San Francisco – Day 2 of a 8-Day California Road Trip
It was another gorgeous day in San Francisco! Definitely beats the cold in Canada. Today’s activities consisted of Chinatown, Coit Tower, and Golden Gate Bridge.
First stop was Good Mong Kok Bakery in Chinatown for dimsum! This is a bakery only (no sit-ins). There was a line outside the bakery, but it went quickly. We ordered siu mai (pork dumpling), hai gao (shrimp dumplings), leek dumplings, and bbq pork steam buns. We did not eat the dimsum right away and took it with us to Coit Tower. Portions were also big and we spent less than $20 USD to feed both of us.
On the way to Coit Tower, we stopped at the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. We bought a bag of fortune cookies on top of the samples they gave us.
We continued to Coit Tower and after some uphill walking, finally reached the tower. Coit Tower sits atop Telegraph Hill and was built in 1933. The construction of Coit Tower was funded by Lillie Hitchcock Coit, a wealthy socialite who largely supported the firefighters. It is dedicated to the volunteer firefighters that died fighting San Francisco’s fires.
The tower was not yet open when we arrived around 9:45am, so we sat on a bench and ate our dim sum. So good! At 10am and we joined the line to ascend the tower. The admission fee is $10/person. There is only one elevator and the wait was about 15 minutes. It went by quickly as I was mesmerized by the murals on the walls, which shows glimpses of history during the Great Depression. At the top of Coit Tower, we were rewarded with 360 degree views of San Francisco. I could see all the iconic attractions – Lombard Street, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and Pier 39!
Next stop – Golden Gate Bridge! The Golden Gate Bridge is a red suspension bridge which opened in 1937. It connects San Francisco to its northern neighbour, Marin County.
We spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon walking along the beach, passing Crissy Field and ending at the Palace of Fine Arts. The Palace of Fine Arts is completely free to visit and I would highly recommend a visit. It was originally built in 1915, but has undergone renovations since then.
We were headed back to the hotel afterwards for happy hour. If you are gearing to keep exploring, visit the Golden Gate Park (completed separate to Golden Gate Bridge) and the Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood. Golden Gate Park itself is free to visit, but the museums and gardens will have admissions fees. The Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood is known for its hippie vibes.
For dinner, we picked a Korean restaurant near the hotel called Zzan Korean Restaurant. We ordered the korean fried chicken, which came with side dishes. To be honest, we were tired, so we picked something near the hotel, but there are more exciting restaurants to choose from in San Francisco. After dinner, an option for island-inspired cocktails is Anina on Hayes Street.
Complete Day 2 Itinerary
*Travel times may vary. Check Google Maps for most accurate travel details.
9:00am: Pick up dimsum at Good Mong Kok Bakery. Visit the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory (2 minute walk).
10:00am: Ascend the Coit Tower (16 minute walk from the Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory).
11:00am: Visit the Golden Gate Bridge (55 minute bus ride with transfers from Coit Tower). Walk along the beach to the Palace of Fine Arts, stopping at Crissy Field.
2:00pm: Visit Golden Gate Park (25 minute bus ride with transfers from Golden Gate Bridge). Check out the museums and gardens in the park.
5:00pm: Explore the Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood (6 minute walk from the east most side of Golden Gate Park).
6:00pm: Have dinner and drinks (Drink spot suggestion: Anina on Hayes Street).
8-Day California Road Trip Itinerary
Click “Download” below for an excel version of my 8-Day California Road Trip Itinerary. Feel free to use the excel file as a planning template for your own trip in California!