I’ve been wanting to post for awhile now but life just gets in the way. I swear I’ll post about our wedding but for now, I need to share my most recent trip to San Francisco. It was my first time in the west coast and now I totally get why California calls to people. Two of my closest girlfriends go on annual trips together and they thankfully let me crash this year’s.
Work had been super busy after the wedding and my anxiety turned into full-blown depression to the point where my body was tired all the time. I was mentally checked out, moody and irritated. This vacation couldn’t have come at a better time. It snapped me out of the state I was in. I felt energized during and when I got back.
It was an amazing trip, made even more memorable by seeing my aunt, uncle and youngest cousin. They live in San Mateo and they were generous enough to take us around to the best places. There’s nothing like discovering a new city with the help of locals.
Without further ado, here are my top 10 recommendations for your first trip to San Francisco:
1. It might seem counterintuitive but the first thing we did was get out of the city to go to Napa! I don’t even like wine however I apparently enjoy wine tastings and visiting the vineyards.
2. Hug a tree! It’s really worth planning a trip to Muir Woods. You’re immediately transported to another world and there are different trails depending on whether you’re just walking for an hour or longer.
3. Take in the whole city from Twin Peaks. If you really wanna see the city by the bay from a cool vantage point then make the drive to the second tallest peak in the city (after Mt. Davidson).
4. Taste the rainbow in The Castro neighbourhood. You definitely won’t be able to miss its rainbow flags. In addition to all the restaurants, bars and shops, there’s also reminders everywhere that celebrate the queer community.
5. Speaking of The Castro, while you’re in the area, do brunch right and eat the best bacon in the city. Much of our trip revolved around food and breakfast being the most important meal of the day was no exception. I highly recommend trying the millionaire’s bacon from Kitchen Story.
6. Spend some time in Ghirardelli Square. There’s more than just chocolate here with tons of restaurants, unique shops and fun activities to do such as an indoor mini golf course!
7. Swoon over all the Victorian houses. I’ve honestly never seen prettier houses in my life. Everywhere you turn, there’s another colourful house you can’t afford. We saw The Painted Ladies and they sure are gorgeous but if you can’t make your way to them, just literally look at any of the other beautiful houses on almost every corner.
8. Stop by Union Square to witness the hustle and bustle of downtown San Francisco. Lots of shopping to be had plus there’s a long line for the cable cars. I suggest skipping that and just getting the best boba from Boba Guys.
9. Sample some of the best sushi you’ll ever have. Most likely due to its proximity to Japan and the sizeable Japanese population that lives there (we went to Japantown), but man the sushi in San Fran is next level good. Plus the ramen is super yummy too!
10. Go watch the sea lions at Pier 39. Ok, so that might only take ten minutes of your day but the rest of it you can spend exploring all around Fisherman’s Wharf. You can eat chowder out of a bread bowl from Boudin or buy souvenirs from the local shops. There’s also a pretty sweet view of Alcatraz. It’s just a great way to spend a sunny day.
Notable mentions: We also went to Lombard Street, Palace of Fine Arts and of course, the Golden Gate Bridge.