48 Hours in San Francisco
For our first wedding anniversary, we decided to check out San Francisco. We’d heard great things about the city and both had never been.
I loved it! It reminded me of Washington DC, but a lot hillier.
The arts community is incredible there. We got to experience hilarious break dancers by just walking down the street in Fisherman’s Wharf. We also heard Chinese violinists playing for tips. People were painting, singing, dancing and even protesting with sticks and buckets. And the shopping was awesome too. Think New York with all of the designer stores. I was impressed. I’d go back just to shop if it wasn’t so expensive.
We decided to stay in Fisherman’s Wharf at the Hyatt Centric Fisherman’s Wharf. I mentioned it was our first anniversary and the desk attendant upgraded us to a corner room and gave us free breakfast. Cha-Ching. That was a $68 per day discount.
From the hotel, we walked to the wharf where you’ll find great seafood restaurants, the trolleys, and the boats to Alcatraz.
We chose Fog Harbor Fish House. The seafood platter was so fresh. I really enjoyed my meal and it was reasonably priced and enough to share.
We really wanted to see the city and had limited time so we chose to do the red bus hop on hop off tour for $120. It had stops near our hotel, and allowed us to see and learn about most of the city in one evening. We got off at Union Square to go shopping. We also visited China Town.
I never knew that San Francisco has the largest Chinatown outside Asia. It was awesome with silk scarves being sold everywhere along with teas and other garments.
Funny story. We didn’t know which Chinese restaurant to dine in and they were everywhere. Yelp ranked them all high and we didn’t have time to read all of the reviews. So, we asked a random security guard which was the best Chinese restaurant. He said choose one and we said we don’t know which one to choose. He looked at us and told us to go to Great Eastern Restaurant, because that’s where President Obama went.
Clearly he knew if Obama liked it, we would too. And he was right. I enjoyed my food there. They had great service. And there were lots of Chinese people eating there too. That’s always a good sign to me when you’re eating at an ethnic restaurant and people from that ethnicity are eating there too. Those restaurants seem to be more authentic.
One thing about San Francisco. It’s cold and windy. (I live in Florida so cold is below 60 degrees). The Golden Gate bridge looked lovely but it was cold as hell experiencing it on the top of the red bus. You’ll definitely want to come prepared wearing pants, sweaters, winter coat, scarf, hat and a hood.
Getting around at night, and to the airport, we got rides from Lyft. There’s plenty of other options: subway system, buses, taxies, and trolleys to help you get around. I enjoyed the Lyft rides because we got to hear from the locals. One was a black guy who showed us different neighborhoods that were changing demographically. Another talked about the tech industry and how new tech savvy cars were being built, etc. Then another shared that crime was so bad in Brazil he fled to San Fran. One thing in common, they said the rent was so high that they had to work several jobs or work a ton of hours to afford to live there. Yet, they all said they didn’t want to live anywhere else.
My only regret was we didn’t get to experience the nightlife. By the time we finished walking up and down the hills and touring the city on our second day, we were exhausted and fell asleep. The first night, we decided to check out Snoop Dogg’s play, “Redemption of a Dogg" in Oakland. It was fun seeing Snoop Dogg act and perform some of his greatest hits. The play is about one man’s battle between preserving his legacy and losing his lover. He has to choose between his fame and family. Snoop Dogg is the main character. It’s in theaters across the country.
We enjoyed ourselves and got to see the inside of the city’s historic theater. It reminded me of Playhouse Square in Cleveland. We also got a taste of Oakland’s black community.
Unfortunately, we chose a weekend when the forest fires were burning on the outskirts of town so the air quality wasn’t the best in the Bay Area. But we still had fun. My advice is to pack one of those masks that people use when they get sick because the Bay Area is prone to forest fires year round. We stopped by several stores but the masks were sold out. But don’t let this deter you. San Francisco is definitely worth the visit!
Tell me in the comments below, what’s your favorite thing to do in San Francisco?