So aside from my surprise proposal on August 12th, I found out shortly afterwards that my work trip was non-existent and that we would be spending the next two days together in San Francisco. My fiancé had planned a variety of activities for us and also allocated some free time in terms of our schedule, and I was over-the-top excited (for obvious reasons)! This post is loaded with picture content!
Friday - Hotel Nikko San Francisco
I had the pleasure of receiving a personal tour of the hotel with the Front Desk Manager, where I learned quite a lot about the rooms, amenities and area. I wish I had had more time to explore and use the amenities on site, but alternate plans were already underway! The hotel itself was very luxurious and the staff extremely accommodating and helpful. I posted a review about Hotel Nikko on Tripadvisor - if you are considering a visit, please have a read.
Friday - Lunch at Delarosa
We stopped at the hotel concierge to ask where the closest Italian-style restaurant was and his answer was Delarosa, just a few blocks away. The food there was amazing (especially the chicken parmigiana). You can read my foodie review here.
Friday - Golden Gate Park
After lunch we went for a short walk around the city then grabbed an Uber Taxi to take us to Golden Gate Park. The park is huge and has nearly 40 different attractions. We were dropped off at the Conservatory of Flowers and took several pictures there while making our way towards the Great Highway/Ocean Beach. We walked past the de Young Museum and the California Academy of Sciences (which has beautiful fountains outside) and paid to enter the Japanese Tea Gardens as my fiancé had heard it was stunning ($8 US per person and well worth the entrance fee) – a definite must-see! We walked mainly down JFK Drive snapping pictures along the way and stopping at a few other attractions, including the Rose Garden, Shakespeare Garden Rainbow Falls, Spreckels Lake, Golden Gate Park Polo Field, the Bison Paddock and the Dutch Windmill/Tulip Garden (a total of about 5 hours of walking and stopping for pictures of the attractions and nature in the area). There were a few waterfalls/creeks and some really unique flora and fauna along the way. We were pretty exhausted afterwards and ordered an Uber to take us back to the hotel.
Friday - Cupid’s Span/Oakland Bay Bridge/Pier 14
After heading back to the hotel to freshen up, we headed towards Cupid’s Span for some pictures and a walk on the pier. The area was active with locals and tourists, and was a relaxing spot with lots of photo opportunities, especially when the sun began to set. We returned after dinner to take some night photos of the Oakland Bay Bridge and from the end of Pier 14 and it was so peaceful. It was truly magical evening and bridge at night is stunningly light up!
Friday - Dinner at EPIC Steak
It was a surprise for me where we were headed for dinner, but we were both blown away by the greeting, service and food at EPIC. We had a reservation in advance and my fiancé had noted “post-engagement celebration” when reserving, but the staff went over-and-above for us! We had a lovely window-side table with a view of the Oakland Bay Bridge and were treated like what felt like royalty during our dining experience. If you would like to read more, please read my review here.
Saturday - Breakfast at Pinecrest Diner
We woke up early and had decided the night before that we would go to Pinecrest Diner for breakfast as the reviews were superb. We met a nice couple while waiting in line (who we dined with) and the meals were hot with generous servings (and not overpriced). You can read more about my breakfast experience here.
Saturday - Battery Spencer/Golden Gate Bridge/Crissy Field/Cruise
We headed out shortly after breakfast to Battery Spencer via taxi and arrived at about 10:00am. We were on site for about an hour taking fun photos and waiting for the fog to clear so we could see the Golden Gate Bridge from a higher altitude (and the ship horns through the mist is also intriguing). Though the fog never fully cleared, we were able to see some spectacular views of the marina/bridge and get some great photos. We took a hiking trail down to the North Vista Point, then walked across the bridge, stopped outside the Golden Gate Welcome Centre and headed down the coast and across Crissy Field, then along the beach. My fiancé had also planned a stop at the Wave Organ and though I had virtually no energy left at this point from all the walking, it was a unique experience and I’m glad we saw it. We had planned to grab lunch at the Fisherman’s Wharf, but decided to get a local caricature (which took longer than anticipated) and had to continue along the pier at a fast pace past to catch our Bridge 2 Bridge Cruise at Pier 43 ½ leaving a 4:00pm (and only a bearclaw pastry for lunch due to line-ups). The cruise was amazing and I quite enjoyed seeing both bridges from different perspectives, as well as Alcatraz (and all while listening to an audio tour). After the cruise, we rushed to Pier 39 as I really wanted to see the sea lions in daylight and knew today was my last chance. We tried to hop on a cable car near Pier 39 to get back to our hotel in time for our onsite dining reservations, but it’s well known that space is limited. Unfortunately, our desired Powell/Mason Street car filled up at our stop, so we called Uber once again. We had been walking literally all day.
Saturday - Dinner at ANZU
From the car, I called to move our dinner to a later time as there was no way we would be ready and presentable on time (I desperately needed a shower from all the walking and over-excursion of the day, as did he). ANZU was very accommodating and offered a later time without pleading. We freshened up and headed down just before 7:00pm. I was told my little black dress would be over-kill, but turns out it was a little fancier than expected (we were underdressed…). Our dining experience was good overall and we raved about the Titus dish, though all the dining components were good and the service was good, but not exceptional. I wrote a full review on our dinner experience here if you’re interested. After dinner, we retired to the room where I took a long soak to ease my strained leg muscles.
Saturday - Pier 39 Concourse and Drive down Lombard Street
Following dinner, we made arrangements to meet one of my friends to catch up and for a tour of the area. They picked us up from the hotel and we drove back down to the Oakland Bay Bridge/Pier 14 area. We made our way to Pier 39 and had planned to grab a bowl of clam chowder (our final chance), but unfortunately we had missed our window by about 10 minutes (or fortunately for our stomachs sake). We explored Pier 39 as two couples and observed the sea lions in the moonlight for a bit, and took some night photos down by the water. We also took a drive down the famous Lombard Street before returning to the hotel to turn in for the night for our 7:00am flight.
Unfortunately, all good things come to an end and our trip ended too soon. It was a weekend full of memories I will treasure for a lifetime! There were few sites we could not fit in to our busy schedule, but I have intentions to return…
On our next visit to San Francisco, I plan to see:
3.Lunch at Pier 39
Tips for your trip to San Fran:
If you missed it, you can read Part 1 for surprise proposal details and the backstory.
A millennial woman with 'old school' values, working my way through life in Canada and traveling when I can afford to. Seeking out my passions one day at a time.