We have been to San Francisco many times, and since our son moved there with his wife, we try to go as often as possible.
I still don’t understand the reason for YVR to LAX having much lower prices than from YVR to SFO. Of course it’s related to supply and demand, but it’s painful to pay double price for a flight that is 50% shorter!
This time we went to Alcatraz. We have never been there before! Our son invited us and booked the tour.
I recommend you go on the tour by the end of the afternoon / beginning of evening in order to watch the beautiful sunset.
The tour is “self explained” and the audio guide is excellent. Make use of it.
There are several places to explore outside the main building. Don’t miss them!
I don’t remember seeing a cafeteria selling food / drinks, although they may exist. We all carried our bottles of water and after we returned to mainland we went out for dinner at Ryoko’s Japanese Restaurant.
Excellent Place to have dinner in San Francisco:
Ryoko’s Japanese Restaurant has fresh seafood, great service, live atmosphere and is reasonably priced.
It’s a relatively interesting place although I don’t see reasons for all the “fuss” about Sausalito. We have been there several times, but I regard our visits as “let’s try to find something to do” more than loving the destination in itself.
Probably Sausalito was an interesting place in the past, with the hippies around, musical festivals, “Peace and Love” movement and so on. Nowadays it’s just a stretch of touristy and pricey shops and restaurants with none of them, that I know of, offering really wonderful meals. There’s also an ice cream store offering “regular ice creams” (nothing specially delicious), that is pretty expensive and usually has long lines.
If you have never been there and will be visiting San Francisco for several days, you can go on a day trip and mark “checked” on your travel map. Otherwise, you can easily skip it and will not be loosing anything “special”, in my humble opinion.
Like Alcatraz, Santa Cruz is another place where we haven’t been before. We went there on a day trip from San Francisco and found the city not pretty.
We had a very good meal at Riva Fish House , located at Santa Cruz pier, but other than that we found the city ugly and lacking scenic views / attractions.
The road to Santa Cruz, along the beach has some overlooks along the way. We parked in a couple of them, but in my opinion, there is “nothing special” there. I wouldn’t include Santa Cruz as a place that you “must go” / “must visit” , if you are visiting California.