When I think of San Fransisco the song, Everywhere You Look, by Jesse Frederick from the hit show Full House immediately pops into my head. After all when I was growing up Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen were my idols. Traveling to a big city with kids involves lots of planning and keeping a child's interest and abilities in mind is a must. Our first trip as a family of four was a week long trip to California. We spent 4 days in San Fransisco and 2 days in wine country.
Day 1: Travel Day
Well we made it! The family arrived in San Fransisco and it couldn’t have gone better. This was our first time flying with two kids. Our baby boy slept the ENTIRE flight while our toddler played and ate his pretzels like a seasoned traveler. We could not have asked for a better first flight as a family of four!
Due to a conference in town we were lucky to get a room at the Hilton Financial District. This hotel is located at the crossroads of Chinatown and the Financial District. However, this renovated hotel is still situated within in walking distance to Union Square (shopping), Little Italy, and only a 30 min walk to Fisherman’s Wharf. There is also easy access to the trolley if you would rather ride than walk!
Tip: There is a playground for the kids located directly across the street from the Hilton Financial District.
Dinner: Pizza - it’s always a good sign when the line to the restaurant is out the front door and down the sidewalk. This hole in the wall pizza joint with its grunge vibe was the place to go. Order pizza by the slice or your own large rectangle pizza to go that could feed 6-8 people easily. Stickers plaster the wall with music streaming. Be warned as there are only high top bars to sit at lining the walls of this restaurant. If you are lucky you might be able to sang a stool facing the prep area where kids can watch the pizza makers do their thing.
Day 2: Fisherman's Wharf
With two kids in tow and a time change we were thankful to sleep until 5:00am. This means we were up and out of the hotel by 8:00am. What better way to start the morning than a pleasant walk down to Fisherman’s Wharf? The nice thing about getting down there early - it was quiet. We were able to enjoy walks a long the boardwalk, see the seals as Pier 39 and run the musical stairs until our hearts were content.
Then it was time for the carousel! The two storied carousel rocked the 4 year olds world. Ticket prices for the carousel were $5 for one ride and $10 for three rides. Adults have to pay to ride with children if they are under 48 inches tall. Carousel opens at 10am.
Lunch: In N Out- Finally! Another line out the door restaurant for the win. If you haven’t been go. This classic burger, fry and shake quick serve restaurant lived up to the hype. The juicy burgers with toppings piled high on a toasted bun were mouth watering. They have adorable sticker pages the kids can play with while you wait!
Post lunch and a rest back at the hotel we walked up to the Cable Car Museum. The Cable Car Museum is free and a perfect place to catch one of the two trolley lines. FYI the museum is loud. Our son was not a fan of the loud noises so we didn’t last very long inside. On the street corner outside of the museum you can pick up the trolley. Before catching the trolley make sure you have your things together and stroller packed up. The attendants are very eager to help you aboard.
Don’t worry about pictures now just hop on and enjoy the ride.Take the trolley to the end of the line and grab a photo once everyone is off!
From the end of the trolley line you can easily walk a couple blocks to either Fisherman’s Wharf or Ghirardelli Square. A yummy treat at Ghirardelli Square was in order. Our family does not pass up an opportunity for a special treat especially when chocolate is involved! Since we were in San Francisco we had to try the Painted Lady Parfait. This fantastic parfait of mint ice cream, fudge and whipped cream can easily be shared by 3-4 people. Walk off your yummy treat while you meander through the shops as well as the beautiful waterfront park at Ghirardelli Square.
Dinner: We took an Uber to Magnolia Brewery located in the Haight Ashbury district, a hippy eclectic neighborhood. It was was fantastic! Loud music plays inside and kids menus with crayons keep the kids entertained. Flights of beer available if you can't choose just one of the beers brewed in the restaurants basement!
Have you been to San Fransisco? What is your must see near Fisherman's Wharf?