I love the idea of this post. I have lived all over the West Coast, and both Mr. PT and I love San Francisco with all our hearts. One could say it’s in our blood; both of our parents honeymooned in San Francisco in the 1960s! They even bought the same souvenirs.
Please bear with me: I love this Golden City! So, buckle your seat belts and come hungry. Here’s an insiders guide to SF:
First up, where to stay: I am totally biased, but my number one recommendation would be Hotel Vitale. The lavender scented hallways and free yoga in the morning are sure to make you feel miles away from everything. Check out their website- they have discounts for locals (starting under $200) and AAA members. If the Vitale is going to break your bank- check out any of the other Joie de Vivre Hotels. Chip Conley, the owner, really knows what he is doing- from chic to budget friendly. All of his hotels are a great bet – and they are Green, bonus!
So once you have checked into your hotel, I’d recommend a quick Happy Hour cocktail. If you want the best view in town, pop over to Epic Roasthouse. They just launched a HH menu of: $5 cocktails and wine, $2 bottled beers, and bites for $3-$5. Seriously, amazing prices!
If it’s baseball season, you have to catch a game at AT&T park. While I am a Dodger fan through and through, Giants Stadium is pretty great! Just remember to bring layers; it can get mighty chilly- even in the summer.
If it’s not baseball season, and it’s a night out on the town that you are looking for: I’d head over to Coco500 for some amazing fried green beans and a night cap at District.
After a fantastic night sleep and maybe even some morning yoga at Vitale, head directly to the San Francisco Ferry Building for the Saturday morning Farmers Market. This is my all time absolute favorite thing to do in San Francisco!!
Start off right with some coffee from Blue Bottle Coffee (AMAZING STUFF) and head directly to the Downtown Creamery stand (usually in the back) for a taste of delicious goodness. Then wonder around tasting everything you can. If you are a cheese type of person- you MUST get the three cheese sampler (~$20) from Cowgirl Creamery inside, a loaf of bread ($2-5) from Acme Bakery, a cupcake from Miette and some seasonal fruit for a picnic lunch later.
After you are done exploring, jump in a cab and go to Golden Gate Park. If you can handle the crowds, go to the brand spankin new, CA Academy of Arts and Sciences. Mr. Peep and I haven’t even had a chance to yet, but I am dying to check it out. It has a living roof and (I’ve heard) a cool Octopus Exhibit. If you aren’t museum’d out at the end, go next door to the de Young Museum . The view from the tower is breathtaking!!
You could also continue to explore Golden Gate Park by walking to the Japanese Tea Gardens or the Conservancy of Flowers. Let me know if you explore enough to find the Bison!
At this point you’ll probably be hungry, I have three options for ya: eat your picnic lunch, check out the Moss Room at the museum, or jump in a cab out to Ocean Beach and grab something to eat at Beach Chalet. This place has a fantastic view of the Pacific (and a great brunch). But don’t eat too much- I have some fabulous dinner options coming up.
If you are still in Golden Gate Park and are feeling your inner hippy- go walk around Haight Street. People watching galore and lots of fun, funky shops. Even your man will have fun checking out Amoeba Records. And you must drag your Hubby into Ambiance to find the perfect flirty dress for your evening out.
If you are out at Beach Chalet, take a nature detour and walk on the beach or head just a bit farther North to Lands End or Baker Beach for some ridiculous views.
At this point, you need to save your energy for a night out on the town. I’d head back to the hotel, take a nap and freshin up. Are you ready for dinner suggestion overload?
For a more casual evening with some music check out:
Best Pizza in town (although Pengy will disagree): Little Star Pizza. It may be a wait, but it is SO SO worth it. From there, you can easily walk to numerous bars or check out a show at the Independent or the famous Filmore.
For the Hipsters:
Go down to the Mission and go to Delfina, Dosa or Limon. And then bar hop to the first available bar. Check out Little Bao Bob’s for some funky dancing that will give you a peek into the local flavor.
After all that, your head is going to really love the fluffy pillows at the Vitale.
Sunday morning. Feeling refreshed and hopefully not hung over, nothing is better than a walk or a little ferry ride. Two suggestions: 1. Head back over to the Ferry Building and jump on the next Ferry to Sausalito. While Sausalito itself is a little touristy, the ferry ride will get you out on the gorgeous SF Bay and provide some fantastic views of the Golden Gate. For only $8 each way, it is so worth the money!
2. Head over to Crissy Field and the Golden Gate Bridge.
You’ll most likely spot Mr. PT and I running around Crissy Field. Make sure you bring a jacket for the mile long walk across the Golden Gate. It’s windy, but beyond beautiful.
After your adventure, you will surely be hungry again (if not, suck it up, there are too many great restaurants that I don’t want you to miss). Head over to Chinatown and get some Dim Sum at City View or some Chinese from House of Nan King.
If you need some down time- go see a flick at the new Sundance Kabuki Cinema. Or if you have a patient Hubby, go shopping down on Union Street or Filmore.
And if after all that you are still hungry. Go eat at the Americano at Hotel Vitale.
BEST. BURGER. EVER.
There you have it. Are you exhausted? I am. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Up next, a wine country weekend getaway.
All pictures by Mama Peep- isn’t she fantastic?
See all the posts in the Honeymoon in my Hometown Series here!