SAN FRANCISCO, MAY 2016
This past weekend our travels took us to the lively city of San Francisco! A great getaway as a family! Ryan and I were excited to go back after 16 years and enjoy the city with the kids ! We packed in lots of seafood, tourist sights, piers, parks, and shopping! Enjoy our tour of San Francisco!
The smell of fresh seafood will guide you towards Fisherman’s Wharf. A great sidewalk lined with seafood vendors selling fresh seafood. We grabbed lunch which consisted of fresh Dungeness crab roll, hot clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl, fish and chips, and seafood salad! All part of the experience is eating standing up along side the venue, with a cold drink in your hand! Everywhere you look you will see people enjoying the yummy seafood bisque in bread bowls!
One of our favorite spots was Pier 39! The Pier is full of eclectic shops, restaurants, street performers, souvenir shops, a carousel, and many many shops. There is also an amazing fruit and vegetable stand that even has water for you to wash your purchase, so you can enjoy it right away! At the very end of the Pier, we had so much fun watching the sea lions, full of sounds and showing off! There was so much to do on this one pier!
Stopping to pose on the famous Street Cars on our way!
Next we headed to the famous Lombard street, known as the “crookedest street in the world” We walked up to the top, stopping along the way to admire the beautiful California flowers (and catch our breath)! We watched as cars made their way down the eight sharp turns, some playing loud music and using their phones to video the experience. We walked to the top and enjoyed the AMAZING views of the city!
GOLDEN GATE PARK
We took an Uber ride to Golden Gate Park and spent a couple of hours exploring this beautiful spacious park! If you want to get away from the concrete of the city and do some exploring then this is a great place to head with the kids. Hidden trails throughout the park, soccer fields, and lots of people out and about. Such a lush space full of 3 miles of walking paths, fun climbing trees, waterfalls, and large green spaces for running. We found the coolest playground with lots of fun climbing features and a concrete slide that you use cardboard boxes and a little sand to make you slide down! Such a spectacular park so close to the city!! The kids absolutely loved it! Definitely a must visit!
Can you smell the chocolate and hot fudge? Ghirardelli Square home to an old chocolate factory and still has two markets with the yummiest chocolate desserts! The square is full of a two story shopping complex with cool shops, restaurants, live music, and plenty of outdoor seating to sit and enjoy the beautiful cool weather! We enjoyed two chocolate sundaes on Saturday night and absolutely loved it.
BIKING THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
“We biked the Bridge!!!” Not an easy task, but so worth it! We rented bikes from Blazing Saddles, right next to our hotel. The biking & walking path leads you along the Bay with the most amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge. There is a really cute Warming Hut that you can stop at for restrooms, souvenirs, and a bakery treat before you make your trek up the hill to the Bridge. Once we made it at the top we stopped at the view point to admire our accomplishment and prepare to cross the bridge! The experience was so cool, unlike anything we’ve done with our kids before. We stopped along the way to soak in the views and savor what we were actually doing! The path on the actual bridge is a narrow path and I will caution you that the cyclist go really fast towards you and don’t really warn you as they pass, just a heads up! As we exited the bridge we pulled off to a view point and observed the view of the bridge with the city behind it. You could smell the amazing fresh air coming from the woods ahead! We followed the signs to Sausalito and downhill/uphill 2mile trek to a quaint waterfront village. Get ready for a little workout.
SAUSALITO & WATER FERRY
We parked our bikes in Sausalito (bike valet or you can find free bike parking near the middle of town by the restrooms) and picked up a map at the visitors center. Our first stop was to grab coffee, hot chocolate and pastries at a cozy coffee shop. Then we walked the sidewalk shops and explored the cute quaint city of Sausalito. For lunch we got a Mexican fix at a fabulous restaurant called Copita! After shopping around we headed towards the ferry line to park our bikes and hold our spot for the next ferry back to San Francisco. It’s a good idea to get there early, they line the bikes up at the ferry line and it fills up pretty quickly. The ferry ride was really fun! A great way to catch some amazing views of Alcatraz, the city, and the mountainous/beach landscape. We were able to snag great seats right by the deck so we could go in and out of the boat. The ferry landed at the Port of San Francisco, Pier 1, then we made our way on bikes back to Hyde st. Pier. Very fun experience!
Boudin Bakery is known as the “Original San Francisco Sourdough French Bread.” The bakery is known for it’s baked goods. They display works of art with bread being in the shape of turtles, crabs, and alligators. We had a great time at their Happy Hour, 99cent oysters and continued our evening to have a fabulous dinner with a spectacular view! Definitely go by for their baked goods and happy hour, lots of fun!
WALKING THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO
We had such a great time walking around in the Fisherman’s Wharf area. I loved seeing all the modes of city transportation; cable cars, trolley bus, double decker buses, and street cars. As we were walking along the sail boats we spotted a sea otter, ready to be fed by the fisherman, as they cleaned their daily catch! We were happy to have our rain jackets and small umbrellas for the short rain that would blow in off the bay. Tucked in Canary Square we found Norman’s Ice Cream, tasty homemade ice cream for a great price!
SUNSET ON GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
Accommodations: We stayed at the Argonaut Hotel. It was a wonderful hotel with a spectacular location. The lobby had a nice sitting area and a great fireplace to warm up by. The hotel staff had a fun scavenger hunt for the kids. We would highly recommend this hotel. Great location and very cool place.
Transportation: From the airport we took a 15 min. taxi ride to Fisherman’s wharf. Such a walk-able city that we were able to do most of our touring on foot. To travel to Golden Gate Park we took an Uber. We rented bikes from Blazzing Saddle to ride across Golden Gate Bridge and rode the Water Ferry back. Tickets for the ferry are provided by Blazing Saddles.
Cuisine: San Francisco is know for it’s fresh seafood which we had our fare share of. A lot of the restaurants offer great happy hours as well. We ate a the following restaurants.
- Copita mexican restaurant in Sausalito, excellent food with authentic flavors!
- Carmel Pizza is a great option for some fabulous wood burned pizza with fresh ingredients.
- Blue Mermaid is located in the Argonaut. Has a great happy hour with .99 oysters. We had a delicious breakfast there consisting of pancakes, eggs, sausage, fruit, and coffee.
- Boudin, this place has it all. From bake goods to excellent seafood. Very nice setting. Try the Grouper and Tuna. Excellent!