A beautifully historic city built on the hills, San Francisco is a unique, interesting city to visit. I was there for a weekend and did the main sight-seeing things. I am planning on revisiting to visit Alcatraz. Alcatraz is a small island off the shore, that held a federal prison supposedly “impossible” to escape. Many inmates died here and of course, there are stories about inmates escaping, however, they were never found. I have only heard good things about Alcatraz tours, if you plan on taking a tour make sure to book well in advance.
Main things to see in the heart of San Francisco include: The Golden Gate Bridge, Painted Ladies, Lombard Street, and Fisherman’s Warf.
There are many places where you can check out the Golden Gate Bridge. The best view is to drive over the bridge and head up to Battery Spencer. There is parking here and it’s a short walk to the viewpoint, but bring jackets and hold onto your hats because it is windy up there! If you want a more private, secluded location, check out Marshall’s Beach. It is on the same side of the bridge as the city and off to the left of the bridge. You can walk around here for a while, it’s a great place to get a little hike in.
If you’re a Full House fan, take a visit to the Painted Ladies! (photo above). There is a park right across from them where you can hang out and have a nice picnic. These are old Victoria styled houses built in the 1890s that survived the earthquake of 1906 and are featured in over 70 films, programs, and ads.
Lombard Street (photo to left) is another location specific to San Francisco. You can drive down it, but it is so tightly woven back and forth, it’ll take you a bit with the traffic. Spend some time walking around as well for a great photo op!
Fisherman’s Warf is a great place for dinner. You will have an abundance of food options as well as a view of the water. It is very close to the city, on the North East edge looking over the San Francisco Bay. Take a walk around and you may find the sea lions sunbathing on the docks as well!
o Other Trips
We spent a good amount of time between Mendocino and Fort Bragg. Three hours north of San Francisco, Mendocino is a small town, not made for tourists. There are a few restaurants and hotels. However, Mendocino does have luscious fields leading right up to cliffside ocean views, known as the Mendocino Headlands State Park.
The Russian Gulch State Park is located halfway between Mendocino and Fort Bragg. We spend a day here hiking to waterfalls and enjoying our own private beach. This beach has a very special place in my heart because it is where my fiancé proposed later that night. The hike we did was called Waterfall Trail Loop. It was fairly easy, but round trip took about an hour and a half. We did spend time swimming in the brisk waterfall water.
The main pull to Fort Bragg is Glass Beach. In photos, it may look bright and colorful, but in person, it was a little lackluster. It was a nice place to climb around in natural grooves and big rocks, but it was not the experience we were expecting.
If you happen to be in this area, with a car, do not miss this opportunity to drive through a tree! The name gives it away, but this did feel like a special experience not many people get to say they’ve done. My car did struggle a bit to get to the location. You are driving through the woods with a lot of twists and turns and mountains. The drive felt longer than expected but it was so worth it!
This spot blew us away! Wow, Lake Tahoe is SO BEAUTIFUL!! We planned to stay here for one night and ended up staying three, with the intention of going back for a full week of just Tahoe. We were in Kings Beach, where we could paddleboard, swim, bike, hike, shop, and walk around the adorable little town, all while in view of the white-capped Rocky Mountains. We hiked up to Monkey Rock, an easy yet awesome hike on the Nevada side of the lake. We also made a stop at Secret Cove beach! It is a trip to get down to it, come prepared with hiking shoes. Parking is also scarce on the road, however, we were able to find a spot around 1pm. I highly recommend giving both of these a try while in Tahoe.
These magnificent giants will leave you in awe of Mother Nature. We stayed in a little town called Angels Camp to prepare to visit the redwoods during our trip. Angels Camp is a tiny town known for its international frog jumping contest. It’s the perfect spot to get out of normal civilian life and into nature. We went in May and there was still snow on them! Be aware, when snow comes crashing down from 200 ft high, it could be dangerous, but it was an enchanted experience for us and a pleasure to witness these giants in person.