“The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco”
– Mark Twain (attributed)
I stepped out onto the balcony of our cruise ship to confirm the weather. It was true. The San Francisco weather was beautiful, warm and sunny. The last time my husband and I had been in San Francisco at precisely the same time of year, it had been icy cold. So this time, I was ready. But San Francisco, one of the most contrary cities in the world when it comes to weather, had changed its mind. It decided to put out a lovely spring day as though it thought it was a delicate Southern city filled with magnolia trees and Spanish moss. I decided to stop being annoyed with San Francisco and just enjoy one of our favorite cities in the world.
We decided to take a tour of the “City by the Bay,” and Tower Tours had two great offerings – the Grand City Tour and a tour of Muir Woods. We walked to the Tower Tours office on Beach Street from the cruise ship docked at Fisherman’s Wharf to meet our tour bus. They will also pick you up if you are staying at a San Francisco hotel. After driving around a bit on the bus with the tour guide narrating, we headed across the Golden Gate Bridge where we disembarked for some photo ops.
From the bridge, we headed back into town and to the Japanese tea garden in Golden Gate Park. It was one of the loveliest and most serene places I have ever been. When you go to San Francisco, you must go here. Beautifully designed and laid out, it is filled with gorgeous flowers, beautiful plants and lovely Japanese-style buildings.
After visiting the tea garden, we drove to Nob Hill, one of San Francisco’s original neighborhoods and a very lovely and affluent area. Then we went around town a little more and finally up to a lookout point where we could see the city spread out below us.
We spent the afternoon at Muir Woods, a beautiful forest of huge redwoods right outside the city. We couldn’t leave San Francisco without one more dinner at our favorite place to eat, The Blue Mermaid. Located in the Argonaut Hotel, the Blue Mermaid has the best clam or corn chowder you can find at Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s a little bit of a walk to the end of the wharf, but it’s worth it, and it’s located right near Ghiradelli Square, so you can stop in the Ghiradelli Chocolate store and pick up a bag of fresh chocolates for dessert.
Munching on our candy, sauntering back down Fisherman’s Wharf to our ship, we allowed San Francisco to wash over us. The cool breeze off the bay, the sound of street musicians tuning up, the smell of fresh seafood, popcorn and cookies baking and the sight of the famous skyline all combined to create a wonderful evening.
It was the perfect ending to a perfect day.
By Jan Ross, Staff Writer, Kentucky Doc Magazine