The first leg of our honeymoon was San Francisco! The flight itself from the UK to San Francisco was great! We travelled with United Airlines and paid to upgrade to Economy Plus, which I do recommend. I can never sleep on planes so spent the entire 11 hours watching films. I love films so it was not a bad thing!!
We landed in San Francisco at around 1pm and probably cleared security roughly an hour or so later. I pre-booked a car to come and fetch us from the airport and take us to our hotel. They were there waiting for us and the driver was friendly and the car was clean. I cannot remember the company that we used but there are many available, id check reviews out first though.
I went to America prior to starting this blog, unlike now everywhere I go I take notes/pictures etc to do a blog update on. Therefore I have not been able to do full reviews/show pictures of somethings.
San Francisco Hotel – Sir Francis Drake
The hotel we booked into was the Sir Francis Drake. It was in an ideal location with some nice restaurants within walking distance. The famous cable cars also pass the front of the hotel, so ideal when wanting to get onto them.
The rooms are great and the restaurant is also ideal if not wanting to go out. There is also a bar on the top floor if you are wanting to enjoy some drinks. You can find a full review of the Sir Francis Drake here; http://www.amateurchef.co.uk/sir-francis-drake-hotel-san-francisco/
Restaurants Visited In San Francisco
We were in San Francisco for 3 days, giving us plenty of time to try a couple of restaurants out. Before leaving we did agree that we would try to have at least 1 really nice meal in each place we stay.
Prior to leaving I was doing some research on places to eat and came across Gary Danko’s. It had excellent reviews and needed to be booked in advance so thought it would be an ideal place to eat on our first day in America.
The atmosphere was excellent, cocktails were excellent and the food was simply incredible! I would really recommend Gary Danko’s if you want a romantic meal out to celebrate a special occasion.
I have done a complete review of Gary Danko’s which can be found here; http://www.amateurchef.co.uk/gary-danko-san-francisco/
Lori’s Diner San Francisco
I don’t have a review written for Lori’s Diner as it was a unplanned meal but I have to say it was very nice.
The diner is just across the road from Sir Francis Drake and is actually open 24 hours a day. We came here as we had been out all day and wanted something quick to eat before going out for a few drinks.
Being from England we don’t really have any American Diners that you tend to see on films like Back To the Future, this place was therefore a treat! The decor is what I would imagine when thinking of a 50’s diner with the tables set out like the back of cars.
The food as well is typical diner food such as chips and hot dogs. I had enjoyed a nice hot dog which was very tasty. If you are in the area and looking for a quick lunch/dinner but want to experience nice decor and tasty food then I would recommend Lori’s Diner.
The URL for it is: www.lorisdiner.com
What Did We Do In San Francisco
Obviously we cannot come to a great city like San Francisco and not explore and see what it has to offer! We had an incredible time and did a lot of fun and exciting things, although there was just not enough time to do everything we would have liked. For example id have love to have gone into the wine region and enjoyed walking through the vineyards.
Below are things we did however get to do and enjoy, if you are in San Francisco then these are things I would recommend.
While planning our trip to San Francisco, I had a look to see what we could do and see. I love films and The Rock is one that I have enjoyed watching a number of times, making it essential to visit Alcatraz.
We were told to pre-book our tickets as it does get booked up, I would recommend doing the same to avoid disappointment.
Alcatraz is an interesting island and is home to a number of buildings such as one of the oldest lighthouses, as well as a prison. The prison is famous as it was said to be impossible to escape from. It was therefore the home to some of the most well-known criminals such as Al Capone.
It closed its doors as a prison in 1963, 29 years after it had opened. Since then it was occupied by Native American Activists, this occupation ended in 1971. I believe it opened in 1980 to be opened to the public to be able to venture into its grounds and learn of its history.
We got the boat across and had as much time as we wanted to walk around it, the boats come every 10 minutes or so. As long as you get on the last boat then you can spend as much time on the island as you want.
Whilst walking through you also get a MP3 player and headphones to listen to the history of Alcatraz as well as examples of how it would have been IE the kitchen/exercise room etc.
