Recently spent some time in San Francisco and kept Fisherman’s Wharf as our home base. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express which was walking distance to the Wharf. Lots of souvenier shops, restaurants and great scenery! The sea lions are fun to watch, in fact we spent over an hour just watching them frollick and bark in the sun. I absolutely loved all the seafood available including an excellent seafood restaurant called Scoma’s. Highly recommended! There’s a great arcade on Pier 39 that the kid’s loved –couldn’t get them to leave -- and a merry-go-round nearby. Museums, a quick jaunt to Alcatraz, delicious clam chowder in sourdough bread bowls…this place has it all!
Boy, I know the feeling. I worked there for over 10 years, at the end of Pier 39 second floor Neptune's Palace. The stories I could tell. Lots to do there, so much nicer than the actual wharf farther west of there. It has become the 4th attraction of the US after the 2 Disneys and one other place, maybe Knotts Berry Farm.
Off to Puerto Vallarta, aaaaah...
I live halfway between San Francisco and Monterey, and the main reason I do so is to live in the redwoods--but the second reason is so I can spend a lot of time in both of these great places, which are each about one hour away.
Out of all the places in SF, I'd say Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, and Columbus Street rank at the top--though my wife prefers the shopping near Union Square. In Monterey, it's Cannery Row, and the coastline off of Pacific Grove--and the 17 mile drive and the city of Carmel and its beach. Oh, and the shopping outlets near the Monterey Aquarium--for both me and my wife to stock up on the necessarities on the cheap.
Lastly, Santa Cruz itself has a great boardwalk, an interesting downtown--and is full of students attending the local University of California campus. Spending time in the summer sailing offshore fills up the rest of my time when I'm not working or visiting the other places (or the California wineries)--or traveling to other countries, of course.
Great write-up. I agree with all you wrote and add Mendocino and Big Sur to my fave Pacific coastal areas and areas to hike. Back to a boring life in paradise AKA Puerto Vallarta!