Touring San Francisco Nine Year Old Style
My nine year old son Hunter, my mom, and I recently took a trip to San Francisco. This trip was all about Hunter was we planned sights and activities specifically for him and went to see the Golden State Warriors take on the Minnesota Timberwolves play at Oracle Arena in Oakland.
Where we Stayed
The Westin Union Square was the perfect location for our trip. It was centrally located and had easy access to all the bus and train lines. We were able to take the train from the airport and only had to walk 3 blocks to the hotel. We were also able to easily catch the bus to all areas of the city that we wanted to visit and the cable car starting line is just three blocks from the front of the hotel. There was plenty of shopping and restaurants right outside the hotel door. Hunter’s only negative thought on the hotel is that there is no pool, coming from North Dakota and not spending a lot of time in big cities, he didn’t quite understand that most downtown hotels do not have pools to play in.
Union square was a big hustle and bustle the entire time we stayed in the area. One of Hunter’s favorite things was to fly his helicopter wings that people were selling for $5 dollars in a small AstroTurf lawn area beside Macy’s. He enjoyed interacting with all the other kids visiting San Francisco. We even went back a second time so he could play there again.
We did plenty of shopping in Union Square including Macy’s, Target, Lids, Not technically in Union Square but in close walking distance as the Westfield Mall that Hunter has fun shopping all the team shops, Lego store and we were also to meet an old college friend of mine for lunch at the mall.
The lines are really long for the cable cars in union square which my nine year old was not impressed with so we waiting until 9pm to ride the cable cars. Riding the cable cars at night was a magical experience with the lights of the city shining bright and Hunter’s smile shining just as bright as he hung on to side rail and took in the sights of the city.
Although I really wanted to explore Chinatown more, Hunter was not too impressed with it. After seeing the same items in 4 of the shops he was ready to move on.
One of my favorite places in the city was Fisherman’s Wharf. Hunter really loved the huge team shop where we stocked up on gear for the basketball game. A great time for a break was to visit Bubba Gump’s where my mom and I were able to take a break and drink a beer while Hunter played games.
Although a little small we really enjoyed the aquarium as fisherman’s wharf especially the shark tunnel. The aquarium and Riley’s Believe it or not were Hunter’s favorite things to do at the wharf.
Ripley’s Believe it or Not
Ripley’s Believe it or Not was right up Hunter’s alley. He loves the books and was super excited to visit one in person. This was on his top to do list in the city and he enjoyed all the weird and interesting things in a the attraction.
Lunch and Market
Both my mom and I had eating fresh seafood on our to do list while Hunter was not impressed and opted for a grilled cheese at the restaurant, the restaurant was to die for. San Francisco was only two weeks into the dungeness crab season and we took fun advantage of that.
By the time we walked from Fisherman’s Wharf to Ghiradelli square Hunter was kind of over the touring. The lines were outrageous and after standing int he market line for 15 minutes for ice cream he decided the line was not for him and we bailed out and started making our way to the Golden Gate Bridge.
The bride didn’t look that far as we walked from Ghiradelli square but we felt like we walked and walked and it was not getting any closer so we decided to hop on the bus.
Once we got there, there was a ton of people around be we had a fun time walking about a quarter of the way up the bridge. It was really amazing to see. We were able to hop right on the bus from the bridge and take it all the way back to our hotel with only one transfer.
Golden State Warriors
The basketball game was the reason we came all the way to San Francisco and it was a great way to end our trip. Since it was the reason we came we make sure to take extra time preparing to get the most our of our experience. I researched about the game, players, arena, and what was the best way to meet players and get autographs.
We rented a town car and got to the game a half an hour before the doors even opened so we could be in line for the opening. We then be lined for the players tunnel. We first stood by the Timberwolves tunnel and Hunter was able to get a high five from his favorite player Karl Anthony Towns. We were able to walk on the court to make our way between the Warriors and Timberwolves tunnels. Hunter was one person away from getting Stephan Curry’s Autograph and we thought out luck had run out by with patients and waiting and being extra polite he was able to get Kevin Durant’s autograph.
The whole pregame process was only about 40 minutes but I think Hunter went through every possible emotion during that time span from excited, to panic, to disappointment, to over the top cheesed. We had fun cheering during the game and watch the Golden State Warriors take on the victory.