My most recent trip over the Atlantic was certainly a whirlwind experience. It was both bitter and sweet as I got such a small amount of time to explore, but I am very aware that I am very lucky to have travelled in the first place. It has just given me even more need to go back to America again soon. You will know from the title of this post, and also from my Instagram (@crohnswithme) that I have visited Redwood City and San Francisco itself.
I still have to pinch myself; I cannot actually believe that I have been on the West Coast.
I landed in San Francisco at 6pm on the 20th of August. I had taken an internal flight from JFK and immediately I struggled to adjust to yet another time zone. I had a busy couple of days planned (mostly work), and I made my way to the hotel. I settled in and had an early night.
With one day to explore, I had to do some planning to make sure I saw everything possible in such a short amount of time. As I had travelled across three time zones in just a few days, waking up early was not a problem. I decided to cease the day on my only free day, I took an Uber to the train station and caught the Caltrain from Redwood City to San Francisco.
San Francisco is full of iconic sights, and I knew it was impossible to do everything. I didn’t put pressure on myself to do it all. Being a film fan, I knew that I had to see some of the iconic film locations and haven done my research I found the ‘San Francisco Movie Location Tour’. This three-hour tour takes you across San Francisco and stops at some of the best locations in the city.
Here is what I got up to in one day:
- Fisherman’s Wharf
The pickup point for the bus tour was in Fisher Man’s wharf, this was a great place to start. I grabbed a bottle of water and stood overlooking the bay, across to Alcatraz before the tour started.
- City Hall
One of the first stops was at City Hall. The building is so grand, beautifully designed and I loved learning about the history.
- Lombard Street
Because how can you go to the city without seeing this street?
- The painted ladies
This is one place that I was REALLY excited to see. The painted ladies are a row of Victorian style houses, painted in pastel colours that sits in Alamo Square. Famous for the depictionin ‘Full House’, they are some of the most beautiful houses I have ever seen.
- The Golden Gate Bridge
Iconic, Iconic, Iconic. I was ready to get emotional, overwhelmed with excitement to see the Golden Gate Bridge with my own eyes. But when I first arrived at Fort Point, around 11am, the bridge was covered in thick fog. It was impossible to see and I was disappointed. I just needed to have a little patience though as the fog cleared later on in the day.
- Pacific Heights
Driving around San Francisco meant I was able to drive through the sought after area of Pacific Heights. I lived out my ‘Princess Diaries’ dream as I visited the building that was filmed as Mia’s high school entrance.
- The Mrs Doubtfire house
This was another place I had to visit, how could I not?
- In and Out Burger
Once the movie location tour had ended, I made my way back to Fisherman’s wharf. It was around 1pm and I was hungry. I was on the West Coast and this meant there was only one place for meto visit for lunch. My first In and Out was as spectacular as everyone says.
- Baker Beach
After lunch, I took an Uber to Baker Beach which is situated on the left side of the bridge. From here I got some of the most amazing views of the bridge without having to go over the bridge – as I didn’t have time. Thankfully, the fog had cleared, the sun was shining and I had some time to relax.
- Rooftop bars
After work, my colleagues in Redwood City travelled into the city to meet me for dinner. We finished the evening with a couple of cocktails at a few rooftop bars. I was very tired at this point and was ready to wrap up the day.
There is much more to do, see and experience in San Francisco. I did as much as I could in the short amount of time I had. I was very conscious that the week had already been very busy, I didn’t want to exhaust myself. Planning and prioritising my time was the best way to tone down the pressure and to enjoy the one day that I did have.
My top tip for someone with IBD, travelling to San Francisco is to plan.
- Think about doing a bus tour
The most iconic sites are spread out and doing a bus tour is one of the best, and most time efficient ways to see the city. Once on the bus, you can relax and enjoy.
2. Relax on the beach
Get away from the hustle and bustle of Fisherman’s wharf, and of the city, sitting on Baker Beach was so peaceful. To top it off, I had the best view of the Golden Gate Bridge and shot some of my favourite photos here.
3. Coffee shop breaks
There are many cafes, playing music and giving a relaxed vibe. Make the most of this, rest up, recharge and get ready to explore more.
Here are some of my favourite photos from my San Francisco visit:
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