Golden Gate Bridge Views

San Francisco – Places to Explore

I owe this trip to Southwest thanks to their incredible cancellation/rebooking policy. I ended up with flight credit that was due to expire at the end of the year, so I decided to reach out to a friend who currently resides in San Francisco and booked a spontaneous 5 day trip. If I can offer up one piece of advice — prepare yourself for hills! I’m not kidding. I’m the person who always chooses to take the stairs over the escalator but these hills are no joke. At one point I was laughing so hard while walking up a hill that I had to stop multiple times just to catch my breath. At least it was an excuse to continue to eat and drink (check out the link here for places to eat in San Fran)!

Might as well start off with the most obvious, the Golden Gate Bridge of course (queue the Full House intro song)! I’ve never seen or walked a bridge this long. We decided to walk the entire bridge and it kind of gave me the willies! I’m not sure if I’m the only one who thinks this, but being high up over nothing but water always freaks me out. Not to mention there were bicyclist constantly zooming past us so walking near the railing was the only option. My nerves eased as we got closer to the end at the other side. The views are astonishing no matter where you’re viewing the bridge. Nothing like a view from different perspectives!

Golden Gate Bridge

If you make your way to the Golden Gate Bridge, be sure to cross to the other side (via foot, bike, or vehicle). Be sure to check out Sausalito (my favorite place in San Fran). You can travel down the “mountain” via Lyft/Uber, shuttles, bicycle, or by foot if you’re all about getting those steps in! The picture below was our view for a solid two hours or so. The water was calm and the sun was shining so we had absolutely no reason to move. Plus, we even made a bird friend. Not kidding…the seagull stood there the entire time. On another note, I am still extremely curious as to what I would have to do for a living to afford one of those houses across the water.

We took a Lyft when we headed back into town and that was quite the experience! While on the bridge, we couldn’t see a single thing out the window (like a white out but without the snow) and seconds later it became clear again.

Sausalito Seagull

Lombard Street is another place to check out. I know what you’re thinking; “You’re telling me to go visit a street?” Yes, in fact I am. The street is a very steep winding road surrounded by a number of houses and steps. The street is also beautifully landscaped with colorful hydrangeas. If you have your car I recommend taking a ride down the street; however, be prepared to wait a little bit. If you’re on foot, there are steps on both sides. Side note: hydrangeas are my absolute favorite flowers so I was in my glory! 

Lombard Street San Francisco

After leaving Lombard Street and aimlessly wandering, we accidentally ended up at Fisherman’s Wharf. We walked around the shops and piers. There’s live entertainment, plenty of restaurants/bars, and a section to view a bunch of loud sea lions doing silly things. It was pretty comical if you ask me. We went upstairs to a restaurant to grab a few drinks and ended up in the perfect people watching section. We overlooked the pier below which happened to be the same pier I saw a seagull land on a young girl’s head 4 times in a row. If you have children this is a spot to check out. They have a merry-go-round, games, and plenty of carnival like food as well. If you end up checking the Wharf out, don’t forget to read the comical shirts for sale as you walk up and down the streets. They’re hilarious.

Fisherman's Wharf

Alcatraz didn’t end up on our list of things to do, but multiple sources have recommended the tour. Book your tickets months in advance as these tend to sell out quickly.

Alcatraz

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Muir Woods. You know, the place with the really really big and tall trees. Funny story about that actually…when we arrived at the visitor center, my friend asked the worker how far we had to walk to find the place with the super tall trees. The worker looked at us dumbfounded and advised that those trees are everywhere. Soon did we find out that those trees were in fact EVERYWHERE. We walked a few miles under the tall trees and I began to feel like an ant.

A piece of advice: arrive as early as possible to avoid having to park miles away. Keep in mind the further you park, the longer you have to hike up hills to get to the beginning. However, the views on the way in are absolutely stunning so it’s worth it.

Muir Woods Red Wood Trees

Next time, I’d like to check out the Japanese Tea Garden. Has anyone ever been? If so, what were your thoughts?

Muir Woods National Park

A few other things to check out:

The Ferry Building. Plenty of food and bakery items. Also another great spot for a view or two.

Recommended from others: San Francisco Botanical Garden. Golden Gate Park. Ocean Beach. Color Factory.

Please feel free to share any other places you think are worth checking out! I’m all for visiting a destination twice if I find new things to do.

There is so much to see in this world. Life truly isn’t meant to be spent in the same place.

San Francisco California

All photos were taken by me. Please do not replicate. 

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