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San Francisco Travel Guide

Karli and I may have only spent a weekend in San Francisco, but we sure did cover a lot on our itinerary. 

In today's post, I'm rounding up some of the places we visited, places we wanted to visit but due to our short time period we weren't able to, places to eat, and what to do if you're visiting San Francisco. 

blazer dress (only $16) 

In case you missed my SF Half Moon Bay Lodge hotel recap, here's the post sharing my honest thoughts on my stay. 

Scroll down for more...

Twins Peak:
We ended up driving up to Twins Peak in our rental car on our first day in San Francisco. There's actually a couple of parking spots beside the hilltop park area. You'll still have to climb the steep steps leading up to the top, but I thought it was worth the climb. Especially when you see the view. 
At Twins Peak, you get an entire view of the whole city, and it's absolutely beautiful. I'd recommend coming for sunset, but make sure you pack a thick coat or something warm because the wind is insanely cold up there!
And if you're parking your car in the area, make sure you don't have any valuables showing in the car. Car theft in San Francisco is quite common and NOT TO BE TAKEN LIGHTLY. 

16th Avenue Tiled Mosaic Steps:
These steps are located between Noriega Street and Moraga Street (1700 16th Avenue). I was expecting it to be in a hidden area, but it actually wasn't hard to find. Since we weren't planning to stay too long, we parked the car on the side of the road to take a couple of photos by the steps. The last photo is a view from halfway up the steps overlooking the area.

Fisherman's Wharf:
Forewarning: this is tourist central. But also a must, if you've never been to San Francisco.

I did a lot of research and found that Boudin's clam chowder and bread bowl soups were famous in the area, so we stopped by for lunch. They also had tons of turtle-shaped, alligator-shaped, four-leaf clover shaped bread, etc., which I thought was pretty interesting.

At Fisherman's Wharf, I would recommend walking alongside the beach and the piers. The water is this beautiful shade of blue, and every time I'm in California, I always tell myself that the water is always better on the west coast. It's true though...

There's even a carousel in the area, with lots of shops and restaurants.

Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf:
This pier is famous because you'll casually find sea lions hanging out on the docks. 

Palace of Fine Arts Theatre:
This was another place on my list that I wanted to visit. I did some research and fell in love with the beautiful architecture. There's also parking spots right by the theatre, if you're planning to drive there. When we arrived, there were a couple of wedding shoots and other professional shoots going on in the area, which didn't surprise me at all. The place itself makes you feel like you're in Italy -- Karli and I kept on making jokes that we were in a different country. No big deal.

bag (in a different color) 

Golden Gate Bridge:
A classic, I know. But also a must, if you've never been to San Francisco. We ended up driving over the bridge four times (two there, and two back), and I kid you not -- it literally took my breath away. I don't think I'll ever forget that moment seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in person for the very first time. 

This spot was taken at Battery Spencer (with very limited parking), but there's also Vista Point and the Golden Gate Bridge Welcome Center that also has a great view of the Bridge.

The Trident Restaurant in Sausalito:
When you cross over the Golden Gate Bridge, Sausalito is a quaint city located on the northern side of the Bridge. A good friend of mine recommended I pay a visit while over there, and I'm so glad I did. Karli and I loved driving around the area and seeing all the beautiful houses and restaurants along the waterway.

The staff was very friendly and we both enjoyed dining there. I ordered the quinoa salad with cranberries, pecans, and feta cheese. It was delicious and I'd order it again if I ever visited. 


The Painted Ladies:
A Full House dream come true. Karli and I definitely had this one on our list because even though it's a tourist attraction, we had to see the Painted Ladies in person. The area, aka Alamo Square, was pretty crowded (normal), and I actually loved the area. There's a dog park, tennis courts, restrooms, benches, and lots of places to enjoy a picnic or hang out with friends and family.

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse:
Your classic 'I Got Baked in San Francisco' neon sign. We went on the morning of St. Patrick's Day, so I had to get a green matcha croissant for the occasion. I was expecting there to be a line, since I knew it was a huge attraction, but we arrived there pretty early and surprisingly, there wasn't a line. Maybe it had to do with the fact that people were probably out drinking downtown for the big holiday... good to know.

There was also a parking lot close by that was walking distance.

The Buena Vista Cafe:
Since we wanted to celebrate St. Patrick's Day, we headed to the Buena Vista Cafe located on 2765 Hyde Street for their famous Irish Coffee. Karli wasn't the biggest fan, and I personally didn't like it that much, but it was something I wanted to try.

Cable Cars:
One cable car stop was located conveniently right across from The Buena Vista Cafe. Riding a cable car is something you all should experience. Just remember that on weekends, the lines are crazy long... and make sure you have cash! A one-way ride is $7. 

Lombard Street:
We actually drove past this world famous crooked street, but I would recommend walking to the area or having an Uber drop you off. It is a famous steep, one-block section that has eight hairpin turns, and you can even ask an Uber to drive you through it.

Speaking of driving... the steep hills in San Francisco are no joke. At times, I felt like I was having a heart attack stopping on the hills. I even felt like I was going backwards...
I have no idea how people do it on a daily basis.

The Chinatown in San Francisco is the oldest and most established in the U.S. Not to mention, it's also the largest one outside of Asia. 
These hanging lanterns are located on Grant Street -- which is a common street in Chinatown. 

Dragon's Gate:
We ended up walking all the way to Dragon's Gate, which is the entrance to Chinatown. 

Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory:
I did a lot of research on this place and definitely wanted to check it out. I thought it was interesting that it was almost hidden in an alleyway, but I'm assuming every tourist (and non-tourist) knew about it because there was a line to get in. However, the line goes by quick because you're basically just writing your own fortune in your own fortune cookie. They also have giant fortune cookies for $6, which are fun to buy.  

Grace Cathedral:
We didn't have time to visit, but it was also a place I wanted to visit. It's a little further down from Chinatown. 

Cabrillo Highway drive:
Luckily, every time we drove back from San Francisco to our hotel, we passed through Cabrillo Highway. The drive itself is absolutely breathtaking, and the epitome of a west coast cruise overlooking the cliffs and beaches of California. I ended up parking alongside the highway to just step out and enjoy this beautiful view. 

 Rincon Park:
We didn't have time to visit this area either, but it's closer towards the Fisherman's Wharf area on the east side of San Francisco. If you're visiting, you'll see the huge Bow & Arrow sculpture in the Park, aka 'Cupid's Span.'

Thanks for reading! Hope you enjoyed our weekend travel guide in San Francisco.
I feel like there were so many other things that I wanted to do, but just didn't have enough time. Nonetheless, I will be back. 

If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email or comment below :)

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