some monuments / structures / streets / eateries / even accents are inherent to a city. for example, miami wouldn't be miami without south beach or cuban sandwiches. nyc wouldn't be the concrete jungle it is without the empire state building, madison avenue or its native 'move it or lose it' attitude. so with san fran, you must take notice of the iconic golden gate bridge. and you must visit the crookedest street in existence while you are in the area...it doesn't make the entire city but it is a part of it. so on thursday we did just that.
our first stop was walking along fisherman's wharf. now, this is tourist central and i tend to steer clear of these areas when traveling. but to be fair, it was a gorgeous day for walking around and we caught some beautiful views of the city by the bay.
after grabbing a quick late breakfast, we climbed some hills. it was a tough climb but we made it to lombard street. it was high traffic at around noon and a bit ridiculous with the amount of people going up and down the winding street but worth the expansive view of the city. i couldn't get over the gorgeous bougainvillea everywhere. so dreamy.
after fighting through a few crowds we decided to make a stop for a quick drink before heading to the golden gate. through uber, we found a lovely driver who agreed to chauffuer us around for a set price for the remainder of the afternoon, making our next stops nice and easy to get to. our first stop was the big red bridge. many people ride bikes or walk the golden gate...we took the less strenuous option of driving to both sides for equally pretty views. once we satisfied our cameras, we took the 1/2 hour or so drive to muir woods. this impressive national park is home to acres of redwoods preserved by the national park service. this was a highlight of the trip for me. walking through the trails dominated by these giant trees was both comforting and overwhelming. it is a beautiful place so near the city - something which makes san francisco stand out as a diverse city in my mind.
next up was a trip to the pacific side and the cliff house. i would say this was a nice detour simply because coming from the east coast, it is always interesting to see the pacific ocean. it is just so very different from growing up on the atlantic. we watched some brave surfers take the waves in wetsuits - really don't know how they were able to keep warm enough to do this but i suppose they are used to it.
later that evening we decided to have dinner in the mission district at a little spot called beretta on valencia street. go here for yummy pizzas and tasty cocktails. we were exhausted by the end of the day but also so happy we were able to hit as many spots as we did. i hope it won't be long before i return to the hilly streets of san francisco!