No matter if I am living in the city or visiting one I always have an urge to explore the city in touristy fashion and so I decided to explore San Francisco the touristy way. Me and one of my friend decided to break the city tour in 2 parts.
Ferry Market Building -> Pier 39 -> Fisherman’s Warf -> Ghirardelli Square -> Municipal Pier -> Golden Gate Bridge
We started from Ferry Market Building roamed around a little. There are a lot of street shops for clothes Jewelry near Embarcadero Plaza which is just across the street from Ferry Market Building and adjacent to it is Vaillancourt Fountain.
After spending some time at Plaza, we walked towards the famous Pier 39 which is probably the most active touristy destination of SF after Golden Gate Bridge. Pier 39 has a lot of gift shops, restaurants, an aquarium, a lot of ferries starts from here and a lot of time there is various street performance taking place at the centre, we were fortunate enough to reach on time to see a magic show. We spent a lot of time on Pier 39 filled our stomach and then started walking towards fisherman’s Warf.
There is a lot of street performance going-on on this street. We stumbled on a musician who was playing more than 6 instruments on his own!!
Fisherman’s Warf is a great place for sea lovers especially crab, San Francisco crab are very famous, and every seafood lover cannot just go past Fisherman’s Warf without indulging in the gluttony :D. Few mins walk from Fisherman’s Warf is Ghirardelli Square which is the headquarters of the famous chocolate company. The best thing about this place is that there is a garden just across the Ghirardelli Square and a beach in front of it. We took a dessert from Ghirardelli and sat in the garden. This was the high point of our day as we sat under the trees, cold breeze near the beach and enjoyed our dessert. I was so amazed by knowing that there are a lot of beaches in the city itself. I have slowly started to appreciate the importance of having a coastline or beach in the city it just changes that feel of the city.
From Ghirardelli Square, we walked to Municipal Pier which takes in the middle of the bay as you are surrounded by water on all sides.
We wanted to cover the palace of fine arts as well but it was already closed by the time and so we decided to head towards Golden Gate Bridge. Almost everyone has heard about the Golden Gate Bridge and has seen its photo at least once and no wonder why it is so famous. GGB is more than 1 mile long and once you start walking on it you can see the whole city and it has a different feel attached to itself. We walked to the midpoint of GGB took some photos and decided to call it a day.
Golden Gate Park (Music Concourse -> de Young Museum -> Japanese Tea Garden -> Rose Garden -> Strawberry hills -> GG Park Polo Field -> Dutch Windmill) -> Ocean Beach
Initially, we decided to cover Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach, Sutro Baths and Land end but looks like we were too ambitious. Golden Gate Park in itself is a day’s affair and if you want to cover all the museum and gardens you will have to come back again and again.
Golden Gate Park is an amazing place if you want to spend a day out with your family, play with your friends as there are a lot of fields. There are a lot of biking and Segway tours in Golden Gate Park, but we preferred to walk around and have the luxury to spend time at our own speed. We started from Music Concourse and then headed to de Young Museum. There is an entry charge if you want to explore the whole museum but there are some sections which are open and one of them is their top floor from which you can see the view of whole Golden Gate Park and more.
Our next stop was the Japanese Tea Garden. I have heard a lot about the Japanese Tea Garden and it matched to my expectation. Although it spread in a very small area there is a lot to look for. There is also a small gift shop and cafe in between one can savour the Japanese Tea and snacks.
After spending some time there, we headed towards Stow Lake and found that there is a small waterfall, Huntington Falls on the other side of the lake. The waterfall is small but it’s beautiful!! All these places were in the same area and if you want to grab something to eat this is place as once you start walking west side of the park there are no places to eat or drink.
We started to walk east and reached Golden Gate Park Polo Field in a few mins. There are a lot of people playing all kind of sports in the field and we just sat there for a few mins to enjoy the breeze and take a break.
A few mins walk from here is the Oceans Beach which is adjacent to Golden Gate Park after spending some time and beach we decided to go for dinner and call it a day.
More I visit SF more I fall in love with the city, It has everything that you can think of from beaches, museums, hiking trails nearby, nightlife. My next plan is to discover the city through a guided biking or walking tour.