Prior to March 16, 2017, I had never been to California. Ok, well I had passed through via a connecting flight. But that doesn’t count (right?). I had never sat, ate, people watched or explored any part of California. I was suppose to go in 2014 with my Dad but he passed away before our travels. So when the opportunity presented itself to go to San Francisco, I jumped to the invitation as a way to honor my Daddy-O and engulf myself in a new experience.
I arrived late and decided to use car service instead of the shared shuttle service. I am so glad I did because I was tired and the multiple stops would’ve really prolonged my night. The driver was amazing. Met me in baggage claim, grabbed my bags and escorted me in style (with bottled water waiting). I stayed city center at Intercontinental San Francisco. I highly recommend a city center accommodation. The room was clean, well equipped and I got much use out of the cozy robe and slippers.
So let me get right to it… I. Loved. San Francisco! But really what is there not to love? There is so much to do and if you like to experience new things this is your place. Between Chinatown, Alcatraz, Pier 39, Fishermans Wharf, Golden Gate Bridge and the list goes on. Not to mention a Day Trip to Napa Valley and Sonoma County. You literally can plan days of activities.
You cannot come to San Francisco and not enjoy the great food. I really didn’t have a bad meal while I was there and I ate at various places from pubs to Michelin star restaurants. Here are the name of a few places I ate: China Live on Broadway; Coqueta at Pier 5; The Capital Restaurant in Chinatown, Brenda’s French Soul Food (see beignets below – so yummy) and there’s so much more!
One of the highlights of my time in Chinatown was Red Blossom Tea. I did a tea tasting flight session (very similar to a wine tasting). It was a wonderful time seeing the proper way to prepare the teas and enjoy the robust flavors. It cost $30 for up to 6 people so a great deal and you learn a lot. If you love tea, this is a must do on your to do list.
I traveled around the city mainly by Uber/Lyft. You definitely don’t need a car and I never waited more than 5-10 minutes for a ride. San Francisco has plenty of hills and to do many of the activities you will have a lot of walking. However you can pick a few tours that limits the walking for those with mobility constraints (The Grand Bus Tour of San Francisco and The Sunset San Francisco Bay Tour are 2 tours that I would suggest). Alcatraz offers a car service to take traveler’s up to the main building for the tour vs. walking up the steep winding hill.
If you have been dreaming of a getaway to California. San Francisco is a great place to go and start your love affair with California. Most start with Los Angeles but I’m glad I started with San Francisco. It has a different vibe that is hip, refreshing and fun. I definitely fell in love and I know you will too!
Until next time,