One day in San Francisco
Since my last trip to the City at the Bay I keep looking back and I am surprised how much I was able to explore in the short time I was there. Even though you can easily spend weeks in this beautiful city, you get a good overview over what this city has to offer in just one day. So let me take you to my favourite places in San Francisco…
Let’s start the day with a quick breakfast in downtown San Francisco. After that head to the harbour of the city. Take an hour or so to explore Pier 39, shop in the small stores along the pier or just watch the sea lions for a while. If you want to see the infamous prison island now is the time to board the ferry to Alcatraz a few piers down the harbour – a must-see in my opinion! Take your time in Alcatraz and be sure to take the audio tour that comes with the ticket. On a nice day you can see the Golden Gate Bridge from the island. After taking the ferry back to Pier 33 take a stroll along the water to Jefferson Street and Fisherman’s Wharf. On this lovely street, you will have a lot of different restaurants to choose from for lunch.
At this point, it would be wise to rent a bike. Even though it is possible to do the next part by foot – which I have done myself – you can save a lot of time and your feet will not kill you at the end of the day. There are shops to rent bikes at every corner so it should not be a problem to get a good offer.
The most scenic route is along the water and past the beach promenade heading to the Golden Gate Bridge. If you get lucky with the weather you will have a beautiful view at the bridge as you ride along the Bay but even on a foggy day, you will have a great ambience. Cross the bridge and make a quick stop at the Vista Point before heading up the mountain to my favourite spot in the Bay area – Battery Spencer.
After you are finally able to get yourself to leave this beautiful place and are up for a short walk down the beach, I highly recommend the trail that leads to Kirby Cove. This is the beach with the famous swing pictures with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background.
By the time you get back across the bridge, the sun is probably setting and there is a small dock near the Fort Point Ranger Station where you can sit and watch a beautiful sunset behind the Golden Gate Bridge. After the sunset ride the bike back to the harbour and return it. Now you can either spend the evening at the Pier 39 or head back to the downtown area through Chinatown and end the evening in one of the many Irish pubs.
There are many other famous places in San Francisco worth visiting like Lombard Street, Sausalito or the Muir Woods National Park but for one day this tour gives you a great overview over the City at the Bay. But I have to warn you – after this one day, you will want to come back as soon as possible!