Happy Monday! As you may have seen on my recent Napa blog post or on Instagram, we went to San Francisco in the spring. Most of our trip was spent in Napa, but we had to fly in to San Francisco to get to Napa, and we knew we wanted to experience San Fran before we headed home. San Francisco is truly a beautiful place and I wish we had a little longer on our visit. Jake and I both were blown away with the beauty and would love to make a trip back.
Transportation: We rented a car to drive to Napa and then kept it during our San Francisco stay. To go to places far from our hotel, like the airport and The Golden Gate Bridge, we drove the rental car. We mostly Ubered to close places because it was hard to find parking.
Where To Stay: We stayed at the Hilton Union Square. It was nothing fancy, but it was in a great prime location. Next time, I would love to try out an Airbnb.
Length of Stay: We stayed about 32 hours and it was a rushed trip. We did get most of what we wanted to do done, but there was definitely more on our list. Next time I would want at least a full weekend. Also, I want to visit Sausalito and actually go to Alcatraz Island.
You can see a lot on the trolley cars in a short amount of time. Places like Lombard Street, China Town, Ghirardelli Square and Fisherman’s Wharf are all right by the trolley tracks. The waiting line at the trolley stations can be really long and slow moving, however. We waited about an hour in Union Square to get on one and also saw a long line at Ghirardelli Square. I do not recommend doing that! I noticed people would jump on at different stops along the way after the main station, so if you look up the different trolley routes and can find a stop at a road along the way between stations, I recommend that.
Everything is so steep in San Fransisco, so I recommend good walking shoes. My legs were so sore the next day.
San Fransisco can be very chilly, especially by the bay. I suggest packing a jacket
1st Stop: See the Golden Gate Bridge at Crissy Field: We did this as we were coming into San Francisco from Napa. There are benches around and we just sat and enjoyed the gorgeous view. If you’re a runner, have a dog to walk or a biker this also has tons of sidewalks, so this would be a perfect place for that. There are also many other parks, but this one was recommended to us.
2nd Stop: See Lombard Street: After checking into our hotel we stopped at Lombard Street. This very steep road is San Francisco’s most crooked street. You can drive down it, but we Ubered there. The wait to drive down was also crazy. I recommend walking to the top because the view is incredible.
3rd Stop: Ghirardelli Square: We had lunch there and then had ice cream at the Ghirardelli store. We loved to getting to sample chocolates, too. Another fun thing about this area is you can see Alcatraz Island in the background.
4th Stop: Pier 39: It’s a really touristy area, which we didn’t love. But we definitely enjoyed watching the sea lions on the pier. We could’ve stayed for hours watching them play and fight. There are a lot of restaurants there as well (mostly chains, which we typically avoid when traveling). We did grab a drink on the second story of a restaurant on the pier and it had a beautiful view. You can see Alcatraz Island from there too.
Stop 5: Dinner At The Ferry Building: I highly recommend checking The Ferry Building out. This is such a fun spot with a variety of places to try. We ate at The Slanted Door and really enjoyed it. For a quick bite, I recommend Gott’s Roadside. They had one in Napa and we loved it. Reservations can be hard to get in San Francisco if you don’t plan ahead. We decided to opt for no reservations, since we had limited time. We figured somewhere in The Ferry Building would have an open spot and thankfully they did.
Stop 5: Drinks at Top Of The Mark: I knew we wanted to go to a rooftop bar, so I asked around. Top Of The Mark kept coming up as a recommendation. It features a gorgeous view of the city.
1st Stop: Tartine Manufactory: This restaurant kept getting recommended over and over again. We both had the Porchetta Fried Egg Sandwich and it didn’t disappoint. We also grabbed some bakery items to go.
2nd Stop: Trolley Ride: We took the trolley ride from Union Square. I don’t recommend taking it from there, since we waited an hour.
3rd Visit The Painted Ladies: Our final stop before heading to the airport was visiting “The Painted Ladies,” where Full House was filmed. It was neat to see where a huge part of my childhood was filmed. The surrounding areas are a little run down, so if you’re not a Full House fan it’s definitely skippable.
Other Recommendations We Didn’t Get To Try:
Buena Vista Cafe for Irish Coffee
State Bird Provisions
P.S. Thank you to my wonderful in-laws who just went to San Francisco for asking me what we did because it motivated me to FINALLY get this post together.
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