I am embarrassed to admit than even though I grew up on the Central Coast of California, this was my first time visiting San Francisco since I was a kid. Needless to say, I remembered very little about SF so I was excited to get to spend 3 days and 4 nights in “The City by The Bay.” We flew in to spend some time with my family who were here for the San Francisco Film Society screening of Bright Lights, a documentary that my step-father produced. So we spent Thursday hanging with my family, shopping around Union Square, and attending the screening.
On Friday my husband and I spent the afternoon at Pier 39. We took a one-hour bay cruise on a Blue and Gold Ferry. The cruise leaves about every hour from the harbor at Pier 39, and takes you out to the Golden Gate Bridge, and around Alcatraz. I am not very into touristy stuff, but I loved this cruise because it was the perfect length of time to take in some history, see the gorgeous views of the city, and snap some awesome photos. I also love Pier 39 because it is one of the nicest piers I have been to, and it is loaded with cute shops and great restaurants.
We stayed at the Axion Hotel, a four-star boutique hotel near Union Square. It has small rooms but is very clean and has fast wifi and a good coffee bar. It is also walking distance to the Ferry Building Marketplace, so on Saturday, our last day in the city, we walked to the Ferry Building to meet a friend for lunch, and explored all the cool shops, and weekend markets.
For dinner, try 54 Mint (good Italian; walking distance from Axion Hotel), Morton’s (classic, upscale steakhouse just one block from Axion), Zuni Café (bustling bistro on Market Street, serving wood-fired eats), and Sens (a Mediterranean bistro with awesome views of the Ferry Building and the bay). For lunch try Fog Harbor at Pier 39 for the best clam chowder, served piping hot in a sourdough bread bowl, and Gott’s Roadside in the Ferry Building, for great burgers and shakes. I know this is totally touristy, but The Cheesecake Factory is also a great place to have lunch because it’s located on the 8th floor of the Macy’s Building, with an awesome view of Union Square. They have a whole menu dedicated to healthy food options, plus the best cheesecake on the planet (try pumpkin and vanilla bean).
San Francisco is a beautiful city with so much to do and see! But if you’re like me, you might need some extra motivation to book a trip to The Bay Area. So here are 20 photos from my trip to inspire you to visit San Francisco.