San Francisco! When I was 18 I lived in Santa Clara, California for about 6 months. It was awesome…I missed my family, yet made friends and quickly found out that San Francisco was referred to as “the city”. Well, let me tell you, it lives up to it’s name. Here you’ll find ways to see San Francisco as a local, yet also do some of the touristy things the city is know for – like the Cable Car. I’ll walk you though our 2 night, 3 day adventure and give you some tips and tricks.
First – we arrived on a Friday afternoon, around 4pm and left the city around 10pm on Sunday.
Ride a Cable Car
Our first stop – Union Square – shop and eat at Burger Bar. We took the BART into the city and got off at Powell Station. We stayed in Pacifica, at an RV park on the ocean. Cost was 6-7$ on the BART from Daly City to Powell.
After we got off the BART, we got our MUNI passes. Get a map and learn it! This is key if you want to travel the city, keeping cost down, and visit a lot of different attractions. We got the 3 day MUNI pass for 23$ each, allowing us to ride all the SFMAT with the pass. So easy.
On the list for Friday evening – the Wharf and Ghirardelli Square. The Mighty Girl blog suggests riding the cable car east to west, along California. Although I appreciate the insight, we rode it from Union Square, and only waited 15 minutes, all the way to the Wharf. One of my favourite parts was seeing a dog bowl, with an off set bottom, so it could be level on the inclining street. So adorable.
The best part of the street car experience is that you see so much along the way. Locals jump on and off periodically and it feels like history.
Saturday started off with breakfast in the Mission – we took the BART to 24th street and walked. This sweet find is from The Mighty Girl and her post about ways to see San Francisco as a local.
St. Francis Soda Fountain is full of home cooking and sweets – have a milk shake and start the day off right. I had mint chocolate chip and my husband and orange creamsicle. Delicious. After breakfast we walked around the Mission looking in shops and grabbed a lemonade at a local cafe.
Golden Gate Park
Next – we took the MUNI to Golden Gate Park – we walked along 24th until we hit Church, took the J and then took the N.
Golden Gate Park is full of locals – people running, biking and doing yoga. We spent a lot of time walking and talking – even sitting on a bench and helping an older couple from Nashville read their transit map so they could get back to Union Square.
Time for Alamo Square for lunch. From Golden Gate Park we walked along Hayes until we got to Scott – took us about 25 minutes, yet if you want to save time, you could take the 21 the 12 blocks. Along our walk we found a neighbourhood cafe and bought lunch then we ate it at the top of Alamo Square.
What’s Alamo Square? Haven’t you even seen Full House!? That’s not the best part, though. The best part of Alamo Square is the off leash dog park – the dogs!! Oh, how I love 4 legged furry friends. San Francisco allows dogs in so many places…in shops, on transit, and even in some coffee shops. So rad!
Some great shopping and great eats in Chinatown. For those who love lululemon, like myself, this is the best location I’ve even been to. Check it out. After Alamo Square, we walked back to Golden Gate Park and walked around a bit more – then we took the N and got off at Montgomery and then walked 6 or 7 blocks north. We then went for dinner at Saison – so good.
The Palace of Fine Arts
Sunday morning was for the Palace of Fine Arts, Crissy Filed and the bridge of all bridges. We took the BART to Powell, to the L back to Church Station and then took the 22 all the way to the ocean.
See this house? They had an estate sale going on…so we got to walk through the house! It was way bigger than either of us imagined – full of light and the rooms were a decent size. Main floor was the garage, the middle floor the living room, kitchen and a formal dining room and the upstairs had 3 large bedrooms. Such an experience.
We walked around and took some pictures – oh, and people watched. A lot of people watching.
The Golden Gate Bridge
Lastly – we drove the Golden Gate Bridge on Sunday night on our way back to Northern California. We stopped at the view point on the other side and got some night shots of the bridge. If you want, you can bike the bridge, yet my suggestion is just to drive over it…you’ll waste a lot of time walking or biking it – at least half to a full day. If you’ve got the time, go for it. Either way, you need to see it.
Visit again soon.