San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco: Marin Headlands & Baker Beach

Good morning Day 2! We strapped on our hiking shoes to head out to the Marin Headlands across the Golden Gate Bridge first thing Sunday morning. A trend we noticed from Day 1 is that the weather can shift very rapidly in San Francisco. It tends to start off cold when the fog settles in, but can quickly change to blue skies and sun as the day goes on. It’s therefore a little difficult to prepare for a day trip in SF when you want to bring the entire world on your back. A key recommendation for a day’s travel in November San Francisco climate is to wear and bring many layers – a good wind protective layer, a warm sweater/hoodie and a scarf.

A conversation with our AirBNB hosts indicated that Hannah and I were actually very lucky to have visited when we did. According to them, the SF area is usually chillier and rainier than the weather we had so far been experiencing. So, for all you potential travelers to San Francisco in November, take note! I was also surprised to hear that their summer is not the typical months of June-August. Instead, September and October is usually their warmest months of the year. As our host put it, “You can always tell who the tourists are – you’ll see them wearing an ‘I ♥ San Francisco’ sweater in June because they were completely unprepared for how cold it was going to be.”

We made our way to the Marin Headlands and decided to make the trek to the Point Bonita Lighthouse. However, as it goes with most travelers, our feet followed our eyes and we ended up at Rodeo Beach instead.

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Marin Headlands’ Rodeo Beach

There were a surprising amount of tourists and locals getting their feet wet in the cold water and very aggressive waves. The Marin Headlands can feel a little isolated as it’s quite out of the city, and Hannah and I were glad we had decided to go on a Sunday when there were more people visiting the location. The beach has toilets and a shower area, as well as a picnic area for eating at.

Our subsequent attempt to reach the Point Bonita Lighthouse was more successful. Though no longer used, the lighthouse serves as a beautiful lookout point for the bay area. The tunnel to get to the lighthouse had been under construction during our initial planning stage, but luckily re-opened early November just in time for us.

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Point Bonita Lighthouse in Marin Headlands

After a full day of walking, we still had one last destination to hit before we sat down for dinner. We walked all the way to Baker Beach back on the SF side – a very long and steep hill from the Golden Gate Bridge bus stop. A word of warning here is that this is a clothing optional (nude) beach. I had completely forgotten about this until I noticed the lack of clothing on a few individuals. Oops. Hannah was in for a shock. I would not recommend coming here if you’re conservative – there are many other beautiful beaches to go to in San Francisco.

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Baker Beach Sunset

For all you foodies staying in the Inner Sunset area, you have to try Izakaya Sozai for Japanese small plates and ramen. It was a little on the pricier side with an extremely long wait (if you don’t have reservations), but if you sit at the bar, you can watch the chefs make your food. The ramen broth was very flavourful, and the portions were quite large. Hannah and I couldn’t resist trying the fried mochi for dessert, and was rewarded with an aesthetically pleasing display of food which tasted equally good (sorry for the dark photo). If you’re ever in the area, the address for Izakaya Sozai is 1500 Irving St. We left satisfied, carrying our very full bellies, ending Day 2.

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All personal photos – KW

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