24 Hours in San Francisco
My man is such a sweetheart. A few weeks ago he surprised me by booking us a trip to San Francisco! I've never been so surprised or felt so loved. Thanks for going out of your way to do that, love! It was only for a weekend, with the sole purpose being able to see my face in United Airlines' Hemispheres Magazine! I was approached by my dear friend Sarah who connected me to the magazine columnist writing the style section. The next city on their list was Seattle, and they were in need of a fashion blogger to interview! It was an amazing experience and I feel so honored to have been able to represent my city! Kudos to Kara Mercer who photographed the shoot, the images turned our amazing and I'll be continuing to share them on my Instagram! If you'd like to check out the article, you can read it over on my Press page!
This whirlwind trip was one non-stop adventure after another. We wanted to make the most of our time by exploring everything we could! We landed in San Francisco late Friday evening, and departed for Seattle Sunday in the early afternoon, so our only full day was Saturday. Much of what we did was tourist attractions, but we also went off the beaten path for a while and found some of the best treasures of all.
Brainwash Cafe + Laundromat
Our morning began much like any other morning – with coffee. We found this gem called the BrainWash Cafe + Laundromat right across from our hotel and it was so cool! You can wash & fold laundry, sip on coffee or beer, and catch comedy or spoken-word acts! It's got a retro-vibe that seems like a cozy place to spend your Sunday morning at.
The Painted Ladies
We got an early start on Saturday since there was so much we wanted to do, and made sure to hit all the big touristy things first before the rest of city city got up. The Painted Ladies were our first stop, we even found parking right in front of them! Those iconic Victorian style houses near Alamo Square draw quite a crowd for their beautiful architecture and uniquely painted facade. About 48,000 houses in the Victorian style were built in San Francisco between 1849 and 1915, so no matter where you go in the city, there's yet another brightly colored house around the corner! It's an amazing sight to just drive the streets and gawk at their beauty.
I love this guy. He hates being in pictures but when I get him to smile it's worth it.
Next stop: Lombard Street – a steep, one-block section with eight hairpin turns. It's the most crooked street in the world! The street was designed and built in 1922, and was intended to reduce the hill's natural 27% grade, which was too steep for most vehicles. It's full of beautiful trees and floral bushes that bring even more color to the homes that line it.
Obsessed with this color combo – I think this house was my favorite on the street! It's so vibrant. I can only imagine what it's like driving down that street to your house each day.
Snapping a quick picture near the top of the street – you can see Coit Tower off in the distance, which is another place to check out for great panoramic views of the city!
Ghirardelli Square + Fisherman's Wharf
Time for a chocolate break! Ghirardelli Square is a landmark public square with shops and restaurants and a 5-star hotel in the Fisherman's Wharf area. A portion of the area was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 as Pioneer Woolen Mills and D. Ghirardelli Company. You can walk through the Ghirardelli Marketplace, sample some chocolate, sip a cup of the most rich chocolate hot cocoa ever, and of course fill a tin or bag full of chocolate to take home.
We took a quick walk through the Fisherman's Wharf and along the pier just as the fog started to clear and some blue sky made an appearance!
The Pelican Inn
This may have been my favorite part of the trip! We headed back into the fog and made our way out to the coast for a late lunch at The Pelican Inn. Hidden in a magical, secret cove of Muir Beach, only twenty minutes from the Golden Gate Bridge, this B&B has a spectacular setting worthy of 16th-century adventurers.
Their website describes the location perfectly, "In this pristine enclave, the inn evolved hand-made from the carpenter’s bench disciplined by local materials and the rigors of a coastal climate not unlike Plymouth". You can stay overnight at the inn, or just come for an amazing dining experience in the pub or on the patio. We immediately felt like we had gone back in time upon arrival. The building is ivy-clad and whitewashed, and the grounds are incredibly well-kept with blossoming bushes and lush grass. We walked into the pub to grab a drink and sat on a bench in the garden while waiting for our table.
The outdoor patio is teeming with life and signs of aged beauty. There are floral vines creeping across the ceiling and ivy lining the walls. I felt a little bit like I was in the secret garden! I wanted to stay forever. I can only imaging sitting outside on the patio listening to the rain pound the glass ceiling during a storm. The drinks were cold and the food was heaven. It's all traditional English fare, so it's nice and hearty!
Muir Beach Overlook
This beautiful overlook is perched on the rocky cliffside and on a clear day you can see San Francisco. You can also view migrating blue whales between November and June! This site also contains many historic base-end stations. From these stations, soldiers viewed ships and triangulated the distance, speed, and direction of these ships in coordination with different stations (way too much math for me). It's fascinating to walk by one and image someone hunkered down looking out for enemies. They gained particular importance during World War II immediately after the bombing of Pearl Harbor when many feared San Francisco would be the next target.
Palace of Fine Arts
We then headed back to the city and stumbled upon The Palace of Fine Arts. I literally pointed to the large dome as we came back over the Golden Gate Bridge and said "we have to go check that out!" Situated in the Marina District, this monumental structure was originally constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific Exposition in order to exhibit works of art presented there. One of only a few surviving structures from the Exposition, it is still situated on its original site.
Since it was originally intended to only stand for the duration of the Exhibition, most of the structure was not built of durable materials, but instead wood covered with a mixture of plaster and burlap-type fiber. By the 1950s the simulated ruin was in fact a crumbling ruin, and was later replaced with steel beams and concrete. The structures are so beautiful to walk through and the lagoon and surrounding grounds make a gorgeous picnic spot.
Conservatory of Flowers
After a quick nap and freshen up back at the hotel, we headed out once more to make a stop at the conservatory before dinner. The fog was rolling in again so it got a little chilly, and I was super bummed because a wedding was going on and I couldn't go explore inside! However, the architecture is worth photographing on a sunny day and I was happy to spend some time wandering the dahlia garden! All I can say is #goals.
We ended our trip with the most delicious dinner at A 16. We were craving pizza and literally googled the best places for it near us. This place ended up being a really good, albeit expensive, choice. Recommended for pizza and wine lovers alike, it totally won us over. It shares a name with the highway of the two seas which runs across Italy from Napoli to Bari.
Until our next adventure!