We were in need of a shower by the time we reached san fran so looked up public pools in the area and found a great one called ‘sava’. A good recommendation for a nice swim and shower! Just make sure you check the opening times as they change most days.
After our little swim we drove over to a free campsite we had looked up at Marin Headlands (across the bridge from the city. This was a really cool drive over the bridge with some iconic views even if there was a fair bit of traffic.
Sadly when we got to the campsite we were told it was tents only so ended up staying at the Marin headlands hostel instead. The drive over to the other side of the city was definitely not in vain, right next to campsite is a great viewpoint of the bridge where you can take some cool photos.
There is also a nice drive to the beach where we had a good walk. If you dont have a car when visiting san fran you can either come over this side easily on bike or take a ferrry. (There are probably buses too but we didn’t see these) .
The hostel was lovely with really comfy beds and provided food to make pancakes for breakfast. Really nice after a couple days sleeping in the car. That night we made a short drive to sausolito where we had take away fish and chips and sat by the ferry port so we could look out at the bridge. This was lovely and much cheaper than any of the restaurants.
In the morning we returned the car and checked into our hostel: international city. We then had the whole day to explore. Main places on the agenda; fisherman’s wharf – try the crab chowder from any of the take out huts, watch out for the seagulls stealing your food! We found a cool little taxi boat ride from pier 39 which was $15 each much cheaper than the big tours, it took us close up to the seals, the houseboat and out into the bay to get views of the bridge and alcatraz.
Then we journeyed to the Mrs doubtfire house. Outside on the paving stones and tree were tributes to Robin Williams.
That night we went to a local dive bar we’d read about called the tempest. It was a popular place with good drinks deals and lots of pool being played. Lots of the guys seemed to be taking this very seriously. They also let you bring outside good into the bar so they obviously have a good deal with the food place next door as everyone goes there and brings food back. We had a really fun night and met a few nice locals who played pool with us. If you do go here just be aware. It didn’t seem like the nicest of neighbourhoods (needles on the street down to the bar) but we didnt have any trouble and im sure it’s fine if you keep to yourself and it was $5 for a beer and a double shot of jim beam!
Next day we got the bart train (pretty easy) to dublin where we were picking up the RV for the road trip down to LA.
*side note about the hostel, fine for a very short time (one night stay) but we’d go somewhere else for longer. Not very sociable to meet anyone and it’s used as the local homeless sanctuary…which we recognise as a worthy cause. However makes for a slightly interesting standard of cleanliness and staff helpfulness… definitely not recommended for solo travellers!