I’ve now lived on the West Coast for all of my twenty-seven years of living. At this point I can say I’ve taken weekend trips to Vegas, family trips in Eastern Washington, been to Disneyland (a couple of times) but up until this summer, I had never set foot in San Francisco. This summer has been busy with work, so I decided to take a short weekend trip to the beautiful Golden Gate city.
I flew out early Saturday morning to make the most out of my time off and arrive early to explore before meeting my friend. She gave me a recommended route to take to see some major sites. I was staying near Chinatown at the Mithila Hotel so this route didn’t start far from where I was staying.
Grace Cathedral: I started at the Grace Cathedral, according to the official website, it is the third largest Episcopal church in the United States. I walked around the courtyard and got some great photos of the facade.
Chinatown: The famous Chinatown was sleepy for early on a Saturday morning, so I got some great shots of the buildings, the signs and of course the markets. Although I don’t speak or read Chinese, it was fun to watch the interactions between customer and merchant and try to discern what their conversation entailed.
Washington Square: I stopped to catch my breath and relax at one of the oldest parks in San Francisco. After only a few hours walking up and down the steep hills, it was a much needed break. It was also pretty comical to watch all of the Pokemon Go-ers walking around like zombies glued to their cell phones then suddenly exclaiming that they had finally caught [insert Pokemon name here].
Coit Tower: The Coit Tower is It’s a great way to get a 360-degree view of the city. It’s supposed to resemble a firehose nozzle. There are lots of stairs, be ready to work up a sweat, but take some amazing photos at the top.I walked all the way up to get a great view of the Bay Bridge (not the orange one) and a foggy photo of the Golden Gate (yes, that’s the orange one). Unfortunately the fog continued to be in my way of a great shot, I’ve been told this particular fog is named Karl. Karl The Fog apparently also has its own twitter account.
Ghirardelli Square: Mmmmm, chocolate. Unfortunately the line was crazy long for the delicious treats, but I did find my own delicious treat at the Bluxome Street Winery. A local winery that is made within the city limits of San Francisco. According to their website, the winery itself is over 100 years old. For me, I was excited they had a delicious rosé on a warm day with a great view of the bay.
Fisherman’s Wharf: Oh man, this place was PACKED. I enjoyed the arcade room, the SS Jeremiah O’Brien, and got a big laugh from the seals on Pier 39. I had some ice cream, then ventured on. It’s a tourist-heavy section of San Fran, especially on a sunny Saturday so I came, I saw, and I found the nearest place to grab an adult beverage. There is always a ton of street performers, one in particular in front of Gott’s (a restaurant we will get to later) that was incredible.
Side note: there is an adorable place called Carmel Pizza company. The sangria is fantastic.
I felt like this was a great both because there were only two real large hills I climbed. And because through these destinations, I got some great photos of other parts of San Francisco on such a beautiful, clear day. Of course there is so much to see, but I feel like I made the most out of my first half-day in the city.