Day 5 – San Francisco Part 1
So our original plan was to leave the car at the hotel and take the BART from SFO airport into the city. After working out that the cost for 4 persons would be approximately $80 for a return journey, we decided to put this towards the cost of parking near Fisherman’s Wharf instead. This option gave us more flexibility and freedom especially for returning back to the hotel at the end of the day.
After reading online that finding car park spaces after 10am in SF might be troublesome, we decided to give ourselves an hour to reach Fisherman’s Wharf. We left the hotel at 9am and the journey took less than 30 minutes of which 10 of this was in standstill traffic.
Heading down the Embarcadero, we see our first glimpse of the Bay Bridge. We pull over for a few shots before heading down further to look for parking.
There’s an open air car park with an entrance on the corner of Taylor Street which is right in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf. Parking for the day would cost $45 which in itself is quite expensive, however this is much cheaper than what the BART would cost.
At 9:40am, the parking lot was empty. Our car was probably one of 3 cars only to be parked at the time. The car park is behind the Boudin Bakery Café on Jefferson Street.
The main reason why we parked the car there is because it is located right opposite the terminal stop for the Big Bus Company. We purchased 2 day tickets instead of 1 day ones in case we were unable to visit all the sights we wanted to see on the first day.
The bus itself is a double decker bus with the top level being open air. Everyone is provided with a set of poor quality ear phones so you can listen to the in-bus tour audio guide.
The bus departs and straight away we see some iconic sights, an Applebees and a Ripleys Museum!
The bus takes us past some wonderful buildings as we venture through the financial districts of the city.
I spot a famous SF Tram.
Approaching Union Square where we see some famous department stores.
Next we approach Civic Centre where the famous City Hall can be found.
We get off the bus to visit the Painted Ladies. Surprised how iconic these are..
After getting back on the bus, we finally reach the part we have all been looking forward to. The Golden Gate Bridge, and what a sight this was!
The bus took us over the bridge towards Sausalito and in all honesty I never expected it to be as windy as it was. It was also very cold! I was so lucky I had a small hoody with me.
The view of the bridge from Sausalito….
We transferred to the Sausalito tour which was included with the tour ticket. I don’t have any photos from here but the view of the bridge was one of the best and the town itself was a lovely charming place. I recommend you visit for a few hours if you are ever around.
We transfer back to the main bus and make our way to the Palace of Fine Arts.
By now the time was 4pm. Lunch??? We forgot to eat lunch as we were too engrossed in our sightseeing activities. We head back on the bus and decide to go to Chinatown to see what the local roast meat and rice dishes are like. Problem – heavy traffic. It seemed like we had hit a busy part of the day as traffic was horrendous. The driver let us off the bus as it was quicker to walk. We were hungry, we needed food quick!
We followed the GPS on Google Maps and realised we were not too far from Union Square. We remembered seeing a Cheesecake Factory restaurant advertised near Macy’s so we decided to head there instead.
A quick healthy lunch –
The best part of Cheesecake Factory is the window shopping!
Which one do you order?
During lunch, we decided to head back to the Big Bus Company terminal and join the Night Tour that begins at 7pm. We finish lunch about 5:30pm which gives us 90 minutes to get there. We walk through Macy’s and realise we don’t have enough warmth! If it was cold in the daytime as the bus glides through the windy air of San Francisco, it’s only going to be a lot colder in the night time. Ammunition time. We buy jackets in Macy’s that’s on offer. Needless to say I have not had to use this since arriving back in Singapore. We walk all the way from Union Square to Fisherman’s Wharf. We made it just in time.
We reach the bus and we take our seats on the upper deck, open air of course. It begins with a warning that it’s going to get extremely cold.
Who likes chocolate?
Sunset time at the bridge.
As it got darker, the air got colder so I put my camera away and decided it was more important to keep warm. The bus tour took us over the Bay Bridge which had some great views of the city. Unfortunately my hands were so cold I kept my camera away and admired the views without taking any snaps.
With the tour ending around 9:30pm, we had a short walk back to the car and I decide to take us on a drive to Daly City. Why? For In and Out burger time!!!!
After waiting many years to try the famous burger, was it a letdown? No. The burger was totally worth the wait. For the price and quality it’s probably one of the best I have had. Highly recommend people to try this if they ever go US west coast.
This is it for day 5, a great day out with a happy ending.