One of the many benefits of living in California is the access we have to see so many beautiful places this state has to offer. No matter where in CA you live, you’re able to get a change of scenery with a simple drive or a quick plane ride within the state. This past weekend I was invited by a girlfriend to join her for a concert she was attending in Berkeley. We decided to take a road trip and spend three days in San Francisco. This was my first time taking the drive and I was preparing myself for a long, long commute up the 5 freeway. The drive took a total of about 7 hours, but once you start going up the Bay Bridge it makes it seem like a quick trip.
Thursday Evening - Arrival
Our hotel was in downtown San Francisco, called Tilden Hotel and we arrived just before dinner time. Both starving and ready to move our legs, we hurried to put our things down and change quickly. We had dinner and drinks at the hotel restaurant and decided to grab a nightcap afterwards at a nice bar called Swig on Geary Street in the Tenderloin District. I ordered a whiskey sour and we spent the rest of the night laughing and enjoying ourselves in the city.
Friday - Exploring The City
We spent most of Friday sightseeing since it was the first time my friend had been there. We went over to Lombard Street to see the famous road with eight hairpin turns along with a beautiful view of San Francisco. This is a pretty big tourist spot, so unfortunately it’s very rare for this area to be cleared of a crowd. Either way, this is still a must see spot. From there we walked over to Fisherman’s Wharf to grab some clam chowder and take a walk around the dock. It was a beautiful day with perfect weather for sightseeing.
Later that night, was our concert at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley. It was a beautiful venue with an amazing view from every seat. To look around the theatre at all the glowing lights, while some of your favorite music is playing, is very exciting and a wonderful experience. Seeing a concert in a different city is always recommended, and if you happen to be in SF, the Greek Theatre is at the top of my list. The drive from Downtown San Fran to Berkeley is about 30 minutes and a $35 uber ride.
Saturday - Last Day and More Sights to See
We were a little tired (and hungover) from the night before so we had a late start to the day. As great as keeping things mellow sounded at the moment, we couldn’t finish up the trip without seeing the Golden Gate Bridge. After we ate breakfast at Honey Honey Cafe and Crepery we grabbed a Lyft over to the Bridge and took a small hike to some beautiful sightseeing spots. You get the option to take a few routes for the hike if you’d like to take more time or ride a bike. We decided to go on one of the quicker routes since there were other spots we wanted to go to later that day. We stood by the water and looked at the bridge, watching everyone take photos as we took our own. The bridge is a beautiful California landmark. It’s incredible to see in person and if you’re lucky to go on a day where there is no fog, it’s genuinely breathtaking.
We grabbed some lunch to-go at Guerrero Market and Deli and a bottle of wine to take to Mission Dolores Park to have a picnic. On a Saturday afternoon the park is such a fun place to be. There’s music and tons of people enjoying their day. You see people reading, having a picnic with their friends, doing yoga, or taking a nap. It was very easy for us to spend the majority of our day in the park enjoying the sun and company. From the park we went to a Peruvian restaurant for dinner called Fresca Fillmore. There we had some more drinks and a delicious Peruvian ceviche that I highly recommend trying if you’re ever in the Castro District.
With Saturday being our last night in town and despite needing to leave at 6:00am the next morning, we decided to attend a drag show. A lot like Los Angeles, San Francisco has some great drag performances. We saw a show that’s done weekly at the PianoFight bar called ‘Aint Yo Mama’s Drag Show’. We sang and danced along with every performance and loved being around all the amazing talent. The night went on late and we were stuck with only a few hours of sleep before needing to head home. Although waking up at 6:00am after a night out didn't sound like the best time to me, seeing the city while the sun was rising is something that I had never experienced on a trip to San Francisco before and I found it gorgeous. Being a place that is usually always up and on the move, there was a nice layer of serenity while everyone was still inside sleeping as we were heading out.
Downtown San Francisco Sunrise
A Great Three Days in San Francisco to Remember
This was a quick trip for me, but each time I visit San Francisco I love it more and more. There are so many places to see and things to experience that it’s not likely anyone could have a dull time. If you haven't had the chance to see for yourself, I suggest planning a trip once you find a free weekend or few days off. Along with the great food and scenery, there’s an energy that feels similar to Los Angeles but also different in it’s own unique ways. So, hopefully it won't be too long until I’m back there and enjoying the alluring atmosphere!
A few other must see places and attractions are:
- Have high tea or brunch at the Palace Hotel
- Shop in Haight-Ashbury
- Ride the Cable Cars
- Take in the view at Twin Peaks
- Tour the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
- Explore Alcatraz Island
- Tour the San Francisco Botanical Garden
- Relax in Golden Gate Park
- Take a trip to Napa Valley
- Have dinner in Chinatown