As I’ve previously posted, my friend Theresa and I made a short trip over to California.Throughout our four day stay, we were able to pack just about everything in that someone traveling through San Francisco would want. We had an early start to our trip and were off exploring upon landing. Our first stop, of course, was the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. I was able to surpass my fear of bridges and we walked across most of it. I’m glad I did because I was able to get a few great shots!
We spent some time over by the bridge and then made our way back towards Ghirardelli Square and Fisherman’s Wharf. There was lots to see and do in this area of town. After dipping a toe into the freezing bay waters, we made our way through the main street. The Winery tasting room was along our route, so naturally we stopped in for a tasting. All of the wine was delicious and crisp. We ended our first day in San Francisco with a delicious bayside meal and hot fudge sundaes at the Ghirardelli Ice Cream Shoppe.
Theresa and I decided to get an early start to our second day. We had preplanned to head to Golden Gate Park which houses the Japanese Tea Garden. They offer free admission to the gardens before 10:00am, so that was our goal! The grounds of the Tea Garden were beautiful; very peaceful and tranquil. We also sipped on some iced green tea which was deliciously sweet.
The rest of our afternoon was spent exploring the park. We rode a carousel, found a waterfall and windmills, and eventually made our way to the coast of the Pacific. At the end of the park there is brewery restaurant that overlooks the ocean. We had a quick tour of the brewery at the Beach Chalet followed by a delicious lunch and some beer tastings.
That night we took the train down to Palo Alto to visit some of Theresa’s friend. The two of us walked around a bit and enjoyed a delicious meal before meeting up. The “downtown” area of Palo Alto is very welcoming. White lights are strung on all of the trees, cute little shops and restaurants line the streets, and everyone just seemed to be enjoying their beautiful summer evening.
The next day we headed to Pier 39 and Alcatraz Landing. We had booked our tour for Alcatraz about a month prior, which I highly recommend. Tours were sold out for weeks so you cannot expect to walk up and get a ticket day of. I really enjoyed the tour. Each patron was given a set of headphones with their respective language enabling everyone to take the tour at their own pace.
The rest of the day was spent walking through Pier 39. We walked through a few candy stores (of course) and hung out with the famous Sea Lions for a bit. One of the activities we did not get to complete was riding a cable car. Unfortunately, the lines were extremely long and we didn’t want to waste our time waiting. However we did find a solo car that was not running. We decided this was good enough and had a quick photo shoot. After freshening up back at the hotel, we headed back down to the Ferry Market Building were we would enjoy our much anticipated dinner at The Slanted Door.
For our fourth and final day in California we were heading North. Theresa’s friends who we met in Palo Alto offered to take us up to wine country for the day. This was an unexpected, yet very exciting addition to our trip. In the morning before being picked up, Theresa and I walked to the Farmer’s Market to pick up some lunch for our group to enjoy. I could have spent the entire morning walking through all of the vendors but we were on a time crunch. After being picked up, we had about an hour drive to Sanoma County were we went to our first winery and enjoyed our picnic lunch.
The second winery was in Napa Valley with beautiful views. We each enjoyed a wine tasting, allowing us to try a few more wines from California. It really was a beautiful day. The weather was beautiful, the company was great. It was the perfect ending to my first trip to California.
Even though we only had four days, I feel Theresa and I were able to pack a lot in. We experienced all sides of San Francisco and even had a few unexpected trips along the way. I enjoyed every aspect of our trip. The city is beautiful, the food was delicious, and the weather is perfect. I will definitely be back to The City by the Bay.