I think I spent the majority of my time in San Francisco eating. The city has a vibrant food scene and I was hungry to explore it. In between meals, tea time, and late afternoon cocktails, I walked miles around the city exploring sites and shops and I thought that I would share my favorites with you.
Where to Stay
We stayed at the Loews Regency and it was absolutely wonderful. We had a large room with bridge to bridge views. Honestly I could have just spent the entire time staring out the windows enjoying the view. Our room had one of the most incredible views of the city that you could ask for. We were blown away.
On top of the view, the staff was welcoming, knowledgeable, polite, and very accommodating. The Loews even offers a shuttle service that will take you to locations nearby. When they found out that we had dinner reservations across town, on the day of the Chinese New Year Parade, they arranged a car and made sure we made it on time.
It was one of those hotels that got all the little things right. They greeted us by name, they had water and chocolates waiting for us after they turned down the bed, and they have all the amenities you could need. Also – they aren’t just dog friendly, the staff was in love with the four legged guests staying at the hotel.
Here is the view at night – you can see the Golden Gate Bridge in the distance.
And you could see the Bay Bridge from the windows on the other side of the room.
Where to Shop
Modcloth Fit Shop
The online retailer has it’s one and only Fit Shop in SF. There you can try on clothing, figure out the sizing, and order items to be delivered to your home with free shipping.
We stumbled upon this upscale shop that sells anything a gentleman might need. They have Gorin Brothers Hats, casual clothing, suiting, a custom belt shop, and Charles’s favorite, an absolutely massive selection of whiskeys.
My friend Cait told Charles that this is the place to buy men’s denim and Charles hasn’t stopped talking about how much he loves the jeans he purchased. They use a softer more comfortable denim in a wide variety of colors and styles.
Another recommendation from my friend Cait, this men’s shop sells a variety of leather goods in addition to casual clothing.
What to See
Market Street is where you will find name brand shopping, with lots of high end retailers.
The birthplace of American counter-culture is also home to some of the city’s most gorgeous architecture. I had more fun wandering the side streets than I did visiting the shops on Haight Street.
Here are some more homes in the Haight.
While I thought Haight Street was a bit disappointing, nearby Hayes Street and the Hayes Valley Shopping District was full of boutiques ranging from charming to quirky.
Ferry Building Marketplace
The marketplace has a mix of food vendors and small shops. My personal favorite is Cowgirl Creamery, which sells some of the best cheeses I have tried. They also have a café next door that serves cheese centric foods. It’s a great place to go for lunch.
Chicagoans – Plum Market sells some Cowgirl Creamery cheese including the MT Tam that I first discovered in Napa. (Charles and I might have had an argument about who ate the last of it…)
Heads up – the Full House residence isn’t one of these colorful homes. It’s down the road a bit at 1709 Broderick Street. You do need to visit the Painted Ladies though, they are in Alamo Square a large grassy park on a hill – which is where the Full House opening credits were filmed.
The other homes along Alamo Park are pretty too!
This is a pretty serious hike and it’s all up hill (with lots of stairs). Wear comfortable shoes, and be prepared to work up a sweat. I am not convinced that the hike was worth all the effort. Even though you walk up steep hills, the view from the top isn’t that great – and the Golden Gate Bridge is still pretty fair away – you can barely make it out in this photo.
Golden Gate Park
This massive park is full of things to see and do. Visit the Flower Conservatory, the Botanical Garden, the Dutch Windmill, and the Japanese Tea Garden. I recommend renting a bike since this park is massive (it’s 20% larger than Central Park in New York City).
There you have it – those are the things I did when I wasn’t busy eating in San Francisco. Next week we will be venturing out on side trips to Alcatraz and Sausalito (I highly recommend both). Wondering where to eat? Check out this blog post!