I took my niece to San Francisco yesterday to see The Revivalists in concert. We had about 3.5 hours free in the city before we had to head to the show. Gosh I love San Francisco. If it's a clear day I love being able to see it off in the distance as you approach the Bay Bridge to drive over the water. I love seeing the Golden Gate Bridge off in the distance too. It has a certain magic too it. Sometimes when the fog is just right, it doesn't even look real off in the distance.
Most of the time I park at the Ellis O'Farrell garage, because I find the rates reasonable and my car feels safe to be parked there. And it's right at Union Square. Ignore the "garage is full signs" - I have never found those to be true. From here we can pretty much take other modes of transportation for anywhere we want to explore. You can also walk a good distance to see a lot of different areas. We shopped a little. I took my niece to the 6th floor women's restroom in Macy's as she had never been. It needs a reno, but everyone should experience it at least once.
We had a fabulous dinner at Cesario's. The portions were generous, the wine was reasonably priced, and the food was delicious. I'm still dreaming about the tomato cream sauce on my pasta.
Then we hopped a Cable Car to ride from Union Square to Fisherman's Wharf. My niece had never ridden a cable car, so I had to remedy that pronto. Always pick up this route for the cable car further up the street (up by Union Square) than the spot where everyone is lined up down at Market. I like to hang out in the very back with the Conductor. They usually will point out all the sites to you along the way. For this route, I advise taking it at sunset, especially if it's a clear day. If I can't take it at sunset, then I like taking it at night when the city is lit up. You'll see a good peak of the Golden Gate Bridge along the way and the Bay Bridge from another spot if it's still light out. You'll go by the top of Lombard street. You'll get a good view of Alcatraz coming down the hill.
We arrived in time to walk down to the water's edge to snap this golden hour/magic hour photo of the top of the Golden Gate Bridge - see photo above. Golden hour photos in San Francisco don't need filters.
Then we headed to the concert and saw a great show. We took Lyft back to our car when it all was over. The driver talked about how the rent for his tiny studio apartment that he shares with a roommate is $2,000/month. I love San Francisco. I also like being able to leave it at the end of the day.