In my recent post California Dreamin’……and of Nevada too, I promised, or rather threatened, to burden you with my plans for the San Francisco leg of our upcoming trip.
We have rented an apartment in NOPA (North of the Panhandle) for a fortnight this time, hiring a car for the first week and buying a City Pass, which includes a seven day MUNI passport, for the second. This will be our eighth trip, the first few of which were only for a few days, so the temptation to revisit the same haunts was strong back then.
But now we are more experienced visitors, and whilst I suppose we cannot shake off the tourist tag, we aim to “live like locals” as much as we can. We will, of course, still frequent favourite spots such as Golden Gate Park, Haight-Ashbury, AT & T Park, Golden Gate Bridge, Beach Blanket Babylon and the Cliff House, but the emphasis is increasingly on new places and experiences as well as return trips to attractions we have not been to for some years.
With the car we intend to take the opportunity to venture beyond the city to Berkeley, Tiburon / Angel Island and Santa Cruz / Half Moon Bay, none of which we have done more than drive through in the past.
Time permitting, we would also like to explore part of the northern coast, for example Point Reyes and Bodega Bay (Mendocino may be a little too far). Given that we will be experiencing our first NHL game between the Sharks and the LA Kings, we will give downtown San Jose a look in too. Monterey / Carmel, the Napa Valley and Alcatraz (by day and night) have seen enough of us in the past, so we will spare them this time.
Back in the city the focus will be more on revisiting sites we have missed on recent trips such as Twin Peaks, Coit Tower and the Palace of Fine Arts / Exploratorium. In addition, there are places that we have, shamefully, bypassed before that we must visit this time, including the Grace Cathedral, City Hall and the redwood grove at the Transamerica Pyramid amongst others.
New cultural experiences will include seeing our first show at the Castro Theater (Singalong Wizard of Oz?), visiting SF MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) and the de Young Museum, none of which we have done before.
I am sure I will be adding to the list over the next four weeks but these are the “must-dos” at present. Whether we succeed in meeting the challenge will be revealed in the daily blog I hope to maintain during the trip.
In the meantime, if anyone has read this and thought “yes, that’s fine but you have just got to go to………….” please let me know.