Sean has traveled to San Francisco a few times for work and has always told me he’d live there if his job didn’t tie him to DC. Because of this I was really looking forward to getting a feel for the city. In my experience, the best way to get a feel for a city is to walk it. Sean and I walk around every city we visit to see its sites. San Francisco is a little tough, but taking your own walking tour can be done. You need proper shoes & water and you might want to try to build your itinerary so that you have a good balance of walking closer to the piers where it’s flatter with walking through the heart of the city with its hills. I would also recommend bringing along cab fare in case you just can’t walk any more. We walked a total of 16 miles in two days around San Francisco. While we did have to take a cab home instead of walk home each day, we certainly covered a lot of ground. We were able to explore some neighborhoods Sean’s never visited and revisit some of his favorite San Fran spots.
We started our first day at the Ferry Building. There’s a full farmer’s market on the weekends but we were only able to visit some of the permanent tenants, like Blue Bottle Coffee and Boccalone, that Sean enjoyed during his first trip to the city.
Yes, that is a cone of meat.
And, yes, it is delicious!
This is the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park.
They were having a butterfly exhibit!
But the Ferry Building, the downtown area, and some of the neighborhoods to the north were ones he’d explored before. One night on our way to dinner we stopped by the Hyatt where Sean often stays when traveling for business. I looove hotel lobbies. He thought I’d like this one and he was right!
Such fun elevators!
Sean always requests a room in the back because he likes this sculpture so much.
On our second day we walked up this crazy hill that was so steep it needed its own set of stairs to Coit Tower.
There are beautiful views of the city from Coit Tower.
That’s the Ferry Building to the left near the bridge.
Alcatraz in the distance.
It’s almost 400 steps down Telegraph Hill to get down to the piers. Luckily we walked down these stairs. The houses along the way were lovely, and I hear you can sometimes spot parrots. Sadly we didn’t.
From there we walked over to Pier 39 to check out the sea lions. They seem pretty happy with their life.
Then we began our trek to the Golden Gate Bridge. I made the mistake of wearing totally inappropriate shoes, so while I made it to the bridge I definitely strained my foot. But it was worth because it was beautiful! (Don’t worry. My foot has since recovered.)
Yes, flats with no support are not the right choice when walking 6 miles.
And then there was the food. We went to The Slanted Door our first night and I can’t wait to go back. My mouth is already watering.
Sean will eat oysters now! It’s awesome!
For lunch the second day we went to In-N-Out Burger. We’re glad we can say we checked it off the list, but we don’t get all the hype. The patties are so thin you can barely see them here. I think even if we’d gotten the double patty option we’d be disappointed.
For dinner our second night we were so excited to go to Incanto. Sean had a very tasty meal the last time and we’d recently watched the chef/owner Chris Constantino (who also owes Baccolone, which I mention above) win the title of Top Chef Master. The meal wasn’t terrible, but we were a little disappointed. The restaurant was cozy and had a very local feel so taking pictures felt awkward. We saw Chris expediting and at one point in the evening he was checking tickets with one hand and hugging his son to his legs with the other. Very sweet.
Due to my injured foot and the need to eventually just be done with walking in San Francisco, we didn’t make it to a few places on our list, like Lombard Street and Alcatraz. Luckily we’ll be back in September for one of Sean’s conferences to fill in those gaps and to revisit The Slanted Door!
PS – I found Waldo from our hotel window! How fun!