Rv’ing the Pacific Coast & San Francisco
San Francisco, a city filled with beautiful architecture, trendy restaurants/ bars and a lot of hills. What an awesome and fun city to explore, party or just enjoy the sights around the bay. We explored the city in a fun packed touristy day, driving the motorcycle to 7 of cities top attractions. Check out the article below and our video attached because there are some pretty cool places you might just want to visit!
Driving a 45′ Bus/ Motorhome in California
This topic could be an article in itself, but this link and maps were a life saver for us as we navigated our 45 foot rig up the California coast. The map is broken down by district, and when you click on the specific district number (for example District 4 for San Francisco) it will display interstates/roads in green that are legal for us to drive on. Roads that are dotted in red, buses and Motorhomes over 40 feet are prohibited. It’s always a good idea to check any route before you hit the road, especially if you are over 40 feet long AND especially if you are in California!
Campground(s) we stayed
San Francisco RV Resort – is an Encore property located in the town of Pacifica which is about 20 minutes outside of San Francisco. The campground is right next to the Pacific Ocean, we were lucky enough to get a spot right on the end where we enjoyed great views of the water from our windows. It’s a mid-sized campground and most of the camping sites are very close together. They offer a laundry facility, playground, pool and full hook-ups. They have a large office with a store attached, that will assist with any last-minute shopping needs. The best asset of this park is its vicinity to down town San Francisco, with options to walk and use public transportation to the city.
Things to do
See the Painted Ladies – Located on Steiner St. this historical row of Victorian houses is well-known for appearances on movies, TV shows and postcards. A great place to really take in San Francisco’s colorful architecture.
Union Square – a historic public square and popular hang-out. Located in the heart of the city surrounded by shops, theaters, hotels and restaurants. Bring some cash and do a little shopping or if you come on a nice day sit in the outdoor square and do some people watching.
Cable Car Museum – Want to learn more about where the city’s Cable Car’s came from? Check out the Vintage cable cars and mechanical displays at the cable car museum. It has antique cable cars on exhibit and houses the cable-pulling equipment.
Coit Tower – A landmark offering 360-degree city views. A 1930s-era building known for its Works Progress Administration murals. Lines can be long if you want to take the elevator to the top of the tower, and it costs $8 per person. We suggest skipping the elevator ride and just admire the views from the front of the building, and take a walk around the bottom of the tower to appreciate the murals.
Pier 39 – A scenic pier where you can see sea-lions, shop, watch street entertainers and eat. We walked around Pier 39 window shopping, along with some real shopping. I had to get a San Francisco sweater! We walked all the way to the end to see dozens of sea-lions laying on the docks. We could have easily spent the entire day here, but we grabbed a quick bite to eat before continuing to our next attraction.
Ghirardelli Square – I love chocolate so when we heard about Ghirardelli Square, a chocolate factory turned shopping center, this was on our list of places to visit! With several shops that sell a variety of items, from jewelry to stationary to a high-end pet supplies. There are also several places to eat or grab a snack. Our main stop was Ghirardelli Chocolate where I got the Treasure Island Ice Cream Sundae. So GOOD!
Lombard St. – On a 27-degree angle, this famously crooked street features 8 hairpin turns and landscaped flowerbeds. While this may not the most exciting attraction in the city it’s free and was fun to drive down.
Golden Gate Bridge – One of San Francisco’s top iconic landmarks. You can’t come here without seeing this beautiful red bridge. Whether you want to drive over it or find a great spot to snap a photo. We ended our day watching the sun set and grabbing a few shots of the bridge at Crissy Field. It was a beautiful and peaceful place with great views of the bridge. Some other great locations to grab a few pictures are Fort Point at Long Ave & Marine Drive or Battery Spencer at Golden Gate National Recreation Area/Marin Headlands at Conzelman Rd, Sausalito, CA. I found this link to be very helpful if you are looking to find a great place to get a picture.
Want to stop at all the same places?
I created the following document for our fun filled day touring the city. It includes the attraction, address, cost, notes, website (if applicable) and map. While we didn’t get to all the stops on my list, we thought this document could be helpful for others that wanted to do the same. Enjoy!
Places we ate
Blowfish Sushi – Funky vibe restaurant with a full bar and sushi bar. If you go here definitely try the Pyramid of Tartar. It was unlike anything we ever had before and it was delicious. We were trying to eat more on the healthier side this night so we shared the Sashimi Combination; it was really neat looking. The fish came in a mountain of ice on top of dry ice, giving it a smoky volcano look. A yummy and entertaining dining experience.
Maven – Unique and tasty mixed drinks, with a simple and delicious menu. Portions sizes were just right or on the smaller side depending on how you like your portions. We enjoyed their duck sliders appetizer and the Rabbit Stew and Sea Bass entrees. We thought their food pricing was reasonable but their drinks were a little on the pricy side. In all a good place to have dinner with a suggested mixed drink pairing.
Pier Market – A happening joint, overlooking the water at Pier 39. We came in for an early dinner around 6:00pm and the restaurant was packed, we saw two seats open at the bar which we grabbed quickly. We enjoyed a sourdough clam chowder bread bowl (can’t go to the pier without having one of these bad boys) and their Mesquite grilled fish dinners. Yum!
We loved visiting San Francisco. Being one of the most exciting cities in the US, there is so much to do and see that we barely scratched the surface. One of the other things we loved was that you can bring your RV. We parked our big rig right outside the major city and even drove our 45-footer through the city and over the Golden Gate Bridge! There were a few times we held our breath especially when going through the tunnels, but it is totally doable just make sure to following the specified routes outline in the CA. gov website . We hope that you enjoy this city just as much as we did.