Nevada and California: The San Francisco Bay (Part 2)

After leaving Reno, we drove through Lake Tahoe and on to San Francisco.

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Driving from Reno to Lake Tahoe

I was so anxious to arrive in San Francisco, at the time, I really did not care if we stopped in Tahoe or not. Now, I am so glad that we did!

Lake Tahoe

Lake Tahoe was stunning. If and when I go back, I would spend at least two days exploring the area. If you aren’t the outdoorsy type, this might not be the stop for you. But if you are, this is a place that you should not miss! In fact, a guy on the plane told us that he had just completed a 3-week camping trip going around the entire lake. This may be something to look into if you like to camp.

Aside from snow tires, I am not sure how you could get here in the winter. But I guarantee that it would be an amazing sight.

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Lake Tahoe

We then drove by Donner Summit on I-80. It was a little intense thinking about the Donner Party. I definitely thought I would  never be so close to that area! Aside from the death, the area was quite lovely.

Emeryville

Before entering San Francisco, we stopped in Emeryville for food. Emeryville is just across the Oakland Bay Bridge, about 20 minutes from SF.

Being fans of Green Day, we had heard about a restaurant that they own called “Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe.” Yes, pretty great name if you are a fan of old punk music.

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Rudy’s Can’t Fail Cafe – Emeryville, CA

The restaurant was small and the environment was relaxed. Some people were eating meals and some were just enjoying coffee.

I am pretty much obsessed with breakfast foods, so I had their Challah French Toast with powdered sugar and toasted almonds. Let me tell you, it was amazing.

My husband, on the other hand, had their daily special.

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I don’t generally eat meat, but even I think that looks delicious.

Everyone in our group was pleased with everything about the experience. From the food, to the atmosphere, to the prices. The next time we are in the area we will definitely be back. Check out their menu for this location.

If you do decide to go, we found it easiest to park around the corner (near Pixar), where it was not quite so busy.

San Francisco

Traffic was not as bad as I had expected when we first entered the city. We drove until we reach our hotel. We stayed at, what was then, The Westin on Market Street. The hotel there now is called the Park Central Hotel. The prices seem comparable to when it was The Westin, starting at around $280 a night.

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The location of the hotel was pretty wonderful. The streetcar was right down the street from us. We actually only ended up taking the streetcar a couple of times due to the very long wait for it to arrive.

We later made our way down to Fisherman’s Warf. This is definitely a major tourist attraction due to both the bay in general and the fact that you can see Alcatraz. (By the way, you are basically guaranteed to see some sea lions!)

We stopped for a late lunch at the Crab House at Pier 39.

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Crab House at Pier 39

Being in a prime location and having great views, the Crab House was naturally a good place to stop and eat.

I do not personally eat seafood, BUT the people I was traveling with definitely had some opinions about the place.

According to them, not only was it overpriced (totaling around ~$300 for our group), but the quality of the seafood was not so great.

On the other hand, they did give us these cool bibs to wear.

crab house So, make of that what you will.

We also had a pretty killer view of Alcatraz on our way there.

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We did not tour Alcatraz, and that is something that I would definitely do next time. I know it sounds like a very cliche and touristy thing to do, but I think the history of the island takes precedence in this case.

The next day we made our way over to Stinson Beach. The drive took us around an hour and it was definitely worth it.

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The weather was around 60 degrees and the water was extremely cold. The majority of people we saw in the water had wetsuits on and were surfing, aside from a few braves souls.

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Stinson Beach had some of the thickest sand I have ever walked in, going way past your shins at times.

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My favorite part of the area was this campground.

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Steep Ravine Environmental Campground

Steep Ravine Environmental Campground was an awesome sight. After looking into it, I found that you can stay in the cabins shown and they also have several spots for tents. Keep in mind, this place books up very quickly. I have looked as far in advance as the site will let you, and you will need some very good luck to get your spot!

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Photo of Steep Ravine from parks.ca.gov

Our last stop was the Golden Gate Bridge.

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At the top of the bridge, there were many tourists as well as locals doing their daily jogs. Next time, I will definitely take the time to make the walk all the way across the bridge.

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Unfortunately, the next morning it was time to head back home. This is definitely on my list of cities to revisit.

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