We had a good walk around and really enjoyed the experience, it was somewhat unnerving seeing how prisoners lived in their cells and imagining that it was actually a functional prison. When we left we went through the gift shop and saw William G. Baker one of the actual ex prisoners, he was signing copies of his book that he had written.
The boats to and from the island are regular, I’d suggest getting an early one so you have as much time on the island as you want 🙂
Find out more about the Alcatraz trip from here – http://www.alcatrazislandtickets.com/
San Francisco Cable Cars
You cannot come to San Francisco and not experience the cable cars. It is the last cable car system in the world that is still manually operated. There are 3 different lines and are a great way of travelling parts of the city.
The cable cars are one of the many well-known tourist attractions of San Francisco. I’d recommend getting on them early in the morning as they do get incredibly busy during the day!
San Francisco Bus Tour
We have done a number of bus tours which allow you to hop on and off. They are amazing as you really get to see all the sights and decide if a certain attraction is something you want to get off and look at. The buses are usually fairly regular and I have never had a problem getting a seat on the top deck.
In San Francisco we used the company Big Bus with a standard full 24 hour ticket costing $45, which I don’t think is bad at all!
The tour like many others come with headphones which allows you to learn a little more about what you are looking at.
On the tour we got to see the main highlights such as the incredible Golden Gate Bridge, Pier 39 and Fishermans Wharf. Other things to look at include;
- North Beach and Little Italy
- Union Square
- Civic Centre
- Haight Ashbury
- Golden Gate Park
- Embarcadero Ferry Building
If you wanted to see as much as possible in the shortest time then I really would recommend giving one of the San Francisco Big Bus tours ago. You can find out more about them and the places they stop at here: http://bigbustours.com/sanfrancisco/home.html
San Francisco Aquarium
We spent an entire day just walking around the city. we walked down to the piers in the hopes of going to Fisherman’s Wharf but ended up turning right instead of left… This resulted in us walking to AT&T Park the home to the San Francisco Giants, at least we got to see even more of the city.
During the walk back we went past the San Francisco Aquarium and decided to have a walk around it and see some incredible sea life. The Aquarium of the Bay works to help protect and restore the conservation of the sea life within the San Francisco Bay.
During our walk around we go to learn a great deal about many of the sea life as well as see over 20,000 different animals within the bay. This also included walking through a tunnel with sharks and turtles swimming past, which was a great experience.
The San Francisco Aquarium is the perfect place to take kids and doesn’t cost too much. Adults are $24.95, with children prices only being $14.95.
Check out their official website here – https://www.aquariumofthebay.org/
I am sure you would have an excellent time, we did! It is incredibly relaxing walking around and looking at some incredible sea life. It has amazing colours and the music in the background is so nice. You wouldn’t believe you were in a busy city!
Pier 39/Fishermans Wharf
Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the major tourist areas of San Francisco. It features lots of bars, restaurants, shops and entertainment. I found a Zoltar machine from the film BIG, I had to give it a go 🙂
It has alot of attractions such as 7D experience, Aquarium, Madame Tussauds and Ripley’s believe it or not museum. If you’re after food then you would be in the right place, its perfect for food lovers. It has over 25 different places to eat with a wide range of types of food. It’s close to the sea so I would recommend trying out some crab!
Looking to do a bit of retail therapy then check out the shops, there are plenty of them! Perfect for finding the gifts for those at home!
You cannot come to Fisherman’s Wharf without checking out the seals…When we came they had gone to mate which was a shame. There was just 1 seal (felt so sorry for him!!)
Find out more about Fisherman’s Wharf here – http://www.visitfishermanswharf.com/
Time to leave San Francisco…
We had 3 incredible days in San Francisco and loved every single minute of it. We were very tired as we had suffered from some serious jet lag but didn’t let that stop us!
Now all we had to do was get ourselves to the airport to pick up the car. We had decided to drive down to Santa Monica. Due to time restraints we couldn’t do the whole drive on the coastal route. Instead did some on route 101 and then did the last half on the coastal road.
We hired the car via Alamo and they gave us exactly what we asked for…
A red convertible Mustang…a real dream of mine!
Find out what we got up to on the next leg of our honeymoon!
Thanks for reading, I really appreciate it!