Monday, August 23, 2010

Cable Car

One of the first things that I wanted to do when I knew I was going to San Francisco this summer, was to ride on a cable car. That's all I would talk about doing when people asked me what I was going to do in SF. At the end of our day out and about on Fisherman's Wharf, we took a cable car back to a BART station to go to the hotel. There was a long line for the cable car, but it was worth it! I got to sit in the open air part and look at everything going by. I also got to experience the hills in SF. No way would I want to park my car on one of those!! The cable car did not let me down, it was an awesome ride! Again, something I want to do during daylight the next time I'm in SF.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Buena Vista/Ghirardelli Square

At the end of Fisherman's Wharf, near Ghirardelli Square, is the Buena Vista. The Buena Vista is the home of the Irish Coffee. This place was packed when we went in at about 8 o'clock. It was getting chilly out, so the coffee was warming me up (along with the alcohol). It looks like an old time diner/bar on the inside, and has a great view of the bay. I highly recommend heading here when in San Francisco.

Another place at the end of Fisherman's Wharf is Ghirardelli Square. There are shops here, but more importantly, the Ghirardelli factory. We got here late, but were able to go into the chocolate shop and try some chocolate. If I ever get back to San Francisco again, I will be getting here earlier and checking it out more.


I'll be honest, I didn't really want to go here when I was planning on going to San Francisco this summer, but I am really glad I went! Once you get to the Island, there is a National Park Ranger (Ranger John) greeting you and letting you know what's going on today on the Island. From there, you can head up to a building that has a gift shop, mini museum, and a short video going through the history of Alcatraz. The whole time you're on the Island, you're going at your pace and leading your own tour. As I entered the prison itself, I had an eerie feeling. It was neat seeing all of the cells, and knowing this place that you're standing in is infamous. There was a solitary confinement cell that a ranger would let you in so you could see what it felt like for 30 seconds. I opted out of that, but my friend went in and said it was creepy. I went into a normal cell to see what it was like. There's a great view from the prison grounds. The warden had an excellent view of San Francisco. I didn't expect to spend more than an hour or so on the Island, but with everything you take in there, we were on the last boat off the Island for the day (we were there for about 3 hours). Good stop if you are going to San Francisco.

Pacific Coast HIghway

This isn't a tourist trap, but it's something that I feel everyone should do in their lifetime. In early June, my friend and I drove from Los Angeles to San Francisco, and from San Francisco to Cresent City, CA, along the Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). It was a gorgeous drive. Even if you're prone to motion sickness, it's worth the sickness. It's not too twisty, or up and down until you're past San Simeon. There are many places to get out and take pictures, or to just walk around and bask in the beauty that is the Pacific Ocean.