Oh San Francisco! You are beautiful! It was the last leg of our 72-hour road trip that we didn’t want to end! In case you missed my previous posts, my fiance and I went on a very tiring but well worth it 72-hour road trip flying in from San Diego to San Francisco then drove to Monterey, Pebble Beach, Solvang, Hearst Castle, Big Sur and then back to San Francisco for our flight back to San Diego. We arrived at San Francisco around 8 PM on a Sunday that 3rd weekend of April in 2008 and although we were quite tired, we still managed to visit the Golden Gate Bridge to see how beautiful it looks at night (we were so glad we did). To get the best view of the bridge at night, we went to Horseshoe Bay in Sausalito, just North of San Francisco. I wish we had better cameras at the time for the entire trip to better capture the beautiful sceneries and landmarks that we’ve seen. The Golden Gate Bridge is an amazing work of art! No wonder it’s one of the most beautiful and most photographed bridge in the world. It really is a MUST see.
After our quick nighttime sightseeing, we went ahead and checked in to our hotel. We were just going to check in then head back out to grab dinner but we were so pooped out that we decided to just call in for room service. We stayed at Prescott Hotel located in the center of the city and close to San Francisco’s popular attractions. It was a really nice hotel that allowed us to have our much-needed rest for the busy half a day we were going to have the next day before heading back home. We also enjoyed our room service dinner and I must day that it was the best mac and cheese I’ve ever had aside from the one I discovered recently in San Diego which I will share here in my blog too! The food was from Wolfgang Puck’s Postrio which is located at the hotel’s lobby. I wish I can find the photos I took of that yummy mac and cheese and the interior of the hotel so I can share it here. Anyway, we had a busy morning planned but had a hard time waking up early that we missed breakfast and ended up leaving the hotel at 11 AM, two hours later than what we originally planned. We checked out and headed back to the Golden Gate Bridge only to see fog! Yes, fog! But we patiently waited and good thing it didn’t take that long for the fog to go away. Leaving the hotel two hours later actually worked out even better for us! See, things always happen for a reason! 😉 So, we spent a good amount of time enjoying the scenery and taking photos. We also went to Crissy Field, Fisherman’s Wharf, checked out the sea lions at Pier 39, Lombard Street, Japanese Tea Garden, Palace of Fine Arts and De Young Museum. We also had a glimpse of Alcatraz Island, the Coit Tower and the Painted Ladies. Ahhh, so many places to see, so little time! We did all that from 11 AM until 4:30 PM. We were in such a hurry the whole time that it felt like we were in the Amazing Race! Hahahaha! But at least we were able to squeeze in some time to eat lunch and buy some souvenirs! We had to tell the waiter that we were in a hurry though and they rushed everything for us which was very nice :). I’m also glad that we didn’t miss our flight although we were the last ones to board. Phew!
We were able to swing by the city again in 2010 en route to Bremerton (Washington) but still didn’t have enough time to really explore in a leisurely pace. So we plan on going back again sometime soon and really enjoy what the city has to offer :).
Here are some of our photos but please be warned that you’ll see us in most of the photos as we had way too much fun posing that day! Hahahaha! 😀
The view of Golden Gate Bridge from Horshoe Bay in Sausalito.
Cheesy! Hahaha! My Mom loves this photo though. Okay…okay….we do too! Hahaha!
Yay! We love it here that’s why we are jumping for joy! 😀
The view of Alcatraz from Crissy Field.
Japanese Tea Garden Entrance
The Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina District of San Francisco, California, is a monumental structure originally constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in order to exhibit works of art presented there. One of only a few surviving structures from the Exposition, it is the only one still situated on its original site. It was rebuilt in 1965, and renovation of the lagoon, walkways, and a seismic retrofit were completed in early 2009. In addition to hosting art exhibitions, it remains a popular attraction for tourists and locals, and is a favorite location for weddings and wedding party photographs for couples throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, and such an icon that a miniature replica of it was built in Disney’s California Adventure in Anaheim. (Wikipedia)
It was under construction when we went in 2008. I’m glad it wasn’t anymore when we went back in 2010 and we were able to take better pictures :).
