A March 2006 trip
to San Francisco by miadelie
Quote: San Francisco definitely tops my list of favorite places around the world. And it is definitely my favorite spot in America! No other city here has the fresh breath of daily life in it like San Francisco. It is a port city chocked full of diversity...
Hotel | "Hosteling International's Fort Mason Hostel"
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 18, 2006
Fort Mason Hostel
Fort Mason, Building 240
San Francisco 94123
Attraction | "Alcatraz Island"
I have gone on the Alcatraz Tour twice now, both times utilizing Pier 39's Blue and Gold Fleet. Both times I was very impressed with the boat quality, and enjoyed the quick ride out to the rocky and dangerous island. Once you arrive on the island, you are greeted by a cheery and informative ranger, who speaks to the group for a few moments. You are then guided up the large hill (take a big breath everyone!) and to the beginnings of the building structures.
You are able to view previous quarters of the guards, along with the rubble of some quarters that had caught fire. You eventually reach the actual prison, which is in quite nice condition on the inside. You are given headsets to wear and guide you through the prison house. This is very nice and convenient. It allows you to take as much time as you'd like in the prison. There are boats that head back to the city every 30 minutes or so, so you may take as much time as you'd like on the island. It is a great photo opportunity of the city!
Also, if you go during the winter months, you are allowed on the fenced path around the edge of the island (during other months, there is bird migration in those areas, so they prohibit it). I have also heard that their evening tour is superb. Apparently, they take you into other areas of the prison, that the day tours do not go into. I will be doing that tour on my next stop!
Alcatraz Island/The Rock
San Francisco Bay
Golden Gate National Recreation Area, San Francisco 94133
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on May 18, 2006
National Maritime Museum
At the corner of Beach and Polk streets
San Francisco, California 94133
(415) 561 7100
Attraction | "Clos Du Val"
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 18, 2006
Clos Du Val Wine Company, Ltd.
5330 Silverado Trail
Napa Valley, California 94558
(707) 259 2200
Attraction | "Muir Woods, Stinson Beach"
After Stinson Beach, we continued our drive into Muir Woods. This National Park is famous for it's spectacular Redwood Trees. These trees are some of the tallest in the world, and grow up to 260 feet in the park. There are several paths for you to explore these great trees on, which I definitely recommend. Also, if you go in the winter, you can get a chance to see the trout swimming up the river- a spectacular sight in itself! This is a must see, especially for the family! It is a perfect spot for the afternoon picnic. Beware, though—make sure to bring a sweater along, even if it is a warm sunny day. Once you get in the shade of the forest, it is suddenly very chill and cool. A fun fact about Muir Woods—they shot several scenes from the movie "Return of the Jedi" here.
Muir Woods National Monument
Mill Valley, CA 94941-2696
San Francisco, California
Attraction | "Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf"
If there is one thing in San Francisco that screams tourist, it is Pier 39 and Fisherman's Wharf. Yet, it has to be one of my favorite things to do in this fishy city. Fisherman's Wharf is perfect for the seafood lover, with fresh seafood in the numerous street vender's carts that surround you. Crab is the specialty, but there is also an abundance of fresh clam chowder (in the infamous sourdough bread bowl). If you don't eat seafood, make sure to at least stop at Boudin's for some sourdough bread—the finest there is! There are a lot of homeless people around this area, but they generally keep their distance. Watch yourself at night though, make sure you don't walk it alone.
There is also an abundance of street performers around this area, who are lively and entertaining for the entire family to watch. Just be sure to throw them a dollar or two—remember, this is how they make their living. Going down to Pier 39, you can catch the Sea Lions barking away. That is nature at its best, and although stinky, the kids will love it. Also, near the sea lions you will find a cove of little shops and restaurants, among them Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. Here is also where the boats take off for the tours of Alcatraz.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 19, 2006
Beach Street & The Embarcadero
San Francisco, California 94133
(415) 981 7437