Our first day in San Francisco was filled with some action packed day dates. Lacey and I hadn’t ever explored San Francisco prior to last weekend, so we were really excited to see what all of the fuss was about. San Francisco is also a particularly special place for Lacey and I because it is the city where we first met (9 years ago).
First stop – Muir National Park
This wasn’t originally on my list of places to go, but after 3 of our friends labeled it a “must see” when visiting SF, we were convinced. It took us about an hour to get to Muir from the city. When we arrived, parking was a shit show. People were parking as far as 2 miles away from the entrance to the park. When we realized this was our fate, I looked at Lacey and said “I’m not spending my whole f***ing day driving in circles for a spot, so lets just head back to the city.” As soon as I started driving away from the park, we noticed an empty parking area 2 blocks distance above the park entrance. We couldn’t spot any No Parking signs around so that’s where we left our tiny crap box rental car for a couple hours. Scored big time with that parking spot.
For the park itself, don’t get me wrong, it was absolutely beautiful and amazing. The trees were enormous (some 40ft wide) and the surrounding nature complimented the trees perfectly. That being said, I think the fact that Lacey and I grew up in Idaho and around scenery similar to this our whole lives, we were a little less amazed than some of the “city-folk” that were visiting the park that day. Still a great park, but I don’t think I’d label it as a “must see” when visiting SF.
Side note, we accidentally visited Muir National Park on National Park day…which explains the insane crowd and crazy parking situation. But!…we got in for free in honor of the holiday 🙂
Second Stop – The Cliff House (for lunch)
I found this place while Google searching “best views in SF” before our trip. We were not disappointed. The restaurant/bistro is located on the cliffs (obviously), overlooking Ocean Beach on the northwestern corner of the city. I would highly recommend checking this place out during your next visit. Most of the tables are located next to the windows where you’ll have prime views of the ocean, pedestrians, and surfers. Lacey and I enjoyed some delicious coffee drinks served by a woman who had been working at The Cliff House for over 50 years. Tons of cool history linked with this place.
Third Stop – The Golden Gate Bridge
Ah, yes. The Grand Finale for Day 1 in San Francisco. After lunch, we headed straight to the bridge. We found some free parking about 3 blocks south of the bridge which also linked to a cool trail that led us down to the bridge. While I was excited to visit the bridge, I didn’t expect it to be as cool as it ended up being. First off, the bridge is beautiful in person. Pictures don’t do it justice. Secondly, you can walk or ride your bike across it where you’ll find amazing views of downtown, Alcatraz, and the rolling hills of the neighborhoods around the city. The walk across the bridge is even more exciting because it is usually windy and there is a ton of traffic buzzing by you the entire time. Gives it a little element of danger. If you’re afraid of heights, this walk will test your will a little bit too. Lacey ended up getting a little dizzy when we went. I would definitely list walking/riding across the Golden Gate bridge as a “must see”. If you go to SF, you need to go to the bridge.
Day 1 in San Francisco was awesome. Stay tuned to find out how Day 2 went. It involves arguably even better views than our first day.
Have you been to SF? Did you check out the same spots we did? Let us know what you thought!