My last day in San Francisco I was flying out on a redeye and wanted to take advantage of the “extra” day I was getting in the city. I first had breakfast at the Creperie St. Germain in the Financial District near my hotel and then met a Miami friend that lives in SF now during a break at work in Rincon Hill. After I was done hanging out with him, I just did what I do the most when visiting cities- I walked. My “stretch” goal was the Presidio, which yes is at opposite ends of the city from Rincon Hill, but I definitely hoped to hit up some favorite neighborhoods I hadn’t been to yet this trip, like Nob Hill and Pacific Heights.
A straight shot from Rincon Hill to the Presidio is only five miles, so in theory it’s doable. However standing in the way of those two points in the city are hills. Lots and lots of tall hills. I also am a meanderer, so I wasn’t interested in just making a straight shot. I was going to make my best attempt though and started towards Nob Hill. My grandparents would make annual trips out to Portland from Chicago to see us and afterwards would head to other cities on the West Coast (Seattle, Vancouver/Victoria, LA). San Francisco was their most common destination after Portland and I distinctly remember the Ritz-Carlton on Nob Hill was my grandfather’s favorite hotel. Nob Hill was also where my family stayed on trips (not the Ritz though!) and I had kind of romanticized the entire neighborhood with its grand hotels and buildings, the hills, the streetcars. Since college I had a number of friends who lived in Nob Hill and so this added more memories on more recent trips. ‘
I walked back through the Financial District and then hiked up the hill near the Fairmount Hotel (one of my favorite buildings from when I was a kid). At this point the top of the hill is pretty narrow so I crisscrossed it several times to get different views from different directions. I then stuck around California Ave and went by the beautiful Grace Cathedral.
From that point on I walked more downhill. My goal was still Pacific Heights and possibly the Presidio, but I decided to avoid the most direct route, because it goes up and up and down different hills. Instead I stuck around Geary Boulevard, which stayed pretty flat, and walked through Lower Pac Heights. Once I got to Fillmore Street I walked up Fillmore uphill (past a lot of restaurants and shops) more up into Pacific Heights.
I spent a lot of time climbing up and down the hill in Pacific Heights to check out a lot of the stunning homes in the neighborhood and get views of the Bay and Marin County to the north. The homes in Pacific Heights were my favorite as a kid and that has not changed.
At this point it was the late afternoon. I wasn’t far from the Presidio, but I had already walked a lot and knew the farther west I went, the more I would have to backtrack. So I forwent the Presidio for pretty much the only thing that justifies it- In-N-Out! I had yet to be to In-N-Out this trip. Also since my California-Vegas-Texas trips have dramatically decreased the last few years, it had been a while since I had been in general. I walked down the hill and over to the one In-N-Out location in the city near Fisherman’s Wharf.
I wrapped up my explorations of the day by walking through North Beach and along Columbus Ave and then through Chinatown back to my hotel. I had covered almost 19.5 miles and walked 40,104 steps according to my phone! Between this day and my explorations on my first day in San Francisco on Sunday, I had been to a lot of my favorite places. Overall it was a quick, but fun and enjoyable visit to SF. Until next time!