A city of pastel buildings, climbing streets and charm, San Francisco is home to some iconic attractions and experiences amongst good food and eclectic energy.
Airbnb is seemingly becoming the go-to for accommodation when travelling, with our love for the internet and Pinterest to plan a trip there is little to no need for hotel staff and staying in an Airbnb allows for a more personal and private experience. Check out my San Francisco Bay Area top Airbnb’s here.
You can’t visit San Francisco without going to the famous Mr Holmes bakehouse. This little hole in the wall bakery is not only designed to be 100% Instagram worthy their sweet-smelling pastries and cookies live up to the hype too, my suggestion is the brown butter toffee cookie for a grown-up version of a honey joy.
Travelling around the US you come to the realisation that good coffee is hard to find, on the hunt for a decent cup of coffee I found Coffee Cultures in SoMa. Coffee Cultures is one of those places that serve coffee in cups the size of your head which is never a bad thing, try one of their bagels with cream cheese and avocado that will rival any NYC bagel.
For food heaven, just an hour and a half drive north of San Francisco and you’ll find yourself in the Napa Valley, California’s most famous wine region, where you can indulge in wine and food at Michelen-star restaurants.
A walk up Lombard Street gives you an appreciation for the pastel coloured buildings and slopping streets of the city, it’s only another short walk to get down to the bay’s edge where you can walk along a track all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge, take it one step further and hire a bicycle to ride through the scenery.
Head to Pier 39 to see the sea lions, there’s not much to do but look however you’ll find yourself standing there for a good while just appreciating their hilarity as they laze in the sun. There’s a whole bunch of stores and things happening on Pier 39 for you to enjoy afterward.
Head over to Alcatraz, unlike many other tourist attractions that can be underwhelming a tour on Alcatraz is a great informative experience – I highly recommend doing the night tour as you get a spectacular sunset view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
If you have the time, a day trip across to the Muir Woods is a must. My little time in San Francisco didn’t allow for me to do this and it’s still a sore spot, while across that side of the Golden Gate bridge trek down to Kirby Cove for a picture on the iconic beach swing.
Valencia street in the Mission District is home to hidden gems of boutiques, vintage stores and thrift shops along with some great bookstores selling new and second-hand. Iconic sustainable fashion labels Reformation and Everlane have also set up shop on Valencia Street. While you are there, take a detour walk through Clarion Alley for some of the city’s best street art.
For all your big name brands from high-end to designer, Union Square is the place to be, there are also extensive options for food and entertainment. Just a block away from the square is San Francisco’s nine-story beautiful Westfield mall for a one-stop shopping location.
When you are done with the city, hire a car and drive out to Yosemite, Kings Canyon or Sequoia National parks for a nature retrieve!