California: Exploring San Francisco

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As I discussed in my 5 Travel Tips for Napa post, this was a girls trip. Due to the time difference we were all up before 6am on our first morning in California, despite not getting to the hotel until midnight. This worked to our advantage.

Riding the Cable Car

After coffee we decided to start our first morning off by riding the cable car. The cable cars costs $8 per person each way but there is an app where riders can buy a day pass that is good for all public transportation that costs, I believe, $14 per person. The cable cars opens at 8 am and I highly suggest getting on at that time if you want a relaxing ride. Our ride into downtown was chill with few people. Our ride on the way back to Fisherman’s Wharf was packed. This was a mid-week ride and not a weekend.

The morning was very foggy and it added an interesting semi-surreal feeling to the city. My understanding is that San Francisco is often hidden in fog but as a first time visitor to the city it was interesting. Since this was a short trip I didn’t want to bring too much camera gear. I used our Canon Rebel T6 camera with a fixed 50mm lens. There was a little bit of a learning curve because I had no zoom at all. I did have my phone to take pictures with if I needed to take a picture of something closer. San Francisco was a great place for some urban photography.

Bike Rentals

After riding the cable car we decided that it was past time for breakfast. We ate at a local place that was suggested by the hotel concierge. The concierge also provided us a coupon to a bike rental place if we wanted to ride across the Golden Gate Bridge. Despite not having ridden bikes in a while we decided this was a great idea. We rented from Blazing Saddles. This company was great because if you were riding over the bridge they gave you a ferry ticket for the way back. Yes, you can ride the bike back but if you don’t want to and use the ferry ticket then you pay for it when you return the bike.

If you do rent a bike make sure to watch the signs as there are some places where bikes cannot be ridden on the sidewalks. The bike rental place will show you on a map the best path to get to the bridge. This route is full of hills. The sign below marks the first one. I was doing fine until this point and then I was really wishing I’d rented an e-bike.

The bridge itself was shrouded in fog most of the day, we did get glimpses of it on and off. The view above is on the way to the bridge from a rocky bike path. The view did not clear up more on this side of the bridge, despite my hope.

More on crossing the bridge and Sausalito in the next post! Have you ever been to San Francisco and ridden the cable cars? What did you think of the city? Let me know in the comments. Safe travels and leave no trace!

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