It’s not cool to be a tourist anymore. These days, we all want to be travellers and vagabonds; we want to feel like locals. But I have to admit I turn into a big, annoying tourist when I’m in San Francisco. It’s the best city for it and and I’m not even ashamed.
The Tourist Checklist
1. We booked a hotel in the heart of Union Square. From our window we saw the trolleys moving up and down the famous Powell Street until each hit the cable car turnaround.
2. We took my favorite streetcar to Pier 33 and jumped on the ferry to Alcatraz Island.
3. We took long hard looks a the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge, and debated about which is better.
4. We walked down The Embarcadero roadway to Fisherman’s Wharf to watch the seal lions kiss, sunbathe and wrestle for each other’s spots on the planks. Even though there was plenty of space for all of them, silly sea lions.
5. We paid way too much money for chocolate strawberries from Pier 39’s farmers market, but devoured them.
6. We cheered Jack on when he demanded the stage as part of a live magic show at the end of the pier.
7. We ate lunch at the Ferry Building Market Place and waited patiently for Blue Bottle Coffee.
8. We applauded skateboarders as the showed off super cool tricks for videographers at the Justin Herman Plaza.
9. We trudged up and down Lombard Street, the famous steep street with the eight pin turns and beautiful homes lining it. You have to see it in person!
10. We had hot chocolates at the Ghirardelli Square and did some last minute souvenir shopping.
That was all done in one day; Imagine the touristy damage I could do in a week.
I know it’s weird to love public transportation but it wasn’t until I started editing photos from San Francisco that I realized I might actually have a problem. The fact was cemented when I came across the photo of me chasing the yellow and white trolley down The Embarcadero roadway.
I did not plan this photo. I just didn’t have time to photograph the trolley so I ran after it like a crazy person, giving my husband enough time to snap a photo.
If when ordering food you are in doubt, choose the plate that sports the same name as the restaurant you are in.
The best area of San Francisco is Mission District.
Feel free to spend all day debating that statement but in the meantime please allow me to back up my claim by explaining why Mission just got that much better.
There is a little place on South Van Ness Avenue where miniature golfing (aka putt putt) (aka get-ball-in-hole) happens. The main features include a 14-hole course, a full bar at the front and arcade games on the side. If I wasn’t scared that you’d think I was immature, I would admit this place has potential to be my favorite hangout spot in San Francisco.
It’s all so easy: You pay at the front counter and get a coin, you retrieve a colorful ball by putting said coin in a candy machine, you choose your putter based on height and you’re good to golf!
Each hole was designed after a San Francisco landmark. As has always been my experience my mini golf, the holes are harder than they seem. Keep concentration no matter how easy your friends makes it look. You don’t want to be that idiot who got an 8 on a par 2.
We had the course to ourselves for the first round. Then celebrated finishing with $11 cocktails (the Lavender Spritz and the Sweet Tea Whisky are holes in one!) (FYI: drinks aren’t allowed on the actual course) from the bar. By the time we drank them the place was packed.
Playing is on a first come first serve basis, but you can make reservations to eat at the restaurant upstairs called Up @ Urban Putt. Clever, right? Oh. I didn’t mention that Urban Putt offers a proper lunch/dinner menu? Well, they do. And that should solidify the fact it is indeed the best hangout spot. And a great date spot. It’s also a good spot for after work drinks and maybe even a family outing – I could keep going for ages.
We didn’t actually get to taste the food upstairs, or from the bar menu, but we did see a gorgeous bowl of crispy sweet potato fries pass by us and we did catch a big whiff of the fried chicken and waffle skewers.
I almost built up the courage to ask the group next to us for their leftovers but Jack asked me to please stop embarrassing myself in public. Next time we’ll just plan to eat there.