Our road trip through California wouldn’t have been complete without a stop at San Francisco, one of the most beautiful cities in the United States. We spent 3 days (2 nights) at the city, and we didn’t regret any of it.

San Francisco pier

San Francisco, from the pier

Pier 39 was, of course, one of the places we visited. This was August so the place was completely crowded with tourists, but it was still worth it. From there you have some great views of San Francisco and the bay, and for a very good price you can always have some typical clam chowder, which here will be served in a “bowl” made of bread.

Pier 39

Pier 39 can be a bit crowded during August

The famous prison of Alcatraz can also be seen from Pier 39, but if you want to actually go there and visit the inside you have to book your tickets well in advance (2 months at least), especially if you visit during the summer. We took too long to book them and lost the opportunity because all the tickets for our dates were already sold out.

Alcatraz from Pier 39

If you don’t book well in advance, you’ll only be able to see Alcatraz from a distance

The Golden Gate, the neighborhood of Highbury, Chinatown and the Golden Gate park are other nice landmarks of San Francisco that we got to see during our trip. They are all beautiful areas and obviously free to visit, so there’s really no excuse to miss them. I especially liked the park, which is really big. Next to the piers there was the science museum, which we took a few hours to visit too. It was interesting and a nice way to escape the heat for a while, especially at midday, when the sun was hitting really hard.

Golden Gate August

There was a festival next to the Golden Gate

But I can’t finish this post without mentioning John Muir Woods. This amazing natural park is very close to the city, so if you come here with a rental car you shouldn’t miss it. The trees are incredibly tall (even taller than the sequoias) and the place is so full of them that parts of the surface are almost completely dark, even on a sunny day. Make sure you come here really early in the morning, because there isn’t a lot of parking space and it gets full of cars in less than 1 hour. On our first day we got to the park around 11 am and it was impossible to find a parking spot, so we had to come back the next day right at the opening time.

John Muir Park

Walking through John Muir Park is an amazing experience

So whether you like urban tourism or nature and landscapes, you really can’t miss San Francisco. It was an amazing city, and we would have gladly spent more than 3 days there if our trip had been longer.

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