A guide to all my favorite places and spaces in San Francisco
I love San Francisco! There’s something so magical about the mist and being near the ocean. Taz and I were gifted a trip to the City by the Bay for Christmas. It was Taz’s first time to California. My aunt lives in Palo Alto which is about 45 minutes away from the city but you won’t want to skip that either when you make plans to visit. I’m breaking down our San Francisco Travel Guide into places, food and events considering we fit all of that into our short trip and most of our adventures are a must-see.
Fisherman’s Wharf is an iconic part of Pier 39. There’s a lot of cute shops and boats but the seals were my favorite. They all were gathered together on a couple docks. I love animals so seeing anything was a highlight of the trip.
San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers
My aunt, Linda, took us to the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers which are full of beautiful plants from all over the world. The Conservatory is inside Golden Gate Park along with many other places such as museums, gardens and other gorgeous spots. Inside the greenhouses, there are different rooms depending on where the plants are from, flowing waterfalls and fountains to incorporate water into the mix. There is also a butterfly garden where you can release a butterfly if you would like to.
Baker Beach is one of the best places to see the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Apparently, it is a hot spot for nudists but thankfully the weather wasn’t great so they all stayed home. We got some incredible pictures of the bridge peeking out through the mist. There is also a lookout point on the opposite side of the bay that is perfect for viewing it closer.
Muir Woods is beautiful! It is just a short drive away from the city and the perfect place for hiking. There’s different trails where you can see redwood trees. It is seriously breathtaking and worth every second of the winding roads.
Chinatown is a fun part of the city. There’s cheap produce in the markets and good food on just about every corner. It’s all along on road so be sure to take some time strolling around and taste authentic Chinese food.
Grace Cathedral is one of the coolest buildings I got to see when I was there. The inside has gorgeous vaulted ceilings but the most unique is there is a maze in the middle. It is to be used for meditation as you wind through towards the middle. If you don’t want to go inside, there is the same maze outside.
Como Esta is a cute little Mexican restaurant in the heart of Palo Alto. You can build your own plates but the meat was some of the best I have ever had at a place like this. It isn’t the most glamorous place to eat but it is very tasty. It isn’t in the city like the rest of the places we went but it was so delicious I had to include it.
Boudins is a restaurant that creates their own sourdough bread. They incorporate it into all their dishes and it is great! Taz and I aren’t huge fans of sourdough on its own but we like it in these dishes. He got a sandwich and bread bowl and I got a pizza. It was all amazing and probably the best meal we had during our entire trip. If you don’t like carbs or cannot have gluten, this probably isn’t the place for you. Coming up I’ll definitely have some options to appease those with dietary restrictions.
The Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory
The Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory is any sweet tooth’s dream. Along the back wall there are fountains of chocolate that will send you salivating. I love their cookies and ice cream together. Taz and Linda got milkshakes which received raving reviews. It’s a nice sweet break from our savory day.
Christopher Elbow is the cutest little chocolate shop a couple blocks from the Capitol building. Their sweets are delicious on the inside and a work of art on the outside. They are a little more expensive that I typically would pay but the atmosphere is worth the experience.
Little Gem is for all my vegan friends out there. Everything is gluten free, dairy free and egg free. There is an option to add meat to different dishes but majority come without it. I usually don’t feel the best after I eat out but I felt fine afterwards. You can taste the quality of the meal.
If you get a chance, go see a show from a local symphony. My aunt, Linda, is a flutist and we got the opportunity to come to one of her shows. Majority of them are free which is a plus. I love listening to music so I enjoyed it a lot. There are other symphonies in the area as well to enjoy on a regular basis.
This was the first time I have ever seen a ballet. The San Francisco Ballet is amazing. I loved to see the dancers perform both classic and modern routines. There was something for everyone to enjoy. Plus, students can get tickets for $11-$22 depending on the show. You can pick any seats that are still available. Just ask the ticket office which is the best seating if you have never been before and they will help you. You don’t have to dress up for this event but it is highly recommended.
That sums up all our adventures in our short weekend away. Hopefully, this list of things to do in San Francisco highlighted the hidden secrets this city has to offer. For things to do in other places like Salt Lake City, click here. I can’t wait to go back! Any suggestions on where to go next?