San Francisco

Skyline from aboard Sea Princess departing from San Francisco, California

With just under 24-hours to spend in San Francisco, we admittedly got a very thin slice of this city.  But we made the most of it, I think.

The Golden Gate Bridge viewed from our harbor tour aboard Blue & Gold Fleet

We had originally booked a hotel on our own near Fisherman’s Wharf, figuring that being in the middle of all the action would be the place to be.  We later heard that due to some construction at the port that there could be some heavy congestion there, so we cancelled that reservation and booked our hotel through Princess, knowing that they would provide the transfer from the airport to the hotel, and from the hotel to the ship.  That turned out to be a very good move, as they had a special lot for our bus to drop us off, and they made special arrangements for our luggage.  Since we were making independent arrangements for after the cruise (more on that later) we knew we would be on our own then, but also knew that would not be a problem.

Wildlife at Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco

Princess uses the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental Hotel, which is located at the top of Nob Hill, so the view was great, it was right near a number of restaurants, and a short walk to Chinatown and other interesting venues.  We arrived at the hotel just after noon, so once we checked in we headed out in search of lunch.  We found a nice little Italian restaurant a couple of blocks from the hotel, and had a nice lunch of pizza and salad.  Then we started to explore.

Cappuccino, pizza and a good book. Nob Hill Cafe, San Francisco

We had talked about riding the Cable Car around, foolishly unaware that you can’t just “hop on” a cable car any time you want!  Most of them are packed, and since we (a) didn’t want to hang off the side, and (b) knew that if we rode inside we wouldn’t be able to see, we decided to see how far our feet would take us.  We ended up pointing ourselves in the general direction of the bay, and after walking for a couple of hours we ended up at Fisherman’s Wharf.

Famous Cable Car in San Francisco, California prior to our cruise on Sea Princess

We spent some time exploring the Wharf area, checked out the seals at Pier 39, tried to find Alcatraz through the fog, then bought tickets for a harbor cruise.  The famous fog was in full force, and the tour was windy and chilly, but it was a great way to see the sights.  We cruised under the Golden Gate Bridge, around Alcatraz and had a nice over view of the skyline.  At least what we could see of it!  After a nice dinner at The Pier Market, we wisely took a taxi back up the hill to our hotel.

Uphill all the way, San Francisco

Sunday morning came quickly, given the time change, and we did a little more exploring, finding a nice little neighborhood diner for breakfast.  A walk back up the hill was our exercise for the day, so we headed to our room  to pack up for our trip to the port and our ship.

Green Light

My first impression of San Francisco is that it is a clean, vibrant and diverse town, with pride in their community, good food and friendly people with a respect for historical buildings and architecture.  We definitely would like to return and spend more time.  I think we would be hard pressed to do it justice in even a week, but I’d be willing to give it a try!  A return trip is definitely on the Wish List.

Chung King Produce Co, San Francisco, California
Aboard Sea Princess departing from San Francisco, California

6 thoughts on “San Francisco”

  1. I’ve been to California a couple of time but have never had the pleasure of visiting San Francisco but can only remember hearing overall positive things about it — much the same as your impressions.

    I like the balance of this series of photos giving a taste of some of the sights of the city, both well known and more personal level. Some good ones here.

    It does sound like you made the most of your short stay. If I was you, I’d just consider this a scouting trip for a return visit. 🙂

    1. Thanks, Earl. I’ll have a larger gallery to post on Picasa once I’ve processed a few more photos. These are a few examples to illustrate my post and I’m finding more favorites as I go back through them.

      It’s a long plane ride to San Francisco, but a return visit is definitely in order.

  2. You could really build up your leg muscles walking the streets of San Francisco. Still, it was easier walking than driving a standard transmission car. I really enjoy these photos of a great city.

    1. I can’t imagine driving an automatic-transmission car on those hills, let alone a standard-transmission car! Yikes!

      You would definitely get some exercise in that city. And I’m guessing you would walk a lot of stairs inside those old buildings, too.

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