When you’re planning a girls trip, consider a destination that offers fine Chocolate, Wine, Quality Dining, and Victorian Charm. These are the ingredients of a desirable girls trip; one that you ladies will remember forever.
Where to Eat on the Way to the City from the Airport
Quench your thirst en route from the airport at Southern Pacific brewery. They had a full menu and an outstanding atmosphere.
Driving in San Francisco was an experience in itself navigating the hilly and narrow streets.
The first stop on the list was Ghirardelli Square, which wasn’t just about the chocolate, there were several other cute shops and a sprawling park along the water. In the afternoon we set off to find our dock to board our night Alcatraz tour which we had booked weeks in advance.
A Hauntingly Fascinating Night Tour of Alcatraz
I highly recommend the night tour, as the prison is especially haunting after dark. To get a ticket, book far in advance.
We had the added bonus of watching the sunset behind the Golden Gate Bridge while we ferried to the island.
Created with different personas of people who actually lived or worked at the prison, the audio tour of Alcatraz it was very well-made. . It held America’s most dangerous felons from 1934 to 1963 when it closed down due to high cost operate and the salty sea was causing erosion. There were 1576 prisoners in total over that time period.
Fourteen people had attempted to escape Alcatraz. The only potential escapee has never been seen since and is presumed drowned.
Where to Stay on a Budget in San Francisco on Your Girls Trip
One of the most affordable lodging options we found was the Tilden Hotel. It was just what we needed for a crash pad and holds fascinating history.
Tilden Hotel is near Union Square and numerous dining options. We felt completely safe walking this area in the evening and found a charming Irish pub called the Irish Bank.
Devouring San Francisco
There are over 4,400 restaurants in San Francisco, so take these recommendations with with a healthy dosage of salt. If you find yourself in close proximity to them, definitely check them out, but there is no shortage of options wherever you are.
Restaurants / Breweries
Stinking Rose Restaurant – A garlic lovers’ paradise.
Rogue San Francisco Public House
Update – In 2018, this location burnt down during a tragic four alarm fire in the neighborhood . Rogue does not plan to rebuild.
Pay the seven dollar toll to drive over the Golden Gate bridge and then stopped at an overlook for our souvenir photo shoot. We picnicked outside the Full House home and took an adequate number of selfies in front of the Painted Ladies used in the opening theme.
Easy Day Trips from San Francisco by Car
Wining in Napa Valley with your Best Friends
You will be too intoxicated at the end of the day to make the drive back into the city; a “day” trip just won’t do.
I highly recommend starting a day in Napa Valley like we did at Domaine Chandon.
If plan to go to more than two or three wineries, you should absolutely hire a driver. We found this to be a very affordable option to get around plus he arranged our tours in advance to places we may not have found ourselves. They offered incredible experiences and scenery.
- Domaine Chandon
- Robert Mondovi – The views were incredible.
- Sutter Home – (free!) this was the birthplace of White Zinfandel. (An accident as it turns out.) Hired driver for the rest…
- Regusci – didn’t find a wine I loved here.
- Cakebread Cellars – most intimate of the day. Really enjoyed their tour.
- Frog’s Leap – my favorite! When I pictured Napa Valley, this is exactly how I imagined it. Enjoying generous pours of wine on a wraparound porch looking over the garden. All you see is Vineyard out to the mountain.
- Clos du Val – bought some of their Primativa to take home.
We spent one night at the Meritage resort. They had a shuttle into town which we took advantage of for dinner. On the way back to the resort the shuttle felt more like a party bus. Everyone was up singing and dancing to Michael Jackson songs.
In the morning we were moving pretty slow so we made our way to the hot tub to soak in the beautiful views as it was surrounded by a vineyard.
After an overnight trip to Napa Valley, we returned to the city. We visited Muir Woods, a national park known for their ancient redwoods and sequoia trees; some of them 2000 years old!