San Francisco, so much to do!
Recently, I had the opportunity to visit this diverse city along with my life long best friend Darla. We decided to head out west to visit both San Francisco and Napa Valley, to celebrate turning 40. A little adventure filled with lots of great dining, excursions, amazing wine and of course California charm. This post is the highlight of San Francisco. Napa will be it’s own post coming soon!
Our first day of arriving in San Francisco had us out and about to explore. We stayed at the Hotel Triton, which is located in a perfect location to explore China Town and Union Square. We walked for a good hour to see what was around, but then opted to take a cab to grab some lunch over at Fisherman’s Wharf.
Fisherman’s Wharf features some of the city’s finest seafood all throughout the historic fishing district. Plus, it’s not too far from Pier 39 where you can see the hundreds of famous sea lions. Both the Wharf and the Pier feature hundreds of shops and dining options, which makes them one of the most popular tourist destinations in San Francisco. The people are eccentric and I can people watch all day. We enjoyed a delicious lunch and a few cocktails at Boudin’s, San Francisco’s famous bakery, which is known for it’s incredible breads and chowders. We walked over to see the famous sea lions, took in the gorgeous view of Alcatraz, and did a little shopping around the wharf. We walked from Pier 39 all the way to then end where there’s a beach. Darla wanted to dip her toes in the Pacific…and brrrr, it was freezing.
After checking out the pier, seeing the wharf, dipping those toes in the ocean, and avoiding getting run over by a cable car, we treated ourselves to some Ghirardelli chocolate and one of their amazing chocolate shakes. To die for.
On day two we wanted to make sure to get as much in as we could while traveling to San Francisco. One of our favorite activities was the double decker bus around the city via Big Bus Tours. These tours are great whether you want a relaxing guided tour around the city or if you want to hop off and on at over 20 locations within the city. They provide you with a map of drop off locations as well as headphones to listen to a recording of where we are in the city and give you a little history of each area.
One stop that we chose to hop off at was Ashbury and Haight district. This area was made famous by The Grateful Dead and the neighborhood is known for its history of hippie subculture. With vintage shops, the smell of marijuana in the air, a man singing the blues on the corner, this little area looked like the perfect place to check something off my bucket list. I walked into Mama’s, the oldest tattoo shop in the Haight, and I left with my first tattoo – Life’s a journey.
We ate some incredible food during our time in San Francisco. The first night we indulged with some yummy southern soul food at Hops and Hominy. We realized the small world we live in when we found out the story of this place.
We’re three friends from Ocala, Florida, with deep roots in small town hospitality. Our Southeastern inspired restaurant features a variety of sustainable and organic goods, craft brewed American micro-beers, and a choice collection of local wines and spirits. We aim to recreate a little taste of Southern community, bringing people together by sharing great food & drink. We look forward to welcoming you into our family.
Darla and I grew up about 20 miles southwest of Ocala, so it was fun to be able to support some local hometown people. They even had bacon infused bourbon that I was encouraged to try. It was so powerful, but I gave it a try after my delicious shrimp and grits. This was one of those restaurants we stumbled upon and we were very glad we did! Great food, great service and a fun atmosphere.
One of the biggest highlights of the trip was going to the Golden Gate Bridge. We actually went over it wheile on the Big Bus Tour, but we rented a car to drive to Napa Valley, so we spent more time on taking in the beauty of the bridge and the view when we had time on our own. It was amazing to say the least. Kind symbolic for two 40 year old friends. We have crossed many bridges together in life, middle school, high school, lived together, got married, had kids, went through divorces, and the experiences go on….as we cross over the bridge to the next phase of our lives, not only are we embarking on new adventures, but we are doing it together.
If you haven’t been to San Francisco, it’s definitely something to put on your bucket list. The list of things to do and see are long, but even in a few days you can see a lot. San Francisco, so much to do!