(This is a print we bought as a souvenir. It hangs in a place we pass frequently to remind us of our wonderful time in the City by the Bay.)
1) Ride a cable car. It’s a must! Every movie or television show you’ve ever seen that is set in San Francisco shows them. The views are wonderful. The drivers are entertaining. It doesn’t cost very much. You’ll kick yourself if you don’t. Steve and I both rode UP, then he chose to walk back down through Chinatown and the Crooked Street. I wish I’d been with him.
2) Stroll around Fisherman’s Wharf. See what’s for sale. Smell the fresh seafood. Savor the feeling of being on the Bay. People watch. Enjoy the colorful boats docked there.
3) Eat sourdough bread SEVERAL TIMES. Crusty on the outside, soft on the inside. So yummy! Boudin’s is the place at Fisherman’s Wharf.
4) Eat chocolate at Ghiradelli Square. Yes, it will cost more there than at your local grocery store, but just do it so you can say you did. There are other neat things to buy there, but don’t by-pass the chocolate. I’m telling ya.
5) Take a narrated bay cruise to Alcatraz. Even if you don’t actually go into the former prison, it is still eye-opening to understand where it is, who was housed there, what an escape would have involved, etc. Let’s just say it will enhance your understanding in novels and old movies.
6) Drive up to Napa Valley and Sonoma to tour a vineyard. It’s only a few miles up the road. Steve and I are non-alcohol people, but we still enjoyed seeing the gorgeous fields of grapes and learning about the wine-making process. Somewhere in my mind, I knew that yeast was involved, but it wasn’t until I walked into the Gloria Ferrar Winery and started looking for the homemade bread (without finding any) that I knew for sure that yeast was a part of the process. And, just so you know, there are plenty of sodas, juices or flavored waters available while the rest of your group has their wine-tasting.
By the way, everyone scattered for lunch in the town of Sonoma. We happened upon a Mexican restaurant called “Maya.” Here is the review I shared on Trip Advisor about it: The Best Mexican We’ve Ever Eaten “My husband and I were in Sonoma for a few hours recently and happened upon Maya for lunch. We were so pleased with the results. We shared “Oh-So-Good” Nachos and Chicken Enchiladas. Both were absolutely bursting with flavor and fresh ingredients. Our service was good, and the prices were very reasonable. We would highly recommend that you give it a try.”
7) View the Golden Gate Bridge from every possible angle. It truly is a beautiful symbol of the city, and what a serendipity for Auburn fans that it is painted ORANGE. We happened to be on a tour bus by the time we headed out of San Francisco. The tour director brilliantly made sure we heard Frank Sinatra croon “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” as we drove over it for our final time on this visit. A perfect moment in my book.
For a hotel in a great location, we liked the Hilton Fisherman’s Wharf. See the website here.
Several restaurants we recommend are: Alioto’s, Beach Street Grill, and Joe’s Crab Shack. All three are reasonably priced with good food.
On our next visit to San Francisco, I’m sure we’d repeat numbers 1, 2, 3, and 7 again, and maybe even 4, 5, and 6. Why skimp on fun??