Things to Do in San Francisco
Kevin and I went nonstop in San Francisco! On average we walked about 11 miles every single day. One day, in addition to our 11 miles walking, we also biked 8 miles over the Golden Gate Bridge. On Monday I shared our favorite sights in San Francisco, as well as tips for getting around. Today I’ll be sharing some of our favorite things we did, like biking over the bridge and hiking Muir Woods. And be sure to check back on Friday for an entire post dedicated to all our favorite places to EAT in San Francisco!! :)
We rented bikes from Bay City Bike Rentals. We took the Self Guided Tour from their shop in Fisherman’s Wharf across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito. We had a comfort hybrid bike and it was very easy to ride. As I mentioned on Monday, San Francisco has a TON of hills, but the route from the shop to Sausalito is fairly easy. And it’s mostly on bike paths, so you don’t have to worry about being on the street with cars. I did have to get off my bike and push it up one particularly steep hill. But once you make it to the bridge, it’s all downhill from there. :)
I was also super impressed with how comfy the bike seat was. We rode for 8 miles and I was never sore or uncomfortable, not even the next day.
We also went ahead and purchased our return ferry tickets from Sausalito back to Fisherman’s Wharf from the shop when we picked up our bikes.
We made TONS of stops along the way for photos. :) Here we are at Crissy Field East Beach.
This was my favorite overlook and spot for a photo with the Golden Gate Bridge! Here’s a link to the exact location on Google Maps. This was right on the way from Bay City Bikes to the Bridge.
The bikes are equipped with a small pouch (just big enough for a phone, wallet, and small camera, probably not a DSLR) and a map with the route from the shop to Sausalito. Helmets are optional but included. I have this awesome Bike Phone Mount for my bike at home that I REALLY wish I’d remembered to bring!!
Almost over the bridge!
We had amazing weather this day. Not too hot, not too cold!
We finally made it to Sausalito!
After combined walking and biking 19 miles we had worked up a SERIOUS appetite! We had an amazing lunch at Napa Valley Burger Co. There were so many delicious-sounding burgers on the menu I had a hard time choosing just one. After much deliberation, I finally decided on the Baja Burger, with guacamole, jalapeÃ±os, cheddar, applewood bacon, and chipotle aioli. It was delicious. Would highly recommend. And if you go, you HAVE to get the cheesy tater tots!! They were seriously the best!!
After lunch, we treated ourselves to a giant ice cream cone across the street at Lappert’s Ice Cream. I got the Hawaiian Sea Salt Caramel and Cookie Dough. Amazing!
The next morning we got up bright and early to explore Muir Woods! We rented a car and got there right at 8am when they opened. Muir Woods can get crazy crowded, even on weekdays, since a lot of tour buses go there. The buses start arriving between 9-10am, so if you don’t like crowds, plan to arrive before then. We got there right at 8am, hiked around for about 2 hours and never saw another soul until we left at 10am, when all the buses were arriving.
Kevin loved hiking among the giant redwood trees. I couldn’t get over ALL THE CLOVER everywhere! It literally covered the forest floor. It was eve-ry-where. I thought FOR SURE we would see a four leaf clover, but I looked and looked and no luck. Kevin told me he’s NEVER seen a four leaf clover before. I really wanted to find one for our 13th (unlucky??!) anniversary!! :)
After about a four-mile hike in the forest, we drove down to the little town of Mill Valley for breakfast. We stopped at Kitchen Sunnyside for their famous Millionaire’s Bacon, Dixie Bacon (deep fried bacon), and Deep Fried French Toast. Kevin got the breakfast tacos, which were phenomenal. I got the Deep Fried French Toast, of course, and it was amazing. It was like a beignet, but super soft on the inside.
If you’re not going to be all the way out in Mill Valley, Sweet Maple in San Francisco is owned by the same owner and offers the same menu. Everything we ordered at Kitchen Sunnyside can be ordered at Sweet Maple.
After brunch we drove back up the mountain to Mount Tamalpais East Peak. From the parking area it’s about a 1/2 mile hike to the top with some gorgeous views along the way!
To our left we could see San Quentin…
And to our right was San Francisco! This was all we could see of San Francisco through the fog, lol! :)
On our way back, we stopped at the Battery Spencer overlook of the Golden Gate Bridge.
And then made our way down to this lesser-known view at Baker Beach. This was probably my second favorite spot for pictures.
That night we had an amazing dinner at Fog Harbor Fish House. This was our gorgeous view of Fisherman’s Wharf and Alcatraz! We split the crab cakes for an appetizer, and I had the Alaskan Halibut served over quinoa with toasted pine nuts, arugula, dried cranberries, cilantro, and basil toped with a citrus beurre blanc. Seriously fabulous. And Kevin loved his cioppino! If you go, you HAVE to get the Blondie dessert topped with vanilla ice cream and a warm Biscoff drizzle. SO good!! You can’t go wrong with the Strawberry Shortcake either!
Speaking of Biscoff, right across from the restaurant on Pier 39 is the cutest little Biscoff Coffee shop. You can get all your Biscoff needs here, from spreads to cookies. Also be sure to pick up The Biscoff Cookie & Spread Cookbook written by my friend Katrina Bahl from In Katrina’s Kitchen! Katrina created the Biscoff cookbook when she went on the hunt to find the perfect peanut butter alternative so she could pass down her family’s famous Buckeye recipe to her son with a peanut allergy. I seriously want to make every single thing in this gorgeous book!
We ended another action-packed day with a romantic sunset cruise of the bay with Adventure Cat Sailing Charters. We went all around the bay — past Alcatraz, under the Golden Gate Bridge, and right by the city shoreline at dusk as all the buildings were lighting up the skyline.
The catamaran held about 30 people, and the cruise lasted about an hour and a half. There places to sit inside (where it was warmer) and outside with the sea and the wind in your hair. It was a bit chilly, but the cruise offered plenty of heavy jackets to wear. The cruise also came with snacks and 2 free drinks. Although we couldn’t possibly eat anything after our huge meal at Fog Harbor Fish House! :)
We got back to the dock right at sunset. The staff and crew were great, very friendly, funny, and knowledgable. They were always offering to take pictures. The atmosphere on the boat was totally chill, with lots of fun sailing-themed music. At one point the Titanic theme song came on, and everyone wanted to go up to the bow of the boat for pictures, lol! :)
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)
Our second two nights in San Francisco we spent at the Hotel Monaco in Union Square. It’s in a great location right on a cable car line. I LOVE staying in Kimpton Hotels. They are always so fun and colorful!! Our room was ultra spacious and comfortable. We literally melted into this bed.
And Hotel Monaco is pet-friendly!! Hotel Monaco accepts any number of pets without size or weight restrictions and for no extra charge. No pet fees!!!
For dogs, they also provide the following to use during your stay:
- A copy of The Dog Lover’s Companion to the Bay Area
- Luxury dog bed (S, M or L)
- Designer water and food bowl set on a decorative mat
- A few “clean-up” bags
- A dog toy that you’re welcome to take home as a souvenir
- Bone Appétit menus are also available for Fluffy or Fido.
How fun is that??! I would love to bring Miley and Howie back here!
Stay tuned for the next post on all our favorite places to EAT in San Francisco! :) Have a great day!