United States – West coast road trip in 20 days

Today, I am going to start on the series about road trips along East Coast of US. Self-driving on the roads from days to days is probably the best way to see this part of the country. We’ve been able to see many breath-taking sceneries, drive on some of the most beautiful roads in the world and experience activities that leave deep impressions in us for the rest of our lives.

The road trip started and also ended in San Francisco – the City of Love. Here is the overview of our loop trip.

East Coast route

Day 1: San Francisco

What’s there to do in San Francisco? Have you ever been to a tourist place that you don’t feel the need to waste money on touristy activities but at the same time feel the inevitable regret if you don’t do those things? Well, San Francisco might be one of those places. If you are a fan of big cities, you’ll love San Francisco. If you are more into nature and free activities like us, fortunately, there are still some for you to explore. One thing to take note is parking is super expensive. We paid $20 for 2 hrs parking near to Pier 39. It’s better if there’s public transport connecting from your hotel to the harbor area.

First and foremost, visit the harbor area and the famous pier 39 to enjoy the weather, a cup of coffee, a snack or simply just people watch.

Pier 39 - San Francisco

Pier 39 – San Francisco

Art gallery on Pier 39

Art gallery on Pier 39

Next, take the Alcatraz tour from the harbor. Remember to book in advance at least 1 day. So, what is Alcatraz and what is there for you in this tour? Alcatraz – the Rock- is the famous “prison” which used to “house” some of the most notorious criminals including the God Father Al Capone. It is rumored that no-one was known to escape Alcatraz alive. The prison is of course no longer in use and now converted to a tourist destination. Alcatraz Island offers a view of San Francisco city from the other bank. If you are not into history or museum kinda stuff, you can skip this tour and opt for a Golden Gate boat tour which will bring you up closed to the famous bridge for some photo opportunities.

Alcatraz island

Alcatraz island viewed from Pier 39

San Francisco city viewed from Alcatraz Island - guess this is what the prisoners saw of the freedom world across the bank

San Francisco city viewed from Alcatraz Island – guess this was what the prisoners saw of the freedom world across the bank

And then of course drive to see the iconic Golden Gate. This is probably the most photographed bridge in the world and it is not even golden. There’s even a detailed guide in Lonely Planet to tell you the best 10 places to view this… bridge. Here

Golden Gate bridge from a seldom-see angle

Golden Gate bridge from a seldom-seen angle

Next, locate Lombard street on your GPS to experience driving through the most interesting crooked lane in the world! On your way there, enjoy driving on some of the stiffest roads which are also San Francisco’s signatures. Remember to shift to 1st gear hehehe.

Lombard street decided to look its worst for my visit. Usually there are beautiful flowers grown along the lane. I always feel pity towards people who live here. They have to put up with crowded tourists everyday.

Lombard street decided to look its worst for our visit. Usually, there are beautiful flowers grown along the lane. I always feel pity towards people who live here. They have to put up with crowded tourists everyday. Some houses put up signs like “No loitering”

Finally, wrap up a day with delicious seafood dinner at Thang Long restaurant by orderring their signature dish “garlic butter crab with fried noodle”. The dish is so tasty, buttery, creamy and fragrant with fried garlic. I’ve never tasted fried crab done so good! Okie, I’m starting to drool thinking of it now.

Heavenly garlic crab. When I was there, the lady sitting at the next table ordered the same thing. After finishing about half of the crab, she complained to the waiter that the crab is cold. The waiter quickly apologized, took away the half eaten crab and came back with a newly cooked one (not sure if spit included)

Heavenly garlic crab at Thang Long restaurant at 4101 Judah st, SF, CA 94122. When I was there, the lady sitting at the next table ordered the same thing. After finishing about half of the crab, she complained to the waiter that the crab is cold. The waiter quickly apologized, took away the half eaten crab and came back with a newly cooked one (not sure if spit included)

To be continued…

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