Visiting San Francisco
Report by Christina O.
Sooner or later, everybody studying in San Diego will probably want to see other famous places in California. At that point, you should decide whether you just want to visit one place at a time or whether you would rather like to see them all together. Doing a road trip requires a lot of planning, especially if you have not done anything like that before. First of all, you need to decide on the time you want to spend on the road. Knowing this, you can think of how many places you want to visit. And then you can finally plan the routes and look for places to stay.
If you rented a car, you also need to make sure that you are allowed to drive to the places you want to visit. Especially when you cross county or state borders you need to make sure that you are still insured. As we still needed to go to university, we did not have much time for our trip. Be aware that you should try not to miss classes at university as this can affect your grade. We chose to fetch up a friend from Los Angeles early in the morning and directly drive to San Francisco. The shortest drive from San Diego to San Francisco will take you a bit more than seven hours if there is no traffic at all. But California always has traffic (especially in and around Los Angeles) so expect to drive longer than that. We wanted to see the Californian Coast and thus took the famous Highway 1 as long as possible. Don’t be confused with Highway 1 and Highway 101. Sometimes, they are both the same but most of the time, Highway 101 is the shorter but less scenic route while Highway 1 takes you a lot of time but gives you amazing views. Only taking the Highway 1 would have taken us more than twelve hours from San Diego to San Francisco, without stopping and taking pictures of the cities we would pass. Therefore, we decided to take it just for part of our trip. If you want to have more information about the Highway, have a look at the following webpage: http://www.visitcalifornia.com/trip/highway-one-classic
We drove along Big Sur which has narrow streets, a lot of curves and is foggy most of the time. There are no possibilities to change the highway as soon as you have passed San Louis Obispo. But the view is stunning so I can definitely recommend it. Since we drove to San Francisco in one day, we arrived when it was almost midnight. Hence, we started sightseeing only the next day. San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities along the West Coast and even if you just want to see the Golden Gate Bridge it is worth to visit. But it has a lot more to offer and that is not only the Cable Cars. You can also visit the former prison Alcatraz and walk along Pier 39 where you can watch sea lions just lying next to the walkway. You are advised to stay in San Francisco for at least three days to be able to see all the famous places. Take warm clothes with you as it can be more than 10° C (50° F) colder than in San Diego. We only stayed one day and consequently did not see and do everything. I would advise you to take more time, as I regret not having seen Alcatraz. But as you can guess from the pictures we had a lot of fun there anyway.