If you haven’t been to San Francisco, I strongly urge you to go. SF is one of the best cities to visit in the United States. Having grown up in Santa Cruz, CA, I spent quite some time in the city when I was young. Each and every time I go back I somehow forget just how much I love the city. This past weekend, my boyfriend @righteyeimagery, and I decided to bite the bullet and drive to SF after work on a Friday night. With Monday being a holiday, how hard could it be?
7.5 hours later we arrived in SF at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel – our go to for staying in Union Square. This is my favorite hotel because the location is great and the rooms have the best views of the city at night. In fact, the 21st floor has a nightclub called the Starlight Room, which rotates so that you can see different views of the city. It is breathtaking!
As much as we wanted to tear up the dance floor and sip Tito’s and sodas, we had work to do this weekend! This was not a party weekend where we stuffed our faces and drank fancy cocktails. Well, there might have been a few cocktails consumed this weekend but we will get into that later! This was a weekend to explore and do some much needed photography.
DAY ONE – On Saturday morning we woke up bright and early and grabbed breakfast at Sears Fine Food on Powell. If you want the best bacon you’ve ever had, order it here. Don’t let the old-school name fool you. This place was awesome. After breakfast we headed to the Painted Ladies. Unfortunately, the park where you can see the Painted Ladies was fenced off so our dreams of adorable photos in front of the perfectly manicured houses were shattered. The park was under renovation so we couldn’t enter, but if you have a chance to see the Painted Ladies, go visit because the park is going to be incredible when it is complete.
(Notice – fencing in the background – pretty sure I was standing in the middle of a dog park in this photo).
Wearing: H&M jacket, Nordstrom tee, Madewell skinnies, & Madewell bag
After the Pink Ladies we headed to the Palace of Fine Arts. This is a must see in SF.
Next, we went to the Golden Gate Bridge. I will write a completely separate post on all the different photography locations to get the best captures of the Golden Gate, but we spent most of the day doing that. The Golden Gate Bridge is unbelievably beautiful from any angle.
Wearing: Madewell cardigan, button up, skinnies, & side body bag
After a long day of shooting, we headed off to our favorite sushi spot in SF – Ryoko Sushi. Ryoko is a little underground sushi restaurant we’ve been going to for years. The sushi is delicious, the service is great, and on weekends they have a DJ. Keep in mind that this particular sushi restaurant is a night spot and doesn’t open until 6:00PM. While I was supposed to be eating clean and not drinking, I did cheat two days. Since Ryoko had an hour wait (you can’t make reservations) we headed right down the street to the JW Marriot for a quick dirty martini. After, we walked back to Ryoko for a delicious dinner. If you go, order the sake, salmon sashimi, seaweed salad, and 49er roll. They are all so good! After dinner, we walked to Johnny Foleys where we split a beer. Foley’s is one of my favorite bars in the city because all the bartenders are Irish and everyone is so friendly. There is also a piano bar next door that is supposed to be a blast.
DAY TWO: Sunday morning was started in lower Nob Hill at the Coffee Roastery on Chestnut Street. The pastries are great and the coffee kept me warm while we walked around the chilly city. If you’re in the neighborhood and have an appetite for Mexican food with a twist, drop in at Tacolicious for lunch. Their tacos are really unique and made with locally grown fresh ingredients. Be mindful of the wait times though as this place gets packed. We didn’t stop in this time, but it’s usually our go-to when in the area. After walking around the shops on Chestnut, we headed to the Great Meadow Park at Fort Mason. The park is BEAUTIFUL and you can see so much of the city. It was filled with friendly joggers and lots of adorable dogs. It was a great place to go on a walk and take in the views. I highly recommend this spot if you’re looking to do a picnic or some outdoor yoga.
(Walking around Chestnut outside the Marina Supermarket).
(More from Chestnut Avenue).
Wearing: Lucky top, Madewell skinnies, Jeffrey Campbell booties, & Madewell bag
(Walking around lower Nob Hill).
(Trying to stay warm at the Great Meadow Park at Fort Mason).
After checking out Chestnut and the Great Meadow Park, we decided to grab lunch close to our hotel on Market Street. I had heard of a new wine bar called Waystone that had just opened up so I wanted to give it a try. When we arrived, there was nowhere to sit so the owner handed us glasses of champagne on the house while we looked over the menu. A large group of people took pity on us and gave us their seats. I was so thrilled we decided to stay! The owners waited on us and were the nicest people. They told us that the bar had only been open for a few months and that it had really taken off. The wine and food were INCREDIBLE! We had the Ploughman’s Lunch (cheese & meat board) and the seasonal salmon toast. The food was so good and not something you could get anywhere else. They pickle just about everything and it was truly amazing. If you don’t try out this place while you are in SF, you are missing out big time. I strongly recommend it! After lunch, we headed to intersection of California and Powell to finish the last of our photos. This location is a must for any photographers out there.
Wearing: Free People sweater, Madewell skinnies, Jeffrey Campbell booties.
The rest of the day was spent shopping. What a perfect way to end a trip, right? We packed up early and headed back to Orange County the next morning. For only 48 hours in the city, San Francisco treated us well. Until next time…