We arrived in San Francisco after a bumpy flight in from Seattle. First impressions were that San Francisco was already a hundred times better and that was only from the plane! The first thing we wanted to do was a cable car ride, so we walked around for about 30 minutes in the rain until we decided we needed another umbrella as our “couple” umbrella skills were seriously below par. In Walgreen’s we found a Muni Passport for $20 each that covered us for 3 days and let us ride on all cable cars and buses, pretty good value seeing the one way charge for a cable car ride was $5.
Napa Valley & Sonoma: That same night after our successful cable car ride, we booked our Napa Valley Wine Country tour. This was one of the best tours ever (probably because there was alcohol involved) however it helped that our guide Abe was hilarious. The tour included four wineries, a visit to a cheese and fudge factory lunch and a pick up on a limousine bus. He picked us up a bit early, so we got to see the Golden Gate Bridge and drove through a very pretty seaside town called Sausalito. All but one of the tastings at the wineries was included in the price of the ticket and lunch was delicious. Highly recommend this tour for wine lovers those that wish to see some of the San Franciscan countryside.
Alcatraz: We had to go visit Alcatraz. You can see the island from the Golden gate bridge and surprisingly it’s less 4km away from the mainland. We got our tickets the night before just to avoid the line the next morning. Our ferry was booked in for 11am There was a lot history behind the prison, interesting stories and spooky at times. Apparently, no one has successfully escaped prison – three prisoners tried a “Shawshank Redemption” escape but they were never found, so it can’t be proved. Try the Audio tour, its free and gives you a detailed account of things that happened at the prison.
It rained for most of the time we were in San Francisco, which made it hard to get those awesome Kodak moments, but on the one day it was sunny we went hardcore sight seeing. We saw the Painted Ladies which are the houses that are on the show “Full House”, we breathlessly walked Lombard Street which is the 2nd most crooked street in the world (after Wall street) and got to walk along Pier 39. This is the main restaurant and bar area in San Francisco and well renowned for their delicious Chowder and Sour Bread (which they make into animal shapes).
Some tips when visiting San Francisco:
- Get a Muni Passport – makes getting around much easier
- Track down a cafe called Blue Bottle Coffee – best coffee we’ve had
- Don’t watch the Adjustment Bureau, it’s not like Inception
- Don’t get your runners shoe shined by the shoe shiners on the street.