I love NYC but I have a soft spot for California (esp San Diego) so my mom and I made a trip out to the west coast and decided to spend a few days to somewhere we’ve never been to, San Francisco!
We had an early morning Sunday flight due to the time change so that we had a full day ahead of us. We were lucky enough to check into our beautiful hotel room @ The Fairmont early so we dropped our bags off, freshened up, and started our day with non other than brunch (obvs) @ The Cavalier. It’s such a cute spot that has modern and rustic decor and amazing peach bellinis! We made our way to The Mill for coffee (much needed) and walked to Alamo Square to see The Painted Ladies. After we marveled at those houses, we walked to one of our favorite houses, the Full House house – my inner child was going nuts! We made our way towards Lyon St Steps which is surrounded near gorgeous mansions on Divisadero St. The steps overlook the city and it’s a great view! We started to get the munchies and took an uber (our legs were killing us!) to Tartine Bakery. Although we had to wait in a line, it was SO worth it. We couldn’t eat our sweets fast enough! To walk off some of the calories, we headed towards Mission Dolores Park and saw the beautiful Basilica. Our phones were dying so we went back to grab some rest & recharge and found out it was National Wine Day! Of course we had to partake so we walked down to the restaurant in our hotel and ordered 2 glasses of wine and a cheese plate. We did have reservations at Big 4 but the jet lag finally caught up with us and we found ourselves needing to sleep instead!
We woke up early and made our way to the second sweet shop of the trip, Bob’s Donuts. Since I was the only one indulging in the donuts, I didn’t try the giant one but highly recommend if you go with a group of friends since it looks delicious! We walked to Ghiradelli Square (yes, as in the chocolate!) and got a little education on how the yummy treat was made. We then made our way to the Golden Gate Bridge along Marina Boulevard with views of gorgeous houses on the left and Alcatraz on the right. Before arriving to Crissy Field, we made a pit stop at the Palace of Fine Arts which is amazing to see! We finally arrived to the bridge and took in all the views while hanging on the beach. Our feet were starting to give out so we took a car to Fisherman’s Wharf where we ate at Bistro Boudin. Their sourdough bread was good enough to eat alone as a meal but we couldn’t resist the shrimp and cod tacos. After indulging, we walked along the Wharf towards Pier 39. The whole area was pretty touristy so we didn’t stay long but just long enough to catch the seals which were clearly the main attraction with the crowd they pulled in! After a few laughs, we passed through Embarcadero making our way to Coit Tower – heads up, the only way is UP! So you can either hop in an uber or get your sneakers on and walk up a lot of steps like we did. The trip up top might have been tough but the view was well worth it! We took it a little easier afterwards and hopped on a cable car (a total tourist move but absolutely necessary!). We took the one right outside our hotel which goes straight to Lombard St that has the famous crazy windy road! We rested up before making our way to dinner @ Delfina – a small locals fav with great spaghetti!
Before starting our fun day, we made to sure to fill up at Mr. Holmes Bakehouse. We had such a hard time deciding what we wanted to eat that we almost got everything but then came back down to earth and finally decided on a couple croissants, a scone and a cream filled treat that was to die for! We figured out the night before that we crossed a lot of things off our list that we wanted to do/see so we were able to fit in a little wine country! Our hotel had a connection with a great intimate tour that stopped at 2 wineries in Sonoma & 1 in Napa. The 7-8 hour tour included all of the wine tastings and lunch! The ride to Sonoma was only about an hour from San Francisco so it’s totally doable if you wanted to rent a car and spend the day going from winery to winery (but with a tour you won’t have to drive!). Our first stop was a family owned winery called Cline and our second stop was Homewood Winery which was definitely more rugged! There are so many different types of wineries in wine country and it was really awesome to view so many different environments. We stopped in the cute town of Sonoma for lunch at The Plaza Bistro followed up with dessert at Sweet Scoops. The half hr trip to Napa was a perfect opportunity to fit in a little nap before filling up on bubbles at Chandon! We could have stayed there and tasted their champagne & sparkling wine all day! Since they sell all over the world, it was a very cool experience to see how they make their wine verse the other smaller wineries due to their demand being much higher. We made our trip back to San Francisco and decided to continue the fun with happy hour just in time for a perfect view of the sunset at the Top of the Mark. We then had dinner at L’Ardoise but would recommend checking out another restaurant just a heads up (wasn’t our fav).
Since we had an early afternoon flight, we woke up early to walk around the city once more checking out the Ferry Building which has a bunch of cute shops for sweets and breakfast. We thought we would spend more time here so we didn’t plan for anything else but had we had known, we probably could have fit in a couple hours in Sausalito (a really cute town right over the bridge). Guess we’ll just have to go back! 🙂
A couple things we would have added to the trip if we had time:
- Haight-Ashbury = a really cool town that has a few cool steps
- Yummy eats = Mitchell’s Ice Cream & Hometown Creamery
- Coffee shops = Wrecking Ball, Sightglass Coffee & Four Barrel
Although there are a couple things we didn’t get to check out, we fit almost everything we wanted to do in 2 days so that we were able to squeeze in Sonoma & Napa. With proper planning, you could too! Don’t forget to bring those sneakers – those hills are a killer!