“It is an odd thing, but anyone who disappears is said to be seen in San Francisco” – Oscar Wilde
For my 18th birthday this year, my mom took me to San Fransico for the first time in ages.
I fell in love with the city all over again! I thought what better to kick off the travel portion of my blog than to share about such an amazing city, San Franciso! If you’re looking for great eats, activities, and a city filled with Instagram spots, you’ve got to go to SF!
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top 3 tips
-Walk as much as you can! Uber is expensive and the best way to experience the city is by walking. If you don’t want to walk that much, try taking a cable car or using bart! (plus walking will help you burn off all the calories from the food you eat).
-Do not waste your money on a guided tour! Do your research and create a list of must-sees for yourself then use that to plan out your trip! If anything ask a local for recommendations while you’re there.
-San Francisco is an amazing city with so much to see (and eat!) please plan more than a weekend there! 2 days is not enough time!
“To a traveler paying his first visit, it has the interest of a new planet. It ignores the meteorological laws which govern the rest of the world.” – Fitz Hugh Ludlow
where to stay
–Hotel Zetta–> Hotel Zetta is one of the more expensive options for hotels in San Fransico. Definitely not for the budget traveler, but if you’re planning on shelling out the dough it’s a great option. It in the perfect location located South of Market Street, near the Westfield Shopping Centre! It’s a super modern and luxurious hotel! I haven’t stayed here (help me I’m poor), but I’ve heard amazing things about it!
–The Mosser–>The Mosser is a bit more of an affordable option, I’ve seen prices go as low as $102/night. It’s an award winning hotel, located near the extremely popular Union Square. It also has an adjoining restaurant called the Keystone. It’s another super modern hotel, partnered with beautiful Victorian architecture. The rooms are absolutely gorgeous, and they have free wifi!
–Mystic Hotel by Charlie Palmer–> This is another one of the more expensive options at close to $200/night. San Fransico can be a very expensive city! The Mystic Hotel is an adorable, charming hotel located in the Financial District. Everything you want to see is pretty much in walking distance with this location!
–Hotel Fusion–> Hotel Fusion isn’t a horribly expensive option with prices around $150/night. It’s located in Union Square and offers free wifi and free breakfast! The rooms are a fusion of asian and modern styles, I love them!
–Airbnb–> If you’re a budget traveler then don’t waste your money on a hotel (waste it on food!), Airbnb offers much more affordable options! It’s my favorite way to travel, you feel like a local when you travel with Airbnb and often meet such amazing people! If you’re willing to share your space with other people then Airbnb will be even more affordable! If you sign up using my link you’ll get a $40 travel credit towards your first trip! The best part is you can save that credit for as long as you want, so even if you’re planning a trip for next year you can use it! Here’s the link!
“San Fransico itself is art…Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal.”-William Saroyan
where to eat
-Bob’s Donuts, 1612 Polk Street–> Bob’s Donuts is family owned donut shop located on Polk Street in Nob Hill. You can’t go to San Fransico without stopping by Bob’s Donuts, it’s an SF staple. Plus it’s extremely affordable (a plus for any of my broke college students out there!).
-Greens A, Fort Mason, 2 Marina Boulevard–> Greens is an award winning vegetarian restaurant located at the Fort Mason Center. Vegetarian or not you need to stop by this restaurant!
-Swensen’s, 1999 Hyde Street–> Swensen’s is an amazing ice cream place! Known for having a few unique flavors, it’s a must-visit if you’re in San Francisco. Make sure you bring cash and be prepared not to linger, it’s an in and out kinda place.
-Mr. Holmes Bakehouse, 1042 Larkin St–> You know all those Instagram posts that say “I got baked in San Fransico”? Well, this is the place. It is extremely popular and rightfully so because it’s so good. The most popular pastry is the cruffin, but if you want to get your hands on one arrive early, they sell out fast!
-Tartine Bakery, 600 Guerrero St–> Tartine is probably one of the most well-known bakeries in San Fransico. The line is long, but it’s so worth it! If you make it to Tartine please try the Morning Bun, it’s amazing.
