Walking in San Francisco
One of the great things about San Francisco is its walkability. I managed to see four major tourist sites within two hours, three if you count the hour I spent eating lunch at Pier 39.
The day started in the Mission. I walked from my host’s house to catch the 14 MUNI to Mission & 5th. From there, it was a short walk to the north to find the cable car that would take me to Fisherman’s Wharf. Even though it’s expensive compared to the rest of San Francisco’s public transportation system, the cable car was a lot of fun, and I would recommend it if you’ve never ridden. For $6, the car took me up Powell and Mason Streets, before dropping me off at Taylor and Bay.
That’s when I walked three blocks to the north to Fisherman’s Wharf and onto Pier 45. That’s where the USS Pampanito is docked along with the National Liberty Ship Memorial. It costs $15 to tour the World War II submarine. That was out of my budget, but I saw a man and kids walking along the top of the submarine and looking at the turrets mounted on top.
A short walk to the east along The Embarcadero will take you to Pier 39. The pier is full of overpriced restaurants and vendors, but I was able to pay about $8 for a filling bread bowl of clam chowder. The pier also has a small memorial of shoes and a box of chocolates dedicated to the film Forest Gump outside the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company.
After getting my fill of the pier, I walked south along Stockton to Lombard, then walked up 400 stairs to the top of Telegraph Hill to see Coit Tower. From my vantage point, I was able to get a good look west at the Golden Gate Bridge and a great view to the east of the Bay Bridge and the Embarcadero.
Five blocks to the south is Chinatown. After spending a few days in San Francisco, I learned that Chinese is a second language, more so than Spanish. Little English is written on the signs outside the small vendors on Grant Street; it’s mainly Mandarin. Outside of the shops, I was able to see some of the street art created on the sides of buildings.
After wandering through Chinatown, I walked over to Stockton and rode the bus back to Mission. Altogether, I spent $20 during the day. It cost $6 to ride three buses and another $6 to ride the cable car. Lunch cost about $8. It was a good day of sightseeing.