California Coast Road Trip: San Jose and San Francisco

On one of our last legs of our road trip up the coast, we decided to go to see the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. Growing up I had a fascination with this house due to some movies that had used similar lore to base their movies on. We ended up going to the Winchester Mystery House a day before Halloween, so although the house wasn’t terribly spooky, they had Halloween decorations all around that added an eerie effect. The house was incredibly intriguing and there were several points on the tour that made you question how you got from one point of the house to the other. The house and the way it was built made me wish I could ask Sarah Winchester why she made the decisions she had made. That would be an incredible conversation if I do say so myself.

Sarah Winchester House

We were only in San Jose for one day, but the trip to the Winchester Mystery House and a complimentary suite upgrade, complete with champagne and chocolate covered strawberries that the hotel surprised us with for our anniversary made this part of our trip magical. You always hear stories about people getting room upgrades and special treatment for a special occasion, but I never thought it would happen to us and now I can cross it off my bucket list. One piece of advice I can pass on is, that if you are going away for a special occasion, mention it to the hotel you are staying at, you might get pleasantly surprised.

Downtown San Jose Collage
This picture is a collage I put together of the view outside of our hotel window throughout the many stages of the evening and the next morning during our stay in San Jose.

The finale of our trip was San Francisco and our first stop was Alcatraz Island. We decided to take an extended tour and we were there from late afternoon into the evening. If you ever decide to take a trip to San Francisco, Alcatraz is a must see, although we were freezing we learned a lot of interesting facts about the prison and got to thoroughly wander and explore practically the entire prison.

Water Tower Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island 1857

Prison Cells Inside Alcatraz Island
Just a lonely view of a cell block in the Alcatraz. We got to watch a tour guide open and shut the cell doors all at once too!
Alcatraz Island in the moonlight
I took this picture as we were walking back down the hill to get back on the boat. I loved how eerie the prison looked in this lighting.
San Francisco Skyline
One of my favorite parts of our visit to Alcatraz Island was this view I was able to take of San Francisco. It took my breath away and I was surprised that even at night this picture from my phone came out this beautiful.

My husband and I are huge Disney fans, and when we found out there was a Walt Disney Family Museum, we were set on going to see it.  We both learned so much about Walt Disney and his life and the creation of his empire that we hadn’t known about before. I think one of our favorite parts of this museum was the huge model that they had of Disneyland, it was truly incredible.

The Walt Disney Family Museum is located in Presidio of San Francisco. This part of San Francisco feels so disconnected from the usual hustle and bustle of San Francisco, it was quiet and beautiful and we spent most of the day wandering around this hidden gem of San Francisco while capturing views like the one below.

Walt Disney Family Museum

Golden Gate Bridge
This view of the Golden Gate Bridge was taken from behind the Walt Disney Family Museum. If you look closely to the left you can see the fog rolling in.

And, what trip to San Francisco isn’t complete without a stop to Ghirardelli Square and Pier 39 to see the Sea Lions. This trip by far was full of adventure, exploring many different places and enjoying the chance to learn the history behind some incredible pieces of architecture and the beauty that is all around us if you look hard enough.

Ghirardelli Square

Pier 39 Sea Lions
I wanted to stand here and watch these Sea Lions all day. They are so captivating and I always make a stop here to see them whenever I visit San Francisco.

Thank you for joining me while we explored the California Coast. I hope you enjoyed it as much as we did. If you have any questions about places we went I would be happy to answer them if I can.

Also, if you missed the first and second part of the California Coast Road Trip blog you can find them here: Part One and Part Two!

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