This was one visit when we wanted to get out in the city and see alot of the areas we never saw before. To start with we decided to take the the Cable Car up California St. from the Hyatt Rengency and to walk the victorian house tour of the Pacific Heights area. We thought this would be a great way to see alot of the city architecture, one of the more beautiful neighborhoods in the city, and see some inspiring San Francisco views.
We really enjoyed the victorian house tour. The walking was not as bad as you would think with all the hills, you walked through some really pretty neighborhoods, and the homes are as picture perfect as what you always see in the travel magazines. We even saw the house used to film the movie Mrs. Doubtfire that Robin Williams stared in!
After the tour we decided to start walked down through the Filmore District on our way to Haight Ashbury. The boulevard is lined with quaint little shops, store fronts, and restaurants. We had a great time seeing the area, but also noted how alive the District and San Francisco is in general. People are out on foot walking everywhere all day long; walking their dogs, couples strolling and shopping, and sitting in the many restaurants. This city is really alive and you can feel the vibe and energy everywhere.
About half way to Haight Ashbury District we decided it would be wise to take the Metro transportation the rest of the way (way too long a walk). Again, we used our three day Metro transportation pass and hopped a bus the rest of the way. I don't know why, but we really had no problems figuring out which buses to take, and if we had a question, there were 4 or 5 people there willing to help us. My experience with public transportation in other cities was not this easy. The buses are well maintained, clean, and pretty much on time. And in this city - everyone uses public transportation! So you can pretty much be assured that the seats will be full.
The Haight Ashbury District was a must do for us and it was everything and nothing at the same time. There are shops and pubs all over the place and the eclectic neighborhood is what you might think it would be for an area with the 60's history this one has. It is a touristy area that trys to capitalize on it's past, a little run down, but worth seeing if you've never been before.
From here we took the bus to Market St., transfered to a great street car that was originally manufactured and used in Milan, Italy. I love all the old refurbished street cars that the city uses. They are from all over the States and the world, are beautifully refurbished, and provide a ride through the past when you take one. The ride down Market St. on the street car dropped us off at our home base (Hyatt Regency) located in Embarcadero Center and we ended the day with a glass of wine sitting on the balcony. A nice adventure for the day, a wonderful walk and ride through the city, and the end of another San Francisco day watching the sun set.