San Francisco – Day 1 (Part 3)

We saw so much on our first day that I had to split the day into three different posts (see first post here and my dim sum post here).

After lunch we headed toward Ocean Beach!

If you’re coming from Golden Gate Park, you might be surprised to turn the corner and see a pretty huge Dutch windmill. It’s even weirder to stand on the beach and see the windmill popping up over the trees across the street.

On the other side of the road is Ocean Beach – definitely not a North Carolina beach in May! Although it’s a gorgeous sight, it’s super cold and windy there, so don’t show up in your bikini and expect a tan. There were some brave souls surfing, but I stuck my toe in the water and went running in the other direction. Brrr!!!

In the picture above you can see the iconic Cliff House, a restaurant that was built in 1863 as a fancy resort for the very wealthy. We didn’t eat here, but we walked around the building and the balconies because of the amazing views.

I could’ve stood here all day. Even in the wind and the cold, there’s something peaceful and calming about the sound of the ocean.

One place I really wanted to see was the Sutro Bath ruins (above). In 1894, Adolph Sutro built an elaborate bathhouse here that could host around 10,000 people! There were also several different swimming pools of different temperatures. Read more about the bathhouse and look at some really cool pictures from when it was in operation here.

You can’t really tell how steep and high the climb is to get from the ruins back to the road, but be prepared! I consider myself fairly in-shape, and I struggled getting back to the top.

I was too scared to walk out on the ledge and get a cool picture, so this had to do. I don’t think J had the same vision for the pic as I did 🙃.

When we finally hiked, huffed, and puffed our way back to the main road, we walked a bit to another great viewing area – Land’s End. We scored a few terrific pics of the Golden Gate Bridge before a tour bus showed up and sent us running.

J then took us through some backroad trail. I was convinced we were going to get eaten by coyotes (there were warning signs, it wasn’t a completely random concern), but the only thing we encountered were some silly teenagers sneaking around to smoke pot.

BUT, by the time we reached the Legion area, I was done. Physically, mentally, and definitely emotionally. I’m also quite positive that I was dehydrated. Our goal was to get to the Golden Gate Bridge, but we weren’t even close, and we were even further from our hotel. After some snippy and snarky indecision, we decided to take the bus back to our hotel, regroup, and establish a dinner plan.

Eventually we found our way to 21st Amendment, which was an excellent choice! J wanted pizza and beer, so he was completely satisfied. I got the El Cubano and wish I could have a plate of these chips right now.

And if you go during the summer, you have to try the watermelon beer! I wish I was a beer drinker because they had some really interesting flavors – lemon meringue and blood orange were two that stood out to me.

Shew. That concludes our 17 miles of day one!

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