Skip to main content

Our Favorite San Francisco Driving Adventure

By: Hotel Nikko San Francisco / 14 Jan 2021
Our Favorite San Francisco Driving Adventure

It was a foggy winter's day in the Bay Area, and with Covid-19 closures, our family decided to take a driving tour to see the sights and lights in San Francisco. We wanted to take a day trip to discover the amazing beauty, culture, and eclectic neighborhoods of the City by the Bay. So, we packed the kids in the SUV and headed south from Marin County and the North Bay for a low-key Sunday drive packed with high-energy experiences and amazing snapshots.

Here's our favorite San Francisco driving tour (even in a pandemic):

1. Drive across the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset from Marin County. The towering golden towers pop out of the headlands on US 101, and the views of the bridge and San Francisco Bay are breathtaking.

2. Once across in San Francisco's Presidio area, stop at the Battery East Parking Lot and snap the best photos of the Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge spans the bay at the perfect angle and the visuals are spectacular.

3. Drive through the Presidio to see the Palace of Fine Arts. At night this magnificent Beaux-Arts architecture and park offer incredible photo ops. See the soaring colonnade, grand rotunda, and pond that evoke solemnity. Discover the most romantic destination in San Francisco for wedding photos.

4. Cruise through the scenic Marina District to see the boats and paddleboarders in the bay. This prestigious neighborhood offers stunning architecture and homes, walking and jogging trails, and wonderful people watching.

5. Drive around Union Square and the Theater District and see the vibrant neighborhood and stores illuminated at night. The historic square is lined with the city's best shopping and dining experiences and you can catch the Cable Cars and go explore.

6. Enter Chinatown through the famous Dragon Gate at the Bush Street and Grant Avenue. Discover this colorful and historic neighborhood – the oldest Chinatown in the country - with Chinese restaurants, dim sum and tea houses, local shops, markets, and historic churches.

7. Drive along San Francisco Bay to Fisherman's Wharf and Ghirardelli Square. These lively shopping, dining and sightseeing attractions are beautifully lit at night. Stop at the shops and restaurants along the waterfront, when they open again, and see the ships and ferries in the scenic harbor.

That was our San Francisco adventure ride on Sunday afternoon. San Francisco is a truly magical experience any time of year. While many of us are hunkering down this season, get out and explore the cultural kaleidoscope of San Francisco. It's people. It's places. It's history. And its dramatic natural beauty.

Asian Hospitality Near Union Square

When you are ready to travel again, immerse yourself in an authentic local experience at Hotel Nikko San Francisco. Relax in Zen-inspired rooms and suites with skyline views, and order Japanese cuisine and sake from ANZU.

Enjoy a warm, caring atmosphere, impeccable hospitality, and a perfect location steps from Union Square, Chinatown, the Financial District, and San Francisco's best attractions. Whether you are traveling for work or a close to home getaway, book one of our current hotel specials. We make it easy to travel safe.

Find more readings