Our first trip back to California after we moved to North Carolina. It was nice to visit!
As Mark Twain once said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco”. The reason for his statement was that Karl The Fog is present in the summer months. Oftentimes, the fall and spring are the best times to visit San Francisco as it tends to be warmer than the summer months without the fog being present.
If you are planning on visiting SF you should know that the temperature there can be lower than around the Bay. It’s always a good idea to have a jacket or sweater with you.
– links and a map to all the places we’ve visited
– a video from our trip
– a video from the Museum of Ice Cream
Day 1 – Ferry Building
The weather was gorgeous, warm and sunny but not too hot, just perfect for walking through the city!
The Ferry Building is one of my favorite spots in SF. It offers such a great variety of foods. You can enjoy a good cup of coffee and delicious food with an amazing view that won’t cost you a fortune.
I got a gluten-free croissant from Mariposa Baking Company. My husband loves them, he always says how delicious they are. I finally got a chance to try it.
I was not disappointed!
I got a butter and a chocolate croissant. They both tasted good but I liked the chocolate one better. It felt less heavy and greasy.
When you walk outside the Ferry Building you will see benches right by the water. Take a seat and enjoy the beautiful view.
From there you have a short walk to Ricon Park, Cupid’s Span, and the Bay Bridge.
Day 2 – San Francisco City Hall
Even though I used to live in the area for a couple of years I’ve never visited the City Hall. I’ve seen pictures online and I knew it looks gorgeous inside.
It was definitely worth the walk. The inside is so beautiful. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about the walk there. As you walk towards the City Hall, you’ll come across multiple blocks where people live on the street and many drug addicts. I really wanted to turn around a few times. It gets really sketchy and to be honest I didn’t feel safe. That’s the thing I don’t like about San Francisco and I don’t think I could ever get used to it. I don’t know the city enough to know exactly where it’s ok to walk and where it’s not. Something to keep in mind if you are planning on visiting.
The City Hall was quite busy. Lots of tourists and weddings. It’s hard to take a nice picture if you have so many people around but I managed to get a few nice shots.
It’s definitely a beautiful spot to get married. But you have to keep in mind it won’t be private. There are a lot of people walking around. So if you want something more private without a lot of noise and tourists, this may not be the place for you.
And honestly, it’s great that it’s open to the public and everyone can walk in and enjoy it. But it really does ruin the moment.
In the evening, I met up with my husband and had dinner at Epic Steak – a really (!) expensive restaurant with a really (!) nice view. In my opinion, it was worth the price.
We got a table with a view of the Bay Bridge and the food was delicious. I got King Salmon, my husband got Filet Mignon plus we got two sides – french fries and Julia’s Child potatoes (baked sliced potatoes with cheese and cream). For dessert I got Cheesecake and I regret nothing! It was the best cheesecake I’ve ever had! The bottom was out of almonds with small pieces and it had ricotta cheese on the top. It tasted like heaven!
Day 3 – Museum of Ice Cream
We’ve decided to visit the Museum of Ice Cream mostly because of the pictures we’ve seen online.
You have to book your tickets ahead of time, as they don’t take any walk-ins. I booked our tickets online and didn’t have any issues finding availability. However, we went in the late afternoon on a weekday.
The tickets are pricey. After visiting the Museum of Ice Cream, I don’t believe it was worth the money.. We paid $38 per ticket! In my opinion, this is too much for what it is. However, it may be a great place if you bring your kids along.
Let’s talk about pictures. If you come with a regular iPhone, like me, it will be hard to take good photos. It is dark inside and it gets tricky to take good pictures unless you have a proper camera with you. I was disappointed that my pictures didn’t turn out as good as the ones I saw online.
You will get sweets. There are few ‘stops’ with sweet treats for you – ice cream, candies, cotton candy, marshmallows.
With Halloween coming up, you could see a spooky theme throughout the museum.
Overall, I think it’s a nice thing to do but not for the price. I can see spending that money in a better way.
I made a short video walking you through the museum.
Day 4 – Union Square
If you are looking for fancy shops Union Sqaure is the place for you. You can find here lots of designer brands, including my favorites – Gucci, Louis Vuitton & Tiffany’s. There is a huge Macy’s store, Victoria’s Secret, DSW and many more. If shopping is your thing you will feel here like in heaven.
I walked to a small restaurant, not too far from Union Square, called Foundation Cafe. It was a really hip place. I love that they recycle and compost everything!
I got a Bowl, which I composed myself – mixed greens, avocado, tomatoes, fried chicken and esquites (brentwood corn, cotija cheese, chipotle crema, lime, cilantro) with green goddess dressing on the side. It was delicious but also pricey. I paid almost 18$ for the bowl. I would say it was quite pricey but also really delicious or maybe I was just really hungry 😉
Day 5 – Chinatown
The entrance to Chinatown is not far from Union Square. It’s a few minute walk to the Dragon’s Gate where the Chinatown starts.
It’s definitely a vibrant and colorful place. You can find there lots of small shops selling touristy stuff, but also grocery stores and restaurants.
If you walk throughout Chinatown you will find some really impressive street art.
Once you walked through Chinatown, you’ll notice a Cable Car stop to your right. It is definitely an experience you should not miss in SF. Just do yourself a favor and don’t take it from the Westfield Mall. That’s where all the tourists are taking it from and it takes ages to get on it. Plus if it’s too crowded you won’t be able to hang on it like you always see in the movies. Instead, you’ll need to sit or stay inside the cabin, which make it just a boring ride. The tickets are 7$ per person no matter the distance. It’s cash only and you will get the ticket inside the trolley.
We took it to the very end, which was by Westfield Mall. If you want to take photos just wait until the trolley is empty 🙂
Day 6 – Dolores Park
Before we left for Lake Tahoe, I spent the day with one of my best friends that I left back in California. We met for brunch at Chloe’s Cafe.
It’s a nice and small cafe with lots of brunchy choices. The weather was gorgeous, again, and it felt a bit too hot inside. AC or ventilation would have been nice but at least the food was great (as good as eggs can be;)).
I had scrambled eggs with salmon and capers with whole wheat toast and fruits on the side. Plus endless coffee because one of the waiters was just pouring more and more 😀
After brunch, we walked to Dolores Park. It was a nice walk, we even got to experience climbing San Francisco’s ‘hills’ 😉
Dolores Park is one of my favorite spots in SF. Especially when there is nice weather. You can take a blanket, drinks, food and enjoy amazing views. We regretted we didn’t bring the food to the park and eat it there.
Link to the Map