I Left My Heart in San Francisco
Recently, I had the amazing opportunity to head back to my old stomping grounds in San Fran. If you don’t already know, I grew up mostly in Northern California, then moved to San Diego for most of High School until my family relocated to Minnesota just before college. The Bay Area holds a very special place in my heart – both of my sisters were born there and I have so many amazing memories of wonderful people who were in my life throughout those early years.
This particular trip was extra special since the rest of my immediate family got to join me and James for a good chunk of the trip! And to top it off, it was the first time my entire family was able to take a trip together somewhat carefree since before I can remember.
Since this is my first travel post, you don’t yet know how my husband and I like to take vacations, but here’s how it usually goes and why we vacation where we do…
One birthday, James was gifted one of those beautiful TIME books entitled 100 Places in the World to See Before you Die (if you’ve never seen one of these yet, find one soon! They are incredible coffee table books and I guarantee you’ll realize there are so many places in America you never thought would be considered ‘cool’). Since then, every trip we’ve taken has been carefully calculated so we can check off as many pages in the book as possible.
//MY TRAVEL LOOKS FOR THIS TRIP//
As of yet, we’ve only made a dent in the US portion of the book, but the World portion will be chiseled away as our lives continue!! Over the years, we’ve been to so many cool places -- the Rocky Mountains, the Hoh Rainforest, Vancouver, the Mammoth Caves, to name a few.
On this trip, San Francisco itself was the attraction, along with the Bixby Canyon Bridge and Big Sur.
We started the trip off by nestling into the Fisherman’s Wharf area for the first 5 days. During that time, we took some amazing day trips to see the Bixby Canyon Bridge, along with Big Sur, which conveniently is in the same geographic area of CA.
We did so many fun things during this leg of the trip, like taking a (unplanned) 12 mile walk from our hotel, across the Golden Gate Bridge and into Sausalito, visiting the Coit Tower, hanging around the Embarcadero, Ghirardelli Square, hiking through the Redwoods in the Muir Woods, seeing the famous Painted Ladies (a fantastically colorful group of those San Fran town homes that are just too cute!) and taking a super fun trip to the Cliff House. We even drove down to San Jose to take a tour of the Winchester Mystery House because I'd never gone before! Too fun!
Despite all this fun, without a doubt, Alcatraz HAD to be the highlight of this leg of the trip. I had no idea how historical and absolutely breathtaking the whole experience would be. If you get the chance to go, I promise it won’t disappoint. My advice: take the guided audio tour, it really increases the experience. Here are some fun pics from the island!
//My FAVE Picks//
Fave cup of coffee: PHILZ - its a small chain that has BIG flavor; they have a super unique way of brewing. You choose your individual espresso beans and then they customize the froth and sugar quantity and type based on your tastebuds and preference.
Breakfast: Boudin - HANDS DOWN my favorite, favorite place to go in San Fran whenever I'm there. They are the ultimate in Sourdough Bread and the breakfast (and lunch and dinner) is unmatched.
Best Seafood Dinner: Alioto's - the ultimate in italian seafood. Truly an awesome experience and fine dining a great ambiance.
Shopping Area: Downtown Sausalito's Waterfront Shopping. They have everything you could want on all price ranges.
Place to Stay: Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf - super convenient and close to everything in the heart of the Fisherman's Wharf district. Relatively reasonable price for the area and super comfy :)
Hope you enjoyed reading! Leave a comment below and introduce yourself if this is your first visit to my blog – I love meeting new people and sharing experiences with others!