The last stop of our two-week California adventure was San Francisco. This vibrant city has a beautiful waterfront, an iconic bridge, classic cable cars, and the finest restaurants. Just under 4 hours west of Yosemite we arrived at our hotel in the city, Hotel Zetta. We fell in love with this boutique hotel from the moment we walked in. It is a super modern and fun luxury hotel. The main lobby has two levels, the first level has a beautiful bar area and the second floor is an awesome game room with pool table, shuffle board, ping pong, etc. and, my kids’ favorite, a 2 level Plinko game wall. The rooms were so spacious and luxurious, and all within a short walking distance to the cable cars and Union Square.
On our first day we walked to Lombard Street, which is always a fun experience with spectacular views, and then made our way down to the Wharf. During our stay in San Francisco we would take Uber to and from dinner, it was the easiest way to get around the city without the hassle of driving and looking for parking.
On our second day we drove out to Muir Woods for a leisurely walk through this beautiful redwood forest. On our way back to the city we stopped at a great spot for lunch by the water in San Francisco, the Ferry Building Marketplace. It’s a vibrant gathering of artisans, small shops, and restaurants. We had a fantastic outdoor lunch at Hog Island Oyster Company.
Alcatraz is not to be missed on a trip to San Francisco - "If you break the rules you go to prison, if you break the prison rules you go to Alcatraz." Keep in mind, you must purchase tickets online 3 months prior to your trip because they do sell out. The experience was truly bone chilling. To hear the stories of what occurred there was incredible. The audio tour is very well organized and easy to follow.
One of the highlights today was hanging on the outside of a cable car. The kids loved it and we did too!
I like saving the best for last… we spent our very last day in Napa Valley! We took an amazing tour of one of our favorite wineries, Nickel and Nickel. The tour was beautiful and so informational. We were incredibly fortunate to meet the winemaker, Darice Spinelli, while visiting the barrel room. She spoke to us for about 30 minutes and explained some of the steps she takes to produce such fine wines. We had a wonderful lunch at Rutherford Grill and then visited a couple of more wineries before heading back to San Francisco.
We couldn’t have asked for a better vacation. The weather was perfect and we had such diverse experiences… from the glitz and glamour of LA to the natural wonders of Yosemite. As I always recommend, the key is having activities to keep everyone happy and engaged – for the kids their highlights were the Segway tour, Disneyland, Universal Studios, a Dodgers baseball game. I enjoyed those too but visiting Malibu and the tours and tastings in Napa were at the top of my list of favorites.
The incredible memories we create during our family vacations are so treasured and I hope our boys will remember them forever.
Sometimes we travel around the world and don’t enjoy the beautiful places we have in our own country. Contact me today to start planning your trip to the beautiful state of California.
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I work with my clients on creating personalized travel itineraries while consulting on everything from destinations to excursions and logistics of the trip. Through my personal travel I seek unique activities including private guides and tours for exceptional experiences. More on Belkys