New Years in San Francisco – Day 3
Jan 1, 2018
Breakfast at Green Tortoise Hostel
I woke up at a very comfortable time (around 9:00 am) the next day, got ready and went to have the breakfast downstairs where I was joined by a gentleman. We introduced ourselves and talked a bit about how we landed up in SF and plans for the day. This guy offered to join me for the rest of the day and I agreed.
Order of the day
Golden Gate Park
We started with the Botanical garden which is a part of the Golden Gate Park. It was a perfectly clear sunny day for the visit. The garden was huge, with plants from different parts of the world. I specifically liked South Africa’s specimens, their beautiful and bright colors. More in the pictures below.
Japanese Tea Garden
Japanese tea garden was located just opposite to the Botanical Garden and is also a part of the Golden Gate Park. We reached the garden just in time to join an SF city tour volunteer.
This is the link to more walking free tours. These tours are free, but I would suggest to always tip the guide if you like their service.
It was a detailed tour, but since we were getting a little hungry, we skipped the tour and looked around the place ourselves. It was a pleasant and enjoyable walk in the middle of a beautiful scenery.
The garden was cared by a Japanese family for generations until they were ousted during the WWII and taken over by US government.
I don’t remember much of the history of the garden but there were people who actually lived here in the middle of the serenity.
Palace of Fine Arts
We made a quick stop at the Palace of Fine Arts before going for lunch. Palace of Fine Arts is one of the remainders of the many art pieces that were exhibited during the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition from over 21 countries, 48 U.S. states, and 50 California counties. It had one of the most relaxing settings with a surrounding lagoon. On a sunny day, one can see birds flying by and swans floating on the lagoon.
With the beauty of that kind, there is no doubt that many people book it for their wedding ceremony.
Lunch at Japan Center
For lunch, I really wanted to have Japanese, so we headed for the Japan town. We stopped at Japan center – a Japanese shopping center. All the top-rated places were closed, so we went to the only open Japanese restaurant (at least that’s what we thought! ). Also, by this time we were really tired and wanted to sit in any closest restaurant that was open.
The restaurant was below average in terms of both food and ambiance. I have completely forgotten the name of the place now, but I would definitely advise you to walk a little further ahead of the Japanese center to get the best Japanese cuisine experience and not settle for less 😉
Quick stops at
Japan Peace Tower, Fisherman’s Wharf & Lombard street
Anyhow, after finishing our lunch, we went to Japan Peace Tower – a Peace Pagoda gifted in Friendship by the Japanese to the Americans. It was a couple of blocks from the Japan Center. We stayed there for sometime before starting off for the next stop.
Our next stop was at Fisherman’s Wharf. On our way to the Wharf from Japan Town, we crossed Lombard street and I assure you it is much more crooked that you might expect it to be (At least that was the case for me 😱)
Must eat At Crepe Cafe
It was around 5 in the evening now and there were so many performers on the streets, each one displaying different acts. I actually enjoyed the hustle bustle of the area. After spending some time here, we headed for Ghirardelli square. We stopped at Crepe Cafe on our way. I would recommend you to try this place out. It had one of the most amazing crepes I have ever had. It was slightly crowded and that was one of the reasons for a little crappy service. But at the same time, A Must Try!.
Tired and sleepy by now, we took a quick round of Ghirardelli Square and went back to the hostel.
After reaching the hostel, I booked hostel’s airport drop-off service for the next early morning flight. I packed my bags and before going to bed, I bid goodbye to the friends I made.
Till we meet again!
A wonderful trip came to an end on 2nd January 2018 and gave way to even more amazing experiences in the coming days.