San Francisco Travel Guide
Hi guys! I'm SO excited to recap our girls weekend in San Francisco, share all of our photos and memories and give some tips for your potential SF travel. Be sure to bookmark for future reference!
So who did I go with, and how did this whole thing happen?!
Well, Ruthie Ridley was my first blogger friend ever. We met on Instagram in December 2015 and in real life December 2016! Ruthie and I were living parallel lives, both being involved in worship ministries (she leads worship at Jesus Culture Sacramento).
I met Angelle Marix on Instagram early 2016 and met up in real life around Thanksgiving that year. She lives close to my Mawmaw in the New Orleans area, so it's easier for us to hang out somewhat regularly!
I've said it once and I'll say it again...I'm amazed at how God uses Instagram to bring new friends into my world. Never could I have ever imagined I'd make some of my best friends online. We all talk on an almost daily basis, but Ruthie and Angelle hadn't met in person yet even though they'd been Insta-friends for so long!
As you can imagine, we'd been dreaming of an adventure together for a long time and Alaska Airlines made it happen! Thanks to Alaska, we united in San Francisco for a girls' weekend getaway. They have SO many flight options to the West Coast (and we all know how much I love Cali :), so we couldn't pass it up! I flew in from Dallas, and Angelle from NOLA, so flying with Alaska just made the whole experience effortless. Dream come true!
KIMPTON BUCHANAN HOTEL (Lower Pacific Heights/Japantown)
San Francisco is really spread out and everything we wanted to do was EVERYWHERE. It can be challenging to narrow in on where to stay and how to prioritize your days, because there are so many amazing places! Instead of organizing this post based on our order of funtivities, it's organized around neighborhoods, so hopefully you can reference this if you're looking to create your own SF itinerary!
We Uber-ed to several spots, but rented a car, which was what we used for transportation the majority of the time. Street parking is relatively easy around the city!
Ruthie has always been a big fan of Kimpton properties, but this was my first experience with them! Boutique hotels make for such a unique and eclectic experience. The Kimpton Buchanan just couldn't have been better.
Located where Japantown, the Fillmore and Pacific Heights intersect, Kimpton Buchanan is tucked away from the Union Square scene (about 10 minutes away) in what feels like an authentic local neighborhood. We packed our schedule full and it was the perfect place to come home to after a busy day.
Looking forward to staying with Kimpton again!
SWEET MAPLE CAFE (Lower Pacific Heights)
Our hotel was within walking distance of Sweet Maple Cafe, one of the hottest breakfast spots in town! We arrived around 10:30am, and the line was literally out the door and around the block! Such a popular place, I recommend going early! But the wait was totally worth it. :) Glad we had our walk home to burn off some of those yummy calories!
Other things to do near Lower Pacific Heights: Painted Ladies, Salt & Straw, Conservatory of Flowers.
AMPERSAND (Mission District)
We met up with Karina Santos (who is an absolute sweetheart) for photos in the Mission District! So many cute spots at every corner, including Ampersand. It feels like a hidden hole-in-the-wall treasure! Make your own floral arrangement, or ask one of the lovely florists to give you a hand. They were so chill to let us take a few photos and enjoy their space!
Right around the corner from Ampersand were simply more cute spots to take photos with Karina!
MEDIA NOCHE (Mission District)
Media Noche was one of my favorite eats! The best comfort Cuban food. Don't get me started on the plantain chips!!! If you're in the area, it's a must.
Just down the street from Media Noche was this pink house, so I obviously couldn't resist... :)
Other things to do close to the Mission District: Garden Creamery, Boba Guys, and Bernal Heights Park (which is south of this area)...gorgeous city views and home of the swing overlook. Insta-worthy, for sure!
SCALA'S BISTRO (Union Square)
Scala's Bistro is located just off of the Powell Street cable car line, right in the buzz of Union Square. Our hotel was roughly 10 minutes away, so we just Uber-ed there to avoid parking fuss!
Parisian bistro vibe and Italian recipes, with the freshest California ingredients...it just doesn't get better than that! We shared several entrées and my favorite was the lemon ravioli...to die for! Dinner at Scala's was such a special experience! Highly recommend.
Other things to do near Union Square: Museum of Ice Cream, Neiman Marcus Rotunda, San Francisco Cable Car joyride, Maiden Lane, Boba Guys, Pressed Juicery.
BAKER BEACH VS MARSHALL'S BEACH
Remember that time we accidentally ended up at a nude beach? WHAT?! Ummm my literal worst nightmare! Let me explain...Baker Beach is always tagged in these cute Instagram photos as the beach with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. Well, we got there and Baker Beach was PACKED! Lots of people, but the closer we got to the bridge, the less populated the area became and we started noticing some very naked men. NOTE TO SELF: always check Yelp. I will hopefully never make that rookie tourist mistake again!
Ends up, Baker Beach actually turns into Marshall's Beach, which is known as a nude beach. Yep. So if you go to Baker Beach, be aware...there's a 99.9% chance you'll run into a similar experience since the beaches are seamless, and Marshall's Beach makes more sense for touristy photos since it's less busy and closer to the bridge. Thanks to my non prescription sunglasses for being my innocent eye support...it was all a blur. 🤣 We got our pictures, got out of there as fast as possible, laughed till we cried and made an unforgettable memory!!!
Other things to do near the Golden Gate Bridge: Crissy Field is another view of the bridge, Lansend Lookout, Sutro Baths (see below), Cliff House (see below).
WRECKING BALL COFFEE ROASTERS (Cow Hollow)
Cutest coffee shop! Say no more.
THE BUD STOP (Cow Hollow)
There are so many darling flower shops all over SF...I mean, three of them pictured in this post. LOL! And, there's another one right across the street from The Bud Stop called Le Bouquet Flower Shop. Both are adorable!
Other things to do near Cow Hollow: Le Bouquet Flower Shop (right across the street from The Bud Stop), Palace of Fine Arts Theatre, Pressed Juicery, Lombard Street (famous crooked street with hairpin turns), Fisherman's Wharf, Ghirardelli Square.
SUTRO BATHS @ CLIFF HOUSE
The Sutro Baths speak for themselves...breathtakingly beautiful!!!
Cliff House is right by the Sutro Baths. We enjoyed dinner there after taking some photos at the Sutro Baths. I am such a sucker for sunsets and this dinner view is unreal! The upstairs restaurant is called The Cliff House Bistro and it's more of a casual vibe...they don't take reservations. The downstairs restaurant is a bit pricier and takes reservations.
Thanks for checking out my San Francisco Travel Guide! And thanks again to Alaska Airlines for making this trip possible. I can't wait to visit the city again and add to my list. Let me know if you have any favorite spots!
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