A Perfect Getaway to San Francisco, California

A few years ago, we had the opportunity to spend a couple of days in San Francisco. From Chinatown, Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz, to the Golden Gate Bridge, there are plenty of sights to be seen in the city of 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.  It is a friendly city with a wonderful climate that seems to just make you feel relaxed and at home during your time there.

Sea Lions at Pier 39 in Fisherman's Wharf
Sea Lions at Pier 39 in Fisherman’s Wharf
Grant Avenue, the Main Street in Chinatown
Grant Avenue, the Main Street in Chinatown
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San Francisco Skyline

No visit to San Francisco would be complete without wandering the streets of Chinatown and exploring the shops and eating authentic Chinese food in one of 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.  Chinatown is a city within a city with its own vibrant culture and crowded and colorful streets.

Entrance to Chinatown
Entrance to Chinatown
Chinatown Mural
Chinatown Mural
Streets of Chinatown
Streets of Chinatown

The city is definitely very walkable, but there are a lot of hills, so you need to be in shape if you are considering that approach.  A better option, however, is hopping on and off of the trolley cars as they are an excellent way to get around as well.  Along with the Golden Gate Bridge, the trolley cars are one of the images that immediately come to mind when people think of San Francisco.  They are also a great way to get to Fisherman’s Wharf, which is famous for its restaurants, boating excursions, sea lions, and family activities.

San Francisco Trolley
San Francisco Trolley
Irish Pub
Irish Pub
Sea Lions Playing at Pier 39
Sea Lions Playing at Pier 39

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.  Unfortunately, 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 was even more impressive seeing it from the pier.  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.

Alcatraz
Alcatraz
Fisherman's Wharf
Fisherman’s Wharf
Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge
Fog Close Up
Fog Rolling in over the Golden Gate Bridge

There is a carousel in the center of the shops at the pier, which is colorful during the day, but even more so at night when the lights are all lit.  We couldn’t resist the temptation to release our inner child and take a ride on the carousel.  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.  There a many restaurants to choose from in Fisherman’s Wharf and we went to a couple, including Scoma’s Restaurant on Pier 47 for dinner.  

Pete and Dona on the Carousel
Pete and Dona on the Carousel
Our Caricature
Our Caricature
Dessert at Scoma's Restaurant
Dessert at Scoma’s Restaurant

San Francisco is definitely a destination that should be visited as it is beautiful and has so many things to see and do.  We’ll definitely be back in the future to see more that the city has to offer, but any amount of time is worth spending in this wonderful 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.

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