Day 3, Monday, started with a boat ride — to Alcatraz! I got early morning tickets before we left for San Francisco and it was a good thing I did. Already at 10AM, the dock was crowded and we happily made our way over to The Rock. Once you arrive on the island, you are pretty much on your own. We opted for the great audio tour of the prison, which walked us through all the cell blocks, dining room and administration offices. There was also some great history of some escape attempts and the famous prisoners!
Here’s a look at the ride over:
After spending about 2.5 hours at Alcatraz, we took the boat back to the mainland. Since we were close to Pier 39 — and had heard the Sea Lions had returned — we walked over. While Pier 39 was unfortunately touristy, the Sea Lions were there! Here’s some saying hello to Sharon:
After getting some more fresh sourdough (it really is great in SF) we walked all the way back to the ferry building. On one of the piers close-by was a company I read about in WIRED magazine — TCHO chocolate! The tasting room was overwhelming, each chocolate square was better than the next. Their technology + chocolate signage also sang to the design nerd in me, it was really well done. When we got to the Ferry Building, it was time for one more trip through the stores — this time stopping at Chris Cosentino’s Boccalone. All things meaty, Sharon enjoyed a fresh salami sandwich while I got a Meat Cone, layered with three different kinds of sliced deli.
The weather continued to be beautiful all weekend so we spent the later part of the afternoon in the park — Mission Dolores Park. We hopped the BART to the Mission District and paused for some treats from Tartine Bakery on 18th Street to enjoy outside. Reflecting on an awesome weekend, it was really, really, really hard to leave the park. But we had one more great dinner planned! Off to the Westin to get ready!
Sharon and I looked good as we headed to Gary Danko by the wharf. We had heard and read great things, and were greeted by a great drink at the bar. The 3- and 4-course meals we proceeded to enjoy once again reminded us of all the seasonal, local food on the west coast. So delicious, the meal was a superb one to end the trip.
I also made a reservation at a new bar called Bourbon & Branch for a drink before packing up. The speakeasy’s website and “rules” intrigued me. We found the unmarked building and uttered the password before entering the library like bar. Similar to NYC’s Back Room, the decor and atmosphere was classy — and so was the huge cocktail list. The bartenders knew what they were doing at it showed.
We loved our time in San Francisco and can’t wait to go back. Next stop — Napa Valley!