Day trips during the week are the best. Not too much traffic if you avoid rush hour, crowds are almost nonexistent–even the usual long lines at popular restaurants shrink down to just a couple people. I went exploring SF with a friend on a random Thursday a few weeks ago, and it was so much fun! Probably the last day trip I’ll be able to take in a while, though, now that school is starting again. But here is what we managed to pack in. It was a quite a day!
Billy Goat Hill: This was our first stop of the day. I love this place! Such a gorgeous view of the city. The swing isn’t there anymore (there used to be a swing that hung from the large tree at the base of the stairs), but it’s definitely still worth the trip. There’s plenty of street parking and when I came here, it wasn’t crowded at all! The lookout point is just a flight of stairs away from street level. The views are amazing…assuming it’s not too foggy. You can see over the rooftops of all the little houses in the city, and you’re high enough so that you can see way out. Great photo spot! Would highly recommend visiting.
Higher Grounds Coffee House: We went to SF pretty early in the morning…on an empty stomach too, so after Billy Goat Hill, we decided to stop by Higher Grounds Coffee House for a quick breakfast. I love the interior decor of this place. The restaurant is small…but super cozy, and the workers here are all very friendly. My friend and I decided to split an Alla Toscana crepe. It was delicious! The texture of the crepe was fantastic, and the toppings on the inside gave it so much flavor. It also comes with a side of salad and potatoes. Great, balanced meal. And prices are also super reasonable 🙂
Seward Street Slides: Not really a place that’s top of mind when thinking about visiting the city…but these slides are so much fun. Make sure to bring cardboard if you don’t want your butt getting dirty. The slides are pretty dirty haha. And surprisingly steep…you’ll realize as you’re hiking to the top that your ankles are bent at an extremely uncomfortable angle. But it’s definitely worth it! It takes a little effort to get going on the slide, but once you hit the slope, you actually pick up a ton of speed, and it’s so much fun getting to the bottom! Just be careful not to flip off your cardboard. I recommend bringing a cardboard thats large enough so that your feet and butt can both fit on it. And if you have extra cardboard to hold onto on the sides, even better. I don’t know how crowded this place normally gets, but on the weekday morning that I was here, it was empty! I’d budget about 30 min for this place. Not really a place that’s top of mind when thinking about visiting the city…but these slides are so much fun.
Pampanguena Cuisine: Lunch time! This place isn’t too far from the slides. This place is such a gem! I think this was actually my first time trying Filipino food, and I loved how authentic the whole experience was. We decided to get the 2-person platter, and omg it was so much food. I think it could easily feed 3 people. All the food comes out at once, laid out on a giant banana leaf. Each person also gets their own banana leaf plate thing. Our waiter took the time to explain each food item to us–what it was, what sauce to use, etc. He also encouraged us to eat with our hands (the traditional way). It definitely felt weird at first, but once you get used to it, it’s actually quite fun. The platter features quite a few items: lumpia, salted eggs, eggplant, okra, rice, chicken, pork, broccoli, diced papaya/onion/tomato mix, and a whole fish. LOTS of food. But everything was so good!! The salted eggs tasted a bit weird to me…but I think it’s an acquired taste. My favorites were definitely the meats. The chicken was fantastic–loved the sauce they used. The pork was great. Both had so much flavor! And the fish, although a bit difficult to eat, was delicious!
Biking to Sausalito: After quite a big lunch, we decided that some exercise was in order. So we drove over to Chrissy Field, rented a couple bikes (3 hr rental) from Sports Basement, and biked across the Golden Gate Bridge down to Sausalito. The views are gorgeous (Sausalito is way less foggy and gloomy), and obviously, you cover a lot more ground than if you were to walk. The descent down to Sausalito is SO much fun on a bike. However, I don’t recommend biking back the other way. Like at all. The hills are so steep, and unless you’re a pretty experienced biker, I can’t see it being fun at all. Instead, I recommend taking the ferry from Sausalito back to Fisherman’s Wharf (or the Ferry Building…it depends on which ferry you take). Just bring your bike on board and enjoy the 20-ish minute ride. Once you get back, the bike back to Chrissy Field is just another 15 minutes. Solid afternoon of exercise 🙂
And that’s the end! We got to SF around 9am and finished around 5pm. Pretty solid day! Hope you guys enjoyed reading!