A Day in the City with Liz (Quest)
San Francisco Travel Blog› entry 31 of 36 › view all entries
Our big tourist day was here! After departing Sausalito, we headed into San Francisco for a full day tour of some of my favorite spots! First stop was off the Golden Gate Bridge for some photo opportunities. Can't come to CA and San Francisco without pics of the Golden Gate Bridge!
Next stop was a scenic tour of the Presidio area right near the Golden Gate Bridge. The Presidio is a historical area and now a national park. For over 200 years, it served as an army post for three nations. In 1776, the Spanish made it their military center and then it was passed to Mexico before ultimately landing to the US in 1847.
Cliff House and Sutro Baths
After departing the Presidio, we headed on the 49 mile scenic route to the cliffsides of the Pacific Ocean where we stopped at the Cliff House. I've eaten there a couple times over the years but this was my first visit back since they did away with the neat old game museum. The Cliff House has been rebuilt three times and recently remodeled. It is now owned by the National Park Service since 1977.
Combined with the Cliff House are the Sutro Baths.
Golden Gate Park- Dutch Windmill
After leaving the Cliff House area, we were going to attempt a stop at the Japanese Tea Garden and perhaps Shakespeare's Garden in the Golden Gate Park area.
As you enter the GG park area, you can pull over and tour the windmill - not sure if you can go in or not but you can get up close to take photos. We did not stop as we had a full day ahead so we just took some photos from the street side. As we drive through the park though, we quickly figured out it was not going to be an easy feat getting to the tea garden! The Academy of Sciences recently reopened after a 10 year closure and everyone and their mother was there! Eeeek! Plus now, they charge to get into everything and the line at the museum was staggering. Nevermind! We headed off on our next part of the tour.
Haight and Ashbury
Had to bring Liz to the hippie area of SF! Every visit to SF deserves a drive down the most well known area for the hippie movement.
I absolutely love this area and actually want to stop one day and wander some of the stores. Everything is so brightly colored and the merchandise offered is very unique. Many tattoo shops and little dive restaurants are in this area and I've heard the food is excellent. We probably would've stopped but we still had much to do before the sun went down! :-)
OMG! Apparently everyone else had this idea as well. The line to get down Lombard Street was the worst I've seen it.
Lombard is known as the most curvy road in the world. It has a one block stretch that has eight sharp turns. The street was designed out of necessity back in the early 1920's to reduce the 27% grade that existed. It has now become such a tourist attraction, there is a task force to reduce parking issues and traffic congestion (although it obviously wasn't in effect or working the day we were there! LOL).
Fisherman's Wharf / Pier 39 / Ghiradelli Square
WHEW! Finally out of the congestion and off to worse congestion! Parking along Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39.
We wandered around, catching a bit of the sunset and then headed off to Fishermans Wharf and Ghiradelli Square. My friend Silvina (silverv) who I had recently traveled to Belize with was in town with another friend I've met a couple times. We decided to meet up for dinner in Fisherman's Wharf, trying to find something that wasn't $40 a head. We ultimately ended up at Boudin Bakery which is cool and a tourist stop of course.
By this time, it was already getting late and I think I tired Liz out! We had been wandering around shopping and Liz got a cool new camera lens she wanted, some holiday gifts, and I was coat shopping for my upcoming trip to Europe for the holidays !
Last stop on our drive home was a quick tour of Union Square. OMG...so happy we didnt' end up taking the cable cars down there as it was PACKED! The tree lighting was that night and it was wall to wall people....never seen it like that, especially since I am usually there this same week for a conference and it was a madhouse. We drove around a couple blocks so she could see the tree, get some pictures of the Macy's Building and I drooled at the Tiffany and Co store that I didn't get to visit.
Back over the Bay Bridge and we were headed back to Sacramento in the icky fog and ready for Liz to pack as her flight would be leaving early am! :-(