Highlight Travel Guide: San Francisco

9 Nov

Last month I had a last minute work trip to the Bay Area. Anthony and I were able to make a weekend out of it. Neither of us had been to San Francisco before.

Painted Ladies Close Up San Francisco CaliforniaI bought a new lens with our upcoming trip to Morocco in mind and was happy to have a reason to take it for a test drive.With just about 48 hours to explore, we definitely made the most of it.

Worst things first. If the skies are clear I recommend you learn from our mistakes and head directly to the Golden Gate Bridge. It may be covered in fog the rest of your trip. While we didn’t see much of the bridge, we did manage to catch a glimpse of a humingbird. From the Bridge, we ubered to the Cliff House then walked a bit through Golden Gate Park.






Golden Gate Bridge Fog San Francisco CaliforniaHummingbird Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco California (2) (2)Succulents Golden Gate Bridge San Francisco California






We took an Uber to and from the bridge, but if you’re not renting a car you could also take a ferry from the ferry terminal.

Ferry Building Clock Tower San Francisco CaliforniaRetro Streetcar San Francisco California

Since we didn’t rent a car, we walked Lombard Street rather than driving the hairpin turns on the crookedest street. My best advice is to take the Powell Street Cable Cable car to Lombard Street and it will drop you off on top of the hill. When you reach the bottom, walk just a little further (downhill), and pick up a box of truffles in the deceivingly divey XOX Truffle

San Francisco California Cable CarCable Car San Francisco California (2)California Street San Francisco






San Francisco’s Chinatown is one of the best in the nation, so we spent some time wandering in and out of a couple of import shops and had dinner at Mister Jiu’sWe didn’t make a reservation in advance, but dined at their full service bar instead. I highly recommend the potstickers and the steak fried rice.

Hanging Lanterns Chinatown San Francisco CaliforniaColorful Stairway Chinatown San Francisco CaliforniaColorful Stairs Chinatown San Francisco California






hanging-lanterns-chinatown-san-francisco-california-2.jpgNear Union Square we ate brunch at The Cavalier designed by Ken Faulk, shopped for the Christmas ornaments I collect at Gump’s and walked by the stunning, deco Four Fifty Sutter. We also wandered the SFMOMA and sipped on Sightglass Coffee.

The Cavalier Designed by Ken Faulk San Francisco CaliforniaSoldiers and Hollandaise The Cavalier San Francisco California

Onlookers were laughing when Anthony placed his phone on the public art.Street Art and Cell Phones San Francisco CaliforniaArt Deco Architecture 450 Sutter Four Fifty Sutter San Francisco CaliforniaSightglass Coffee SF MOMA San Francisco California

In the Mission District we stopped by Souvla for a fast casual lunch (the fries! Oh my gosh, the fries!), Craftsman and Wolves, and Dandelion Chocolate for coffee and a chocolate flight. We also popped by the legendary Tartine and Bi-Rite Creamery, but couldn’t eat another bite

Spotted Dog (2)






Coffee and Fixings Dandelion Chocolate San Francisco California (2)






Bi Rite Creamery Ice Cream San Francisco California

I was oogling at the architecture throughout the weekend. Of course we visited the Painted Ladies. I snapped a few photos of other gorgeous homes. Pumpkins and the porches and fallen leaves on the ground added to the charm.

Painted Ladies San Francisco CAVictorian House San Francisco California ArchitecturePile of Leaves in fall San Francisco CaliforniaPumpkins on the Porch Victorian House San Francisco California

If you’re looking for some shopping Sacramento street has some great local boutiques. We popped in to Sue Fisher King to peruse their extensive collection of Astier de Villatte and browsed Hudson Grace‘s homewares.

Lucky for us, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse was a very short walk from our hotel. Going from Central to Pacific time made it easy to get up early and beat the crowds for cruffins. If you’re not up for waiting, every other pastry we had was honest-to-goodness as good or better than the cruffins. Think: flakey churro croissants with vanilla custard, not-your-ordinary filled donuts, and the best chocolate chip cookie you’ll ever eat. What to know before you go: The bakery opens at 8. Cruffins aren’t ready until 9. The line to the right of the door is “everything but cruffins” and the line to the left is “nothing but cruffins.” If you arrive right before nine on a non-summer Saturday, you can probably get both cruffins and other goodies within 30 minutes. We arrived too early, got our croissants, donuts, and cookies, then I hopped in line to wait for the cruffins, while Anthony grabbed us coffee at Jane right down the street.











Hello Friend Tiles San Francisco California (2)

Looking for other travel inspiration? Head to my Pinterest board

Do you have any Bay Area favorites I missed?

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