Southwest trek travel blog

Ferry Building

A row of painted ladies

City Hall dome

Alcatraz seen from Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf sign

Hyde Street pier, part of the national park

Telegraph Hill as seen from Hyde Street pier

The famous cable cars

The Golden Gate Bridge finally shows through the fog

Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge


I can’t say I left my heart in San Francisco, but we did enjoy the day in the city by the bay.

Thank goodness Vivian checked the weather before we drove to the Bay area. It was pushing 90 degrees at 9 a.m. when we left the motor home. When we got to San Francisco it was barely 60 degrees with a strong wind coming in off the ocean, making it feel a lot colder. Since Vivian had checked the weather, we wore long pants and took along sweatshirts that were certainly needed.

We played the role of tourists and took a 2½-hour bus tour of the city. It was an open-air, double-decker bus which meant we were cold the entire ride and had to hold onto our hats. Vivian’s hat flew off her head at one point but the man seated behind us caught it. The tour started at Fisherman’s Wharf and hit the highlights of the city. We saw the Transamerica Pyramid building and the old Ferry Building. We rode through the financial district and then out Lombard Street to the Golden Gate Bridge. Next, we cut through the Presidio to Golden Gate Park. Then came the Haight Ashbury district, home to the hippies of the ‘60s, and then the neighborhood of Victorian homes known as the painted ladies. Finally, we saw City Hall before cutting across town back to Fisherman’s Wharf.

The downside to the bus tour was it could not navigate narrow streets or climb the steep hills so we got only a passing glance of Chinatown, Telegraph Hill and the famous zig-zag portion of Lombard Street. Plus, photo opportunities were limited since the bus seldom stopped. Still, it was a wonderful introduction to the city.

After the bus tour we strolled over to the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. Here the National Park Service has preserved some of the boats that plied the waters of San Francisco Bay including an ocean tug and a wooden ferry. The visitors center, located in an old cannery, told the story of the maritime history of the bay.

From Fisherman’s Wharf you can see Alcatraz, which is probably no more than a half-mile from the docks. We could also see the Golden Gate Bridge, well we would have if not for the fog that obscured most of the bridge. We didn’t venture far from Fisherman’s Wharf. A closer look at some of the more interesting sights in San Francisco will have to wait for another trip west.



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