Every year I try to make a trip to California to visit one of my best friends in LA. This trip I wanted to switch it up a little so I asked Ashlyn if she was down for a little adventure. Once she said she was down…I started my Pinterest board and the planning process began! Although this was pretty last minute, all of the pieces came together just right. With only about a week to plan, we purchased our bus tickets, booked a hotel room, a party bus wine tour, and came up with our “Must Do” checklist for San Fran.
Planning & Execution
Whenever I’m planning anything, especially a trip, I go to Pinterest for inspiration. A quick search of a term, city, or anything, and like magic, Pinterest has everything at my fingertips. I came across so many blog posts and “Must Do’s” for San Francisco so the pinning began! BUT, before I got lost in pinning, the first question was “So how will we get from Los Angeles to San Francisco?” Well, we could’ve taken a short and relatively cheap flight, but, because it was last minute, our next option was Megabus. The ride was about 7 hours and affordable at $76 roundtrip per person (after taxes and fees). We took a late bus at 11:30 p.m. and arrived in San Francisco at 7 a.m. When we arrived we were so happy to learn that our room was available early at the Warwick and we had a few minutes to freshen up and change before hopping on our wine tour. Before I get into the wine tour, the hotel was in the perfect location in Union Square and was a steal ($154 for the night with a promo code) for booking last minute through Hotel Tonight (I strongly recommend downloading their app).
After our 7 hour ride and a pit stop at the hotel, we hopped on our bus and started our Napa Valley Wine Tour. I came across the wine tour on TripAdvisor’s 10 Best Napa Valley Tours and found a Groupon rate. However, instead of booking through Groupon, I called Napa Valley and inquired about the rate, and they matched the Groupon price at $89! The tour included stops at the Golden Gate Bridge, three wineries, and included breakfast bites, mimosas, and lunch. Such a great steal!
The first stop was at the Golden Gate Bridge, one of my listed items “Must Do in San Fran”. After grabbing a few pictures we were back on the bus and enjoyed complimentary mimosas and breakfast bites as we headed to our first winery. The winery lineup was Jacuzzi Family Vineyards, Larson Family Winery, Kieu Hoang, and one other winery I can’t remember (blame the wine). At the beginning of the tour the bus was kind of quiet but after a couple stops everyone started having a good time (thanks to the wine). A few of us connected our phones to the audio input and it made for a fun ride back to San Fran.
After the wine tour, we had intentions of hanging out and doing something fun but ended back in the hotel, took a nap and then woke up for dinner at a restaurant in North Beach. It was probably best that we stayed in that night, we would need our rest for the tourist day ahead.
Tourist Day in San Fran
The next morning we started our day at Honey Honey Cafe before starting our tour day in San Francisco. We started on foot and hopped on the cable car to our first stop. We hopped off at Fishermen’s Wharf to walk around and take in the sites of the sea lions and see Alcatraz from afar. From there, working off a paper map and Siri, we were headed on foot to Lombard Street. Little did we know we ended up at the bottom at Perkins Street, but still, saw the iconic “Crookedest Street” nonetheless. Next, we hopped in our Lyft for a quick photo op of Mrs. Doubtfire’s house (one of my favorite movies) before heading to the Painted Ladies. This was the last stop on our self-guided San Fran tour before heading back to the hotel to change and hop on our Megabus back to LA.