Mike’s Travelogue: Go Above and Bay-ond
SPONSORED POST – “Ork,” says the giant beast.
“Ork, ork, ork” choruses the 800 some odd thousand pounds of sea lion friends sharing Pier 39. They are busy lounging on the docks, occasionally pushing each other into the water, and finding a snack now and again. I’ve spent more time than I care to admit just watching them sleep, squabble and squawk. The view of Alcatraz in the distance doesn’t hurt…
They are residents of San Francisco’s most famous pier, practically within flipper distance of Ghiaradelli Square. If they get too hungry, they could grab a sourdough chowder bowl at Boudin Bakery or some dessert chocolate at the Ghirardelli Chocolate store.
San Francisco has as many famous tourist spots as any in the country, and none of them disappoint. The gigantic whiskered residents of Fisherman’s Warf (where you find Pier 39), the steep curving downhill of Lombard Street, the prison at Alcatraz, the famous cable cars, and the musical history of Haight-Ashbury. Those are all worth it.
And that’s before you dig into one of the best culinary scenes in the nation. Two options for dinner. If you are feeling upscale, try the Slanted Door in the Ferry Building. I recommend the shaking beef or the seared scallops. If you want to keep it casual, go with Papalote in the Mission (3409 24th St). Great Mexican-Filipino with a delicious triple threat burrito (and some really great salsa).
After dinner, I’ve had a blast at Whitechapel (600 Polk Street). But Pandora Karaoke (50 Mason Street) is a must if you have a group that is up for some late night fun. They have both private rooms (if you are shy) and a main area (for trying to get discovered…or at least entertain some strangers). Just make sure to save your voice for cheering at Levi’s Stadium!
If you are lucky to get some good weather, head south for a half day in Half Moon Bay. You’ll travel through the beachy community of Pacifica (which is usually socked in with fog) and down the coast. Once there, you can walk the public beach by the Ritz Carleton or play either of the two beautiful golf courses. The fried seafood at Sam’s Chowder House (4210 CA-1) is exceptional (even the east coast lobster rolls) but try to get a seat outside for the view.
Of course, you can head to Napa or Sonoma for the best tasting in California. Heck, why not fly straight into Santa Rosa as Alaska can take you there direct! You can spend a night tasting before you head south ordo it the opposite way: fly to San Francisco, see the city. Then relax in Sonoma before heading home direct from Santa Rosa.
I also recommend a trip to the East Bay where you can play golf, have lunch and taste, all at Wente in Livermore. That is a full day!
All in all, San Francisco (and the whole Bay Area) is a perfect trip. Food, beverages, fun and beauty abound. And you can top it all off by watching Seattle beat it’s biggest rival in a beautiful new stadium that often sounds like an extension of Seattle-south. Go add your voice to the throngs in blue!
Stadium: Levi Stadium
Stadium Food: Churwaffle by Burgess Brothers
Seattle haunt: Danny Coyle’s (Haight Street)