The best vantage point for the Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars that climb up super-steep streets and baseball games with added extras. Here, three Qantas Frequent Flyers share highlights from their trip to the City by the Bay.
“I was obsessed with the Golden Gate Bridge. It’s mesmerising”
– Cornelius Paul, Platinum Frequent Flyer
“San Francisco is such an energetic city – everyone’s so friendly and welcoming. I was there for two weeks and I became obsessed with the Golden Gate Bridge. Being an engineer myself, I was fascinated by its structure and I loved being able to look at it from all angles. I visited at all different times of the day; my favourite moment was at sunset because the sun is directly opposite you. It was mesmerising.
“A 35-minute drive away from San Francisco’s centre is Muir Woods, which was breathtaking. It’s known for its redwood trees. They are so wide that when you reach your arms out, you’ll only get a fraction of the way around the tree – they’re huge! I continued the nature theme and also spent two days in Yosemite; I've never seen anything like it. On one of my hikes, we spotted a mountain lion, which was equal parts terrifying and exhilarating.
“For this trip, I was able to go to the International First Lounge and it was like a fine-dining restaurant! The crew on my flight were so wonderful; they gave me an extra set of pyjamas to give to my sister who couldn’t join me on this holiday. The devil’s in the detail and those extra things really made the trip.”
“Grab a croissant and watch the sea lions by ‘The Bay’”
– Lucy Dye, Bronze Frequent Flyer
“My partner and I went to San Francisco as part of a five-week US holiday – it was the trip of a lifetime. We stayed at Hotel Zephyr at Fisherman’s Wharf, right on the San Francisco Bay. It’s walking distance to all the main tourist spots like The Embarcadero, the ferry to Alcatraz Prison and the Golden Gate Bridge. The hotel had so many nice touches; in the evenings, they’d light fires and make s’mores for guests.
“There are so many great ways to see the city, like a bike ride over the Golden Gate Bridge or a cable car up the steep streets. One route on the cable cars takes you to Lombard Street, famous for its super-steep windy section – it’s meant to be one of the most crooked streets in the world. We saw the iconic row of beautiful pastel-painted Victorian houses, the Painted Ladies, too.
“Boudin Bakery at Fisherman’s Wharf is famous in San Fran for its sourdough (although we ordered delicious croissants instead). We took our snacks to a nearby pontoon where we could see the local sea lions up close.
“If you have time, make sure you do a daytrip to the Napa Valley, about two hours’ drive from San Francisco. There are some lovely wineries – our favourite was Benessere Vineyards. It’s beautiful.”
“You must take a cable car from Ghirardelli Square”
– Brett Wiskar, Silver Frequent Flyer
“I flew with Qantas to San Francisco for work but I made sure there was time to see the city, too. The trip started on a high: I enjoyed pastries and coffee at the Business Lounge in Brisbane airport before boarding the plane. My colleagues and I stayed at Le Méridien, a fantastic hotel in the Financial District with Chinatown just down the road. You must have dinner at R&G Lounge and order the Salt and Pepper Crab.
“I’m a runner, so every morning I would hit the streets – it’s an excellent way to see the city. One morning I ran along the waterfront all the way out to Oracle Park baseball stadium. I headed back to the stadium to catch a Giants game that afternoon and also managed to see the 49ers play at Levi’s Stadium. It was such a spectacle with so much more going on than just the game, like fighter planes flying overhead!
“On my last day I took one of the iconic San Francisco cable cars, which ends up back in Ghirardelli Square. Add this to your San Fran to-do list – it’s a classic San Fran experience.”