If you’ve never been to San Francisco and Sausalito, my husband and I 100% recommend you put both places on your travel list! The beauty of this area of California is simply breathtaking. Whenever we visit, it’s very common to hear both Kevin and I softly exclaiming: “Wow.” “Gorgeous.” “Amazing.” “I can’t believe this.” at the beauty of the landscape and water views.
After a few delays and nearly 15 hours of travel, we finally made it to SFO and immediately headed to pick up our transportation for the week: a Silvercar by Audi! They were so accommodating with all the delays we had and the pick-up went so quickly and smoothly! We highly recommend them for renting your car on vacation! Our car of choice was the Audi A5 Cabriolet!
I’ve been getting questions on how to use Silvercar! It’s actually quite easy! Here are the quick steps:
- Reserve your desired car online at Silvercar.com or on the Silvercar App (iPhone or Android) Complete your profile on Silvercar & make sure the app (above) is downloaded. You’ll need it for picking up your car. Look for your confirmation email after you reserved your car.
- Pack your bags!
- Once you arrive at the airport, click “Pick me up” in the Silvercar app and follow instructions. No counters at Silvercar means no lines or paperwork!
- Get your car! First time renters will need to show their ID and credit card (names must match) but after the first time, this step is not needed. The Audi associate will quickly scan your car and use your phone app to complete the pickup. If you need a quick tutorial on how to open the convertible top or any other feature, they’ll show you before you head out.
- Enjoy the ride during your vacation!
- Return the car to the drop off location. Silvercar by Audi will shuttle you to the airport.
For first time renters, you can use the code FIRST20 for 20% off of your first reservation! We loved how easy Silvercar by Audi made the pickup and drop off! We’ll definitely use their service again!
Driving from San Francisco to Sausalito at night was so fun! We were able to cross the Golden Gate Bridge in the dark and the structure was lit up and looking extremely grandiose. I’m such a sucker for architecture! Our hosts’ home is directly on the Bay and has five stories built into the cliff. Arriving at nearly midnight, our views on the balcony were of the gorgeously lit of city of San Francisco.
Want to see more? Here’s a quick recap of our first part of the trip in Sausalito, California!
On Sunday, we packed up our things and left Sausalito. We headed to Sonoma Valley (wine country), then to Union Square, San Francisco to check into The Marker Hotel (see blog post here). Wine country was stunning but also very, very hot! I made the mistake of wearing my favorite black distressed skinny denim leggings and I should have worn a dress or shorts! Nevertheless, the views were stunning and once the air conditioning kicked in, we enjoyed our adventure through the beautiful vineyards!
One of the beautiful vineyard estates!
Lake Sonoma! A gorgeous, man-made lake that is seriously the color in the photo. Stunning!
I’ve also received questions on what our exact itinerary was. I’m happy to share that below!
DAY 1: Thursday, May 9
- Travel day. We arrived late at night, picked up the Audi, and headed to our family friend’s estate.
- Had drinks on the balcony and enjoyed the gorgeous views of San Francisco on the Bay at night.
DAY 2: Friday, May 10
- Took a tour of the estate during the day! Couldn’t believe the views! Drove to the heart of Sausalito and explored the city of Marin and Milly Valley. Marin City has a higher elevation which means the views are incredible. You can see cities and water for miles!
- Relaxed at the Southern Waterfront of Sausalito (Gabrielson Park) and took photos of the beautiful ocean, flowers, and sailboats!
- Picked up Grandma and drove to Muir Woods to walk through the park and meet up with the rest of the family.
- Headed back to the estate to freshen up and have cocktails.
- Ate dinner with the family at Poggio in Sausalito and enjoyed the rest of the evening.
DAY 3: Saturday, May 11
- Drove into San Francisco to visit Cuyana and other places in Union Square.
- Walked from Union Square to Chinatown.
- Had lunch at Caffe Central (near our parking garage).
- Headed to Marin Headlands (Fort Barry) to take photos and drone footage of the gorgeous views!
- Arrived back at the estate for cocktail hour and the Pier dedication to Grandpa.
- Enjoyed a Paella dinner cooked by the best Paella chef in the San Francisco area.
- Were surprised by our hosts with a professional firework display off of the pier in honor of Grandpa. Our host said, “If we didn’t have Don’s attention earlier at the dedication, we definitely got his attention now!” Grandma loved it. It was so moving. Truly a night (and a trip to remember!)
DAY 4: Sunday, May 12
- Packed up our bags, said our goodbyes and headed to pick up some Starbucks breakfast in Strawberry Village.
- Continued to drive up to Sonoma Wine Country. It’s said to be like Napa Valley before it became touristy.
- We saw Lake Sonoma, which is incredibly blue and clean! Did some droning and relaxing.
- Hiked for a bit at the Lake Sonoma Recreational Area and enjoyed the gorgeous views from the extremely rickety sky deck
- Visited Ferrari Carona Vineyards and Winery and took some beautiful pictures of the estate
- Headed back to Union Square, checked into our hotel, and immediately had dinner at Tratto
- Grabbed the car, and drove through Russian Hill, and then made our way to the Presidio of San Francisco to take a stroll and take pictures by the Golden Gate Bridge
- Enjoyed the sun setting on the Golden Gate Bridge at the Presidio and then Baker Beach
- In the late evening, we found an In-N-Out Burger and ordered from their secret menu. I got their delicious “Protein Style” burger (essentially a lettuce wrapped burger) and Kevin got the “Double Meat” burger. Yum!
DAY 5: Monday, May 13
- Enjoyed the complimentary coffee and tea at our hotel
- Drove to Mr. Holmes Bakehouse and “I Got Baked in San Francisco” (says their insta-famous sign)
- Explored Russian Hill and the Marina District
- Took photos at St. Francis Yacht Club with views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge
- Found a Panera Bread out of the city and ate a large, late lunch
- Drove to Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden (Golden Gate Park) and enjoyed seeing the Dutch Windmills and adorable little brick home (I’m part Dutch, so this was really neat to see!)
- Walked along Ocean Beach and enjoyed the beautiful waves crashing on the shore
- Took a drive to Pier 39 to see the sea lions in the marina – they were adorable and made me miss my puppies back home!
- Ate at a familiar place for dinner: Olive Garden
- Drove around until we got too tired to drive anymore
DAY 6: Tuesday, May 14
- Woke up, finished packing, and headed back to Silvercar by Audi to drop off our car.
- They shuttled us to the airport and we did a couple of slots. We lost about $2! LOL
- We arrived home at night and my parents had our puppies waiting for us at home. I love that we can always count on them to love our fur babies while we’re away!
As you can see, it was such a wonderful trip! To watch an overview of the entire trip, see our travel video below!
Hope you enjoyed this recap and that it inspires you to take a California adventure soon!
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