San Francisco in 3-2-1

Tripoto

It either rains or is warm in San Francisco (SFO). Nobody told us it could be chilly too. We were in SFO for three days and not one day of respite from the chill. Nevertheless, the city is beautiful and worth braving the cold for.

The first day, after a long flight across the coasts, we decided to visit the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. No amount of pictures prepared me for the magical sight of the bridge. It is absolutely a stunning view and leaves your awestruck at the very first sight. The ‘international orange’ colour of the bridge catches your eye the moment you see it from afar. Go up to the vantage point for ‘the view’ of the bridge. Here you can take as many pictures from the angles and never get enough still. However, that’s not all at the site. You will find locals heading towards a trail that goes down to somewhere in the trees. That trail will take you to the beach below and you will be walking for 15 minutes in the shade of pine and other trees. Slowly at the end, the camping grounds will emerge and if you refuse to go that path, keep heading straight, find your self on a quaint beach with water waves lapping the shores, a swing hanging by a tree and a wooden platform where you can sit or have picnic at the benches. You can spend half of your day there and not be disturbed by people as not many of them know or come there. Make it back to the bridge just in time for the sunset. It will be a magical day.

Photo of Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA, United States by Frodo of Shire

For rest of the two days, to see the city, either you make notes of the places you’d like to go or like us take a two-day hop-on-hop-off bus pass. We opted for the Big Bus. It gave us access to all the main spots of the city at a more affordable price of 50 dollars. It came to be much cheaper than Uber or renting a car that won’t make sense in SFO.

For the next two days, we went around the city at ease and got off wherever we thought we wanted to explore. The highlights of our hopping were:

-City Hall- experience the royal architecture from inside and witness weddings happening there

-Haight-Ashbury or the Hippie town- for vintage & contemporary shopping. It’s a very different part of SFO

-Japanese garden & California academy of Science- sip on the green matcha, walk in the Japanese styled gardens and even if you don’t get the chance to go see the California academy, don’t miss the gift shop for some exciting souvenirs.

-Sausalito- lose your heart to the little town on the other side of the bridge, have an ice cream at Lappeat’s and pick chocolates at Pick me up Chocolate.

- Lombard street- trek on the famous crooked street and get a view of the city from top.

- Painted ladies- an over-rated place, go if you have time.

- Pier 39- get some fresh sea-food, shop for trinkets, see sour-dough being made right in front of your eyes.

- Ghirardelli Square- end your tour by having your favourite ice-cream and chocolates at the square. You can never have enough of this place.

Photo of San Francisco City Hall, San Francisco, CA, United States by Frodo of Shire
Photo of Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco, CA, United States by Frodo of Shire
Photo of Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA, United States by Frodo of Shire
Photo of Sausalito, CA, United States by Frodo of Shire
Photo of Lappert's Ice Cream, Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA, United States by Frodo of Shire
Photo of Pick Me Up Chocolate, Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA, United States by Frodo of Shire
Photo of Lombard Street, San Francisco, CA, United States by Frodo of Shire
Photo of Painted Ladies, Steiner Street, San Francisco, CA, United States by Frodo of Shire
Photo of Ghirardelli Square, North Point Street, San Francisco, CA, United States by Frodo of Shire

Don’t forget to take that old styled cable car that’s driven by gears operated by hands.

The next stop for us was Los Angeles. Instead of flying in, we did the Pacific highway 1 drive. It took 14 hours with all the stops for food and scenery. That’s a road trip you don’t want to miss. With numerous vantage points, you can make stopovers and enjoy the scenery. (PS drive from SFO to LA to be on the side of Pacific)

Carmel-by- the seas is a beautiful little town where even the Comfort Inn looks beautiful. You can stop for some grub at the numerous eating places or like us sit out in an open-air restaurant called The Village Corner. One can stay overnight here to break journey and rest a while, or continue going straight till Big Sur. Try getting there by sunset to witness yet another spectacular sunset. One can also sleep at Big Sur inns or the camping grounds. After dark, look up from the water to the star filled sky. A convertible for this journey won’t hurt a bit.

Photo of Pacific Coast Highway, Pacifica, CA, United States by Frodo of Shire
Photo of Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA, United States by Frodo of Shire
Photo of Big Sur, CA, United States by Frodo of Shire

As you enter the city of skyscrapers Los Angeles, you will get one last chance to look up for one last time in awe.

Photo of Los Angeles, CA, United States by Frodo of Shire
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