Recently, I found myself with the occasion to visit San Francisco just for the weekend. My friends from Australia were in town and it was a good opportunity to visit with them and have a little bit of fun, of course.
The flight from San Diego to San Francisco is only an hour, so a weekend trip is completely do-able, of course, but I usually don’t do it just because the flights also involve spending time in airports and all the other lovely things surrounding flying. The drive takes about 7 hours, so that’s something I usually prefer to do if I have more time off of work than just the weekend.
Anyway, on this particular occasion, I decided to do a there and back trip, and it ended up being a lot of fun!
Not being a local but knowing locals, I asked some friends for recommendations on things like restaurants and coffee shops as bars, etc. and I have to say I got some great recommendations (thanks, friends!).
Upon arrival, we wandered around the city a bit, hitting up Chinatown and the Embarcadero area before taking a Lyft to Tacolicious, a restaurant we had been recommended. Tacolicious was indeed delicious, serving up some seriously delicious and interesting tacos and other fare. Highly recommended if you’re looking for delicious Mexican food! That being said, the service was pretty slow so not recommended if you’re in any kind of hurry. Thankfully, we weren’t.
We explored the city a bit more after that and ended up having dinner at Kitchen Story in the Castro District, which was also incredibly delicious. It was more of an Asian fusion restaurant with some seriously delicious food. Great meal!
The other place we experienced was a yummy coffee shop called Blue Bottle. They are a chain with several locations throughout the city, and their coffee is good. Australians are serious about their coffee and had complained that they didn’t like the coffee the United States had to offer. I of course set off to prove them wrong, and much to everybody’s delight, I did just that with Blue Bottle (thanks again for the recommendation, San Francisco friends!).
As you can see, my Saturday was mostly taken up by eating and wandering around the city, which was a good time. We stayed at the Cova Hotel in the Tenderloin District on Saturday night, and I wanted to take a moment to give you a little insight on that because the Tenderloin is an adventure all on it’s own. So, I’ll start with the good. It was a very comfortable hotel, and quite affordable for the city. That being said, if you haven’t heard of the Tenderloin District, you should be aware that it’s an….ummm….sketchy area. I say sketchy, but I mean really sketchy. Really really sketchy. We did walk a few blocks from the hotel because we were headed somewhere nearby and although it was broad daylight, I wouldn’t really recommend you do the same. It was….sketchy. That was the one and only time I did that and took Lyft to and from the hotel after that. I would recommend you stay there if you take Uber or Lyft in and out. It’s fine if you’re dropped off and picked up at the hotel. Just don’t go cruising around the Tenderloin, ok? No evening strolls. Not a good idea. That being said, I slept well, the beds were comfortable, and the room was really nice.
Ok, enough with the Tenderloin. Let’s talk about what we did on Sunday. We had an evening flight so we had plenty of time to go out and explore, and the Muir Woods were on the table. Originally we had thought about taking a ferry to a shuttle, but the scheduling didn’t really work out that well. We looked into a tour, but the tours were really expensive. Ultimately, we decided to rent a car for the day, which turned out to be the right choice.
Although the rental car office was incredibly crowded and hectic, we emerged with a car to take us wherever we wanted to go for less than 1/4 the cost it would have been to take a tour to the Muir Woods. Since we had the freedom to move around a bit, we started off with Lombard Street (the wiggliest street in the world) before heading across the Golden Gate Bridge. Having the freedom of a car, we again stopped off for a view once we crossed the bridge. The sign said no cars, but honestly, there were about 150 cars over there so we just pulled over with them anyway and got some incredible views of the bridge and the city.
Finally, we were off to the Muir Woods. Although we took a wrong turn originally, we ended up getting to the woods, parking, and going on a lovely hike among the tall coastal redwoods and it was absolutely lovely.
Lunch was a quick bite at a natural foods grocery store in Marin (gotta love those hot bars) before we headed back over the bridge, dropped off our friends, dropped off the car, and got on BART for the airport.
A quick note on BART…it needs some WD-40. Seriously.
Anyway, that was my quick weekend to San Francisco and it was amazing! Can’t wait to to it again sometime.