I just took my very first trip to San Francisco and as expected I loved this city for exactly all of the stereotypes it has. The big city vibe, Golden Gate Bridge, the colorful architecture, steep hills, trolly cars and rich history. When I asked all of you for your favorites things, I was overwhelmed with responses of ideas for what to eat, see and do. Because we only had 2.5 days to experience the city I'm already urging my girls-trip-squad to add San Francisco to our list so I can go back to do all the other stuff you sent me! My excuse for this weekend getaway began because Hamilton the Broadway show was playing there. I have wanted to see this show since it began, I've listened to the soundtrack more times than I'd like to admit. Trust me, this show lives up to the hype. If you haven't seen it yet, please do yourself a favor and find a city where it's playing and plan a trip. This was for sure a weekend highlight.
We stayed at the JW Marriott in Union Station. I really liked the location being within 'city' walking distance to shopping, dive bars, restaurants and museums. We did more than 6 miles each day. However if you love the SF Bay area because it's on the water, I'd lean more towards staying in Fisherman's Wharf.
Fisherman's Wharf is more touristy with shops, street music and some of the most amazing seafood street carts. Plus this is where the ships and ferries leave to Alcatraz & the charming Sausalito area. One of my most favorite experiences in Fisherman's Wharf was at the world-famous Irish Coffee spot Vista Buena. It's a loud bar / diner atmosphere with a community feel as the bartenders have been there for 40+ years. The seating process is open shared seating, find a table and join the strangers who will become friends by the end of the ever-so-strong famous cup of Irish Coffee. I don't even drink whiskey but in the spirit of experiences, I joined in and left happy pappy! We can't go anywhere without Chris visiting the city's China Town. The area is dirty and crowded, but I enjoyed walking into what felt like a completely different country. We have a neighbor who used to live here that insisted we eat at The Great Eastern Restaurant. She was right and Chris was in heaven with its super authentic dishes. I opted for a few traditional dishes and I have to admit, it was absolutely delicious.
The very best meal we had was at California's oldest restaurant and America's 3rd oldest longest running restaurant, Tadich's Grill founded in 1849. This place is a gem and a must-experience place, it's located in the Financial District. Every server/bartender/chef has more than 35 years experience and most have been there since the beginning of their career. The food is classics with no frills just real good cooking. Chris is still talking about the lobster tail he devoured. When you go make sure you get a crab cake it's life changing.
This trip was mostly about exploring the streets and stopping for coffee, appetizers, wine, dinner, repeat. We enjoyed a wine flight at this quaint hidden wine spot in an ally called The Hidden Vine it has the coolest vibe. We ate a lot, but we walked a lot too so made up for the indulging.
And let me tell you, walking the steep hills of SF is not joke! Inclines that are sure to work off any calorie intake. I was distracted from the burn by the amazing multi colored homes with incredible views during our walk from Fisherman's Wharf through Nob Hill back to Union Station. That was until Chris said, enough, let's jump on the trolley. We jumped on the Powell/Hyde route. This was the ultimate SF experience!.
Lastly, it would not be a San Francisco trip without seeing the world famous landmark, The Golden Gate Bridge. Thanks to the non-stop rain and fog my pictures do no justice to the pure beauty of it. We stopped into the visitor center to learn it's history. A Chicago-based engineer named Joseph Strauss began the project in 1921. It opened in 1937. The images they have of the construction along the way is impressive. And crazy, I kept thinking, who would have been crazy enough to build this massive bridge without any type of safety net. Pictures and words cannot fully describe this bridge, you must go experience it yourself. From here we walked a trail towards Crissy Field where you'll find the best views of both the bridge and Alcatraz, a National Historic Landmark. This prison's history is fascinating.
San Francisco is definitely a city that I will be returning to. Perhaps a podcast trip is in order?! I mean, it is just over an hour to Napa. Sounds right up our ally. Cheers friends!