Any adventure in the Bay Delta should start or end with some time in San Francisco. There is so much to do that you have to be focused on your interests and plan your trip to make the most of your time. I love that Google Maps gives you the option of directions for walking, bicycling or transit. These are all viable options in San Francisco.
There is also a time honored tradition of seeing San Francisco in a day by following 49 mile drive.
Recently I had a dear friend stop in San Francisco on her long flight from London to Auckland. She had never seen anything of San Francisco. We were staying at the fun and funky Ocean Park Motel in Sunset District. I had sent her a link to a website planner: http://www.jdvhotels.com/things_to_do. We mainly wanted to talk, talk, talk; however, we could do that as we saw some sights. She prioritized Japanese Tea Gardens, Palace of Fine Arts, and Fisherman’s Wharf. The 49 mile drive takes you to all of those places and more.
We set off from Sunset District and headed along the coast towards the Presidio. We realized after a short while that there is a “right direction” for the 49 mile drive and we were driving it backwards. So the signs were all facing the other way. Undeterred we had a blast driving a few miles and then stopping and seeing something up close or grabbing a coffee or bite to eat. There was fog in the morning but that burned off by afternoon and it was a beautiful day (first weekend of June). We had seen the Presidio, Golden Gate Bridge, Ghiradelli Square, Maritime Museum, Palace of Fine Arts, and Fisherman’s Wharf. About 2:00 p.m. we stopped at the Ferry Building for lunch (and to stock up on Cowgirl Creamery cheese). The Giants were playing a game that evening, so rather than tangle with the traffic we began to use the 49 mile drive as a “suggestion.”
Eventually over the next day and a half we saw Coit Tower, drove Lombard Street, cruised Chinatown, stopped at City Hall to see the large red water lily by the same Korean artist who created the floral chandelier in the Auckland Art Gallery, and strolled through the Japanese Tea Garden. Sarah did NOT like the steep hills (lots of eyes shut), so we did not ride the cable cars or go to Twin Peaks. We did attend church at Grace Cathedral (11 a.m. choral Eucharist service).
We enjoyed ourselves thoroughly and I saw San Francisco with fresh eyes. It really is a great City.