The Summer of the West Coast: San Francisco

Saraheat, wander

Why have I never traveled to California until this year? San Francisco is an amazing city. There is so much to do that our few days there were definitely not enough! We’ll visit again. We were so happy to stay with one of our good friends who lives in the city now and has an incredible career at Google.

As soon as we arrived, we grabbed some brunch across the street from Twitter at Little Griddle. It was delicious! We tried to walk to her apartment after eating, but carrying around luggage is not super fun, so we grabbed an Uber and were on our way. Our first adventure was heading to The Fisherman’s Wharf and renting bikes to head over the Golden Gate Bridge. We were warned there were some serious hills, but there were some serious hills. I had so much more trouble biking up the hills than I thought… my husband and Lindsay out-biked the heck out of me!

Golden-Gate-Bridge_San-Francisco-Travel_Sarah-KiomallThe views were surreal and the bike ride took us down the hill (and the up the hill and then down the hill) to Sausalito.Sausalito_Sarah-KiomallWe explored a little and had lunch before we had to rush to get the ferry across to San Francisco. It was considerably warmer and sunnier in Sausalito. It truly felt like a vacation town! The images below show Alcatraz (book your tickets months in advance!!), the clouds sitting on top of San Francisco, and the Golden Gate bridge.Ferry-Views-of-San-Francisco_Sarah-KiomallThis trip turned out to be way more exercise than we originally planned! It was awesome! We ended up hiking almost 13 miles every day in San Francisco and one of our favorite hikes was up to Twin Peaks! The homes in this area are gorgeous and the views from the top of the city are unparalleled. With an elevation of 922 feet, we could see so much of the Bay Area. There were a lot of people on bus tours, but we feel like we appreciated it more since we struggled our way up the hill!Hiking-up-to-Twin-Peaks_Sarah-KiomallWe also hiked all over the Mission District, the Castro and Noe Valley. It was incredible how steep the roads in some of the neighborhoods were… I could hardly look down the hills without feeling dizzy! During this hike we had the best latte and éclair at Tartine Bakery. It was just the sustenance we needed to continue on our adventure.  Hike-to-Noe-Valley-in-San-Francisco_Sarah-KiomallWe took so many more photos than I can squeeze into this post. We saw the Painted Ladies, had cocktails at Smuggler’s Cove, and hung out at a birthday kick-ball celebration in Golden Gate park on the day of the SF Marathon! The last day of our trip we explored our way to AT&T park to take the train to Palo Alto. It was so beautiful and if you ever get the chance to go, please try Sushirrito and Cream. Most incredible sushi-burrito and homemade ice cream sandwich. After looking at their websites, I now realize they have more than one location; however none of the locations are on the east coast – bummer! Later in the afternoon, we grabbed yet another Uber and headed to Google and Facebook! We were so lucky to get the opportunity to tour these online marketing meccas! These places are literally insane. I know everyone works hard, but from the outside it just looks like college on steroids!! I felt really awkward taking a slice of pizza and walking away without paying anything!

Visiting-Google_Sarah-KiomallMy first California experience was incredible and I feel so fortunate to have traveled and explored with a great friend and my wonderful husband. California just feels different than the east coast. If you’ve been, you might understand what I mean. It’s more laid back – maybe it’s something in the air?!

What other great places do you recommend in the Bay Area? I’m ready to start my bucket list for our next trip! Share your thoughts in the comments or find me on Twitter!