A few weeks ago Kevin and I spent seven days in San Francisco to celebrate our 13th wedding anniversary. We had so much fun running all over this beautiful city! (If you follow me on Instagram, you might have gotten a sneak peek!) San Francisco has SO much to offer. We went nonstop all day and never ran out of fun things to do, see, and EAT! :)
Today I’ll be sharing all our favorite sights in San Francisco — places like Lombard Street, the Painted Ladies, Coit Tower, and Alcatraz. Be sure to pin this post for ideas if you’re planning a trip to San Fran!
We did so much in this fantastic city I couldn’t possibly fit it all into one post, so later this week I’ll be sharing two more posts from San Francisco. Keep an eye out on Wednesday for some of our favorite things we did in San Francisco (riding bikes over the Golden Gate Bridge, spending an afternoon in Sausalito, hiking the redwood forest in Muir Woods) and then Friday I’ll be sharing a whole post dedicated to all the amazing FOOD we found!! So be sure to check back — trust me, you don’t want to miss the food post. ;)
The first thing you need to know about San Francisco is it has CRAZY hills!! :) The streets basically go straight up. Walking was more like doing lunges!! :) One of the first things we did after checking into our hotel was hike up to Lombard Street. Lombard Street is that crazy curvy street you’ve probably seen in pictures or any movie set in San Francisco.
The street and homes were beautiful! Lombard Street was originally straight, but in an effort to keep the neighborhood safer and quieter, the curves were added to deter cars from flying down the steep hill in a residential area. Unfortunately that plan seems to have backfired a bit, as now it is such a popular attraction that there are literally hundreds of tourists lining the street at all times of the day. There are crossing guards at the top of bottom of the street to keep the tourists out of the middle of the road, and there’s a line a mile long just to drive down this famous street! Still definitely worth checking out though, just for the view from the top alone! :)
The great thing about all the hills is there are gorgeous views everywhere you go.
There’s even a fun rainbow crosswalk! This is at the corner of 18th street and Castro.
The San Francisco CityPASS saved us in SanFrancisco. We took buses, trains, and cable cars everywhere!! You get unlimited rides with the CityPASS, whereas just one cable car ride is $6 per person.
We went to places like China Town….
And up to Coit Tower!
There is a gorgeous 360-degree panoramic view of all of San Francisco from the top of Coit Tower. Here you can see Lombard Street and the Golden Gate Bridge.
And looking the other way, you can see the Bay Bridge and the Transamerica Pyramid.
Here’s a panoramic photo I took from Lombard Street to Alcatraz.
Of course we had to see the Painted Ladies at Alamo Square! This is where the Tanners are having a picnic in the opening credits of Full House.
And just a 15-minute walk away is the actual Full House house. It’s been given a new paint job, but we were still able to recognize it! :)
San Francisco has so many beautiful and colorful homes. I would take any one of these! ;)
Oh my gosh. One of the most fun things we did in San Francisco was a Segway Tour of Golden Gate Park!! We rode all over the park, even went off-roading through redwood trees! Our tour guides were amazing and extremely knowledgable. They had both lived in San Francisco for 40+ years, and were able to give us so much history and tell us how much it has changed through the years. They also offer a segway tour of Lombard Street!! You can ride a segway down that crazy curvy street!! Next time we are totally doing that!! :)
One of the great tips our guide gave us on the tour was to check out the view from the top floor of the de Young Museum. It’s totally free. You can just walk right in and get straight on an elevator to the top floor. There’s a gorgeous panoramic view of the park and San Francisco. If you are near the Golden Gate Park, definitely check it out!
You know we couldn’t go to San Francisco without going to Alcatraz!!
It was incredible and I would 100% go again in a heartbeat. There was so much to see and do. It was fascinating. If you are planning to go, the official website for tickets is www.alcatrazcruises.com. Be sure to get your tickets early, because they sell out fast. The best time to go to Alcatraz is January-March, because tickets are available even at the last minute.
I love all things spooky so we took a night tour.
Here’s a peek at what some of the cells were like when actual inmates were in them.
The hospital and operating room were SO creepy!! :)
The hospital wing is only open at night, so be sure to book the night tour for an extra creepy experience.
This was the kitchen and cafeteria, with the actual breakfast menu from the last day Alcatraz was open.
Getting Around in San Francisco
We loved walking, biking, and taking the cable cars everywhere we could, but sometimes you just need a taxi. We’ve started using Uber to quickly call our own private car service. Have you heard of Uber?? It’s your own personal, private driver for usually cheaper than a taxi. When you open the Uber app, it will show you where drivers are near you, and tell you how long it will take for a car to get to you. Just click Set Pick Up Location and your private car is on it’s way. You can even watch it on the map as it gets closer to your location. It will send you an alert when your car gets close so you know when to go outside. No more waiting outside in the freezing cold or rain for a taxi! You add a credit card or Paypal account to your Uber account, and you never to worry about paying the driver. It’s all done through the app. You get in the car, the driver takes you to your location, and you get out. No fumbling with paying, you can just get out and leave! You don’t even have to tip! It says so on their webpage — it’s built into the price of the service. Uber is seriously the fastest and best way to get where ever you need to go!
Use the code amandab84 to get your first Uber ride FREE!! (Up to $20)
After completely nonstop, action-packed days, it was so nice to come home to the Omni San Francisco Hotel. We stayed here for 2 nights of our week in San Francisco.
The Omni is in a great location downtown — on a quiet street, but close to everything, and right on the cable car line so we could just hop on and off anywhere we wanted to go. The staff was super friendly and helpful. I always love staying at Omni Hotels for their service! We slept like rocks and woke up completely refreshed for another full day in San Francisco.
Stay tuned!! :)