San Francisco

August 09, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Last month my wife and I made a week-long trip to San Francisco. We briefly visited the city back in 2014 during a day trip from Sacramento, however we did not have enough time to truly experience the city. Since my wife was there for a solar conference, I was in charge of finding the best places to visit and eat while she had free time to site-see. The first two days were dedicated to just seeing the sites of the city and the surrounding areas. She had to go to her solar conference for the last three days of the trip, so I wandered the city on foot with my camera those days.


Day 1: For our first day in the city, we decided to try to visit as many landmark sites as possible. Luckily our hotel was right off of Lombard street, so we didn't have to walk far to see the crookedest street in the world. I had always heard that San Francisco was hilly, however I was not prepared for the sheer steepness of many of the climbs. The weather was a pleasant 68 degrees during the day, however you could easily work up a sweat by constantly climbing up and down the hills in the city. After visiting Lombard St, we made our way down to Fisherman's Wharf and visited the nearby Ghirardelli factory. After getting a taste of some fresh chocolate, we walked to Chinatown and then to the financial district. From there, we walked down the Embarcadero back to Fisherman's Wharf and got on a open-top bus tour to cross the Golden Gate Bride. After nearly freaking out the we missed the last tour bus, we lucked up and caught the last tour of the day to cross back over the Golden Gate Bridge and back into the city. Unfortunately, the tour didn't take us back near our hotel and dropped us off at Union Station instead. I quick trip via cable car and we were back near our hotel and ready to eat dinner at a little restaurant near the bay...

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Day 2: Our second day started with a car rental to visit areas outside of the city. We drove north across the Golden Gate bridge and travel to Muir Woods. Since childhood I have always wanted to see the redwood trees. It is truly awe-inspiring how massive the giant Sequoias and Redwoods are. We were lucky enough to get a parking spot right by the entrance for the park and we were also able to see a mule deer grazing in the ferns amongst the shadows of forest. After walking through Muir Woods, we traveled east to Sonoma for lunch. After seeing the town of Sonoma, we traveled to Napa to see the wineries there. After driving through the area, we decided that we wanted to see Sausalito since we wouldn't have another chance to see it on this trip. We drove back to the coast and enjoyed the cool breeze coming off of the bay waters. Our last stop took us to the famous painted ladies houses. Unfortunately the best view of the houses was unavailable since the park across the street was closed due to renovation.

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Day 3: My wife's solar conference started on day three, so I was alone for the day. I drove our rental car to the Presidio and then went on to Bakers Beach before returning it to the rental company at lunch time. I spent the rest of the day exploring Union Station and downtown San Francisco on foot.

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Day 4: The next day was more of the same for me. I walked from Union Station to Chinatown and later to Coit tower. The views from the top were worth the climb up to the tower. You had a great view of both the bay and the downtown area. This also allows for one of the best views of Lombard St. A quick slice of pizza served as my fuel before walking back to Chinatown and later to the Embarcadero.

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Day 5: For the last full day in San Francisco, I decided to see as much of Golden Gate Park as I could. I rode a MUNI train to the Pacific Ocean and then entered into the western edge of the park. I believe that I must have seen most of the park since I got turned around quite a few times while walking around. After wandering around for a few hours, I walked out of the park and traveled back down towards Union Station. I was able to photograph City hall and then I went back to the hotel to rest my feet.

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When it was all said and done, I found that I took over 2,000 photos and walked over 30 miles in 5 days. After experiencing the San Francisco area, I can see why the real estate prices are so high. My wife and I were already joking about how feasible it would be to buy a home in the bay area. I definitely didn't miss the Georgia heat when returning to Atlanta at the end of our trip. I certainly hope that we are able to visit the city again in the future. To view or purchase photos from our San Francisco trip, click here.



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