California Vacation 2023 Part One: San Francisco

Golden Gate bridge in a little bit of fog

Our big vacation this year was to a new state for me, California!

We spent three nights at Hotel Del Sol in the Marina District. The neighborhood was fantastic with pretty quick access to the restaurants of Union street and only a couple blocks from a MUNI bus stop.

The first morning we went to Alcatraz Island National Park and checked out the old prison, but also enjoyed seeing the bird sanctuary part of the island.

Inside Alcatraz Prison with view of cells

External view of Alcatraz island from a ferry boat

After Alcatraz we wandered along the waterfront. We had some delicious crepes for lunch at Crepe Cafe on Pier 39 and then took our chances with Magowans Infinite Mirror Maze people in a mirror maze at Magowans Infinite Mirror maze

The last thing we did down at the waterfront was Musee Mecanique, where there are hundreds of old arcade games and mechanical entertainment devices. an old photo viewing machine

For dinner we went to Roam Artisan Burgers and followed that up with ice cream at Swensen’s

On Saturday morning we woke up, grabbed breakfast from the hotel and then made our way towards the Presidio. On the way there we did stop for a little drone flight from the top of one of the hills.

View of San Francisco from a drone

We explored the Presidio national park site on the morning of our last day and wandered under the eucalyptus trees while exploring different Andy Goldsworthy sculptures.

eucalyptus trees along lovers lane in the Presidio Park of San Francisco

Lunch at Golden Boy Pizza Waiting for pizza outsie Golden Boy Pizza

After lunch we spent the afternoon at the amazing Exploratorium and only left because they shut the power off to all the exhibits at closing time.

On the last night we had some delicious mexican food from Los Hermanos

Our go to coffee for the entire visit was Equator Coffees

We picked up our rental car down by the waterfront and started our journey towards our next vacation destination near Yosemite. On the way there we took a little detour near Santa Cruz to visit Harry Cowell Redwoods State Park We walked around the entire park and took in the amazing trees and even got to go inside some of them. It really was an unbelievable sight.

Redwood trees at Harry Cowell redwoods state park

photo loop of clouds passing by a tower of the Golden Gate Bridge