The California vacation has begun! Hunter and I have been looking forward to a true vacation for so long… so when the family put together a Napa trip, we decided to tack on 2 extra days in San Francisco beforehand.
I’ll admit, waking up at 3:30am to catch the first flight out of Charleston is not ideal, but getting into California at 11am and having the whole day to explore made the lack of sleep totally worth it. Once we dropped our stuff off at the hotel, and rested for a minute, we grabbed an Uber to take us downtown and start the fun.
After an interesting drive through downtown (and speeding up and down all the streets), we were dropped off at Ghirardelli Square. Naturally I saw the golden gate bridge and wanted a picture immediately (but you can’t really see the bridge, oops).
Then we started walking south, next to the water to check out the sights, and find a place for lunch. So Hunter had been to SF before for work (they have an office here) and had a few ideas of where he wanted to eat, so we went searching for one of these places. We ended up walking from pier 49 to pier 23, but finally found the restaurant, and thank goodness because I was seriously hungry.
Pier 23 is right on the water by the cruise ship terminal, and we were seated out back overlooking the bay. We ordered some beers and sandwiches, and within minutes the while meal was in front of us. Props for quick service!
Now take a minute and check out that sandwich above… That was the seared tuna sandwich with pickled onions, herbs and Sriracha aioli. I ended up snapping a picture (after I demolished the first half) because it was sooooo good. Hunter had a seafood sandwich that was pretty tasty too, but was jealous of mine when he had a bite. Great food, local beers, and a view of the water — solid place for lunch if you’re nearby!
With some food in our bellies, we were ready to keep exploring. We continued to walk south, all the way down to the bay bridge (the one that people actually use), then turned around and started walking back.
At this point I was really realizing what a bad decision it was to wear boat shoes to walk in all day. This was also about the time I started requesting some walking breaks so my feet could rest.
Stop #2: Happy hour beers at Pompei’s Grotto. Great happy hour, and people watching, but the tourist factor was prettttttty high here.
Once we were back to Ghirardelli Square, we kept walking north and up, to get a better view of the golden gate and surrounding neighborhoods. I love that there are so many parks in SF, and they are very exercise friendly. I’ve never seen so many people running or biking in one city before.
We continued down by the marina, and checked out all these nice houses. I would love to know how much some of these houses are listed for — easily millions of dollars and what views they have… ah! Cue a few more walking breaks, as blisters are starting to form on my ankles.
By now my feet were in some serious pain, but Hunter wanted to make one more stop before we called it a day –> the dome you can see, aka the Performing Arts Center. It wasn’t what I expected at all. There was a huge dome, surrounded by gardens, a pond and pathways. Someone was playing some music in the dome which made the experience even cooler. It was crazy something so quiet and serene could exist within such a huge and busy city.
Ok, feet are officially dunzo. We walked (limped) back towards the marina and grabbed an Uber to take us back to the hotel. In total we walked just over 9 miles on Thursday, from the square to the bay bridge, and then back almost all the way to the golden gate. Also turns out that the last time Hunter was here, they biked that.. which obviously goes much quicker and less effort. Needless to say, I was so happy to be off my feet!
The Uber guy was pretty awesome and turned into a tour guide as we made our way back towards the airport, driving us through some awesome neighborhoods, and providing an assortment of knowledge about the city.
Once we got back, we grabbed some dinner at the hotel (surprisingly delicious) and passed out. Seriously, I was sound asleep before the sun set. We got in a solid walking tour of San Francisco in our first day, and the 20 hours we were awake!
Next up, Pegs flies into the city and we take on day 2 in SF with her..