Monday, July 22, 2013

San Fran Sightseeing

I think there are two distinct types of vacations... the kind where you disappear to relax, sleep in, catch up on your reading list, and maybe work on your tan, and then there's the kind where you're early to bed and early to rise in order to play tourist.

Our trip to San Francisco was certainly the latter. With only three full days in the Bay Area, we had a lot to see and we had to make the most of our time. Added to the list of the maaaaany reasons why I love my husband is the fact that he's the same kind of traveler as me. I don't have to coax him to get out of bed in the morning on vacations like these! We're not ones for night life or staying out late, so our evenings consisted of dinner, dessert, perhaps a stroll around the Wharf, and then it was back to our apartment to wind down and go to bed. 

Wednesday morning, we were out the door by 8:30 to find Union Square and catch a tour bus. If you want to see as much as you can in the least amount of time, we recommend it. The hop-on-hop-off double decker buses were the way to go for this trip! The bus driver pointed things out and told stories that we wouldn't have heard otherwise, and it was nice to see everything without my nose buried in a guide book or a map. Plus the public transportation in SF is a little tricky to figure out. Here are a few snapshots of all we saw that day...

Financial District, close to our apartment

The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi - the oldest church in San Francisco


Our first view of Alcatraz from Fisherman's Wharf, where we hopped off the tour bus to enjoy some traditional chowder in a sourdough bread bowl.

Took the bus across the Golden Gate Bridge. Talk about a cold ride on the top deck! We had PERFECT weather the whole trip, and there was only a tiny bit of fog at the bridge when we went this day. Apparently some people come to visit SF and never see the bridge because of all the fog. 

Looking back at San Francisco from the lookout point where our bus parked.

Palace of the Fine Arts


Back at the Wharf and Hyde Street Pier

An absolutely necessary purchase.

You can't visit San Francisco without stopping at Ghiradellli Square for chocolate and ice cream.

Lunched at my mom & dad's favorite SF lunch spot, Scomas.

Tried a new kind of fish we'd never even heard of - petrale sole, wrapped around a mushroom risotto mixture with seasonal vegetables and mashed potatoes.


We could have watched the sea lions for hours, they were so entertaining!

If you're at the Wharf, you have to check out Musée Mécanique. They have every antique arcade game you can imagine, and you can pay to play them too. Tried my hand at "whack a mole" for the first time since my Chuck E. Cheese days. "Whack a mole," an antique?! Crazy. Also visited the Lefty's Store at Pier 39 for my handsome lefty, and hung out some more with those adorable sea lions.

We ate dinner at Alioto's and were not disappointed! If there are restaurants you want to be sure and dine in during a vacation, download the OpenTable app to your smart phone. We were able to make reservations at some of the most popular spots in town, freeing up time in our day for things more enjoyable than waiting for a table.

The view from our table was just stunning {watched the sun set behind the Golden Gate Bridge}, and the crab bruschetta we got as an appetizer was the best bruschetta I think I've ever had. 

Ended our day with a world-famous Irish Coffee from The Buena Vista Cafe. I was not a fan - should have thrown my "but everyone comes here to get one of these!" mentality out the window and gone with the Bailey's hot chocolate instead. At least now I can say I've tried it!


Day One was one for the books. Traveling with your husband/best friend is just the most fun thing ever! After our Irish Coffee, we rode the cable car back to our apartment and hurried to bed in anticipation of WINE COUNTRY the next morning. Stay tuned!


1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you're having a great time! Love all the pictures, I've never been to San Francisco but your post makes me want to go right now!

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