San Francisco Excursion 2015

It’s been a year since our last San Francisco excursion, and since we were out in San Francisco for my grandma’s 109th birthday, we decided to be tourists for a few hours. We always go out to SF to visit with friends and family, so the girls don’t understand that people go to visit it as tourists! So fun to show them around our hometown! 🙂

I would imagine that being a real tourist in SF would be tricky because the maps are a little deceiving. It looks easy to get from one place to another, but you have to take into account the one-way streets, steeps hills, lots of other tourists, and having to look for parking! To give you an idea of a time frame, we got to Coit Tower at about 3:30pm and left Chinatown at about 5:30pm.

Trip Itinerary

  • Coit Tower
  • Cable Car Museum
  • AA Bakery

More on my grandma later… (photo credit: my cousin’s hubby Jason)

Coit Tower
We left my grandma’s around 3:30pm and headed to Coit Tower. I have been there a few times, but I have always walked there from Chinatown to watch the sunrise during the weekend of our youth group 30-Hour Famine lock-in. I had no clue about how to actually get there by car or about the parking situation. Luckily, there were signs that pointed the way there. The parking area at the top is quite small (maybe space for a little more than a dozen cars), so plan to park down the hill (but NOT in the residents’ driveways or your car will be towed) and walk up some stairs (we were fairly close but still had to walk up 50 steps or so) or the walkway. Even the view from where we parked was amazing, so if you don’t want to shell out $7/person to go to the top of the tower, you won’t be disappointed.

View from where we parked

Walking up

Coit Tower

Murals inside the tower

Statue of Christopher Columbus

Cable Car Museum
We got to the Cable Car Museum a little before 4:30pm. It is always hard to find a parking space in the area, so if you drive or have a rental car in SF, be patient…someone will eventually pull out of a spot. You maybe need to circle around a few times…it will take at least 15 minutes to find something in the area. Yeah, it’s not very convenient… Taking MUNI or a cable car would be your next best bet to getting to the museum. BUT, once you are there, the museum is FREE, so there’s that. :p Warning: It does smell like oil in the museum, and it is pretty warm and stuffy inside since machinery is running inside. The hallway to the restrooms and exit, where the 1906 earthquake exhibit is, has a nice breeze blowing through it.

Can you tell they were excited to be here?

The four remaining cable lines are running down there!

Ringing the bell *ding ding*

Interesting facts and videos about the earthquake…quite eerie to read about the impact of the shake


We decided to make one last stop to Chinatown. It is a short (5ish minutes depending on where you are going) walk to all the shops. The store where we usually buy tea was closed, which was a bummer. We usually go to Napoleon Bakery for buns, but since it was the end of the day, there wasn’t a huge selection to choose from. We went across the street to AA Bakery. The buns were super yummy as usual! And…we were excited to head home after a long day.

The girls always ask about the Transamerica Pyramid when they see it in SF. In case anyone is wondering, it is not open to the public to tour, but there is a visitor center in the plaza level. We’ll have to visit here for some day.

Headed back home across the bridge

It was a beautiful day to visit SF!

The album is not organized at all, but if you want to see other photos from our SF excursion, you can check them out HERE.

If you want a whole day’s adventure (11ish hours with 2 kiddos and actual visitors!), check out THIS POST.

Even though I’m a huge homebody, we definitely have the travel bug, so we are always planning another adventure.

What is your favorite travel destination and why? Have you been to San Francisco? What are your fave places to go or things to do in SF?

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