I came here on a Family Trip in 2013 when Nick had a lacrosse tournament in San Francisco for Ohio State University; we decided to make a family trip out of it, and I’m really glad we did. In 2015, after Mike and I drove up the coast along the pacific coast highway, we spent two nights in San Francisco. I was also here for a client in 2015. I will compile my favorite experiences from those trips.
The famous Fisherman’s wharf is right on the San Francisco Bay, and it’s traditionally a spot where local fishermen sell their fish on the market. We stayed at the Marriott right there, which was nice because it was in walking distance to everything.
This pier has rows and rows of shops for tourists, including chocolate stores, restaurants, souvenir stores, games, etc. At the end of the pier are these floating socks where there are hundreds of Sea Lions chilling out and sun bathing. It was so cool to watch them play around with each other, and play king of the castle and push each other off of the docks. When Mike and I went, it was July, and the Sea Lions had all migrates south to mate. Make sure you go to SF during the winter so that they are there!
The famous Ghiredelli square is where they make Ghiredelli chocolate, and it smells amazing outside. We went into the store and split a delicious and ginormous ice cream Sunday with cookie dough ice cream, Ghiredelli chocolate sauce, some mini Ghiredelli squares, and lots of whipped cream.
This street is known as the most crooked street in the world. It zig zags back and fourth going down a very steep hill, and has thousands of colorful flowers along the sides with houses lined up right next to it. All of the streets near here are very hilly. When Mike and I walked up here from Ghiredelli Square, I was out of breathe.
A unique mode of transportation in San Francisco is the rail trolley cars. People can buy monthly passes and when the car is coming by, they just run up to it and jump on. We bought a day pass took one on a ride all around the city.
The town has a little Italy, so of course we had to go there for dinner one night. The streets are lines with Italian restaurants, and the smell on the street is like fresh garlic. It is really amazing how steep some of the streets in the city are!
This is one of the tallest hills that sits way above the city of San Francisco, and over looks the entire city and bay. We went at sunset, and it was a beautiful site; it was also extremely windy.
San Francisco Fall Lacrosse Classic
My brother played lacrosse for Ohio State and played in the San Francisco Fall Lacrosse Classic. It was a really fun experience to watch him play in the city.
Mike and I stayed at the JW Marriott right in Union square. The square is where a lot of local artists sell their art work during the day, and the city holds events there.
We wanted to go here to see all of the pretty colored houses that look like the ones in full house. What we found was a bunch of hippy and hipster shops. We stopped at a really unique coffee shop.
Golden State Park
At the entrance of the park, there were a lot of homeless people lounging around, which was pretty sad to see. Once you keep walking in the park, it is truest a great park for San Francisco to have. They have basketball courts, tennis courts, soccer and football fields, gardens, and so many activities for people to do. We went to the Japanese Tea Garden, which was unique to see, but cost 8 dollars to get into (that doesn’t include tea, that is separate). The garden was really unique and cool to see, but for 8 dollars a person, it was really small, and didn’t have much to do.
Golden Gate Bridge
When I drove across the bridge with my family, it was so foggy, and it looked like it was going to storm. It was so bizarre. When I went across with Mike, it was clear and beautiful.
Right on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge, is a cute little town on the water called Sausalito. Mike and I ate brunch outside at a really cute restaurant. So many people rent bikes and ride them across the city, and then hang out there. I think it’d be fun to rent them and do that one day.
San Francisco Ferry
Mike and I took a ferry back from Sausalito to San Francisco. The ferry goes right near Alcatraz, which is a unique site. The ferry ride was about 20 minutes, and it was beautiful to see the city from the water.
Sonoma and Napa Valley
Wine country is about an hour drive north east of the city. We stopped in Sonoma first, which is less famous, and honestly I liked better. We went Evolve, which is the wine tasting room that one of the past Bachelor’s on ABC owns.
I had a client that was downtown Oakland. From the reputation I heard about the city, I decided to stay at the JW Marriott right downtown in San Francisco in Union Square. I took the Bart underground subway to Oakland every day, which goes underneath the San Francisco Bay. Downtown Oakland reminded me of Detroit how parts were nice, and other parts were desolate. There were many cute restaurants and shops for people to go to on their lunch breaks. I bought some of the most amazing chocolate I’ve ever had at a little market.
This city is on the hill top above Oakland with amazing views looking at San Francisco. It’s so unique, and I can see why it is such a popular place for people to go to college. While I was here, I had to drive past the Kappa Alpha Theta house; it was so massive and so beautiful.