touring San Francisco

It had been many years since my last trip to San Francisco, so I was glad that there are enough terrific chocolate makers in this remarkable city to warrant a return trip. It was as beautiful as I’d remembered.


Approaching San Francisco on the ferry.

I loved taking the ferry from Oakland to San Fran, as the views as you approach the city are stunning. Lots of interesting architecture, boats and ferries coming and going. A real hub of activity.

When we got off the ferry, we headed straight for the old Ferry Building that is now occupied as the Marketplace, with all sorts of businesses, including the Wild West Fungi fresh mushroom shop, which I found to really unique! I’ve never seen so many varieties of wild and cultivated mushrooms available in an urban market before.


Yes, there was good chocolate in the Marketplace as well. You’ll find more about that in this post.

We also enjoyed strolling around Fisherman’s Wharf. The city is celebrating 150 years as a port during 2013 and there was plenty of action happening on the piers and along the wharf.


Fisherman’s Wharf is a San Francisco landmark.

Taking a Bay Cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge and around Alcatraz Island was a highlight. The US Federal Government had shut down all non-essential services during our visit, so Alcatraz was closed to the public, but we did sail past really close and the old former federal prison appeared eerie, and almost haunted even in the light of day.


Alcatraz Island was named for the pelicans that once populated the island, now known for its former federal prison.

The city of San Francisco is serviced by two magnificent bridges. The Bay Bridge crosses San Francisco Bay over to Oakland, and is probably best known for being one of the most illuminated bridges in the world with 25,000 white LED bulbs illuminating the bridge at night in a light sculpture designed by Leo Villareal. The Golden Gate Bridge painted bright orange is one of the most photographed bridges on the planet and has the longest suspension bridge main span in the world at 4,200 feet. It really is a sight to behold.


Sailing under the Golden Gate Bridge is a must for any fan of modern architecture and engineering feats.

There were many more highlights of our trip to San Francisco and the Bay Area, but we’ll leave it at that for now. Many thanks to San Francisco Travel and Visit Oakland for the hospitality.

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

16 Responses

  1. Cheryl says:

    It really is a great city. I enjoyed it just as much as you did I suspect. 🙂 Many memorable photos to be shared and treasured.
    Cheryl recently posted…Verizon House Party Is A SuccessMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks for dropping by, Cheryl. Yes, it was fun looking at my pics and being reminded of the great trip to California. Glad you enjoyed your visit to San Fran, too.

  2. Linda Strange says:

    Lovely, Doreen. Sure brings back memories. Mind you, my memories from 40 years ago don’t include chocolate. Maybe it’s time for another visit to the area.

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Linda, and thanks for dropping by the blog.

      Yes, I think it was at least 20 years since my last visit to SF. The basics haven’t changed, but the focus of my visit had. It was all good!

  3. Susan Cooper says:

    San Francisco is always one of my favorite places to go. There is so much to see and do!! So glad you enjoyed it. 🙂
    Susan Cooper recently posted…Roasted Chicken Breast with Garlic Redskin PotatoesMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Hi Susan: Yes, I’m always amazed at the variety of experiences you can have there. And the various modes of transportation you can ride for a very reasonable amount of money. The architecture is superb. You never know which way to look when you’re walking/touring around!

  4. Michael says:

    We love San Francisco so much we have been back 3 times (and we are from Australia!). There’s just something about the city that draws you back.

    Glad you are having a good time 🙂
    Michael recently posted…Stunning Sorrento Views at Grand Hotel PresidentMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Isn’t that the truth, Michael! There seem to be some cities that draw us back again and again. I certainly hope it won’t be too long until I’m back in California again!

      Thanks for visiting the blog. I believe it’s your first time. We hope to have you back again soon. 🙂

  5. Doreen,
    I love your photos! It’s been years since we’ve been to San Francisco and your images take me right back there. I don’t believe that the the Marketplace was in the old Ferry Building when we were there. It reminds me of Faneuil Marketplace in Boston. Next time I go there, I’ll be paying more attention to the chocolate booths! 🙂
    Sherryl Perry recently posted…Social Media Tools, Google Ads and WordPress Themes #FridayFindsMy Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks, Sherryl. Yes, isn’t it cool how they take old massive buildings and turn them into vibrant shopping and meeting places?

      I can’t wait to visit Boston. It’s definitely been on my list for years!

  6. Catarina says:

    Haven’t been to San Fransisco since I was nineteen. But I agree with you, it’s a great place. Also enjoyed Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown and many other attractions in the city.
    Catarina recently posted…How can foreign businesses succeed in China?My Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks for your comment, Catarina.

      Well, I’d venture to say that the highlights of San Fran are still the same, but have been vitalized with new attractions and additions. I’m sure that you’ll find it familiar, but newly vibrant when you next visit.

  7. satinka says:

    Hi Doreen, I love following you and your sweet-toothed muse all over the world, in your quest for fabulous chocolate! Love your photography, too!
    satinka recently posted…Abundance!My Profile

    • Doreen says:

      Thanks so much, Esther. I’m having difficulty figuring out how to properly size the photos as I’m always in such a rush. Glad you’re enjoying them anyway. 🙂

  8. I’m dying to get to the Ferry building!

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