Booking a flight with a 45 minute lay over is always dangerous. I’ve done it several times and luckily, always made the connecting flight. The same couldn’t be said for our recent trip to Australia. A mechanical issue on board of our first flight left us stranded for 24 hours. We decided to make the best of it because the city we got stranded in was San Francisco.
I’ve actually never been on the west coast so this was definitely a big opportunity for me. Scott and I have always talked about doing a trip out west and seeing California but we didn’t think it would happen so soon. We knew our flight didn’t leave until 11 pm the next day so we had the entire day to walk around the city. We dropped off our bags at the front desk of the hotel and got an Uber to Lands End to begin our journey through San Francisco.
We did some research while at the hotel and decided the three main things we wanted to see were Golden Gate Bridge, Ghirardelli Square and Fisherman’s Wharf. We knew if we started at Lands End, we could walk all the way to the bridge then make our way to the Square as well as the Pier. Scott has actually been to San Francisco before, so it was nice having someone that was a little familiar with the city.
Land’s End is the perfect spot to begin your San Francisco adventure. It has breathtaking views of the Pacific and a hiking trail that will take you all the way to the bridge. We walked along the coast line (not on the beach, it’s too rocky and there’s no beach access for most of the hike) and within about an hour and a half made it to the Bridge. The views of the Bridge are perfect from the “pinnacle” point and are a great photo op.
Afterwards, we decided to find some lunch and since we were in California, thought tacos were a good idea so we picked a place (based on Yelp reviews) and started making our way. We ended up stopping at the Art Museum on our way to lunch which was so worth the stop because it is the most beautiful and serene area with a little pond with swans swimming it it, amazing architecture and live music (but the kind that really fits the scene, if you know what I mean).
We had tacos at a little mom and pop place called Toma and walked away feeling very pleased with our decision.
Next up was Lombardi street which is also a must see when you’re in San Francisco. I personally enjoyed the view from above more but I know the more “iconic” view is definitely looking up at the street.
We then headed to Ghirardelli Square to get an amazing brownie sundae at, duh, Giardelli chocolate and ice cream shop and walked around the factory store for a little while. If you’re a chocolate lover, you will be in heaven. You can also see Alcatraz from the windows of the café area of the chocolate store so you can eat your ice cream and look out at quite the view.
We finished our day at Fisherman’s Wharf with lots of seals and lots of other people walking around. It’s a very lively area with lots of street performers, shops and restaurants so it’s worth walking around for a while.
We actually ended up walking 16 miles this day which really helped knock us out for our 14 hour flight to Sydney! Overall, I loved the city even after one day! The picturesque colorful houses, the water, the food! I would happily go back to San Francisco again. Next time, we will definitely do a tour at Alcatraz as that’s definitely something I wish we had enough time for.
Let me know if you are planning on traveling to San Francisco in the near future and if you found this helpful or if you’ve been, tell me other things to do in the city!
As always, thanks for reading!