Getting to Golden Gate

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 A one day walking tour extravaganza.

A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine (since middle school!) came to San Francisco. She moved to Oregon after college and has lived there ever since – so, save for an all too brief stop in Eugene during my road trip last spring, the chances for us to see each other are few and far between. Imagine my excitement when her first trip to California (EVER!) was to visit me. Her sightseeing priorities were to see the Golden Gate Bridge and procure a smushed penny for her awesome collection. Simple enough.

Her first day in the city was dedicated to the bridge. So lovely. So magnificent. SO far away from our cozy neighborhood in the south of the city. Committed to not spending our day on a bus or in a car, we decided to go on a walking tour of awesomeness instead.

Living near BART, we naturally began our adventure at the Embarcadero station, hitting the Ferry Building, outdoor (read: free) exhibits at the Exploratorium, and Pier 7 for some views of the Bay Bridge and the Transamerica Pyramid.

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I’m not usually one to suggest Fisherman’s Wharf as a destination. That being said, a quick walkthrough means visitors can see what it’s all about and book it out of there before being trampled by the masses. And with tourists come smushed penny machines! (And wouldn’t you know, there’s an app for that). 

PLUS the Wharf has In-N-Out. Who am I to deny someone their first taste of THAT?

We took our food to go, chowing down at a sunny spot near Aquatic Park instead. A nice view of the bay. Some swimming triathletes. A TON OF BIRDS! Beware of the birds. Seriously. They will try to eat yo In-N-Out!

Next up was Fort Mason, one of my frequent SF destinations. Get past the lil’ hill after Aquatic Park (it’s REALLY not that bad) and there’s views of the bay, Alcatraz, the bridge, and a pretty park. Plus there’s a gathering of food trucks every Friday night and indie makers’ fairs held in the festival pavilion.

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After Fort Mason comes Marina Green and lovely views of, you guessed it, the marina. A quick detour will land you at the Palace of Fine Arts. No, not just a theater of fine arts, but A PALACE of Fine Arts.

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Onward from there, we opted for the beach route once we hit the yacht club. When given the option, why would you ever NOT opt for the beach route?!

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Seeing the MOMA was Robyn’s original main goal, but sadly it’s closed for a reaaaalll long time. In it’s place is SF MOMA on the Go, including a di Suvero installation at Chrissy Field. 

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After Chrissy Field, the solid views of the bridge continue, and you’re basically home free! Ta da!

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1. Golden Gate, from Battery East
 2. Transamerica Pyramid, from Pier 7 
  3. Fort Mason 
   4. Palace of Fine Arts  
 5. Kitesurfing and the bridge
6. Mark di Suevero at Chrissy Field
7. (Almost) the end of the road

2 thoughts on “Getting to Golden Gate

  1. Awesome tour! I recently discovered Battery Godfrey. I have been a 6-year resident of the city and the view of the Golden Gate Bridge from Battery Godfrey is stunning/amazing/wonderful/crazy! Now I take everyone that visits me there. Lots of professional photographers take pictures there because of how unreal the views are. Really enjoyed your post!

    • Thank you! As a six month resident of the city, I felt a bit unqualified to be giving a tour, let alone writing about it – thanks so much for the feedback, and for the info on Battery Godfrey! I’ll definitely add it to my (ever growing) list of must see San Francisco spots.

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