Travel Mondays | San Louis Obispo & San Francisco

23.6.14

In today's 'Travel Monday' I'm taking a look back to when Luke and I visited San Francisco. You may have seen on my last post which was on Las Vegas that we took a trip to the US West Coast in June of last year and visited Vegas, St Louis Obispo, San Francisco, Yosemite National Park and Los Angeles..


Bubble Gum Alley at San Louis Obispo





Alcatraz Prison








Pier 39 @ Fisherman's Wharf




Lombard Street


The Painted Ladies


Golden Gate Bridge


Downtown


(All of the above photos were taken on my old Nikon SLR, so apologies that the quality isn't as good as the camera I use now)


San Francisco was our second stop on the trip. We drove all the way to San Fran from Vegas stopping off at San Louis Obispo half way. We did this purposely as we were intrigued about the famous 'Bubblegum Alley'; literally two long walls covered in chewing gum, very interesting to see. After checking out the alley we had a brief stroll around the central town area of San Louis and had some lunch. I'm disappointed that we could only see San Louis Obispo for a brief amount of time as we had to make our way onto our next destination, but I'd definitely like to go back, the area we visited was very pretty, a real american post-card town filled with interesting restaurant and boutique stores. Next.. on to San Fran! I was so excited for San Francisco, I had seen so many quirky little places online that we wanted to visit. (beware ramble imminent) ..Upon arrival we hit lots of traffic and arrived late at night so we just wanted to get straight to bed. When arriving at our hotel we spent so long trying to get parked. Parking was a HUGE issue for us in San Fran, everywhere is 'permit holders only' and private parking. We did our research before we went and everyone advised us to get a hotel with parking - we did - however it only had 7-10 spaces and all of them were taken! We ended up having to leave our hire car in a paid parking area that was $15 a night and wasn't even locked up or supervised over night, I even said to the attendant there at the time 'will the car be safe here?' and he replied ' I cant make any promises mam, there are a lot of drunks about', I was so worried because the excess on the hire car was a fortune! Luckily it was okay, we had no other choice but to park there after driving around the city for an hour and a half! We even considered moving hotels to a Holiday Inn as they had a huge private multi story but the price for one night was $300+, that's another thing, we found accommodation to be very expensive for something so standard; In Vegas you could get 10x better quality for money... I don't want to get off on a bad note with this post and I promise I will get to the good bits but there were a lot of things that surprised me and I just thought this was an important issue to cover as it caused a lot of stress on our first night, obviously if you visit San Fran without a car this won't be a problem.

Anyway moving on to the good bits! The trams on the streets, the beautiful buildings, Pier 39, Alcatraz, Lombard Street, Golden Gate Bridge, The Painted Ladies, Union Square and more! I think once I got over the whole driving and parking thing I found San Fran to be a lovely city. Alcatraz Prison in particular was one of my favorite things we did. However we had gone from blistering sunny heat in Vegas at around 35+ degrees to 15 degrees; we weren't prepared for this as apparently it's usually very warm and sunny in San Francisco that time of year so we didn't really have coats or wrap up clothes so be prepared. It was 'nippy' in the mornings but tended to fair up in the afternoon. On the boat trip to Alcatraz however I really enjoyed that the weather was misty and cloudy. It was the perfect setting for Alcatraz it made it feel all gloomy and scary. Driving over and around the golden gate bridge was also very surreal and picturesque, we visited a few view points and some beaches around the bridge which I would highly recommend. 

I thought I would love San Francisco a lot more than I did and wouldn't be that interested in LA but it was the complete opposite way round for me. I did enjoy San Fran don't get me wrong! And I don't regret doing it at all! And I would most definitely like to visit it again. I'm so glad we got to see the things we did.

I've listed some recommendations below.


Must do's

  • Golden Gate Bridge
  • Lombard Street 
  • Alcatraz Prison Tour
  • Painted Ladies
  • Union Square
  • Pier 39

Optional


  • The Palace of Fine Arts
  • Golden Gate Park
  • China Town
  • Visit local thrift stores


Tips

  • Be careful at night. This may seem obvious but we found that there were some very dodgy areas as in San Fran, as with any city, so keep your belongings safe.
  • Get a hotel with lots of parking. As previously mentioned if you hire a car you may find parking to be a bit of an issue in San Fran so make sure that the hotel you stay at offers a good amount of safe parking.
  • Stay in a central area. As previously mentioned some of the areas of downtown were quite dodgy at night and felt somewhat unsafe so make sure you do your research before you go and try and stay near the central and main attractions in the city.

Obviously the above were all of our own opinions, so take them lightly, everyone's trip is different. You can also watch our travel Vlogs from this trip on youtube HERE.

(All of the pictures on this trip where taken by me, Please do not use without permission, You can read my full Disclaimer for more info)

3 comments

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Katy! glad you enjoy it :) xx

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  2. Bubble gum alley is an interesting idea! Great pics

    amy frank | worldwide travel @ www.amyfrank.blogspot.com

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