Tugging 50-pound suitcases through the bustling, hilly streets of San Francisco while following the iPhone map to our hotel was probably not our brightest idea, but stepping out of the BART station into a street party was such an incredible experience. People strolled everywhere; strains of celebratory music ricocheting off of stone buildings and brightly colored flags waving in the breeze captivated (and slightly overwhelmed) our tired selves. After hiking down what felt like an endless number of crowded streets, we finally found our hotel and unloaded our bags in the room. After repacking our backpacks for an afternoon of sightseeing, we scored some cheap tour bus tickets (shoutout to Big Bus Tours San Francisco) and boarded a hop-on, hop-off bus to see the city.
I love exploring and figuring out regular public transportation (hence our humorous trip on the BART from the airport to the heart of the city), but since we only had 30 hours to check off our bucket list of SF sites, scoring that deal for the tour bus was totally worth it. We bargained with the driver standing right outside the bus, which knocked our ticket price wayyyyy down from the list price online.
From our breezy perch on top of the double decker bus, we gazed at famous landmarks and learned bits and pieces of the city’s history while coasting around San Francisco. We rode the entire loop in order to get a feel for all the places we wanted to visit the following morning.
We packed as much sightseeing as we possibly could into the first few hours of our stay in San Francisco, so we chose to make it an early evening. After all, the biggest item on our San Francisco bucket list was scheduled for the following morning- the Golden Gate Bridge!