Posts Tagged With: Golden Gate Bridge

Ferry day trip to Sausalito

Burrito, neato, mosquito –- My kids had fun trying to think of words that rhyme with Sausalito as we took the ferry from San Francisco to get a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge and explore the town.

The Golden Gate Bridge from the ferry to Sausalito

The Golden Gate Bridge from the ferry to Sausalito

We had to drop my husband off at the airport on the way to San Francisco, so I told the kids we’d make the noon ferry and eat in Sausalito or if we missed the ferry, we’d eat in the city and wait for the next one. We found a place to park, speed-walked a couple of blocks, bought our tickets and made it to the ferry with just a couple of minutes to spare!

Although it was December, the ferry ride wasn’t too cold and it was a pretty clear day. We had fabulous views of the Bay Bridge, Golden Gate, Alcatraz and Angel Island. The ride was about 20 minutes and we were deposited into the tourist heart of Sausalito.

Alcatraz

Alcatraz

The first order of business was to find lunch, and we ended up at Venice Gourmet, getting small pizzas for my mom and I and the kids. I’m glad my mom shared the garlic pizza with me so I didn’t feel self-conscious about talking to her the rest of the day.

After lunch, we needed a walk so we walked along the waterfront. A little boy pointed out to me “look at the crabs!” I looked closer and realized that the rocks with literally crawling with crabs of all sizes. We strolled along and watched the crabs retreat whenever we tried to get a closer look.

Crabs in Sausalito

Crabs in Sausalito

Being good tourists, we explored some of the stores. Of course, the toy store was the kids’ favorite and we bought them a couple of bouncy balls to keep them occupied. We also did some damage in the candy store, finding the old-fashioned types plus the newer popular candies, as well as many, many flavors of saltwater taffy.

We decided to venture to another part of town marked on the map and ended up in the more residential shopping area that had a few restaurants and other stores so we walked back to the main area.

The town was full of other shoppers as well as tons of bicyclists. A popular trip is to bike over the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito and then take the ferry back to the city, or bike back for the more hardcore adventurers.

We stayed on foot for this trip but loved the vibe of the town as we explored. We’d definitely come back again to try other restaurants and just enjoy the lakeshore.

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A fun diversion and family afternoon at the San Francisco Zoo

I’ve only been to a handful of zoos to make my comparison – Detroit, Toledo, Binder Park (Kalamazoo), Madison and San Diego – but the San Francisco Zoo is a well-laid-out, compact zoo that packs a lot of punch.

View of the Golden Gate Bridge from Land's End

View of the Golden Gate Bridge from Land’s End

I remember from my youth that walking around the Detroit Zoo could make your feet hurt and have you on the brink of exhaustion. But after a few hours in San Francisco, we were able to see everything we wanted to see have lunch and even have time for the kids to spend at the playscape area.

And speaking of lunch, I was expecting your typical hot dog, hamburger or nuggets selection but was pleased to find sushi, made-to-order salads and even a decent clam chowder at the zoo.

As for the animals, the baby ones are always fun to see, and the baby giraffe and gorilla were no exceptions. The gorilla, Kabibe, stole my daughter’s heart and even though she bought a stuffed zebra at the park, she named it Kabibe after the baby gorilla.

We had grandparents with us who wanted to see the Golden Gate Bridge, and it was an easy, short drive to Land’s End, where we stretched our legs, used the facilities and walked around a short path to a spectacular view of the bridge. It was a perfect viewing area and saved us time and headaches by avoided city and bridge traffic.

Baby giraffe at the San Francisco Zoo

Baby giraffe at the San Francisco Zoo

Parking was a little difficult to find at the zoo. The side road had a sign that all parking was full, and all of the spaces up and down the street were taken. I remembered seeing an entrance on Great Highway, so we drove back around there and it still had dozens of open spaces

Fun at the San Francisco Zoo

Fun at the San Francisco Zoo

We didn’t try it out on this trip, but you can buy a “key” at the zoo, which gives you information on each animal near the exhibit when you put your key in the slot. It looked perfect for younger kids to keep them engaged and also teach them at the same time.

We’ll definitely come back to this family-friendly attraction, and it’s a great place to bring out-of-town visitors, too.

*Post script: After I wrote this and a month or so after our visit, we found out in the news that Kabibe had been inadvertently killed during a zoo accident. My daughter and I are deeply saddened to hear this.

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