Weekend Escape – San Francisco

I’ve decided to create a new series for this blog called Weekend Escape. These posts will be highlights of trips that I have taken and will give recommendations and key points of attraction.

For a Pre-Valentine’s day celebration, a companion and I traveled to San Francisco to spend the night of the 13th. For a short trip to San Francisco, I recommend visiting the following places.

Fisherman’s Wharf

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The day started out at the FIsherman’s Wharf, a must-see in San Francisco. What was supposed to be a 20 minute trolley ride from Union Square to became an almost 40 minute ride because of extra detours that weekend because of President Obama’s visit. Google Maps was handy when figuring out the local trolley stops.

Fisherman’s Wharf is crawling with seafood vendors selling crab, lobster, shrimp, tuna; basically anything that swims. But be warned that they are by no means cheap but definitely worth the extra bucks. A small plate of about 7-10 shrimp can cost you between $10-15.

From the wharf you can see Alcatraz Island. The old Musee Mecanique is open to the public to play some old fashioned coin-operated arcade games. Games range from mechanical metal bullet shooting games to fortune telling machines. Here’s a video to give you a better glimpse from the website. Most games cost 25 to 50 cents but can reach up to a dollar.

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Hotel

We stayed at the Steinhardt Hotel and Apartments, about a 10 minute walk from Union Square.

The hotel captured the vintage, romantic feel of San Francisco with it’s cage elevator, red carpeting, wallpaper walls, and long dimly lit hallways.

We stayed in a deluxe studio that included a small kitchen which was fully furnished, a living room that converted into a bedroom when the bed was pulled down from the wall, a small office, a restroom with a bathtub and a view out into the bustling city of San Fran.

The staff was polite and helpful. The location was a seven minute walk from the trolley and there were various nearby parking structures within a one block radius.

For the price of $163, we truly got the most bang for our buck.

Chinatown

The streets of China town are interestingly narrow, filled to the brim with small apartments, downstairs shops, and interesting stores selling everything from samurai swords to live lobster.

During the month long celebration until Chinese New Year a large street market takes place in Chinatown. Valentine’s weekend was the Flower festival and while we didn’t see much flowers there were other spectacles to see.

The decorated streets were lined with booths and at some points the streets were so packed with people that it almost felt like a night club. More than 40,000 were expected that weekend.

Vendors sold various exotic fruits and vegetables, popular in Asian countries. Apples the size of a small melon and grapes were half as big as a tangerine.

In the windows of the butcher shops you can see skinned ducks and chickens hanging from the ceiling.

if you’re looking for unique souvenir, this is the place to purchase it. Stores there sell selfie sticks, exotic tea costing more than a hundred dollars per pound, and hand swords like Wolverine from X-Men.

Like any attraction in San Francisco, the streets are very congested and parking is difficult to find especially during the festivals. I recommend parking in the Financial District which is a short 10-15 minute walk,

Chinatown is a definite Must-see of San Francisco.

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Golden Gate Bridge

Arguably one of the most beloved emblems of California, the Golden Gate sits atop the Pacific Ocean spanning almost 3,000 meters. Because of the bust weekend, the bridge took nearly forty minutes to drive through, allowing for pictures.The structure is belittling and a seriously beautiful artwork.

If you want to get pictures of the bridge, I reccommend driving to the far right end of Chrissy Field. Be warned that the path to this location can be easily missed and you may end up en route to the bridge and have to wait for the next detour.

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