A couple of weeks ago, I visited one of my best friends in San Francisco for a weekend getaway. I had such an incredible time that I just had to share my tips in a 3-day guide to the city!
Follow along below…
For most of Friday, I was bopping around the city while my friend was at work. In the past, this would’ve scared me, but in San Francisco I felt at ease right away because the city is so easy to navigate and everyone is so friendly and helpful. I highly recommend taking a solo day (or even a solo trip!) every once in awhile; I swear it does wonders for the soul.
Epic Green Smoothie at Project Juice
Dressing room sitch at Everlane
- Project Juice Test Kitchen [Hayes Valley]: First up, I knew that I had to have a delicious green smoothie for breakfast. Smoothies are always better in California with really fresh, organic ingredients (how Cali do I sound?). I went with the Epic Green smoothie and it did not disappoint.
- Azalea Boutique: I had read about this boutique on a few other bloggers’ SF guides and added it to my list of places to pop in on my shopping pilgrimage through the city, ha. This boutique is well curated (such a millennial word, sorry) with a nice mix of high and low price points on pieces that are minimalistic but still trendy. I got quite distracted at their jewelry collection and came home with the most gorgeous earring by Still House. Yes, you read that right: one earring. I loved how it mixed in with my small gold huggie hoops ($32 on Amazon!) and gave one of my lobes an edgy look. I’ve been wearing it everyday since I wore it right out of the store and I LOVE it. If you’re looking for studs that are sterling or gold, this is a great place to start. My ears are sensitive to metals like copper, nickel, or brass, so I like to invest in earrings I’ll wear everyday that won’t irritate my skin.
- Everlane: I’ve recently been drawn to Everlane’s elevated basics over and over again while stalking online. I knew that I had to make it into the actual store so that I could get a good idea on my sizing with the brand for future orders online. I really wanted everything in the store, and I was so warmed by the fact that each staff member was so nice and helpful to me during my visit to the store. I fell in love with this shirt (such affordable silk pieces/this shirt is a bit sheer, so I wear a nude cami underneath it) and these wide leg pants (size down!).
- Lunch at Little Gem: I can easily say that I will never have a bad meal while in California. This healthy little lunch spot was so yummy and my salad was so fresh. My friend grabbed lunch with me and we sat out on the patio because I had to soak up every minute of such incredible weather as much as I could. I was also a VIP member of the clean plate club with this meal for sure.
- Loving Cup: As some of you might know, I have quite a few food allergies so when I get a craving for ice cream/something sweet things can get difficult, especially when traveling. But good thing I walked into Loving Cup because they have “faux-yo” which is blended frozen bananas with any toppings of your choice. WIN. I had this twice on my trip with walnuts and chocolate chips blended in. I’m craving it again just talking about it!
- Visit to the MOMA: No, I didn’t just shop myself to death during my solo hours in San Fran (although I would if I could!). I made sure to add a nice dose of culture into my visit by taking a trip to the San Francisco Modern Museum of Art. This was another favorite part of my trip. I loved taking the time to stroll through the museum and take in all of the different exhibits. While I was there, the Edvard Munch (guy who painted The Scream) exhibit was the current installment and it was truly fascinating. I may or may not have tagged along on the tail of a tour group to get some real insight into the artist and what influenced his very moody and emotional masterpieces.
- Drinks at The Big Four: While we waited for a table to open up at Nob Hill, we headed over for a glass of wine at The Big Four. It had all the right vibes from the moment we walked in mainly because of the jazz pianist playing. I felt like I had been transported into another time while we sat enjoying a glass of red at the bar.
- Dinner at Nob Hill: For some reason, quotes from Aziz in Italy from Master of None were flooding my brain on my first night in SF. My friend and I kept adding Italian inflection to every word and saying “allora!” nonstop. If you haven’t watched Master of None, it’s about time you did so that you could catch these references. So it just seemed fitting that we ate at an Italian restaurant that night (also weird that we randomly met two Italian startup business owners later that night – what’re the chances?!). This restaurant is a teeny-tiny, cute-as-can-be, family-owned (how many more hyphenated words can I use to describe this place?) Italian restaurant and the food is BEYOND. Like I said before, I have lots of food allergies, so I had the sole and I cleaned my plate without a doubt. My friend had the gnocchi bolognese and it seriously looked like one of those meals that your taste buds will never forget.
- Breakfast at The Grove: I met my sister-in-law’s sister here for brunch on my second day and was glad that it was within walking distance from my friend’s apartment in The Mission. The wait wasn’t bad for Saturday breakfast and their almond milk latte was so good. Also don’t miss out on the avocado toast! The Grove was in the perfect location right near all of the boutiques I had visited the day before. Definitely a great place to start your day.
- Outside Lands: My friends and I went to the Outside Lands music festival while I was in San Francisco so that took up most of day two, but I’m listing some other fun places to hit below. I thought that Austin City Limits was incredible but Zilker Park has nothing on Golden Gate Park. Imagine twinkly lights strung throughout a forest and that’s what Outside Lands was like. Hard to beat, ACL!
