Growing up a 90s kid in a house with three young girls, it’s obvious that Full House was constantly on the TV. So it’s safe to say I consider myself an honorary “Tanner” girl and whenever I think of San Francisco the opening credits of the picturesque golden gate bridge comes to mind. “Everywhere you look, everywhere you go…” Bet you started singing it!
So naturally, Ray and I were ecstatic when we found out we were placed in the Bay area. What we weren’t ecstatic for was the cost of rent. Good gravy! Last year, San Francisco surpassed NYC as the most expensive city to live in and boy they weren’t kidding.
All costs aside though, San Francisco is a beautiful city full of culture and diversity and the NBA champs. (Go dubs!) There is so much to do and see here, you’ll never be bored and the culinary scene sets the bar high.
I’m going to try and keep this post short and sweet because otherwise I could literally write 10+ pages on this amazing place and ain’t nobody got time for that.
A few of our favorite things (to do!)
One of our absolute favorite things to do in San Francisco was to have a picnic in the park. Our favorite spots were Dolores Park and the Palace of Fine Arts. Just DIY a little charcuterie board, grab a fresh loaf of sourdough bread, and maybe a little rose or prosecco whichever floats your boat and just enjoy the sunshine. Sigh.
Another favorite pastime was sauntering around the mission district. (Side note, sauntering is such an underrated word, don’t you think?) So many great shops and restaurants are in the mission, and it’s actually always a few degrees warmer since it’s farther from the water. The mission also has beautiful murals all around town to check out and is a fun spot to grab some food and drinks.
Trying to get a little physical? Take a hike through Lands End and the Sutro Baths. It was once a private saltwater pool that dates back to the 1800s and it’s just a scenic place for a little exercise. Honestly, though, you’ll get in a decent workout just walking up and down the 3894758945 hills in the city. I really had no idea how many hills there are and how steep they’d be until we got there. Talk about feelin’ the burn.
We really loved the Musee Mecanique! It’s an old-school arcade, and I mean old-school. They have some of the coolest vintage games, we always brought our friends and family here for a fun time!
Oh! And it’s a little outside of San Francisco, but you have to take the time to check out the Muir Woods. The redwood trees are something that will put your life into perspective and make you question the quality of your own existence. Okay, maybe that’s going a little far, but they really are an incredible natural phenomenon.
Of course, you also have to do some other touristy things like checking out the sea lions on Fisherman’s Wharf, walking down the crookedest street in the world–Lombard street, and getting a picturesque shot of the Golden Gate bridge at Battery Spencer or Chrissy Field. I also highly recommend taking the trip to Alcatraz. The audio tour is really intriguing even if you’re not a history nerd like me.
Oh, obviously we went to the Painted ladies as well. Alamo park is across the street and it does give you a beautiful view of the ladies. Fun fact for you is that the ACTUAL house that was used in Full House is NOT a painted lady. Blasphemy, I know right? It’s actually about a half mile walk from there on Broderick street and well worth the walk in my book to see my childhood home.
A Foodies Dream
We were in San Fran for about 4 months and I can honestly say every meal here has been wonderful. There are so many restaurants and the quality and quantity is definitely something worth mentioning.
OH! Fun Fact: The Irish coffee we all know and love today originated in The Buena Vista Cafe in 1952. We went, we drank it, we loved it.
State Bird Provisions is a Michelin star rated restaurant. Need I say more? Well, I don’t but I will anyway because I had one of the best meals I’ve ever had here. The way the run the place is really different too. The chefs make a bunch of different items and then walk around and ask if you’re interested. They have a good ole fashioned menu as well but it was fun to have such a variety of different things!
Next up is our favorite sushi place, Elephant Sushi. It’s a small place that was actually around the corner from us. They open at 6 and there’s ALWAYS a line to get in! We went here a few times, and that says a lot because we could have gone to one of the other 8372562347 restaurants in San Francisco but this place was THAT good.
Dumpling Time- If you like dumplings you HAVE to go here. If you don’t like dumplings, rethink your life choices. This place is awesome. There are so many different types of dumplings here like shrimp and cilantro, traditional, steamed buns and my all time favorite, soup dumplings. They have a massive soup dumpling that literally comes with a straw. Yasssss.
If I had to choose one area in San Francisco to eat the rest of my life, I would choose Little Italy, hands down. Little Italy is in North Beach and is home to some of the best homemade pasta I’ve ever had. There are so many restaurants that have fresh seafood and fresh pasta, we literally ate here at least once a week. A few of our favorite spots? Sotto Mare, The Italian Homemade Company, E Tutto Qua, Baonecci, Piccolo Forno, and Seven Hills are just a few that stick out in my mind as must-eats. Yes, MUST EATS.
Okay, if you’re looking for the best french dip sandwich you’ve ever had then you must check out Dip. It’s in North Beach and it is out of this world. I’m glad I got to try it before I started my new dietary journey because I can attest to the delectableness – is that even a word?- of these sandwiches.
I am so incredibly in awe of this city and I was so lucky to call it home for four months. So here’s to you San Francisco, until next time.