You can definitely feel the difference between Southern and Northen California. San Francisco is a bit chillier and it was really cloudy once we got there.
The flight between LA and San Francisco is really short. By the time you go up and you have to land again.
San Francisco, just like LA is really easy to get around using Uber/Lyft. The difference here is that public transport seems more convenient and accessible. One ticket is $2.5 and you can board another bus/street car up to 2.5 hours afterwards.
There is also SF BART which will cost you around $8 from the airport to Powell St.
After we arrived we headed downtown to find something for breakfast. As expected most places have lineups so keep that in mind. Brunch is a big thing apparently in SF.
This trip was a lot less structured due to not having enough time to plan and the shortness of our stay. From Powell St once you’re out and the Cable Car is pretty much the first thing you see. It’s a huge attraction and always have a large crowd waiting to go for a ride. Tickets are $7 per person and are sold nearby.
We got on a street car and headed to Pier 1 since we had tickets to Alcatraz later on. Pier one is full of small markets where you can buy coffee, a snack, bread, cheese, honey, and other foods. Your stay in there would most likely depend on your budget.
Pier 39 and Alcatraz
This was our first big event for the day. I don’t think I need to explain what Alcatraz Island really is. It is amazing how they managed to turn a prison into a huge tourist attraction that brings so much money.
I think the best place to buy tickets is from http://www.alcatrazcruises.com. Not trying to advertise or anything but they’re the ones that actually sail to the island and not just around it. For $35 you get 2 way ferry ride plus audi tour of the cell block. I have to say it’s totally worth it. There is a boat schedule all over the island so you can plan to stay as much or as little as you’d like. Once you land there’s a bit of a walk until you reach the cells.
The place is still pretty accessible since you can get a small bus/train that goes from the landing all the way up. Once inside, you get your audio tour and you’re on your way. The tour last 45 minutes and it’s pretty interactive.
There are also other events happening on the island which unfortunately didn’t have time to explore.
The last boat departs Alcatraz at 5:30PM so after everything we had dinner in a Thai restaurant in a sketchy neighborhood and called it a day.
We began the day boarding the cable car to the Fisherman’s Wharf.
The ride is real fun. Obviously you can get to the pier much cheaper with streetcar but I don’t know if you can experience such a ride anywhere else. It takes probably 45 minutes to its final destination. You can see Alcatraz from there as well.
Once at the pier there are plenty of things to do. One of those things was Hyde St Pier where you can go aboard those ships but I wasn’t really excited to see those. Not to mention the Maritime Museum in San Diego is probably much better for pretty much the same price.
There are also a lot of places where you can rent a bike, scooter or other means to cross the Golden Gate Bridge. Sadly we couldn’t do any of those so we headed back to Pier One.
From Pier one we walked around and grabbed a fairly long streetcar ride to Twin Peaks.
There’s not really much to do there but if you want to get the best view of San Francisco this is it! Plenty of tourists here.
Looking back I don’t think we were explore most of San Francisco but we were happy with everything we saw.
Definitely wanted to check Golden Gate Park or walk across the bridge itself. Another time maybe.
In the meantime if you ever fly from San Francisco through JFK make sure you have enough time to transfer flights. We had one hour so due to delay we spent 12 more hours flying through Salt Lake City and Boston.