San Francisco is hands down, one of my favorite cities in the US….just for the food alone. Then you add the fact that it is one of the most innovative cities on Earth with Silicon Valley in their backyard. Not to mention San Francisco is one of the largest running cities in America. (I used to run track and still run a little bit to stay in shape so I think it’s a cool city to be able to join a club and leisurely run year round and not have to worry about the weather) The running culture is ranked as one of the largest in the country. Which probably means people are more physically fit…maybe healthier or at least more health conscious. San Francisco is also big on keeping the environment clean and healthy…very eco-friendly. (About 5 years ago, I walked into a Walgreens and purchased a couple of items. I went to the cashier and after she rung me up I waited for her to put my things in a bag. After I realized she wouldn’t bag my things, I asked for a bag. She apologized and told me that stores stopped giving out plastic bags in San Francisco . I couldn’t believe it, no bag? Living in Las Vegas at the time, having lived in Ohio and Maryland as well..I had never heard anything like it. San Francisco was the first city to ban plastic shopping bags.)
Overall the city is so diverse, a little high maintenance…a reflection of myself. High maintenance in the fact that the cost of living is astronomically high, the only reason why I don’t live there……..yet.
My friends and I planned our 3 day holiday weekend around visiting San Francisco, Napa Valley and Yosemite National Park. The foodie in me flew in early on the first day, so I had a full day to discover the food scene. In-between meals I was able to find a hidden gem, and even stumbled upon some places that ended up being popular attractions. What we had planned for the last day of our trip, ended up being my favorite thing to do in San Francisco.
5. Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory
In Chinatown, there is a Fortune Cookie Factory located down a small alley….that can easily be missed. Even with google maps I managed to walk by it twice.
The sign behind her says “Hello, if you take a picture please pay 50 cents!” I was about 3 pics in, and finished shooting 2 videos before I noticed the sign. So I gave her $2. There were selling fortune cookies out of a bag, but I asked if I could have a couple hot and fresh ones (Krispy Kreme spoiled me) They were delicious!
Small line out of the door
Can’t miss the yellow sign down the alley!
There are also walking tours that will take you through Chinatown, I just decided to explore on my own.
Although there wasn’t a home game the weekend I was there, I was able to get close to the stadium. If I’m not visiting a city specifically for a sporting event, I check to see if there is a football, basketball or baseball game going on during the days I plan to be there. 9 times out of 10 i’ll be there. I actually stumbled upon the stadium on accident. I was looking for a restaurant I was going to for breakfast and it happened to be about a block away from the stadium. If you are ever in San Francisco when the Giants are playing….GO!
3. Pier 39
Believe it or not I was trying to find parking to get to Fisherman’s Wharf. Ended up finding parking blocks and blocks away, and as I was trying to find my bearings I ran across, Pier 39……..the most visited attraction in San Francisco! It’s estimated that 10 million people visit yearly. Had I known that at the time, I would have paid more attention to some of the shops, maybe tried out a restaurant. But I was so focused on finding Fisherman’s wharf, I just wandered through aimlessly.
There are tons of shops and restaurants at this pier. If you are looking for a nice waterfront view with your lunch or dinner the restaurants on the pier provide the perfect ambiance to enjoy your meal in a peaceful way.
Out back were tons of very loud sea lions… the main attraction.
2. Fisherman’s Wharf
If you love seafood, you are in the right place. Fisherman’s Wharf is located just a few steps away from Pier 39. There is a strip of seafood restaurants paired with their sidewalk almost food truck- like counterpart. There are also a few other stand alone seafood restaurants, along with an Italian restaurant, shops and a Chipotle.
We ended up eating at Nick’s Lighthouse. You can’t beat fresh seafood by the water. Especially a hot bowl of clam chowder in a sourdough bowl.
- Golden Gate Bridge
It’s one thing to take pictures of it…or drive across it… but to RIDE A BIKE ACROSS IT…over the water…is a MUST when you come to San Francisco!! On the last day of our trip one of my friends and I decided to do the bike tour across the Golden Gate Bridge.
The tour started in San Francisco from Fisherman’s wharf, through the city, along the beach, across the bridge, then rode down to Sausalito. It took us about an hour and a half.
Now.. while I planned the trip initially, I felt a little nervous about signing up for this tour. I’ve always been the one to cringe every time I drove across a bridge over a body of water…. so initially this was a big deal deal for me. I thought it was such a unique experience, and something that is so out of the ordinary for me, I decided to ride outside of my comfort zone and do it. Riding a bike across the Golden Gate Bridge was such an exhilarating experience, you have to try it!
Having a little fun during one of our breaks during the tour.
Our tour guide giving us more instruction….he’s telling us that he does not recommend taking our phones out on the bridge…the wind may blow it right into the water…and boy was it windy!!!
Currently standing on the GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE!!!
This video is of me…..TERRIFIED that I may drop my phone into the water…BUT I COULDN’T RESIST!! I had to capture this moment!!!
Midway across the bridge
We are almost to the other side!
The view of San Francisco from the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge. We rode our bikes from the city…to the other end of the bridge, then coasted down to Sausalito. We didn’t have time to visit Sausalito; small town filled with restaurants and shops on the water. We had the option of taking the ferry back to the city, or riding our bikes ALL THE WAY BACK. As we were headed to the ferry we realized that the line was so long we would have to wait for another ferry to come back by in another hour. Luckily a taxi driver walked over to us and offered his 2 last seats in his taxi van. We put those bikes on the back of the van and headed back to the city. Next time I’m back in the area I plan to explore Sausalito. Keep an eye out for that adventure!