A Day in the City with Liz (Quest)

San Francisco Travel Blog

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GG Bridge

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! 

Presidio Area

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.

Canons in Presidio
  The base was not closed until 1995, ending it's reign of military use.  It became a National Historic Landmark in 1962.  A drive through the Presidio is beautiful as it's not just the base but very many wooded and nature areas encompass this entire park area. 

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.

Sutro Baths
Alfred Sutro (who also built the first Cliff House) bought this beautiful area of the coastline back in 1881.  The classic Greek portals opened to various tanks allowing swimming as well as slides, trapezes, springboards, and even a high dive! There were restaurants, an amphitheater, and natural history and art exhibits!  The Sutro Baths opened at a staggering cost back then of $250,000!  Alfred's grandson saw the profitability declining and in 1937, turned the largest of the tanks into an ice rink.  This did not catch on and the property was sold to a developer who planned to build high rise apartments.  A fire destroyed that project and all that is left are the remains of these historic 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.

Dutch Windmill in GG Park
  First stop was to see a real Dutch Windmill that dots the coastline, visible from up the hill at the Cliff House.  

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.

Haight and Ashbury district
Amazingly, as close to Golden Gate park it is, it was not that crowded driving down the streets.  We did a long drive by both ways so Liz would have plenty of opportunities to get some great shops of the crazy themed shops, and experience the hippie vibe that really put SF on the map!

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! :-)

Lombard Street

OMG! Apparently everyone else had this idea as well.  The line to get down Lombard Street was the worst I've seen it.

Lombard Street
  It took almost a full hour just to get up the hill to even start the trek down!  The walk traffic was pretty high as well.  Most people said forget the drive and decided to walk it.  The problem was finding parking though and the few spots that were close would mean you are stuck with the 100 other cars blocking your way to get out! 

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.

Sunset along Pier 39
Uuuugh! Day after Thanksgiving traffic...not fun!  Many of the parking lots were full and I decided to take the long shot chance that the free parking Michelle and I found when she visited in Sept would be open and OMG!! Score!  We got free parking about 3 blocks from Pier 39 so I didn't have to pay the $30 I normally do!!  Makes up for some of the nasty bridge tolls going back and forth! LOL.

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.

Silvina, me, and Liz
 

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 !

Union Square

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.

The Macy's Christmas Tree
  Next time! :D

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! :-( 

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GG Bridge
GG Bridge
Canons in Presidio
Canons in Presidio
Sutro Baths
Sutro Baths
Dutch Windmill in GG Park
Dutch Windmill in GG Park
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Lombard Street
Lombard Street
Sunset along Pier 39
Sunset along Pier 39
Silvina, me, and Liz
Silvina, me, and Liz
The Macys Christmas Tree
The Macy's Christmas Tree
GG Bridge
GG Bridge
GG Bridge
GG Bridge
Liz and I - take one
Liz and I - take one
Liz and I - take two
Liz and I - take two
Wish it had been a clearer day! :-(
Wish it had been a clearer day! :-(
Historic Streets in Presidio
Historic Streets in Presidio
Presidio
Presidio
Historic Streets in Presidio
Historic Streets in Presidio
Bird in Presidio
Bird in Presidio
Presidio
Presidio
Historic Streets in Presidio
Historic Streets in Presidio
Presidio area
Presidio area
Historic Streets in Presidio
Historic Streets in Presidio
Cemetery gates in Presidio
Cemetery gates in Presidio
Cemetery in Presidio
Cemetery in Presidio
Wooded road through Presidio
Wooded road through Presidio
Log Cabin in Presidio
Log Cabin in Presidio
View leaving Presidio area
View leaving Presidio area
View leaving Presidio
View leaving Presidio
Homes near Presidio
Homes near Presidio
Homes near Presidio
Homes near Presidio
Homes near Presidio
Homes near Presidio
Cliff House region
Cliff House region
Cliff House
Cliff House
SF coastline
SF coastline
SF coastline
SF coastline
SF Coastline
SF Coastline
Hee Hee :D
Hee Hee :D
The Dutch Windmill near GG Park
The Dutch Windmill near GG Park
SF coastline (see Windmill)
SF coastline (see Windmill)
SF Coastline
SF Coastline
Cliff House
Cliff House
Totem pole at Cliff House
Totem pole at Cliff House
Self shot by Cliff House lol
Self shot by Cliff House lol
Sun peeking through
Sun peeking through
Foggy view
Foggy view
Typical Northern CA cliff coastline
Typical Northern CA cliff coastline
Rocks by Cliff House
Rocks by Cliff House
Waves crashing near Sutro Baths
Waves crashing near Sutro Baths
Another shot trying to catch the w…
Another shot trying to catch the …
View to the Sutro Baths
View to the Sutro Baths
Sutro Baths
Sutro Baths
Another attempt at a self shot
Another attempt at a self shot
yeah....take two! LOL
yeah....take two! LOL
Indian Restaurant - Tikka Masala
Indian Restaurant - Tikka Masala
Chicken Tikka Masala
Chicken Tikka Masala
Rice with Tikka Masala
Rice with Tikka Masala
flatbread
flatbread
Where we ate lunch
Where we ate lunch
Restaurant - Tikka Masala
Restaurant - Tikka Masala
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury
Haight and Ashbury
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
Haight and Ashbury district
line of cars headed up Lombard
line of cars headed up Lombard
Top of Lombard
Top of Lombard
Headed down Lombard
Headed down Lombard
Headed down Lombard
Headed down Lombard
Headed down Lombard
Headed down Lombard
Pier 39 - Hard Rock
Pier 39 - Hard Rock
Christmas Tree at Pier 39
Christmas Tree at Pier 39
Hard Rock San Francisco
Hard Rock San Francisco
Inside of Hard Rock
Inside of Hard Rock
Inside of Hard Rock
Inside of Hard Rock
Inside of Hard Rock
Inside of Hard Rock
Pier 39
Pier 39
Coit Tower and SF
Coit Tower and SF
Sunset and Fishermans Wharf
Sunset and Fishermans Wharf
Sunset off towards Golden Gate Bri…
Sunset off towards Golden Gate Br…
Boudin Bakery and Cafe
Boudin Bakery and Cafe
Store with Chihuly type glass works
Store with Chihuly type glass works
Liz getting her new macro zoom lens
Liz getting her new macro zoom lens
Hippie pirate
Hippie pirate
Del Monte Cannery area
Del Monte Cannery area
LOL
LOL
This is for Brett....HAHAHA
This is for Brett....HAHAHA
My corn and crab chowder at Boudin
My corn and crab chowder at Boudin
Silvina crab cake sandwich
Silvina crab cake sandwich
Liz, me, Jas, and Silvina at dinner
Liz, me, Jas, and Silvina at dinner
Silvina at Boudin
Silvina at Boudin
Liz and I at Boudin
Liz and I at Boudin
Nice jacket Liz! Whoo Hoo
Nice jacket Liz! Whoo Hoo
Wyland Wall at Pier 39
Wyland Wall at Pier 39
Union Square Christmas Tree
Union Square Christmas Tree
Macys at Union Square
Macy's at Union Square
Nieman Marcus at Union Square
Nieman Marcus at Union Square
Union Square Christmas
Union Square Christmas
Macys
Macy's