We are back from San Francisco, and while I am happy to be home in my own bed and with my own cats, I am so, so sad that I am no longer near such an incredible, beautiful, and diverse city like San Francisco. I am so thankful that we were able to see so much over a week span but I wish I could have stayed for at least a few more days (or the rest of my life). Before going to San Francisco, I did a bit of research on where to go through Pinterest but really could only find very Tourist based guides that only featured the likes of Alcatraz and Fishermen's Wharf. I wasn't really interested in doing those kinds of things, and wanted to get a sense of the true San Francisco, so with the help of Instagram hashtags, Google maps and some lovely locals, I was able to find and see some real gems.
(above) Mission Dolores Park was one of the first spots we visited on our trip to San Francisco. The park is full of people at most times of the day which can definitely be overwhelming but it's also a great experience if you want to get a sense of the locals. This city and the people living there are so diverse, and at the park you can truly see that. It also has a beautiful view of the city.
(above) Alamo Square is famously known for it's view of the Painted Ladies; a beautiful set of houses that overlook the park (second photo above). What a lot of people don't know is that every other house around the park is also stunning, and that by wandering around the area, you can find some beautiful houses. The park also has an off leash dog park which I hung out at for a bit because...dogs!
(above) Clarion Alley is an alley between Mission and Valencia Streets and 17th and 18th Streets. This alley is famously known for all of it's murals painted by the Clarion Alley Mural Project. Each mural is absolutely beautiful in it's own way and most of the murals have political significance regarding topics like colonialism, capitalism, cultural appropriation, LGBTQ+ rights and police brutality.
(above) St. Lightning is located at 1813 Polk Street. This shop was number one on my list of shops to go to while in San Francisco and it did not disappoint! St. Lightning has a wide arrangement of everything green, fun, or witchy you need to feel good, look good or smell good! I went a little crazy when I got here and purchased an ice cream cone shaped planter, tarot cards, a book of Francesca Woodman photographs, and pins and patches from Patch Ya Later and Rosehound Apparel, and if I had room in my luggage I would have bought more. Luckily, you and I can shop St.Lightning online here!
Needles & Pens is located at 1173 Valencia Street. This beautifully curated shop showcases San Francisco and internationally made zines, books, as well as a beautiful selection of clothing, cards, jewelry, and accessories. You would be sure to find a great tank top for summer, a perfect gift or card for a friend, or beautifully crafted zines and books on feminist and queer culture.
(above) Gravel & Gold is a small shop located in the Mission District filled with witchy and feminist products, with a beautiful collection of clothing. I purchased a set of locally made tarot cards for a friend and an assortment of postcards and art prints for myself at this gorgeous shop and hope to go back one day soon and purchase every boob related product they carry!
Relic Vintage is such a sweet spot filled with a perfectly curated collection of vintage clothing and accessories. The shop carries clothing from the 1920's to 1960's for both men and women, and you will be even able to find the perfect bakelite piece to accessorize an outfit with!
(above) Wallflower is a 1960's-1970's lover's dream come true. This amazing little shop carries vintage clothing, pins, patches, jewelry, accessories, textiles, and furniture, along with other fun goodies. There's so much to see and try on!
Static Vintage has a great selection of rare vintage clothing and accessories and is known as one of San Francisco's best-kept secret vintage stores. This shop mostly had gems from the 1940's to 1970's, all at great prices.
(above) Baker's Beach is a beach with a fantastic view of the Golden Gate Bridge. Technically there are two parts of the beach (the family side and the nude beach side). I actually recommend going to the nude side because 1) it's way less crowded 2) it's closer to the bridge 3) not that many people are actually nude.
The de Young is a fantastic fine arts museum located in Golden Gate Park. If you do get a chance to go before August I highly recommend The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll exhibition. "The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll will be an exhilarating exhibition of iconic rock posters, photographs, interactive music and light shows, costumes and textiles, ephemera, and avant-garde films. A 50th anniversary celebration of the adventurous and colorful counterculture that blossomed in the years surrounding the legendary San Francisco summer of 1967, the exhibition will present more than 300significant cultural artifacts of the time, including almost 150 objects from the Fine Arts Museums’ extensive permanent holdings, supplemented by key, iconic loans." - de Young.
Conservatory of Flowers is absolutely stunning. If you're a plant lady like myself, then this is a must. You get to see spectacular plants and flowers, learn a bit about the plants, and see butterflies. The whole conservatory smells absolutely amazing.
(above) Mr. Holme's Bakehouse is a magical little spot - and I mean little. It's so small, but bright and cozy, and of course, filled with amazing pastries. I had a croissant and orange creamsicle donut and they were to die for!
Leo's Oyster Bar is incredible. I didn't get the photos of the decor I wanted in this space because it was dark and I was too busy enjoying the food, but if you haven't, I highly recommend checking out photographs of the bar itself, as it is spectacularly decorated. Besides that, the food and drinks were also amazing! I had the lobster roll (omg) and for dessert, I had the pineapple and pistachio vanilla ice cream. I am definitely going back the next time I am in town.
Boba Guys is a great drink destination if you love bubble tea as much as I do! I had the green matcha and strawberry bubble tea and it was great. Next time I am going to try a drink with almond jelly, which Boba Guys makes in-house!
Beretta had the most amazing sweet potato fries of my life served with a baked gorgonzola and parmesan sauce. I am practically crying thinking about it.
While in San Francisco and Oakland, I recommend staying in an Airbnb and riding with Lyft. We stayed in the Mission District in San Francisco, which was nicely central to a lot of things we wanted to see, but there is still so much more of San Francisco that I would like to explore and I can't wait to come back! Each district in San Francisco has something special, and while I did not see every district, if you have any questions, I may be able to give you advice on what to see.
I hope this was helpful to anyone to travelling to San Francisco in the future and feel free to message me with any questions you have regarding the city!