San Francisco Two Days
Having only two days in San Francisco, we had to plan way in advance to make sure that we had tickets for Alcatraz on the date/time we wanted. Alcatraz is very popular and if you want to go would recommend booking in advance (up to 90 days ahead) on this website;
We stayed at the Pier 2620 hotel near Fishermans Wharf which was a lovely modern hotel with interesting design features in the rooms, take a look at their website;
It was easy to walk from our hotel to Pier 33 where the ferry to Alcatraz departs. Whilst waiting for your time slot there is a large scale Alcatraz model to have a look at. On arrival there is a quick talk and to pick up the audio tour headphones. Then you can do the tour at your own pace. If it is a lovely sunny day like we got you can go outside and enjoy the views of San Francisco from Alcatraz Island. The audio tour is fascinating, definitely recommend doing this, Alcatraz is both creepy and cool!
Fisherman's Wharf is very touristy. We didn't enjoy it that much to be honest.
The following day we did the tourist bus. There is a choice of Big Bus and City Sightseeing, the tours on offer are very similar and we made a decision on price and availability factors as we only had one day in which to use the ticket. The best bit is arriving at the Golden Gate Bridge. Here you have to get off one bus and join another one if you want to go to Sausalito. We arrived in the morning when all the mist was covering the bridge, and then on our return in the afternoon all the mist had been burnt away from the sun and we had beautiful blue skies. Quite interesting to see how the weather changes during the day here.
The Sausalito bus stops on the other side of the Golden Gate Bridge so you can get pictures of both sides. I loved Sausalito which is a lovely village on the waterfront. Had a great afternoon there and enjoyed lunch in the Barrel House Tavern which has stunning views across the water and a balcony with tables outside.
From Sausalito we got back on the tourist bus and went all around San Francisco, when you have so little time to see everything the tourist bus is the only way to be able to do it! Wished we had a little more time, think maybe three or four days would be better to be able to see everything. Memorable things were the Japanese Tea Garden and the Painted Ladies!
Memorable restaurant was the Stinking Rose which has Californian/Italian cuisine with the addition of lots of garlic. I had the chicken with 40 cloves of garlic! This is a fun quirky restaurant and definitely worth a visit.