The City by the Bay that Knows How

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Family brought me back west for a week, and I only had a single afternoon (more like less than six hours) to explore all of San Francisco. How does one spend such little time in such a grand and historic city? Well, you cannot, but that did not stop me from trying!

Bonus pre-day

While the week was full of work of moving my family into Sonoma Valley, we were able to take an afternoon to enjoy the natural beauty of northern coastal California. We took the stunning state highway (SR – State Route) 116 that travels along the Russian River, a river that runs through the valley, to its mouth at the Pacific Ocean at Goat Rock Beach.

After spending a good afternoon at the beach, we went to nearby town of Jenner to eat dinner at River’s End, a restaurant on a cliff-side that overlooks the mouth of the river.

Panorama of the Russian River flowing into the Pacific Ocean, separated by Goat Rock Beach. View from River’s End restaurant.

Day at the City

My week ended with several hours able to spend exploring San Francisco. We drove south on the SR 101, which means that my first time in the city ever was introduced by driving over the Golden Gate Bridge. True to stereotypical San Franciscan fashion, the fog was so thick that we could not see the towers.

Fog is thicc

The first stop after crossing the bay was the famed Painted Ladies by Alamo Park.

“What ever happened to predictability?”

From there, we drove down the crooked block of Lombard Street.

After that, we decided to stop at Coit Tower. That was a great choice, as we were able to soak in amazing views of the skyline and the bay.

Alcatraz Island, as seen from Coit Tower

We parked a bit at the Financial District and walked around for a few minutes, and then went back to Russian Hill and the Richmond District and stopped at the Russian Holy Virgin Cathedral.

After a prayer service for the sick, we went to dinner at a Moroccan restaurant, El Mansour. Not realising that they also had belly dancers, we were surprised to have a dinner and entertainment.

Thus, my afternoon ended, and I was dropped off at the San Francisco International Airport to go back home.


As I stated above, I really did not have the time to explore for what this place deserves. Since my family now lives in the area, the likelihood of my return is high. And once I return, I will have a lot of the touristy stuff out of the way (minus things like visiting Alcatraz), and can explore more of the local scene. One thing is for sure, I look forward to this future exploration.

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