California Part 6: San Francisco! Cable Cars, Alcatraz & Biking the Golden Gate Bridge

Our next day in San Francisco began with a brief walk to the cable car turnaround. We had tried to ride a cable car the morning before but the line gets long fast if you don’t arrive as soon as the cars begin running.

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We arrived early and waited 10 or 15 minutes before jumping on a car. It’s worth hopping on at one of the turnarounds as you can see the attendants manually turn the cars around using a revolving platform and a big stick. I assume this is the original “technology” from the Cable Cars earliest days.

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We rode the cable car to the end of the line, back to Fisherman’s Wharf and decided to grab some clam chowder for an early lunch before our tour of Alcatraz.


I had read good reviews about the Boudin Bakery and their fresh sourdough bread bowls. Besides clam chowder, they serve a variety of sandwiches and baked goods, including bread baked into a variety of adorable animals.

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After lunch we walked down to the dock and caught the ferry to Alcatraz. The tours are popular and sell out quickly so if you want to go, make sure you book in advance! Robert was most looking forward to this part of our trip and his excitement was palpable as we approached the island.

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As we disembarked, a tour guide greeted the new arrivals and explained how they operated. Once you arrive on Alcatraz, tours are self guided and you could see as much or as little as you liked, staying as long as you wanted as long as you caught the final ferry home.


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