Day of arrival
After picking up my rental car and buying a SIM card with unlimited internet it was already late afternoon. Before driving to my hostel in Sausalito I stopped at The Painted Ladies at the Alamo Square. The houses became famous due to their appearance in the sitcom ‘Full House’. To reach my hostel in Sausalito I had to cross the Golden Gate bridge, which was very cool. When you leave San Francisco it’s for free but every time you drive into the city via the bridge you have to pay toll. When I arrived at my hostel, HI Marin Headlands, I was quite impressed. It’s one of the most beautiful houses I’ve ever seen. Very American with a nice atmosphere and surrounded by nature.
Due to a heat wave I had the chance to have my breakfast outside. At 9 am I arrived at pier 33 to take the boat to Alcatraz Island at 10 am. Alactraz used to be a prison for America’s most difficult and dangerous felons from 1934 to 1963. On the island you can get a guided audio tour. It’s very educational and extremely interesting. The island is also very accessible for disabled people. I arrived back at the shore at 12.30 pm. So visiting Alcatraz takes you approximately 3 hours in total.
Tip: Buy your tickets in advance, it’s almost always sold out
Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39
Next I headed over to Fisherman’s Wharf. I guess it’s heaven for people who like fish but I don’t so I went for lunch at Applebee’s where I had a great view over Fisherman’s Wharf as they have a terrace on the 3th floor. After lunch I walked to Pier 39. It’s an awesome place. You can find the Hard Rock Cafe over there and also lots of original shops and restaurants. It’s like a little cozy village. You can even spot sea lions over there.
Lombard street & Haight street
Driving down Lombard Street was the next awesome thing I did that day. It’s said that it’s the most crooked street in the world. But Lombard street is a long street and only a short part is crooked. An exact address to reach the crooked part is 1070 Lombard Street, San Francisco. After the ride I also walked up and down the street to see it from another perspective.
Another lovable street I discovered in San Francisco was Haight Street. It’s a colorful hippie area. I bumped into lots of beautiful painted murals and street art, cozy cafes and hip bars. The area still holds that free and liberal vibe more than any other part of San Francisco.
16th Avenue Tiled steps & Japanese Tea Garden
Afterwards I drove to the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps, a 163 step stairway with mosaic tiles. They are exactly what stairs should look like, colorful. I just loved this place.
My last stop for that day was the Japanese Tea Garden. I paid 9 dollars entrance but I was kinda disappointed. It’s a beautiful place but it’s much smaller than it seems which makes it quite expensive.
Golden Gate Vista Point & Kirby Cove
The Golden Gate Vista Point is located in Sausalito. If you ask me, this is the best place to admire the bridge. After spending some time staring at this impressive bridge I hiked to Kirby Cove. The path starts next to the parking lot of the Vista Point so I left my car over there and hiked al the way down. The path is one mile long and very steep. Because of the heat it was very exhausting but it turned out to be worth it. This place offered me a whole new perspective on the bridge. Kirby Cove is also known for the famous swing but sometimes they cut him off. This time they’d hung up another swing.
San Francisco is an awesome city with beautiful houses and the steepest streets I’ve ever seen. I recommend taking a hotel in Sausalito. Why? Because
1: you have to cross the Golden Gate Bridge to reach it
2: the hotels are cheaper than in SF
3: it’s a nice place to escape the hustle and bustle of the busy city
I spent 2 days in SF which I think is long enough. My next destination? Yosemite National Park!