We had taken advantage of a work trip two years ago to spend a couple of days in San Francisco. Clearly two days is not enough time to see everything that this wonderful city has to offer, but we took full advantage of the time that we had. From Chinatown to Fisherman’s Wharf or hopping on one of the famed trolleys, there are plenty of memories to be made in whatever time you have in San Francisco. Although many of the cities we’ve visited in Europe have inspired romance, this was probably one of the most romantic cities we’ve ever visited here in the United States.
We spent a good portion of our first day wandering the shops of Chinatown and eating authentic Chinese food in the many restaurants. There are other cities with their own Chinatown districts, like New York and Chicago, but Chinatown in San Francisco is the oldest and largest in the United States. In fact it is the largest anywhere outside of Asia. The history of Chinese immigration to California is definitely a sordid one, which is unfortunately the case with many of the immigrant populations throughout our country’s evolution, but today Chinatown is a vibrant center with a proud population.
Hopping on and off of the trolley cars is definitely an excellent way to get around as well as to enjoy one of the famous images that comes to mind when one thinks of San Francisco. As we walked around downtown San Francisco, we found an Irish pub proudly declaring that it was “Time For a Pint”. Who we were to argue, especially since we find Irish pubs wherever we travel. The trolley cars are also a great way to get to Fisherman’s Wharf, which is famous for its restaurants, boating excursions, sea lions, and family activities.
Pier 39, which is the pier with the most attractions in Fisherman’s Wharf, can be a full day’s worth of activities, with plenty to do during the day as well as at night. While we were there, we watched the sea lions play on the pier and had clam chowder and drinks at one of the many restaurants. We did a little shopping as well and picked up a glass Santa Claus that we display every Christmas. We didn’t have time to take one of the tours out to Alcatraz Island, but there was no missing its presence out in the bay. We had driven over the Golden Gate Bridge on our way into the city, but it looms gloriously on the horizon. As the day came to an end, the famous fog rolled in and engulfed the bridge. We were there in January, so as the day came to a close, the temperatures dropped quickly.
We had reservations at Scoma’s Restaurant on Pier 47 in Fisherman’s Wharf for later in the evening, so we made our way to the carousel that is in the center of the shops at the pier. We weren’t ashamed to take a ride on the carousel and act like the kids we are at heart. There was also an artist drawing caricatures, so we decided to sit and have one done of the two of us. We’d had them done of the kids in the past, but this was the first time we decided to do that for ourselves, it was great fun and proudly hangs on the wall of our family room today. Dinner at Scoma’s was wonderful, they are one of the best seafood restaurants in San Francisco and we’d highly recommend them to anyone.
All in all, despite our short time in San Francisco, it was truly a memorable and romantic occasion for the two of us. We’ll definitely be back in the future to see everything that the city has to offer, but any amount of time is worth it in that beautiful city. Clearly, our night at Fisherman’s Wharf was the highlight of our stay, but dining and shopping in Chinatown will forever linger in our memories forever.