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San Francisco Self Guided Walking Tour

San Fransisco Bay Bridge

Ferry Building And Chinatown Experience

This was my first time going to San Francisco and I wanted to experience all of the popular tourist attractions.

My sister and I used the Hotel’s free shuttle to go to the Downtown Berkeley B.A.R.T. station.  After purchasing our tickets we found the correct train we needed to hop on to go to San Francisco.

Downtown Berkeley BART Station

Once we arrived at the Embarcadero station we made our way to the surface.  Immediately, I felt the cold, windy temperature as it’s cooler in the city of San Francisco than in Oakland.  Although, it was a hassle to carry my insulated coat throughout the airport I was glad I had it.

My first view of San Francisco was of the tall buildings and the uphill streets.  These were the streets I’ve seen in every TV show and movie.

San Francisco LightPost

After searching for the walking directions we made our way toward the ferry building.

We walked past vendors selling trinkets for the Christmas holiday, necklaces, beads, and other assorted merchandise.  I liked the different styles of lamp posts and directional signs. I tried to think of what other cities it reminds me of, but I think it’s a city all on its own.

Ferry Building Marketplace

On the outside of the Ferry Building, there are posters showing the history of the marketplace.  The transformation details the change within the marketplace.

San Francisco Ferry Building

Walking inside the Ferry Building there were crowds of people searching for their lunch options.  There were so many choices from grilled cheese sandwiches, to Mexican food, and bakeries.

To find out more information on the history and merchants visit the Ferry Building Marketplace website.

I was in the mood for a beef burger and fries so we decided to eat at Prather Ranch Meat Company for lunch.  The waitress gave the options of how we wanted our meat cooked.  After making our selections we placed our order.  Along with the burger and fries, I ordered an ice-cold lemonade.

The burger tasted well seasoned and the pickle had a little bit of a coated spicy seasoning.  The meat was perfectly cooked and didn’t have any fat and was served on soft brioche bread.  French fries and lemonade were the perfect lunch combination.  This is definitely a place to visit if you go to the Ferry Building Marketplace.

For menu options and pricing information check out Prather Ranch Meat Company.

Leaving the building we choose to walk toward Clay Street to shed some of the calories we had just consumed.  After a quick stop at the bank atm and we headed to the MUNI (Municipal Transportation Agency) bus to go to Chinatown.

The fare cost $2.50 per person and traveled to the top of Clay Street.  We paid our fare and rode the bus to Grant Avenue.


Exiting the bus we decided to walk one block north to see the post office.  There were tons of other tourists on the street which caused heavy foot traffic and a narrow walking path.

It’s not like any other post office as it’s decorated in the traditional Chinese style and writing.

Next, we walked down one block to Grant Avenue where the famous street art and buildings are located.

Grant Avenue

Grant Avenue is decorated with pretty red lanterns, Chinese lamp posts, and traditional Chinese buildings.  It was a unique cultural experience walking past the traditional buildings and all of the souvenir shops.

Grant Avenue, San Francisco Cinatown

Street Art

Several other photographers were also taking pictures of the famous street art.  I tried not to disturb the local residents as I waited for my chance to capture street photography.

Old St. Mary’s Church

The historical Old St. Mary’s Church architecture stood out from the rest of the neighborhood.  The Church was built back in 1853 and has been beautifully maintained throughout the years.

Grant Avenue, San Francisco Cinatown

Dragon Gate

After walking past serval high-end retail stores we made our way to the beginning of Chinatown.  The Chinatown Gate is a famous attraction and there were several people taking pictures in front of the gate.

Dragon Gate, San Fransisco Chinatown

*Tip: The Ice Cream Museum and Candytopia are located nearby.  If you plan on spending an entire day in Chinatown these are some additional attractions within walking distance.

For more information on popular tourist attractions and addresses visit the San Francisco Chinatown website.

We concluded our walking tour by going to Powell Street where the nearest B.A.R.T. station is located.

Overall, I spent a wonderful day in San Francisco sightseeing.  The next time I visit the Bay area I definitely want to have lunch in Chinatown’s restaurants.

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  5.  Long Beach Aquarium Of The Pacific Experience.

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