I was super excited to get out and explore San Francisco on my own for the first time. Looking forward to a day solo, I was a little nervous because I don’t have much experience traveling completely alone.
As a project manager, the day was completely mapped out so I could see everything there was to see in this wonderful city.
The day started with a quick walk to the first stop on my tour of San Francisco, City Hall. What an absolutely incredible site and the architecture is amazing! I didn’t tour the inside because I had a timeline I wanted to keep, but docent tours are available.
My Favorite Facts About City Hall:
Money: Construction started in 1913 and was completed in 1915. The building cost 4 million dollars during that time period. That’s $79 million dollars today according to Wikipedia – wow!
Romance: Joe DiMaggio married Marilyn Monroe at the San Francisco City Hall on January 14, 1954.
Film Location: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, Dirty Harry, and The Towering Inferno all used San Francisco City Hall as a filming location
Gold: In 1989, the Mayor at that time didn’t want to hide away art pieces inside city hall, but instead he wanted to make the dome the art piece and so, it was painted entirely of gold leaf. The dome is also larger than the United States Capitol’s dome by 19 feet.
- Cost: Free
Botanical Gardens Of San Francisco
I really enjoyed exploring all the hidden, solitary places these gardens had to offer. This secret garden was made just for me.
- Cost: $6.00
Japanese Tea Gardens
Just a short block away from the Botanical Gardens, I really wanted to spend time doing meditation in the Japanese Tea Gardens. So much about this place made me happy. From the beautiful coy ponds to the temples, the colors of the architecture are spectacular.
At the end of the tour, the little gift shop, and tea house is so fun. I sat there under the bright light of the sun and the cool morning breeze and had the most delicious chamomile tea and pudding.
Travel Tip: If you are into nature and would like to practice yoga, chi-gong or meditation, these two beautiful gardens are a must when visiting San Francisco. Arrive early and you will miss the crowds and be granted with a beautiful experience. What better way to start the day, then with peace and harmony?
Feeling totally refreshed, for my fourth stop on the tour, I hopped on the GreyLine Tour Bus at the San Francisco Library across the street from the Tea Gardens. Haight-Ashbury is right up my hippie alley!! I got off the bus at the beginning of the district so I could explore all the little shops and murals along the way! I added a few gems to my collection, a shirt for my son, and the most fabulous incense.
I hopped back on the GreyLine at the end of the Haight-Ashbury district to head towards my fourth and final stop and the Painted Ladies didn’t disappoint!
What was a disappointment was the observatory park across the street that was under construction. Because of that, there really wasn’t any place to stop, rest, and just enjoy their beauty. I sure hope the City completes that project real soon.
Dinner In China Town
Have you been to San Francisco, CA? Share your visit with me in the comments below!