Although the main objective of our recent San Francisco trip was, of course, to run in The San Francisco Marathon, it was also my first time in the city, so I was excited to pack in as much sightseeing as possible in one weekend! Our first night, we stayed closer to the airport, in Millbrae, but on day two, we hopped the BART downtown to the Hyatt Regency – Embarcadero!
I was immediately impressed by the retro-fabulousness of this atrium – and if you are a film buff, you might recognize it, even if you’ve never been there!
The hotel itself was very nice: large, clean rooms, great views and of course, an excellent location! As host hotel for the race, it was a stone’s throw from the race start/finish and also centrally located for public transportation and sightseeing (it’s right across the street from the Ferry Building).
After settling into our room (we were excited that a room was available so early in the day – around 10) we set out for our first stop: visiting Blue Bottle Coffee! Monica, of Run Eat Repeat had raved about it serving “the best ever iced coffee” so I knew I had to pay them a visit.
We waited about 20 minutes in line, but boy, was it good! I ordered the “New Orleans Style Iced Coffee” and hubs wanted to try the yummy smelling waffles! Neither disappointed, and they were perfect snacks to take with us on our walk toward Pier 39/the Fishermans Wharf and Ghiradelli Square!
On the walk up, we ran into my friend Linzie (so cool when you see friends in unexpected places) who I was planning on meeting up with later! After a quick chat, we bid farewell for the moment, and we set on our walking adventure.
Although it was a little windy (ya think 😉 ), the temperature was perfect and the walk was very pleasant. There were lots of cyclists, runners and tourists – a great mix, which made for excellent people-watching.
Before long, the pier numbers were increasing and we were at the famous Pier 39! I definitely HEARD them before I saw them…
We hung around there for a while, and checked out the views – it was pretty clear and we could see Alcatraz…we didn’t have quite enough time to visit on this trip, but it was really neat to see in person.
The next stop was down at Pier 45, to an attraction that had been highly recommended to me by several SF-lovers: the Musee Mecanique! I had told hubs about it before we arrived, but of course, he was confused when we saw the entrance. Thankfully, it’s admission fee (FREE) was enough convincing for him 😉
Inside the MM, there are TONS of old, cool coin-operated games, machines and arcade attractions:
We broke a $5 bill into quarters and played a few games, did a few fortune teller machines and of course, made a pressed penny for my collection. It was definitely a cool stop and I’d recommend it to anyone!
Naturally, all that fun made us a little hungry, so it was time to head to the Boudin Bakery! Eating here was definitely on my MUST DO list since I love the version at Disney California Adventure – always a Disney connection 😉
Since it was 12:30ish, the quick-serve location was pretty busy, so we opted to head upstairs to the restaurant (Bistro Boudin)….which turned out to be an incredible idea, since we got a great view of the water and didn’t have to fight for seats, or have to worry about seagulls stealing our food 😉
I had the Bistro Shrimp Salad – Grilled shrimp, grilled avocado, chopped romaine, orange supremes, red peppers, jalapeño and cilantro vinaigrette and hubs had the Dungeness Crab Cake Sandwich – Toasted sourdough, lettuce, tomato, avocado and lemongrass mayonnaise – which he promptly declared as “the best sandwich he had ever had in his whole life.” So yes, I’d say it was a delicious meal…and of course, unlimited sourdough bread basket ❤
After that meal, it was time to head back out…
…we walked along, enjoying the breeze, and there it was…
Yes! Although there was a faint layer of fog, I could see it! Very exciting!! It blew my mind to think I’d be running over it the very next day…but first: more carbs!
We met up with Linzie for ice cream sundaes, which was a perfect place to chat, eat delicious ice cream and just enjoy! Neither one of us could finish our ice cream before it melted, but it was fun trying 😉
That ice cream energy certainly came in handy for the next part of our walking tour of San Francisco…
I had noticed on the map that we were not that far from the famous twisting Lombard Street! Although we didn’t have a car to drive down it, I figured it would still be cool to see it, and walk down the sides on foot 🙂
At this point, we had walked somewhere around 7.5 miles, according to my fitbit. Since hubs was a little nervous about the race the next morning, we decided to head back to the hotel, this time cutting through Chinatown and some other neighorhoods.
We called it an early evening (although I walked back to the Ferry Building to grab hubs some items for breakfast, and wandered a bit, reaching 11 miles walked) and settled in the hotel watching the silly ‘Mermaids’ documentary on television. It would be an early wake up call and a packed Sunday (the race, my plans of visiting the Presidio, and of course, our travels back home) but it was a great feeling to have accomplished so much in one day!
Have you ever visited SF? If yes…what was your favorite thing to see? If no…what would be at the top of YOUR bucketlist?