Our last full day in SF and we really have been lucky with the weather. On our first day, it was very misty which makes it very cold but the sun has come out in full force over the last couple of days. We’re planning a busy last day.
There are a few things left to tick off the list. Firstly, we start in Union Square (again) where we are picking up a traditional tram to ride down to the ferry terminals. Just to be clear the old trams are not really for transportation (although they are included on the one-day travelcard), they are almost purely a tourist attraction and probably not to be missed while you are in SF. The longest ride (i.e. best value for money) is if you board in Union Square and ride to the end but, given the queue is about an hour long you are better off boarding later down the line (although to be guaranteed an outdoor seat or standing position – which is what it’s all about – you want to be at the start point). As tourist attractions go I think it’s pretty good value for the $7.50 one-way ticket price (and even better value if you ride with your travelcard). It is pretty hairy taking a video when there is a tram coming the other way – but, hey, I am prepared to suffer for my art!
A nice bike ride
Once at the pier we decide to hire some bikes from one of the many places near the pier (in our case blazing saddles) which was also pretty good value for money at $9 per hour (actually $9 for two hours as you get a discount if you’ve taken a big bus tour). You can read our review on big bus tours on TripAdvisor but generally, it’s not favorable.
On to the bike tour. We wanted to cycle out to and across the Golden Gate Bridge. Overall the port area caters well to pedestrian and bike traffic as there are specific walking/biking lanes which have some fairly steep hills in places but as they’re quite short you could walk the difficult bits if you really have to. Riding out to the bridge and back in two hours is not so easy especially when you lose 30 minutes to a puncture (as we did – but a quick call to the hire company and they brought us a replacement) but we made it. A lot of people cycle one way and take the ferry back and if you haven’t already been on the bay that might be the better option. I think the bike is a really nice and gentle way to see the bay (and hundreds of others seem to agree!).
We grabbed a quick lunch at Hard Rock Café at Pier 39, I know what you’re thinking and you would be right. It was a mistake. Not terrible but just large portions of mass-produced bland food (even though they cram everything with sauces). But with a family of four sometimes it’s easier to take the route of least resistance than spending too much time hunting for the ideal option.
A ball game!
Our American style lunch was however just an appetizer for our evening entertainment – going to watch a baseball game at the AT&T arena where the SF Giants were playing the LA Dodgers. Is there anything more American? You don’t need to understand the rules (it’s not difficult), just hit the ball and run! I would recommend as something to do on a US road trip! We entered the stadium at just before 6:00 pm for a game scheduled to start at 7:15. We left at 01:00 am and the game was still going (a four-hour rain delay meant that it was not until shortly before 11 that the game actually started. Oh well…all the more time for people watching and sampling the delights of stadium food (which is, by the way, far better than you will find at the majority of stadiums across Europe).
So in total 16 hours from leaving our apartment in the morning to arriving back after the game. Wow, this tourism lark requires some stamina.