won’t be wearing all the winter gear you wore in New York, so you’ll probably need to see a stylist more often. You can ask your roommate about a great place for eyelash extensions, a facial, waxing, and the rest of the salon or day spa services you’ll need, but you should supplement that advice with some San Francisco specific Yelp searches.

Online reviews will help you find the day spa services you need and get recommendations from more locals than just your two or three roommates. That way, you’ll be able to find a nail and massage spa that you love, with massage therapists who can give you a hot stone massage and nail artists who will get your manicures and pedicures just right. The right stylist is an important thing to research. You need someone who you can trust, so make sure to pay personal attention to the Yelp reviews and take your time choosing the right person for you.

Find an optometrist online.


If you have eyeglasses or contact lenses, you know you need an excellent optometrist or ophthalmologist nearby. You don’t want to have to take a long trip across town on the BART to see your vision care provider every time you have a concern about your eye problems. Actually, though, even if you have good eye health, it’s a good idea to look into proper eye care and local optometry options. You may be fine now, but the thing about unpleasant surprises is that they creep up on you. An eye disease like glaucoma, macular degeneration, or even a slight inflammation can strike at any time. The point of finding vision insurance providers is that you’ll be prepared for any eventuality. The point of finding an optometrist is that you’ll stay on top of your eye health so you’re not caught off guard.

Consider setting up an eye exam appointment with an optometrist when you first get to SF. Eye exams are easy, and this way, you’ll be able to see if the eye doctor you’ve chosen is someone you feel comfortable with. After all, optometrists are not a one-size-fits-all situation, and you need to feel great about the person who is gazing into your eyes. You can also look at online reviews for doctors in the SF area and use online sites to check if the doctor you like accepts the insurance coverage that you have. Make sure to read reviews carefully to see if people write about receiving professional care and the eye doctor taking time to answer patients’ questions.

Rent may be an indicator of less expensive services.


San Francisco is one of the most expensive cities globally, but that doesn’t mean that you will go bankrupt every time you head to the grocery store. Not if you do your research and figure out the right area to rent an apartment in. One indicator of how expensive your apartment and its surrounding areas will be is how much rent your landlord is asking for. This formula is true wherever you go, East Coast or West Coast. Wherever the rent is more pricey for a condo or any other housing options, the grocery stores, corner stores, clothing shops, and everything else will follow suit. Chinatown, the Castro, and other neighborhoods will all have different financial universes.

If you’re looking on Streeteasy or Craigslist for a new place, the first thing you should do is look for an area where tenants pay less. You may find that living in Oakland or Berkeley makes more sense than renting in SF proper, but you won’t know this until you look at the prices available. Just keep housing costs in mind as you’re budgeting for your new Californian lifestyle and search for a new home according to your financial ability. The rent may prove to be the canary in the coal mine you need to suss out an affordable area of SF to make your home.

Joining the many ambitious people who move to California is an exciting adventure to embark on. Make sure to follow COVID-19 guidelines as you search for the local businesses you’ll love and trust, and you’ll be enjoying your time in San Francisco in no time.