West Coast Road Trip: San Francisco

After leaving the beach town of Santa Cruz, CA we made our way further North in route to San Francisco. Traffic along this stretch was heavy until we made our way in land. We began with flat farmland but quickly moved to windy roads as we made our way up the foothills of the Montara Mountain in Rancho Corral de Tierra.

It was a quick drive from Monterey Bay to San Francisco, only about 3 hours using the scenic route. We drove straight to the San Francisco Airport to return our Mustang from the past few days. You do not need a rental car in San Francisco which is easily accessible using Uber or public transportation. We were lucky to be able to stay with a friend in San Francisco for the next two days. Andrew lives in the Fillmore District, a historic neighborhood in San Francisco. Our first day in San Francisco was a busy one. We first sat out to the Painted Ladies – where Full House was filmed, one of my favorite shows as a kid and then ate breakfast at Stacks. Which if you couldn’t tell by the name is known for their pancakes.

After breakfast, we headed via Uber to the Golden Gate Bridge. We opted for the 1.7 mile walk across. Another option is to do a bike tour but as our local guide explained, it is not the best option for someone who wants to stop and sightsee/take tons of pictures like myself. The bridge is divided so that bikes are designated to one side and walkers on the other. As I watched the bike lane, I was happy with our decision as I saw the serious bikers very irritated with the frequent stops that the inexperienced bikers were making.

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We headed to Sausalito to Bar Bocce located on the water with views of Pelican Harbor. We split a pitcher of beer on the man-made beach as we watched the boats dock and otters swim between the boats. Instead of taking an Uber back to San Francisco to grab lunch, we took the Ferry, which route takes you right passed Alcatraz with amazing views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco–Oakland Bay Bridge and downtown San Francisco. The Ferry Building where you dock is a marketplace that houses local merchants and food.

We grabbed lunch before walking through the Financial District on to the famous Pier 39 to view the daily sun bathing sea lions. This was by far the most crowded part of the city.

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For dinner, we went to Andrews favorite Burmese restaurant Burma Superstar which always has a line outside. I would highly recommend this local favorite to anyone who enjoys India or Thai food as this is a mix between both. The next morning we grabbed breakfast at La Boulangerie de San Francisco before heading to pick up our next rental car and make our way back up the coast.

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When leaving San Francisco, we drove over the Golden Gate Bridge on our way to Muir Beach Overlook, a great spot to check out if you have the time. The overlook is an easy walk down a staircase with amazing views at the end. This is apparently a great spot for whale watching however we did not see any on that day. This overlook used to be a place soldiers could watch the coastline for ships and coordinate between the stations to find the distance the boat was away from the coast. After Pearl Harbor this spot became increasingly important for watching for future attacks near San Francisco.

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Another great stop when leaving San Francisco is Stinson Beach. We stopped here for lunch at the Parkside Snack Bar before heading on to Northern California through the Redwood National Park – on the next post.

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