If I didn’t mention this before, I will now – for this 16 day trip, we had exactly SIX nights with pre-arranged lodging. Primarily this was in campgrounds, with the last night booked at the Bellagio in Vegas.
I don’t like over-planning trips, because I find it stressful. Not the planning part – but the sticking to the planning part. This becomes more evident halfway through the trip when we decide to bail out on one of those pre-arranged stops.
San Francisco was one of those pre-arranged stays – at San Francisco RV Resort in Pacifica. It’s the only RV friendly campground in proximity to San Francisco proper. We read reviews saying it was basically a crappy parking lot, but this is not accurate. There is no beach access, and there are multiple fences that keep you from the edge – but this is for good reason. Their ocean side sites are slowly disappearing from erosion, and the fences keep you from that dangerous precipice.
Our two day experience was excellent. It’s a very well-kept park. Very clean. Very good customer service. Great laundry facilities.
But before we got there…Big Sur!
We wanted to take Route 1 all along the coast to San Francisco – but this was not possible, as there are many spots along California 1 that are impassable. Because of the mountainous nature of the coastline – there are not many easy ways around those places.
So we went up through the middle of the state, through the Salinas valley. If you’ve never been through this region, it is where a very large portion of the fresh fruit/veggies for the entire nation are grown. It’s a spectacle to see. I’d never seen kale growing en masse before visiting the Salinas Valley.
Eventually, we get to Carmel-by-the-Sea (SO FREAKING CUTE) and head south down Route 1 to get to Big Sur.
The road is twisty and curvy and the views are beyond spectacular. Every turn offers another stop for a picture…eventually we get tired of stopping. Until we see the Bixby Canyon Bridge.
This is the one – the bridge I’d been looking for. It did not disappoint.
We went down into Big Sur and stopped for a picnic at Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park and got our first look at Redwoods!
I’m not going to lie – having seen Sequoias, I wrong assumed that the Redwoods wouldn’t be a big deal. No. They are different. A Redwood Forest is completely different and completely amazing in its own way.
We did a quick hike through a few trees and then headed to our ultimate destination for the next few days…San Francisco.
I adore everything about San Francisco, except hiking up those hills. They are NO JOKE.
As you well know by now, we are tooling around in a 24’ Motorhome that we rented from RoadBearRV.
We arrived just in time to drop the camper and I uber’d over to the local Enterprise to pick up a car I rented for less than it would have cost for 5 day passes on the BART system.
We loaded up and drove to Hook Fish Co for supper.
I spent a good deal of the drive from Big Sur back to San Fran looking for a seafood place to eat. Because when you love seafood, and you are present on an actual coast, you eat seafood.
Hook Fish Co has great reviews. They also sell fresh seafood, thoughtfully sourced to locals, or anyone who has the ability to cook seafood. Since we weren’t about to cook fish in the RV, we went for the prepared food.
I had the Fish Tacos, kids got Fish & Chips and husband got Crab Cake Burger.
I also got Ceviche & Chips, because I have a long history of trying raw anything from the local place I’m at. I hardly ever like it…but I have a hankering to try things… (how I ended up with tartare in France, conch ceviche in Mexico and Poke in Hawaii).
I’ll just go ahead and tell you it’s better than any review I read. Outstanding, in fact.
I don’t know if you knew this…but there are several ways to see the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Driving over is one option, but it can be viewed from above or below on both sides…AND you can stroll across too!
We did bottom on the SF side, top on the opposite. And decided to head back and walk across for sunset. We didn’t do the whole bridge, but it was a great way to see the city skyline in the evening.
Next up, a stroll through a quintessential SF neighborhood. We went with Haight-Ashbury.
It’s exactly as hippy-ish as you would want it to be. Maybe more so.
The shops were super cute and open late enough that we got to check out most of them. My daughter was enamored with the interior and exterior of “Love on Haight”.
In short, it was a super fun and interesting evening.
Tomorrow…Alcatraz and Sam Wo!