5th Anniversary in San Francisco | Muir Beach, Sausalito, and Golden Gate

To read about our first day in San Francisco where we visited Monterey, Carmel, Pebble Beach and Big Sur, click here! Our second day in San Francisco was our actual anniversary! We made our way down to our hotels restaurant & our eyes were way bigger than our stomaches. We both ordered a big breakfast entree, mimosas, and a side of yogurt and it literally covered our entire table. It doesn’t look like much from the photo, but we had a hard time finishing it all haha.

After breakfast, we walked over to the rental place to get our second rental car of the trip. Long story short, we missed our early morning pick up time so they thought we were no shows, so when we came to pick up the car it was being serviced. For the “inconvenience,“ we were offered an upgrade for a small fee. We ended up with a Nissan GTR, which I later learned was a super fancy upgrade and I think that was easily the highlight of Braden’s day. I will say, I’ve never seen so many guys walking turn around and stare at a car before haha.

After getting the rental car, we made the drive towards Muir Woods. We arrived without an appointment, so sadly weren’t able to get into Muir Woods, so we made a little further drive to Muir Beach. If you plan to visit Muir Woods, you can make an appointment online, just make it in advance!

Muir Beach was beautiful & the perfect level of hiking we needed to work off our breakfast. It wasn’t strenuous and it wasn’t a very long hike which was nice. We made our way to the top and then eased our way back down, all in all we were probably there 1.5hrs, so it’s not a huge commitment!

From Muir Woods, we made the 20ish minute drive down to Sausalito for lunch (with a little Starbucks stop in-between). We walked the little strip before settling on a cute little italian place, Poggio Trattoria, where we sat outside so we could people watch. Plus, it felt amazing outside, it was so much cooler there than it is here in SC so we soaked it up as much as we could.

While we had a little peach salad and charcuterie lunch, we kept seeing people walk by with ice cream in waffle cones with the same bright yellow wrappers. Maybe it’s a marketing gimmick because it’s hard to miss the yellow wrapper, but it definitely worked on us. Right after lunch we made it our goal to find this ice cream place, and it turned out to be Lappert’s Ice Cream. They had a ton of good flavors, but we couldn’t pass up the horchata, it was seriously amazing. They also have coffee if you need a little pick me up!

I shopped for a little bit and then we headed back towards the city. On our way back, we stopped at a few different lookout points where you could see the Golden Gate Bridge. Each lookout was swarming with tourists, so it was a little difficult to find parking. We found a lookout point called Battery Spencer that had parking available, public restrooms, and it was a short uphill walk to the lookout point.

If you’re afraid of heights, I don’t suggest this one to be honest. I am hit or miss when it comes to heights making me woozy, and this one was on the verge. The path doesn’t have a railing which made me a little nervous, mainly because the wind is so strong up there. Just giving a fair warning, even though the view was amazing! I also found many different lookout points here!

On our way back into the city we made one last little detour towards Lombard Street. There are tons of tourists at the top and bottom of the infamous curvy street, so we decided to drive down it. I was in love with all the color and bright flowers, and I’m glad we opted to drive down it rather than stand at the top or bottom of the hill. Driving down Lombard Street it made it more of an experience than a touristy stop!

We rested for a little bit and then I got ready for dinner while Braden took the rental car back. We decided to celebrate our anniversary at our hotel’s restaurant, the Campton Place Restaurant. The restaurant is a Michelin-starred restaurant that serves a unique Cal-Indian cuisine. A Michelin star restaurant has been on our bucket list, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity! We sadly didn't take any photos, but we were trying to be fancy and #adult haha. Take my word for it, it’s definitely worth the splurge & the experience was so fun and one we’ll never forget.

5th Anniversary in San Francisco | Monterey, Carmel, Pebble Beach and Big Sur

You've probably already caught on, but Braden and I love to travel. Whether for my job, his job, with our family, with our friends, or for an anniversary - we are always traveling or looking for a reason to travel! There was no better way to celebrate 5 years of marriage (!!!) than to take off on another adventure.

We didn't really know where we wanted to go, so Braden periodically looked at flights for different locations. He saw a steal of a deal on flights to San Francisco & scooped them up as fast as he could. He did most of the planning, so I can't take much credit ;) but our trip involved a little bit of everything. A little bit of adventuring, lots of good food, a smidge of touristy things, some shopping and a little down time. 

We landed fairly late, so we went straight to our hotel that was close to the airport. It was really nice to have a short commute from the airport after a semi-long day of travel. After a good nights sleep, we woke up the next morning and had breakfast at our hotel & then grabbed our rental car for the day. We made our way to Monterey for lunch and ate at the super cute Wild Plum Cafe & Bistro. Their delicious food is all organic, and they pair fun flavors together creating a fun little food experience. After lunch, we walked from the restaurant over to the pier, took a few photos and then hopped back in the car to continue on our journey.

Carmel was easily one of my favorite towns. It's cute, quaint, and has a little German influence (lots of gingerbread looking homes and shops). While we were driving into town, we noticed a ton of super fancy cars whipping around the roads, Braden was freaking out / in heaven.

Turns out, the Fuel Run Monterey was in town, which had never heard of so we looked it up (haha). For one week out of the year the quiet coastal town of Monterey turns into a mecca for the automotive world drawing visitors from around the globe (aka Braden's idea of heaven haha). We shopped for a bit and grabbed a little cannoli and hit the road again.

We hopped back in the car and made our way from Carmel to Pebble Beach. I didn't realize that Pebble Beach is actually a highly renowned golf course. To drive 17 mile drive, you have to pay a small entrance fee (I believe it was $10), but it’s worth it because it’s a beautiful little drive with pitstops throughout. We stopped at an overlook as well as at seal rock. I laughed so hard at seal rock because when you look through the binoculars, all you see are the little cuties bobbing up and down in the water. Plus, the noise coming off of that rock is hilarious! 

From Pebble Beach, we made our way back onto Highway 1 towards Big Sur. The drive along Highway 1 is beautiful! Lots of gorgeous views and lookout points along the way, the cliffsides are unreal & I definitely recommend making this drive if you have the time. Now, the drive from San Fran to Big Sur is a little bit of a commitment, it's a little over 2 hours one way, making it a 4 hour round trip.

We both agreed after making it to Big Sur that we would've been just as happy driving around 30-45 min on Highway 1 and felt like we experienced it. In my opinion, break up this trip over a day or two so you don't feel like you're constantly in the car! We had a blast, don't get me wrong, but we both agreed it was a bit much for one day! Also, 11/10 recommend doing the Highway 1 drive in a convertible. Having a fun car definitely added to the experience for us!

Driving all the way back from Big Sur to San Francisco was a bit brutal after such a long day haha, so we capped the day with In-N-Out. I mean.. when in California?! I had never had it before, so it was a fun little touristy thing I got to experience with Braden.

This was only day one friends, phew, I'm tired just thinking about it! After grabbing a quick dinner, we made our way to our next hotel in San Francisco, the Taj Campton Place. Needless to say, we slept like champs that night! The next day, we adventured to Mier Woods, Sausalito, and to see the Golden Gate Bridge. I'll share more about that tomorrow!