Unfortunately we were only able to spend three days in San Francisco, but we tried to make the most of our time. On our last day in California we checked out of our hotel and took an early morning trip to the Palace of Fine Arts in the Presidio, an absolutely gorgeous area filled with ornate sculptures and serene pathways. Next we made our way to the beach and took photos at the Golden Gate Bridge.
It started to drizzle not long after so we headed across the city to Vesuvio, an eclectic cafe and old haunt of writer Jack Kerouac’s. The cafe is worth a visit for its decor alone, but we ordered espressos and wandered around the dimly lit interior. Afterward we ambled next door to City Lights Books, a bookstore and publishing house started by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti and famous for its involvement in beat culture. The sprawling shop also the publisher and site of Allen Ginsberg’s first reading of “Howl.” New books in hand we piled back in the car for a long drive back to Des Moines.