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Pack your bags: San Francisco

In September my husband and I celebrated our one year wedding anniversary and we decided to take a trip to San Francisco. This being my first time out there, I wanted to see as much as possible in the 4 short days we were there. We definitely saw a lot, walked miles and miles per day (in quite the hilly city!) and had some delicious meals at great restaurants. Below are my San Francisco highlights and recommendations if you visit the city.

  • Exploratorium - this is a hands-on museum of science, art, and human perception that was a BIG hit with my husband. Similar to the east coast version, The Franklin Institute, the Exploratorium features interactive online exhibits and exhibitions, activities, science news, and more - and it's actually fun! On Thursdays they host adult-only nights (it can get pretty crowded with kids) with themes and a bar.
  • Golden Gate Bridge - bike it! This is super touristy, but SO worth it. There are many bike rental vendors who hook you up with a bike and map for the day. We rode up and down the coast then up the hill to the bridge. You get an amazing view, great photo-ops, and even a bit of exercise in.
  • Once you get over the bridge, you're in Sausalito - a very cute town on the water with a main street and great restaurants. Luckily Chris did his homework and found an excellent Taco Shop a little off the beaten path where we were met with delicious tacos and margaritas. After your time in town, the ferry is your ride back (and after you bike down the long, steep hills into town you'll understand why). What a beautiful ride it was! This could have been an attraction in itself, as it was a beautiful day to be on the water. The ferry even cruises around the perimeter of Alcatraz so you get a close peek of the island.
  • 21st Amendment Brewery - This brewery has a few great beers, including the Hell or High Watermelon brew, and we were pleased to see they offered a great lunch menu as well.

  • Wine Country - we're lucky enough to have a friend in the area that really knows his wine - you may actually recognize him. Larry planned a fabulous day in Napa visiting wineries, taking tours and sipping on the best Napa has to offer. We even stumbled across one of the best restaurants of the week: R+D Kitchen for lunch.

  • Ferry Building Marketplace: This market offers tasty treats, homemade items (souvenirs) and very friendly people. And it made for a very nice morning stroll on our way to hit the town.
  • Other noteworthy restaurants: Buena Vista Cafe - to-die-for Irish coffees morning or night, this is a must-have. Water Bar - great happy hour including $1 oysters. Boudin Bakery - the sourdough bread in San Francisco is amazing, and this is the place to get it. Blondie's for huge martinis. And anywhere on Pier 39 for a cool view of the sea lions.

There are a few things that we didn't get to do, but were high on our list and come highly recommended:

  • AT&T Park - we would have loved to see a game, but the Giants were out of town that week. I hear the stadium is beautiful and the team is doing really well lately - so catch a game if you can!
  • Ryoko - this rockin' sushi restaurant doesn't take reservations but has rave reviews. We weren't willing to wait the 90 minutes when we went on a Thursday night, but if you have the time and a passion for sushi, this is probably your place.

This was a great trip and we can't wait to go out there again! Have you been to San Francisco? If so, what are you favorite things to do in the Bay area?

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