Yay! Time for the highly-anticipated California trip recap!!! Woot-woot! First stop: the city by the bay – flowers in your hair are optional, but these travel tips are not:
Pack layers. Weather can vary over the course of your visit (or even the course of your day). Be prepared. We were there in July wearing sweaters, coats, and scarves…
Tour Alcatraz. We used Alcatraz Cruises and did the self-guided tour (with headphones) – highly recommended. Travel tip: these tours start filling up 90 days in advance, so you’ll want to purchase them well before you arrive, because they sell out, and you’ll be left at the mercy of barefoot scalpers. True. Story.
Be a tourist. Book yourself a “Real SF Tour.” We spent a day checking out San Franciso’s open spaces via The Real Golden Gate Tour. We were lucky enough to experience this tour as a small group (5 people) with the owner of the company (Chris). Not only was Chris knowledgeable and personable, but he didn’t yell at me once! (I have a looong history of being yelled at by tour guides…) This tour was laid back, involved lots of walking, and Chris’s passion for the city was authentic and contagious. Highlights included the Golden Gate Bridge, Palace of Fine Arts, cable car ride, climbing Twin Peaks, and getting up close and personal with Vader and Yoda. I couldn’t think of a better way to experience so much of the beauty (and quirkiness) that is San Francisco.
Eat. (As much as you can wherever you can.) The food is amazing! I highly recommend Epic Roasthouse – you can’t beat the food, the view, the service, or the wine list. It is pricey? Sure. Is it worth it? Absolutely. I made reservations here for Steve’s birthday dinner Friday night. The staff was wonderful, the service, top notch, and the FOOD!!! Let’s just say that was, hands down, the best filet I’ve ever eaten, I’m pretty sure those Julia Child potatoes are illegal in several states, and any high-end restaurant that has a “Build Your Own EPIC Sundae” option is automatically going to rise to the top of my “things are that awesome list.” I vote Epic a must-dine for anyone visiting San Fran…
This was our view as we watched the sun set and the lights begin to twinkle on the Bay Bridge: (It was perfect.)
We only spent two days there, but San Francisco definitely made an impression. It’s one of those places that just leaves a mark on your heart – we know, without a doubt, that we’ll be back. I couldn’t think of a better place to kick off Steve’s surprise birthday trip!
PS- Get the details on what I wore for Steve’s 40th birthday dinner at Epic Roasthouse on Wednesday and stay tuned for more trip recaps all week and into next on Flower City Fashionista.