Last month I took an unexpected trip to San Francisco and got to experience the city from a fresh angle. I’ve been there twice before, once for general sightseeing and once for the Outside Lands music festival. As I traveled alone this time around I made it a point to do things I hadn’t done before. Got 72 hours in San Francisco? Let’s dive right in!
Where To Stay
I stayed at the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel, a beautiful hotel with traditional architecture. Located 10 minutes from Union Square it was the perfect location to catch a cable car, go shopping or eat my heart out. It’s located near the Grace Cathedral and I had a stunning view of the city and the Transamerica Pyramid right out my window.
Where To Eat
Ah the choices, the choices! If you haven’t been to the Ferry Building you must go there first. All sorts of different food vendors selling delicious eats, from a pork bun that I ate in less than a minute (I was starving) to the Hog Island Oyster Restaurant that has a line out the door at all times. If you’re in the Marina district you have to stop by Rose’s Cafe for a healthy beet and goat cheese salad (!) and look at the stunning flowers at the Bud Stop Flower Shop. Then head on over to Delarosa for dinner, order a yummy Roman pizza and enjoy the communal table style setting. One morning I started my day in Haight Ashbury at the Mill Coffee Shop and got to sip on a delicious cappuccino out a beautiful ceramic mug. It’s all in the details for me… Oh and on the last day I had to squeeze in a visit to Mr. Holmes Bakehouse to get a mango coconut cronut – yes, that’s a a thing and it’s amazing!
Where To Shop
What stood out to me, especially in Haight Ashbury, is how many stores sell local craftsman products. I could have bought all the ceramic and houseware pieces in the world if I didn’t already own an unhealthy amount of it at home. The Mills coffee shop sells several pieces from different local artists and I couldn’t stop staring at the hanging bud vase. NEED. Union Square is where all the major retailers are located but I ventured to Union Street in the Marina and shopped around at Anomie and other fun small businesses.
What To Do
Obviously ride a cable car! A one-way ride is $7 so I’d definitely plan a longer route to fully appreciate the cable car experience. It’s so much fun, even if you’ve done it several times, and it always amazes me how steep those San Francisco hills are. I briefly saw the Golden Gate Bridge (I’ve been to it before) while I was walking through the Fort Mason Park and even from a distance you could see it in all its glory. My favorite thing to do was to see the Painted Ladies, walk the streets with my camera in hand and appreciate the architecture and colorfulness of the city. If you’ve never been to San Francisco definitely also check out Fishermans Wharf and get yourself that clam chowder soup in a bread bowl. Even though I was there in July, San Francisco is quite chilly that time of year so a soup doesn’t actually sound like a crazy idea. And of course no visit would be complete without visiting Ghirardelli Square. Chocolate and shopping? I’m in!
Have you been to San Francisco? What was your favorite part about the city?