Day 1 – San Francisco 

Fantastic first day in San Francisco.

Itinerary:

  • 10:30 am Took a drive down the famous S-curves on Lombard Street
  • 11:30 am Walked along the Embarcadero starting at Bay Bridge
  • 12:30 pm Hit Alcatraz Landing
  • Continued walking around San Francisco toward the Golden Gate Bridge
  • 5:00 pm finally made it to the Golden Gate Bride

Our adventure:

We started our day leaving the hotel in Fremont (northeast of San Jose) and heading into downtown San Francisco. As we were driving around looking for a grocery store, we stumbled upon Lombard Street right at the top of the famous S-curves. Dumb luck I guess. We decided to get to the store then head back to take a ride down.

Lombard Street

The S-curves were wide open except for pedestrians taking photos when we got there, so we took a ride down and looped back around the block. Somehow we forgot to record this. Half a block back before reaching Lombard Street the second time we found an open parking spot and snagged it. We were able to take a bunch of photos at the top, bottom, and throughout the middle this way.

Lombard Street, San Francisco, Dirty Windshield 2017 Road Trip
Lombard Street, San Francisco, Dirty Windshield 2017 Road Trip

As we headed back to the car, we decided to take another ride down the S-curves. This time it was much more crowded, so our planned recording was a bit of a bust. Oh well.

Fisherman’s Wharf

Dock on the Bay at Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco, Dirty Windshield
Dock on the Bay at Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco, Dirty Windshield

We hadn’t planned anything specific to see ahead of time, so we decided that we would head to Fisherman’s Wharf area and park. The parking garage we found had a weekend special, so we got a great rate to park all day.

Bay Bridge and off to the Embarcadero

Bay Bridge, San Francisco, Dirty Windshield Road Trip
Bay Bridge, San Francisco, Dirty Windshield Road Trip

Just outside of the parking garage was the San Francisco Bay right by the Bay Bridge. The Bay Bridge, itself, is a gorgeous bridge despite being the lesser known bridge. After admiring the beauty at the Bay Bridge and surrounding artwork, we headed down the Embarcadero.

Art along the Embarcadero, San Francisco, Dirty Windshield Road Trip
Art along the Embarcadero, San Francisco, Dirty Windshield Road Trip
San Francisco’s Farmer’s Market

Being Saturday morning, there was a massive Farmer’s Market open to the public right on the sidewalk. By far, the best Farmer’s Market I’ve been too. Tons of organic and gluten-free options allowing us to enjoy some treats.

Alcatraz Landing
Alcatraz Landing Scale Model, San Francisco, Dirty Windshield Road Trip
Alcatraz Landing Scale Model, San Francisco, Dirty Windshield Road Trip

We continued walking down the Embarcadero and stopped at Alcatraz Landing. Unfortunately, we were unable to get on a ferry ride to view closer, but we did go through and see some artifacts and a massive to-scale model of Alcatraz.

HMMM… Let’s Just Keep Going

Lobster Pots, San Francisco, Dirty Windshield Road Trip
Lobster Pots, San Francisco, Dirty Windshield Road Trip

When we finally reached the end of the main drag of the Embarcadero, I had this brilliant idea to continue to the Golden Gate Bridge insisting we were about halfway. (Not so much!) Figuring what’s the point of San Francisco if we don’t walk up some of the insane hills we trekked up about 7-8 blocks then took a right turn to head toward the bridge. Turns out, we were moving in the wrong direction when we had gone up the hill and ended up walking back down a parallel hill on the street a dozen or so blocks away.

Battleship through Arch on Embarcadero, San Francisco, Dirty Windshield Road Trip
Battleship through Arch on Embarcadero, San Francisco, Dirty Windshield Road Trip
Fort Point
Fort Point as seen from the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Dirty Windshield Road Trip
Fort Point as seen from the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

As we got to the water again, we started to become tired. Invested as we were, we decided to press on. Walking in the general direction of the bridge we almost made it to Fort Point then realized we missed a turn to go up to the bridge entrance. (Oops)

The Golden Gate Bridge

Vibrant Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Dirty Windshield Road Trip
Vibrant Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Dirty Windshield Road Trip

Turning back about a half mile, we found the correct turn which led us .7 miles over and up to the Golden Gate Bridge. Finally, we reached the bridge after 5 hours (give or take) of walking. We walked a portion of it, but my fear of heights and aching feet told me it was time to turn around. Being in the middle of a busy toll bridge didn’t seem like the ideal place to be picked up to be driven back to our car on the other side of the city.

Getting Back

Dirty Windshield made it to the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Dirty Windshield Road Trip
Dirty Windshield made it to the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Dirty Windshield Road Trip

We walked back down about a mile and requested a rideshare pick-up. I am shocked, but somehow the cost was only $18 plus a tip to drive us back. It felt like the longest ride back; I can’t believe I had walked that far straight only stopping for photos and site seeing.

Today definitely was a super aggressive first day walking wise. However, it was definitely worth the achy feet.

City through the fence, Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, Dirty Windshield Road Trip
City through the fence, Golden Gate Bridge

After all of this, we took a quick ride down to Pacifica, CA then decided to head back to San Jose and pick up dinner. At the end of the day, we found a great last-minute deal for a Four star hotel in Santa Clara and headed to bed.

Long, yet exhilarating day. Tomorrow we are off to Yosemite!

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