It has been a while since I have visited San Francisco. I would like to share my memories from this trip.
San Francisco has been always on my top list to visit. I couldn’t wait to see the Golden Gate Bridge in real. I saw the bridge in movies many times and I was always admired it. Every city in the world has his own spirit and I wanted to experience my own feeling of San Francisco.
Before I went to San Francisco I travelled to Los Angeles and Las Vegas. I didn’t have much time – only 2 days so I wanted to maximise my stay to see the best parts.
Where did I stay?
I chose Airbnb – the place was on the top of the hill near Forest Knolls and I could slightly see the Golden Gate Bridge in far distance.
However, the bridge is usually hard to see because of the clouds. The city is cloudy most of the year.
The accommodation was comfortable and welcoming. There was a lady with 2 dogs which made me feel more like being home rather than being in a hotel.
I kind of enjoy staying in places where people own pets.
As I was very excited to see the Golden Gate Bridge, I decided to make a trip to this stunning bridge on my first day. As I said, the weather in San Francisco is usually cloudy and it can be hard to see the full bridge without hiding it behind clouds.
Therefore, I just used the opportunity when it is less cloudy to take a photo.
It was a bit of walk From my Airbnb place. For this reason, I chose to take my first stop in the Botanical Garden. The garden is massive and so peaceful.
Then I had some poke bowl for a lunch and continued to Presidio which is located near Golden Gate Bridge.
The bridge is really enormous! The weather forecast for my days was both days pretty much same. It was a bit foggy so the bridge sometimes appeared and other times disappeared in the clouds.
The surrounding has a kiosk style Cafes if you want to have a snack. However, all kiosks close around 6 pm. It is not a place to spend your evening as I was thinking before.The Golden Gate Bridge has no lights at night!
If you have ever seen some night shots of the bridge with lights which looked like the Golden Gate Bridge, it was probably the other bridge which is a bit of walk from there! Better to catch a bus.
I took a bus to a historical district called Fisherman Wharf which is a place surrounded by restaurants, shops and I would say that this is the place where can you spend your evening.
I tried a soup in bread which tasted quite good.
It is a traditional food of San Francisco. The bread is massive and I wasn’t able to finish all meal. The bread is just too big and has too much carbs.
What else to see in the Fisherman Wharf?
Check Pier 39 – a famous place with sea lions and markets.
Have some fun at night! Walking around the Pier has a nice night atmosphere – food and entertainment.
Next day, I decided to walk to the other side of the bridge. However, the bridge is very long (it takes around an hour to walk from one side to another and it can be very windy). Therefore, I changed my mind and took a ferry to get there and explore the other side of San Francisco.
Before that, I checked out the Painted Ladies which is a picturesque spot where can you take beautiful photos.
Another popular place is Alcatraz but this time I skipped it and spent my short stay differently. I am not that big fan of prison environment.
Where the ferry took me?
I was running almost late to catch my ferry. There are a few different terminals. I had no time and I haven’t check it properly and just jumped in a ferry which went in a time I supposed to leave (the next ferry nearby was scheduled in an hour).
I was happy that I don’t need to wait but then I noticed that the ferry goes somewhere else! Ouch!
Once I noticed the wrong direction I asked some people on a ferry if it goes to Golden Gate Bridge. They told me “No, this ferry go to Sausalito.” Oh no!
“Ok, so if am already there why not to explore the surrounding.” I told myself. Once the ferry arrived I saw nice restaurants and shops around. There were also more locals rather than tourists and beautiful sunflowers around.
Finally, it was a nice adventure. Then I simply took an Uber to get near the bridge. I stopped in a lovely restaurant and had some nicely decorated burgers with a fresh drink. A perfect stop for a lunch!
To get back I took another Uber and ask him to stop closer to the bridge to take photos before we reach the other side. So by a mistake I experienced both parts of the bridge.:-)
Sometimes things go differently than I planned but why not. No need to be angry of that, it was a nice adventure.
My Feelings from San Francisco
My overall feeling from San Francisco is a bit different that I thought it would be. Sometimes we might think how the other country is like until we actually go there and experience it on our own.
People always saying their opinion, their feelings and perception, but we are all different and notice different details. One person can say that one country is absolutely amazing but the other might not like it. From my very short stay I can say that it reminded me some parts of Europe and memories from my childhood. When I was walking in a park and see the squirrels and the trees it looked like in Czech. I thought that the city will be more modern and have more night life. Apart from Fisherman Wharf I couldn’t find a nice place to spend evening out.
People in San Francisco are quite friendly, they can start chatting with you in a park. It is common. However, I felt they don’t smile that much in compare to Brisbane in Australia or some warm country.The weather can be mostly cooler even in summer time so it might influence the mood. I was there in August and I had to wear a jacket and hoodie in the evening.
The city by itself has an old style spirit. There are lot of old buildings in the city centre. Some parts are not that pleasant to walk especially in the evening. Mornings seems chilled but tempting for a morning run.
How to get to San Francisco?
Obviously catch a plane – I get occasionally great flight deals from Australia to San Francisco so if you subscribe you might get a good deal.
If you are already in USA and travel to or from Los Angeles then try the coastal train Amtrak Coast Starlight train!
I took the train on my way to Los Angeles. The train is going through nature, not only along the coast what I though but the last part is the most beautiful. If you are heading to Los Angeles with this train, you will see the ocean, Palm beach, and it is incredible spectacular.
What did I really enjoyed was the view of Malibu and surrounding– lets check these photos! However, the train is very average, don’t expect luxury and the food as well very basic.