Say cheese! 😀
Love this shot! Hahaha! 😀
Alcatraz Island is located in the San Francisco Bay, 1.5 miles (2.4 km) offshore from San Francisco, California, United States. Often referred to as “The Rock”, the small island was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison (1868), and a federal prison from 1933 until 1963. Beginning in November 1969, the island was occupied for more than 19 months by a group of Aboriginal peoples from San Francisco who were part of a wave of Native activism across the nation with public protests through the 1970s. In 1972, Alcatraz became a national recreation area and received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1986. Today, the island’s facilities are managed by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area; it is open to tours. Visitors can reach the island by ferry ride from Pier 33, near Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco. Hornblower Cruises and Events, operating under the name Alcatraz Cruises, is the official ferry provider to and from the island. Hornblower launched the nation’s first hybrid propulsion ferry in 2008, the Hornblower Hybrid, which now serves the island, docking at the Alcatraz Wharf. It is home to the abandoned prison, the site of the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States, early military fortifications, and natural features such as rock pools and a seabird colony (mostly Western Gulls, cormorants, and egrets). According to a 1971 documentary on the History of Alcatraz, the island measures 1,675 feet (511 m) by 590 feet (180 m) and is 135 feet (41 m) at highest point during mean tide. However, the total area of the island is reported to be 22 acres (8.9 ha). Landmarks on the island include the Main Cellhouse, Dining Hall, Library, Lighthouse, the ruins of the Warden’s House and Officers Club, Parade Grounds, Building 64, Water Tower, New Industries Building, Model Industries Building, and the Recreation Yard. (Wikipedia)
Can you see The Rock?
The San Francisco cable car system is the world’s last manually-operated cable car system. An icon of San Francisco, California, the cable car system forms part of the intermodal urban transport network operated by the San Francisco Municipal Railway. Of the twenty-three lines established between 1873 and 1890, three remain (one of which combines parts of two earlier lines): two routes from downtown near Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf, and a third route along California Street. While the cable cars are used to a certain extent by commuters, the vast majority of their 7 million annual passengers are tourists. They are among the most significant tourist attractions in the city, along with Alcatraz Island, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Fisherman’s Wharf. The cable cars are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The cable cars are not to be confused with San Francisco’s heritage streetcars, which operate on Market Street and the Embarcadero. (Wikipedia)
Lombard Street is an east–west street in San Francisco, California. It is famous for having a steep, one-block section that consists of eight tight hairpin turns. The street was named after Lombard Street in Philadelphia by San Francisco surveyor Jasper O’Farrell. (Wikipedia)
Fisherman’s Wharf is a neighborhood and popular tourist attraction in San Francisco, California. It roughly encompasses the northern waterfront area of San Francisco from Ghirardelli Square or Van Ness Avenue east to Pier 35 or Kearny Street. The F Market streetcar runs through the area, the Powell-Hyde cable car lines runs to Aquatic Park, at the edge of Fisherman’s Wharf, and the Powell-Mason cable car line runs a few blocks away.
TUESDAY, MAY 20, 1956 A COLORFUL FIGURE in San Francisco restaurant life is the genial owner of Fishermen’s Grotto, Mike Geraldi, who opened the first restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf. Mike got his start as a boy, trudging up and down San Francisco hills selling baskets of fish he earned by helping fishermen unload their catches. He finally saved enough to buy a fishing boat and set up a little corner stand to sell his own fish. During this time he noted the tastes of his customers, storing recipes which were to become invaluable in later years. As his trade grew he opened his restaurant on the Wharf. (www.fishermensgrotto.com)
Pier 39 is a shopping center and popular tourist attraction built on a pier in San Francisco, California. At Pier 39, there are shops, restaurants, a video arcade, street performances, an interpretive center for the Marine Mammal Center, the Aquarium of the Bay, virtual 3D rides, and views of California sea lions hauled out on docks on Pier 39’s marina. The marina is also home to the floating Forbes Island restaurant. A two-story carousel is one of the pier’s more dominant features, although it is not directly visible from the street and sits towards the end of the pier. The family-oriented entertainment and presence of marine mammals make this a popular tourist location for families with kids. The pier is located at the edge of the Fisherman’s Wharf district and is close to North Beach, Chinatown, and the Embarcadero. The area is easily accessible via the historic F Market streetcars. From the pier one can see Angel Island, Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Bay Bridge. Blue & Gold Fleet’s bay cruises leave from Pier 39. Pier 39 was first developed by entrepreneur Warren Simmons and opened October 4, 1978. (Wikipedia)