San Francisco: Wandering the city by foot

“If you come to San Francisco, summertime will be a loving day.”

After biking through San Francisco, we decided to spent our second full day in the city a little more relaxed. We slept in, grabbed some lunch and headed out to wander around the city on foot.

Right up the block from our hotel was the top of “Nob Hill.” We headed there first and enjoyed the Grace Cathedral (a replica of Notre Dame) before catching the California line Cable Car down to the Ferry Building. I was surprised by how easy it was to get on the California line — it was nowhere near as crowded as the other lines and was convenient for us, as it was a quick way to get from our hotel across town to the water.

Grace Cathedral
On California Street, looking down Nob Hill
Joel at Huntington Park

We checked out the Ferry Building again quickly before setting out to find Coit Tower. I love the look of the building, which serves as a terminal for ferries (duh) but also houses restaurants (like the Slanted Door) and a weekend marketplace. It was super crowded when we were there, probably from the Farmers Market, so we didn’t hang around too long. We were eager to see new sites, so we started up the Embarcadero, the eastern waterfront of the city, which thankfully was flat.

I covered up for our adventure, after waking up with a fabulous sunburn.

Our next stop was Coit Tower, which we could see, but we had to find the steps to get to it — yes, steps. Steps that climbed the side of a cliff up to the very high Telegraph Hill. It was quite the workout, but once you reach the tower, you’re spoiled with 360 degree views of the City — from the Ferry Building to Lombard Street to Alcatraz — you can see it all!

Lombard Street is visible, it is the street on the right with all the green in the middle of it towards the top.
The Bay Bridge, with the Ferry Building in the foreground.

We then started the very steep descent down to Washington Square Park, where we briefly admired the Saints Peter and Paul Church, made famous by Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio who photos there after their City Hall nuptials. Next, we headed to Lombard Street. It was kind of silly how they had to have cops directly traffic at the top and bottom of the world’s most crooked street. The block of street is known for its eight tight, hairpin turns. It’s actually quite beautiful beyond the draw of the street, with vividly colored houses and no shortage of fauna.

Saints Peter and Paul Church
Lombard Street selfie. Thank you, random girl, for getting your ass in our photo.
West coast trip

Our last stop of the day was down by Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39. We grabbed a quick lunch, fueled up on what is supposed to be the best Irish Coffee from the Buena Vista (it was pretty damn good) and fought our way through the ridiculous crowds. The entire area was VERY touristy. Way too touristy for my liking. In fact, it briefly made me hate everyone.

San Francisco
Joel at the Buena Vista
The Pier 39 sea lions
Joel (Alcatraz is in the background)

Still, the view from the Pier was pretty. We took a few minutes to chill and enjoy everything around us. Across the water, it was sea lions galore — they were flapping around the docks, making obnoxious noises. We snapped a few photos before wandering back to the cable car stop.

San Francisco skyline
It was a little windy
West Coast Trip
Cable car safety

While the touristy waterfront isn’t my thing, I was completely enamored with San Francisco. First, it is BEAUTIFUL. The colors. The architecture. The green space. Oh my god, it is all magnificent. Besides a few gray areas (like the Tenderloin), this place is one of the most aesthetically pleasing cities I’ve ever seen. Second, it was amazingly bike- and pedestrian-friendly. Getting around was so easy! And I never felt like someone was going to run me over, like I often do here in Jacksonville. Overall, the vibe of the city was very chill. It was a nice thing to experience. This has got to be one of my top cities of all time.

West Coast Trip
West Coast Trip
Joel on the cable car.

I can’t wait to visit again one day. Joel says we have to go back because all of the photos I took of him on the Golden Gate Bride were blurry (Oops. I was still trying to figure out how to manual focus on our camera). But I’d love to go back anyway. I feel like we saw a lot but there is probably so much more to see and take in and experience. Maybe next time I’ll wear flowers in my hair.

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