- Midnight Showing of The Room at the Clay Theater: I had NO clue what to expect from this when my friend told me we were going to see “the worst movie ever made.” I also didn’t know that it was somewhat of a tradition for people to head to theaters to watch The Room and scream and throw spoons at the screen. The movie is set in San Francisco so how fitting to be watching it while in the city! The movie really is bad you almost can’t believe it’s real and that actors were paid to be in it. This was such a fun addition to my trip and one that not everyone knows to do on their visit. I also loved seeing the Clay Theater – I always think it’s cool to see more old school movie theaters.
Other Places to Visit:
Hike at Muir Beach: My sister-in-law’s sister showed me pictures from this hike and it looked INCREDIBLE. Like the kind of views you dream about. Obviously, I’m already planning my return trip to San Francisco and doing this hike goes straight to the top of the list.
The Painted Ladies: Before going to San Fran I knew I wanted to see the “Full House” house. I had no clue that there was an entire line of traditional SF houses called The Painted Ladies! We tried to drive by them on my last day but it was raining! But there’s a great park right by them, so grab a picnic or bottle of wine and head to watch the sunset over the city and take in the views of some of San Francisco’s best architecture!
The Color Factory: Even though I’m a neutrals girl all the way, the photos on Instagram of this place are just too good to pass up the next time I go back.
Eat at Palm House: This restaurant had all the right patio vibes and I want to make this place a must-stop next time I visit.
Drinks at the Mark Hotel/Top of the Mark: My dad visits SF semi-regularly for work, and he said that watching the sun set at the Top of the Mark is pretty spectacular. My friend and I tried to make it up there but the line was insane to get in (also note that it’s a $10 cover per person if you’re not a guest at the Mark hotel). We headed to The View at the Marriott instead for our dose of city skyline views!
- Breakfast at Jane [Pacific Heights]: SO delicious, SO cute inside. Jane is a must-see/must-eat if you’re visiting and not just for its incredibly “grammable” decor. The avocado toast was one for the books but my heart was really taken with the almond milk matcha latte. I want one so badly right now just thinking about it!
- Walking & Shopping on Fillmore: Even though my entire trip to San Francisco was an “I’m living my best life” moment, walking along Fillmore was definitely a highlight. We’d just had some really yummy brunch, the weather was right at what I call “I love life” temperatures, and all of the shops were so my vibe and well curated. Some of my faves were…
- Freda Salvador: A girl in my friend’s office had been wearing Freda Salvador slide-on loafers that my friend had just been obsessing over for weeks. I had never heard of the brand before, but I am so glad I know about it now! This line makes gorgeous, gorgeous shoes in very classic yet elevated styles. Although they’re investment pieces, it’s clear that these shoes last for many seasons because of their high quality craftsmanship and materials.
- Anomie: This boutique was so perfectly curated – I walked around touching everything because every piece was something that I was dying to take home with me. I really loved the…
- Boy Smells Candles: I LOVE their pink branding, and I think I’m going to get the scent ASAP.
- Ouigal Shoes: WOW, these shoes are so gorgeous. They’re pretty affordable for shoes that are real leather with real leather soles. I felt like the styles were so classic and easy to wear with
- Jenny Strange: My friend got the cutest tee made by this artist. There were so many precious tees in this boutique – this one with lips on it was hard to walk away from!
- Philz Coffee Truck at the Marina: Grab a ‘Mint Mojito’ (like a chai tea latte with mint – delish) and sit and take in the views. This was another one of my favorite parts of my trip. The weather was just right and I was surrounded by views of the Golden Gate Bridge and classic San Francisco townhouses. We just enjoyed our drinks and sat and chatted on the grass right by the water while watching people play fetch with their pups. I completely get why everyone who lives in San Francisco is obsessed with it.
- Walk along the Golden Gate Bridge: After chilling at the marina, we hopped in an Uber to go walk along the Golden Gate Bridge because I had to have at least one really touristy moment (and get the perfect Instagram, obviously). It was really windy and chilly but the photos and views are second to none. Put on your walking shoes and make sure to make it to the bridge!
Transportation Tips: UBER. With San Francisco as the city of Uber HQ, you can guarantee that each Uber ride will be a pretty pleasant experience. I enjoyed each of my rides and the conversations I had with drivers about what to do and see in the city. Also, don’t be afraid to do Uberpool. For some reason I had an aversion to this initially but it was always the cheaper option and was just as easy as riding on my own.
Packing Tips: If you’re coming from Texas, or the south in general, pack your layers! I couldn’t believe how cold it was especially at night. I definitely could’ve used a lightweight sweater or pullover and maybe a puffer jacket to layer in under my jean jacket!
If you’d like to save my itinerary for later, pin the image below!