We started out by walking to the nearby grocery store, Whole Foods. This is simply the best damn grocery store I’ve ever been to! To begin with, it’s very pleasantly decorated (even the floor is nice!) and the food is just fabulous. They have lots of vegetables and fresh fruit. They also have a great bakery and deli that makes the in-store hot and cold food bar. The latter is a lot of different dishes that you just scoop up into your food box and pay by the pound. We ate breakfast here every day of our stay in San Francisco.
All breakfasted up we went to buy cable car passes (the seven day kind where you can ride all you want) and took the cable car to the Fisherman’s Wharf. We hopped off at the end of the line and realized that it’s rather cold when it’s windy in SF (which it is most of the time, windy that is). Even so, we saw a few nutjobs swimming laps in the harbor basin. We walked along the piers and stumbled upon a ‘Mechanical Museum’. It turned out to be filled with vintage slot machines, many of them really cool, while other was mostly corny. Entry was free though (you’re supposed to waste money on the machines) so I really recommend a visit.
Just outside lies the USS Pampanito, an old WWII submarine (in working condition). We decided to take the audio tour and found it really nice. They also had two actual crewmembers who volunteered as guides down in the sub telling stories from actual missions and the life on board. Very cool indeed! Highly recommended, even without the crewmen.
By the time we were done with the Pampanito we were a bit hungry so we continued down the wharf to the busy Pier 39. This is more or less a tourist trap, but a bit fun anyway. We went for pizza in one of the many restaurants there. Afterward we went to the sort of tacky sounding ‘Turbo Ride 3D/4D Adventures’ which is one of those movie things where the chairs move. It was actually rather fun, and the 3D-goggles we got worked really well. I’ve never been to a 3D-movie before and was surprised of how good it looked.
Now it started to get a bit late (5-ish) but we checked the Alcatraz ferry schedule and it said that the tour took approx. 2.5 hours so decided to take it the following day. Instead we took the cable car down to market street and walked almost half its length (Spear Street to 5th Street). We didn’t find that many interesting shops though so we headed back to the motel.