San Francisco Advice Needed!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


In January, my husband and I will be celebrating our 10th anniversary, which just so happens to correspond with a conference he has in San Francisco. Can you say romantic getaway? My in-laws have agreed to watch the kiddos for a week, and now we just need to plan our trip! I know I want to spend a few days in Big Sur, and I'm thinking we should stay here, but other than that we don't have any idea of where to go! I've visited once or twice in college, and my husband had traveled there for work, but we have never really gotten to know the city, and considering we both would like to live there one day, this will be a great chance to get to know the area better.

This is where I need your help! What neighborhood should we stay in? Do you have any chic hotel recommendations? We tend to like things on the smaller side, boutique if you will. What are your favorite restaurants? Places to shop, things to see. Also, any touristy places to avoid? I'd love to hear 
from both locals and visitors. Of course, after our trip I'll be happy to pass on everything we discovered. 


Grace in TN said...

You must have breakfast at Tartine's. Blue Plate is really yummy for dinner. And go for a run through Golden Gate Park! Really, you can't go wrong in San Francisco.

Lou said...

Hello :-) My husband spends a lot of time in SFC as his company is based out of Palo Alto. He stayed in Cavallo Point across the bay and said it was lovely and has promised to take me back there! He;s also been to some great restaurants in the city - I'll have to ask him which ones! We went there about ten years ago on the way back from Hawaii and loved it. Along with Boston it's on my top five list of places I would love to return to. Lucky you! Lou x

Jen said...

Have ice cream at Lapparts in Sausalito, walk Muir Woods, visit the Legion of Honor and the Presidio or the arboretum, Japanese Tea Garden and de Young Museum if you enjoy Asian art -- it's all Golden Gate Park and perfect for running or picnicking. Walk the labyrinth outside Grace Cathedral, then visit the historic Fairmont Hotel on Nob Hill.

Have Irish coffee at the foot of Hyde street at the buena vista Cafe -- the 1st place to serve it in the US.

Just fun for playing. South SF has great trails and parks. I tend to go north to Sonoma, Napa and other wine spots, but just as easily wander back to our family cabin in Yosemite where my husband proposed.

First of oh-so-many comments I've thought to post in response to your adventures! ENJOY!

Trish said...

Yay...San Francisco is a great place to visit!

First things first, it's going to be cold in January so be prepared...coming from Boston you'll be fine but some people think CA is sunny and warm all the time. San Francisco is definitely not. You could luck out with gorgeous weather, but either way best to pack layers as the fog is colder than people think.

As far as restaurants, take a look at State Bird Provisions. If it looks interesting, make a reservation now! If you can't get one, you can go early and stand in line. Hands down the best food I have ever had.

I second staying at Cavallo Point..not in the city, but gorgeous! Also, don't rent a car unless you are going to spend time outside of the city. You definitely won't need one in the city and it's a pain to park.

As far as touristy things, the night tour at Alcatraz is well worth it..assuming that's your thing, book sooner rather than later as can be tough to get a ticket. The De Young is great, as is MoMa.

I'd spend some time on Chestnut and Union Street for shopping...similar to Newbury in Boston but not as high end. Tons of cute boutiques, cafes, etc.

If you do decide to stay in the city, stay downtown near Union Square. Just double check the location as Union Square bumps up against the Tenderloin which is noy the area to be in. There are also some great hotels along the Embarcadero close to the Ferry Building.

One thing worth checking out in the Tenderloin though is the Phoenix Hotel..super famous hotel in the city with a great bar. All the rock bands stay there when they come to town.

At all costs, avoid Fisherman's Wharf....super touristy (not in a good way). Plenty of people come to San Francisco and spend all their time there...big mistake as there are so many other wonderful things in the city. Definitely check out the Ferry Building though...great farmer's market on Saturday morning and really cute food stalls inside.

I'd ride a cable fun and a great views.

Drinks at the Top of the Mark. If you luck out with a clear day/night you'll get a gorgeous view of the city.

I live here so could go on and on, but think this list is a good place to start :) Happy to help with any questions you have though!


Jessica Runnals said...

I lived in SF for 4 years and am back in Boston...missing SF everyday:)

If you're going to Big Sur, try Post Ranch Inn even if it's just for lunch or dinner.

Sf- stay away from Fisherman's Warf although you can rent bikes there and bike along Marina Boulevard over the bridge and take the ferry back from Saucalito. Take pictures on Marin Headlands overlooking the bridge. Baker Beach is beautiful. Restaurants- Absinthe, Slanted Door, Delfina and Boulevard are my favorites. My favorite lunch spot is Blue Barn. Best breakfast places are The Mill (best toast) and Ellas. Make sure to check out Bi-rite ice cream and grocery store next to The Mill- best ice cream ever!!
If you have time to head to Napa, let me know and I'll send awesome recs for that area as well!