-Cioppino’s, 400 Jefferson St–> Located in Fisherman’s Wharf, Cioppino’s is the best Italian food I’ve ever had! I got the Penne Pomodoro and I almost cried because it tasted so good. Don’t question it, just go, you will not regret it!
-The Mill, 736 Divisadero St–> The Mill is an amazing coffee shop and they have amazing bread! On Tuesday’s they have a bread baking class, but all other nights they serve pizza from 6-9pm!
“There are a thousand viewpoints in the viewtiful city.” -Herb Caen
instagram worthy spots
–Battery Spencer, Conzelman Rd, Sausalito–> This is the best location to get photos of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Fransico. It’s located just North of the bridge, make sure you bring a jacket, it’s usually super windy!
-The Palace Hotel, 2 New Montgomery St–> The Palace Hotel is gorgeous! Great for luxurious ceiling photos.
-16th Avenue Tiled Stairs–> This is the famous staircase you see in all those San Fransico photos! It’s a 163 step tiled stairway covered in beautiful mosaic tiles. They’re also great if you want to get a cardio workout in on your trip!
-The Painted Ladies (Full House Houses), Steiner St–> These houses are located in the famous Alamo Square. The houses are both Edwardian and Victorian homes painted in bright colors. The ladies start at 710 Steiner St and continue to 720 Steiner St.
-The Lyon Street Steps, Lyon St and Green St–> From the top of these stairs you’ll be able to capture a beautiful photo of San Fransico. Everything from the bay to the Palace of Fine Arts, and beautiful yellow flowers. It’s definitely a hike up, but it’s so worth it!
-Ampersand, 80 Albion St–> Ampersand is a flower shop and design studio located in the Mission District. It’s perfect if you want to get a photo of beautiful flowers!
-Sutro Baths, 1004 Point Lobos Ave–> The ruins are absolutely gorgeous! Great to explore and great for Instagram pictures.
-Palace of Fine Arts, 3301 Lyon St–> The Palace of Fine Arts is located in the Marina District and absolutely gorgeous! It’s completely free to walk through and a really peaceful space. A great way to escape the business of the city and just take a breath! I recommend waiting for the fog to clear before going so that you can get great pictures.
“Anyone who doesn’t have a great time in San Fransico is pretty much dead to me.”-Anthony Bourdain
-Japanese Tea Garden, 75 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr–>The Japanese Tea Garden is located in the Golden Gate Park. The tea garden has a super affordable entrance fee it’s only $8/adult. Wander around and experience the koi ponds and serenity of the garden.
-Fisherman’s Wharf–> Did you even go to San Fransico if you didn’t visit the Wharf? Fisherman’s Wharf is a must do in SF. It includes Ghirardelli Square and Pier 39. Stop by Pier 39 and see the sea lions or grab a bite to eat at Boudin. Get an amazing Ocean Beach sundae at Ghirardelli for me!
-Exploratorium, Pier 15, The Embarcadero & Green St–> The Exploratorium is a public learning lab on the bay. There are so many things to do and see in the Exploratorium you have to stop by!
-Take a Cable Car–>There are many locations for the cable car throughout the city! It’s an amazing way to explore the city, taking a day of your trip to explore on the cable car!
-Shop in Union Square–> You can’t leave San Francisco without doing some serious damage to your wallet! The people in the city are so stylish you’ll want to shop till you drop! Union Square is a great place to shop, they have pretty much every store you can imagine. I’d wait till your last day so you don’t spend all your money on the first day!
“Money lives in New York. Power sits in Washington. Freedom sips a cappuccino in a sidewalk cafe in San Francisco.”-Joe Flower
San Francisco is a city for dreamers and wanderers. If you haven’t been, please plan a trip there, it’ll change you!
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Have you been to San Fransico before? If so what are your favorites from the trip? Planning a trip to San Fransico? Let me know in the comments below or send me a message on Twitter.
Live, Learn, Wander