San Francisco – a Place to Return to

The foggy city by the bay attracts more than 15 million visitors each year. And it is not hard to see why…yes, there are steep rolling hills, beautiful Victorian houses, and iconic cable cars. It is also home of the historic Golden Gate Bridge and 2,4 km offshore of the city centre was for a period of 29 years home to some of the most notorious criminals in America. Since then we’ve seen various movies taken place inside this prison, which have only made it more mystique, and the million dollar question remains “have anyone manage to break out of Alcatraz?” 

Today Alcatraz Island attracts over a million visitor a year, but a part from Fisherman’s Wharf, which in my opinion is nothing more than a tacky tourist trap Alcatraz is well worth seeing. However the tours tends to sell out, so a little bit of planing ahead is advisable if you wish to do a bit of thinking in a dark and damp isolation cell.

The vibrant and multicultural city of San Francisco is very walkable, but an even better way to see as much as possible of the different neighbourhoods would be to rent a bike. And if you’re peddling away in a decent tempo you can see quite a lot in just a day. There are a few different places that will rent you a bike, and if you feel a bit lazy you can always try out the electric bike option…They will hand you a map,  a helmet and give you some basic traffic instructions, like how you’re not allowed to cycle on the pavement, and then it is just to start explore…

Cycling around the Golden Gate Park is a great way to get out of the city, this enormous park is very much-loved by the locals, and it really is spectacular. Join in to a game of football, have a picnic, drink some tea at the Japanese tea garden or just do some reading under a tree.  And be sure to check online if there are any cool events going on in the park.

The way from the park and towards the Golden Gate Bridge is really pretty, and there are some spectacular views to be had. Even if you might be able to see the bridge from a distance pretty much all over town, the only way to really get a feel of its size is to be standing right above the mid-spa looking down at  the tiny tiny boats. And when you crossed the bridge you might as well continue all the way to Sausalito. A touristy seaside town, or suburb might be more accurate but none the less very cosy, and perfect to just stroll around or grab an ice-cold beer and just admire the amazing views of SF. Although apparently it is more or less always foggy, windy and cold in SF, so you might wanna be sitting inside by a roaring fire instead of outside on the veranda. I’d prepared and packed a rain coat and an umbrella, but during my stay it was nothing but clear blue sky and sunshine!


2 thoughts on “San Francisco – a Place to Return to

  1. You made it to Aquatic Park, but missed Hyde St. Pier and the historic ships. Which are the best thing about Fishermans Wharf IMNSHO. I have, sadly, watched it change from its last vestiges of a working wharf from the 1970s to tourist trap it looks to be now, but there are still some things to be seen under the tinsel and trash. The Seaman’s Chapel on Pier 45 is one, as is Alioto Lazio, the last working fish market just last the corner on Hyde St and the place I’ll be getting the freshest crab in the City come Nov. 1st when the season opens. And the visitor center exhibit in the Haslett Warehouse at the corner of Hyde and Jefferson will show you what the wharf used to be like. We also have Aquatic Park and the Aquatic Park Bathhouse, a beautiful example of the kinds of things the WPA built. And from Pier 41, you can take a ferry out to Angel Island, the Ellis Island of the West Coast. It is every bit as interesting as Alcatraz and a whole lot prettier–and there are no lines to get out there either.

    • Thank you for your comment! It’s always great to get some local tips and input! The original plan actually involved taking a trip to Angel Island, unfortunately do to lack of time and two people wanting different things we ended up skipping it. (Another reason why I mostly travel solo…) As for Fishemans wharf, even if it might seem like nothing more than another tourist trap, your totally right, sometimes all you need to do is try and look beyond all that and you’ll find some real treasures. I for one would just love to buy some freshly caught crab;)

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