We started our 9 day California Road Trip in San Francisco, and we hit the ground running, after checking in and dropping our bags off at the beautiful Le Meridien in the Embarcadero district. We were pleasantly surprised to be upgraded to nicer room upon check-in. Our trip was off to a good start!
After dropping our bags off we decided to go exploring on foot. We ended up walking to the Pier and checking out the local farmer’s market before having lunch at Hog Island Oyster Co. Since I don’t like seafood I opted for a grilled cheese, which was delicious! Josh went with oysters and was equally pleased.
Before arriving in San Fran, we had bought tickets to an Alcatraz tour for the afternoon, so after lunch we walked to Pier 33 where the tours take off from. The weather was perfect so we really enjoyed being able to walk and really take in the city! On the Alcatraz tour we were taken to the island by ferry, and I was very surprised at how close the prison actually is to San Francisco! The tour was a self paced audio tour, and overall, we really enjoyed it and would recommend doing it if you’re at all interested in Alcatraz!
After Alcatraz we decided to continue taking advantage of the beautiful weather and keep exploring on foot. We walked to Fisherman’s Wharf, pretty much just to say we did. We knew going into it that it would be touristy, overpriced, and cheesy, and it met our expectations. Although, I did think it was really neat to see all of the sea lions! From Fisherman’s Wharf we made our way to Lombard street, and then decided we’d had enough walking for the day and caught an Uber back to our hotel. Later that night we ventured out into the city for appetizers at cozy bar, and then a late dinner at an Italian restaurant we stumbled upon.
Our second day in San Francisco was definitely our favorite. Our first order of business was to check out the Golden Gate Bridge. I never thought I would think a bridge could be that interesting, but the Golden Gate lives up to it’s hype. It really is beautiful!
After driving across the bridge and snagging a few photos, we headed over to Sausalito. Sausalito is a small hilly town with lots of charm! We found a cute brunch spot on the water and soaked up the sun while we ate.
Next, we headed back to our hotel to figure out what to do with the rest of the day. We decided that while we were by the ocean we should try and find some sort of Sunset Cruise to go on. We ended up finding one at the last minute, so we made our way back to the Pier to hop on the boat. The Sunset was beautiful, as were the views of the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge. The cruise itself, however, was a little long for me since it was FREEZING! Even though the weather had been amazing so far, the sun going down combined with the strong wind out on the water made the entire boat ride kind of miserable! I tried to make the best of it and just focus on the views!
Finally we made our way back to the pier and started to warm up. Now we were on the hunt for food! We ended up in little Italy searching for Pizza (of course), and after lots of walking and reading yelp reviews, we decided on il Casaro, which did not disappoint! The Quattro Formaggi pizza was amazing and gave our favorite Dallas pizza a run for its money! If we’re even in San Francisco again, we’ll definitely be making a trip back to il Casaro! It was a great end to the first segment of our California trip. With full bellies we went back to our hotel and rested up for our next day in Sonoma.
San Francisco Tips and Recommendations:
- San Francisco is a great city to explore on foot! If you’re like us, and you like walking, I would recommend trying to experience San Francisco this way. That being said, it’s also very hilly, so be prepared for a little bit of exercise.
- Always carry a light jacket with you, even in the summertime. San Francisco can be pretty chilly, even in June, and although we were very fortunate to have perfect weather while we were there, as soon as the sun went down I was glad to have my jacket!
- Take advantage of hotel concierge. Our concierge gave us a good idea of what to do within walking distance from our hotel.
- Avoid having a car while in San Fran. The parking costs can be outrageous! We had to pay around 75.00 just to park our rental car at our hotel on the second night!
- Eat! San Francisco has great food! There are tons of restaurants with great reviews in San Fran, and based on our experience, we can see why.
What is your favorite thing about San Francisco? The hills? The food? The bay? I’d love to know what it is and why!