Time to head back to the big city after a wonderful few days soaking up the warm fresh air of Yosemite National Park. Our next stop is San Francisco which was a 4 hour drive from our hotel at Fish Camp. This was my second trip to San Fran but there was a big 27 year gap in between each visit so it was time to rediscover the city again.
We decided to stay down at Fisherman’s Wharf on this trip as we were in town for 4th of July celebrations and this meant we would be near the fireworks over the bay. Our hotel was called the Zephyr Hotel and was quite a hip and happening place in a fabulous location right across the road from Pier 39 and all the touristy things on the Bay. They had some amazing games and entertainment for the kids on the ground floor however it was however the smallest room we encountered on our trip which meant for an interesting 4 days living like sardines in a can!! The room was clean and had an amazing view straight out to Alcatraz but the size was just not great for a family of 5. We had even emailed numerous times before we left Australia confirming that we wanted a particular room that was a little larger but this of course was not noted on anything.
As we had 4 days in San Francisco we decided that the best way to get around and see the city would be to do the hop on hop off double decker bus! There were plenty of bus sightseeing companies to chose from and they are a great way to get some history of the city. We picked City Sightseeing and to be honest we think this particular company was the one that seemed to have the least number of buses. Once we were on board all was great but the minute you get off to explore an area you would at times be left waiting well over an hour or two before the next bus would turn up. My advice would be to ask people waiting at the bus stops if they were finding the busses regular before you decide which tour company to go with!
San Fran is a big and interesting city with so much to see – we probably could have easily driven to everywhere but we were unsure of exactly what do see and do first and we didn’t want the hassle of parking which seemed to be expensive (parking in out hotel cost us $55 a night!) so I am glad we did the bus tour so we could see all the places of interest. One thing is for sure of SF though – the weather! It was COLD! After the high temperatures we had for the previous two weeks the drop down to 17 degrees while in SF was a shock to the system! We were told that the one item that the tourist shops sell more of in the city are sweat shirts and jackets – they certainly are not good at summer but I guess that is what adds to the charm!
My favourite things to see and do in San Francisco were:-
The Golden Gate Bridge
A walk and lunch in the Haight District
An afternoon at Sausalito
The morning on Alcatraz Island
Visiting the Painted Ladies and other Full House sites
Lunch in Chinatown
Shopping in Union Square
A vist to Lombard St
Here are some of my favourite photos from our time in San Francisco