San Francisco is such a unique city. I’ve had the luxury of traveling there a couple of times over the years and every visit has had a unique set of activities and experiences. This trip was filled with getting to go to some of the best restaurants in the city and enjoying a relaxing stay in the heart of the city. If you only have a weekend in San Francisco here are my top recommendations of where to eat, stay and what to see.
The weekend started off by flying in and I immediately changed into a pair of flats, skinny jeans and a deep green trench coat. I kept my wardrobe for the weekend pretty simple and only brought one coat that I knew would transition from day to night. A trench coat is one of my favorite styles because you can literally throw it on over anything and pull off a classy look. Since San Francisco is easy to get around on foot, a pair of flats, sneakers or comfortable boots are a MUST! I walked over to the Marina district where you can find a view of the pier and Alcatraz among some of the cities oldest restaurants like Alioto’s. Dating back to the early 1900’s this restaurant is family owned and serves up some of the most delicious seafood bisque! I highly recommend grabbing a bowl if you are in town. The scenery is so pretty and you can view the marina from the windows of the restaurant.
After having a bite to eat, you can take a stroll around the marina and see some of the most beautiful boats, ships and the ever famous Alcatraz island. I’m such a huge history buff and love spotting landmarks like Alcatraz. The island sits within view of Pier 59 and you can take boat tours over if you are interested in seeing more of the site. After a little walk I headed to stop for a quick glass of wine at Castanolia’s which is a casual cafe and you can people watch as they drift on by in Fisherman’s Wharf.
San Francisco Essentials
One of the best things about San Francisco are the hills that the city rests upon. I decided a good walk up one of the steep hills was the perfect workout before heading into evening activities. I warn you though! If you decide to embark upon an uphill stroll be prepared to take a few breaks along the way. One of the hills I went up was so steep there were stairs in place of a sidewalk! I enjoyed getting out of the popular tourist areas and view the lovely town homes. I was surprised at how many flowers are in bloom in the late Fall season. Bougainvillea seemed to climb the walls of buildings and gates. The city is filled with flowers and color with pastel homes as a backdrop.
I stumbled upon a little coffee and wine cafe with a cozy setting called Caffe Sapore. It sat upon the corner of the hill I was walking down and loved that it had locals instead of tourists. The staff was so sweet and their selection of food and beverage was perfect for a quick bite. The cafe sits right on the corner of Lombard street (the ever famous steepest hill you can drive on in the city!) and is a nice stopping point if you are walking around.
The next morning we arose to have brunch at the highly recommended Rose’s Cafe. The place was packed inside and we opted to sit on the lovely patio. I immediately felt transported to a french cafe. Their brunch is unbelievably good! The cafe is on Union Street and in a prime location for a delicious start to your day. If you only make it to one thing in this post, Rose’s Cafe is it!
I was surprised at how many flower shops are sitting right there on the sidewalk. Pop up stands and markets are so popular in San Francisco. Many people visit the flower market in the Ferry Building to pick up wholesale buds and I loved seeing the selection available. In Houston, we don’t have a wholesale market like this! It’s a fun place to stop by if you are looking to grab a beautiful bouquet.
Later that evening we got dressed up for a huge treat. I’ve always wanted to eat at a Michelin star restaurant and San Francisco is filled with them! We had an eight course meal with food I’ve never even heard of! I wore a beautiful rose sweater, tulle skirt and tall over the knee suede boots. I was warm and cozy with a hint of sparkle. Sons and Daughters is an experience like none other. With only 18 tables you are guided through a two hour meal of gourmet food. Each course led to what seemed as an even more delicious course!
San Francisco Friendly Shoes
That evening we stayed at the Marriot Marquis in the heart of the city. It’s a really beautiful boutique style hotel where even the elevators spare no design. The location of the hotel, service and amenities are worth the price point and it was so luxurious! We grabbed a few drinks at a french bistro called Aquitaine with lovely decor and delicious beverages.
The next morning we had a chance to walk around the city before having to head on to our next destination. Each corner we turned there was something charming there. I saw a ton of places to visit on the next trip out there and can’t wait to return. I highly recommend bringing along a pair of comfortable and stylish sneakers (I wore these) for shopping, site seeing and getting around the city. With all of those hills you’ll want to stay warm and give your feet a rest. This pair of Puma’s have been on serious repeat for the past two months and go with so much in my closet.
California has such a laid back vibe. Most of the trip we saw people out and about walking around in athleisure so if you are a fan of yoga pants this will be your city! Seriously is the land of Lululemon! The next visit I’ll probably schedule time at one of the local yoga studios to get a good workout in since there are so many to choose from. I would also point out that although I didn’t do much shopping on this trip it’s a great area to find eco and environmentally friendly brands likes Cuyana. They offer simple classic pieces with timeless structure.