We kicked off our California road trip in San Francisco. Arriving early evening (thanks to the 2.5 hour queue to get through security) we stayed our first night right in the thick of it all at The Herbert Hotel in Union Square. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in San Francisco and you’re on a budget, The Herbert is simple but smart, affordable and really well located. I’d highly recommend it.
Too exhausted to really explore, we wolfed down some burritos and had an early night.
We woke at sunrise (the only silver lining to jet lag) feeling fresh and plotted our day. After a delicious breakfast of buttermilk pancakes and bacon at The Bartlett (a sister hotel to The Herbert worth checking out), we trotted off to find the Muni.
Riding the rails of the San Francisco Municipal Railway was number one on our list of must do’s. A word of warning though, it ain’t a cheap way of getting around. We luckily had CityPASS booklets which are a great idea if you’re planning a lot of sightseeing and want to save some moolah.
We held on tightly as we clattered up the hills, and felt our stomachs lurch on the way back down.
Stopping briefly to take in the views of the bay.
The corner of each block offering a different window view of San Francisco.
CityPASS gives you unlimited travel on the Muni cable cars, historic streetcars, and the electric trolley busses around the city, for 3 consecutive days (starting from the day of use). As well as travel, the CityPASS includes admission (valid for 9 days) to 4 of the city’s best attractions, including California Academy of Sciences, Blue & Gold Fleet Bay Cruise Adventure, Aquarium of the Bay, Exploratarium or San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. It was really useful having the CityPASS and it was a bonus to skip all the queues.
Back to the rollercoaster…
We rattled down the hills squealing (Marc, not me) every time another trolley whizzed past, all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf.
After a quick wander, we picked up electric bikes from Blazing Saddles and set off towards the Golden Gate Bridge. Electric bikes are 100% the way to go when riding the big GGB in my opinion. It makes the ride an easy, breezy, relaxing experience – it’s busy and very noisy up there.
Sexy helmet compulsory.
As we stopped to take the next picture, we spotted two whales under the bridge. My first time ever seeing whales and it was pretty special.
We stopped for lunch in the funny little town of Sausalito, then set off back over the bridge. You can take the ferry, but with electric bikes, riding back is easy enough and will save you the ferry fare.
Once back in the city, we jumped on the BART towards Orinda, Oakland where we were staying with friends for the rest of our time in San Francisco.
After an evening of delicious sushi, wine and catching up, we headed to bed, excited for a new day of exploring San Francisco. An excellent start to our California adventure!
Ps. I vlogged the whole trip so you can watch our San Francisco video below.
Huge thanks to San Francisco Travel for helping me plan our itinerary, CityPASS and Blazing Saddles for providing us with discounted electric bike hire.