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san francisco travel tips


The Instagrammer's Guide to San Francisco: 10 Photo Worthy Stops


San Francisco was definitely one of my favorite places to visit in the last few months!  There are so many great cafes, restaurants, and shops that I checked out when I was there celebrating my mom's 70th birthday.  I never got around to sharing some of our favorites. I hope you enjoy these spots as much as we did!

-Good Eats-

1. Le Marais Bakery

You'll love this adorable gem; an authentic Parisian menu and bright and sunny surroundings? Yes, please!

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You might want to go for the cute decor alone, and you'll definitely want to stay for the chocolate mousse that's served from a gold pineapple! 


3. Mr. Holmes Bakeshop

A place that's so nice, we at there TWICE!  One cronut was just not enough. They have different flavors every day and we just loved everything we tried! 

4. Jane Cafe

This was a great spot if you want to eat somewhere with plenty of whole foods on the menu for breakfast or lunch. We ate at the Fillmore location, which had other cute nearby shops (like Saje who has awesome essential oils), and you can go to the Larkin St. location if you want to see their cool wall. 

-Fun Sights-

5. Lombard Street (World's Crookedest Street)

I recommend you try to walk AND drive on this street; both are a fun and different experience. If you drive (or ask your Uber driver to take you) down this street, you really understand where it got it's name.  You don't take the same winding route if you walk, but you get to enjoy taking in the awesome houses along the way.  This blue one is my favorite!


6.  Fisherman's Wharf

This is the area where you can check out The Buena Vista for their famous Irish coffees, find the best trolleys, and get catch great views of the Golden Gate Bridge.  You're close to Ghirardelli Square, and not terribly far from Pier 39 to check out the seals.  All in all this is a great part of town to make sure you see while you're here!  We took a trolley from Lombard Street down to the bottom of the hill to Fisherman's Wharf and it was lots of fun!


7. The Painted Ladies

These are the Full House houses- sort of... these houses ARE seen in the opening credits, but the actual Tanner house that is shown when zoomed in is in another location.  Regardless, this is a really pretty park (Alamo Park) where you might stumble upon a food truck while you take in the great 360 views.


8. Golden Gate Park

This place is giant, so I would hone in on one or two areas of the expansive park.  My favorite is definitely the Japanese tea garden!



The next few spots are really just for you folks you decide to rent a car, which I highly recommend so you don't miss these great places! 

9. Muir Woods/Sausalito

The Muir Woods National Forest was quite a sight to see!  Take the advice from another post I found and get there early; we definitely had to circle around for around 15-20 minutes to try to get a parking spot.  On the way home we stopped off in Sausalito.  Had it not been a rainy day we would have loved to explore more of this seaside town.  It had the flavor of a European village by the sea!


10. Half Moon Bay (The Ritz Carlton)

If you remember the American Pie movies, you might recognize this setting from American Wedding.  If I didn't know any better I might think I was in Ireland!  I love sitting by their fire pits while taking the breathtaking Pacific Ocean views, and we loved our meal at the restaurant as well.  This is a great short day trip to give you a perfect dose of the scenic Pacific Coast Highway. 

image c/o Ritz Carlton

image c/o Ritz Carlton

-Bonus Spots-

If either of these colorful pop up exhibits is still in town, check out The Color Factory and/or the Museum of Ice Cream.  The MOIC currently has an exhibit in Miami & I'm not sure about The Color Factory.  You can sign up on their websites to stay in the loop!



Where to Stay in San Francisco


This post is in partnership with Kimpton Hotels, but all opinions are my own.  Hotel Interior images are c/o Kimpton Hotels by Laure Joliet.

images c/o Laure Joliet via Kimpton Hotels 

I am newly obsessed with San Francisco's Japantown & had to share with you!  I was recently visiting SF on a trip with my mom, and her taste is a little less "hipster-friendly" than mine.  The Buchanan Hotel in Japantown was the perfect compromise of being in a nice safe area that wasn't too touristy, where we were always within a short Uber ride of where we wanted to be.  As always, this Kimpton had a signature bike for me to borrow and gorgeous decor!  The aesthetic was very minimalist to align with the neighborhood, which we also loved.


Across the street you can see some great little shops and a Japanese mall with all kinds of fun treats. I stumbled into the neatest little store where I got some orange chopsticks for a souvenir.


The neighborhood had so many fabulous restaurants within walking distance, too.  Our favorites were Sweet MapleRoam.  They serve GIANT breakfast portions at Sweet Maple, and you'll have to be sure to try the "Millionaire's Bacon"!


True story, I've never been disappointed by a Kimpton Hotel!  They are definitely the cleanest pet-friendly hotels you'll find, with great staff and awesome ambiance.  See my other Kimpton stays in Savannah, LA, & Pittsburgh, and follow me on Instagram where I try to make every day feel like the weekend!