I know it’s been a looong time since the last time I blogged but as you probably know… I just got back from this loooong vacation around the US! 40 days, 9 states, a mother-daughter duo, loads sight-seeing and tons of shopping – All the ingredients you need for a super-awesome vacation!!
Now though I’ve been to the US before, that was when I was 5yrs old and so for all practical purposes, this was my first trip to this country… one which I’ll actually remember!
San Francisco was our first stop in the US, and the place totally set the bar high! It’s such a lovely, happy and windy city… perfect to get you all relaxed and rejuvenated after the long flight from Mumbai! It has the perfect vibe – a bit of hippie mixed with the pace of city life! That in fact, was what made it really unique… the balance was pretty striking!
Weather was Cold! Nothing that they say about the ‘California Sun’ is true for SF!! It’s pretty windy throughout the year and in fact, got pretty chilly as well… ! A light jacket, a scarf and jeans / leggings or stockings are an absolute must in SF, especially if you’re like me and feel more cold than others! I realized as soon as I landed that my entire summer wardrobe that I carried for this trip was pretty much going to go waste… ! But then that just gives us a more legitimate reason to shop right 😉
So here’s my list of my top 8 favorite things to do in SF!
Now, I’m a pretty flexible tourist! I love to experience places like the locals would… and at the same time, love all things ‘touristy’ as well! So my travel tips and list of favorites will always give you a mix of both!
#8: Breakfast at ‘The Pinecrest Diner’
The PineCrest Diner just happened to be across the road from out hotel at Union Square and it was where we had our first meal in the US. Perfect place to set us off on our all-American experience! And the breakfasts here, are to die for!
(My look: Here I’m wearing this light lavender trench from Missamore, black cropped jeans from Zara and my bespoke boots from Greece!)
#7: Walk around Pier 39
Pier 39 is buzzing with eateries, seafood restaurants, shops, candy stores and magic shops! Mango, the Mexican restaurant here has an amazing sea-face seating area where you can just sip on some beer and munch on shrimp tacos while taking in the gorgeous views of the ocean!
Oh and have you ever seen a large heard of Sea-lions sun-bathing at the pier? Yea… sounds far-fetched I know, but that’s the sight we chanced upon while walking from Pier 39 to Fisherman’s warf! Mighty Brilliant!
Lazy Sea Lions!
#6: Sitting on the top deck of a double-decker bus, letting your hair down and racing across the Golden Gate Bridge!
On day 2, we walked across the bridge in the afternoon… which was an amazing experience in itself…! Looking down at the Pacific Ocean sprawling endlessly below your feet can be quite intimidating. Makes you realize how tiny your existence is, in the larger scheme of things…
And while the walk was pretty tiring and intense and thought provoking… the return drive down the bridge that I took on the Big Bus double decker, sitting on the top floor was the complete opposite! Exciting, windy and so much fun!!!! (And I’m saying bus coz I was there as a tourist… An open top car would obviously be the ideal option ;))
(My Look: I’m wearing these lovely high-waist shorts with bohemian thread-work from Zara, and this black cropped top and light suede jacket both from Zara as well. Am also wearing black stockings under the shorts because of the chill in the air… and I’m not someone who can tolerate much of cold. :))
#5: The Fishermen’s Warf with a bottle of beer and watching the seagulls flock around you
Apart from the live sea food stalls all around, there’s a little flock of sea-gulls that crowds around benches at the central square at Fisherman’s warf. We sat there one evening … tired from the day’s walking around… with some beer, watching the birds and their unique mannerisms waiting for sunset! And frankly, that’s one of the best things we did in SF. 🙂
(My Look: Black jeans and basic top from Zara with a splash of colour from the scarf and the bag, both from Desigual)
#4: A walk through the Muir Woods
Who doesn’t love a bit of nature… and while it’s usually pretty peaceful and serene, it gets quite exciting and interesting at Muir Woods, simply because it’s one of those rare forests of red-wood trees… some of them, thousands of years old and reaching for the sky!
My Red-wood bracelet with a travel quote from John Muir! 🙂
(My Look: Light pink ripped jeans that I bought at a boutique in Sausalito in SF, White satin shirt from Promod, Footwear from Koovs.com and the Suede jacket and hat from Zara)
#3: Sonoma Valley:
While the wine tasting at both Sonoma Valley and Napa are great experiences, it’s quite the same if you’ve done wine tasting anywhere in the Europe… in fact the ones they host at private little vineyards in Tuscany are way better! However, if this is your first wine tasting experience, then you’re sure to love it! (And please… Sula doesn’t really count!!)
What I loved however, more than the wine tasting and the vineyards, was the Sonoma square. Sonoma Square is this large park surrounded by beautiful little houses, restaurants and eateries. And… it’s probably one of the few places in the US where you get a lot of stuff free!!… Right from free cheese tasting, wine tasting to even free chocolate tastings! It’s a nice little fun place to spend your afternoon!
And that drive!! From San Francisco to Sonoma Valley and back! Oh! The view of those rolling green hills and the cows grazing on happy lands… horses lolling around in the green grass !!! And to add to the effect, our driver (Hot guy, forgot his name L) had a mix-tape of songs about San Francisco! He played them just 30mins before we were about to get back into SF… and trust me, with those in the background, just staring out the window… that was one bus ride I wished wouldn’t end!
#2: Summer of 67 at Haight Ashbury!
I have a weakness for all things vintage and all things Bohemian! So Haight Ashbury was my little paradise in SF! All those cool cafes, thrift shops and the gorgeous graffiti…!! With its Hippie art, rock n roll and the smell of weed… This place will take you back to the Summer of 67, almost as if you were actually there!
While the whole street is a burst of colour, there is this tie-n-dye store on one of the cross-roads on the main street that has the most colourful things ever! everything in tie-n-dye… from scarves to underwear!
This Vintage store had every kind of fashion over the decades… right from corsets and hats with feathers to cabret outfits! Now, though I’m not someone who can buy old and used clothing… I did love the jewelry!! (A word of caution… stores around here are pretty overpriced compared to vintage stores in other parts of the US…especially Portland. But they make for amazing window shopping!)
#1: Enchanted Cable Car ride!
If you’re going to San Francisco, you simply must take a ride on the last Cable Car from Fisherman’s warf to Union square! They say it’s like riding a part of San Francisco’s history… And I agree! It probably is one of the most touristy things to do there… But to me, at that time, just after sun-set, it felt more like riding something fantasical… something magical…! Climbing up the slopes of SF, it felt like It would leave its tracks any moment and start flying… gliding up half-way to the stars!!
And if you are doing this… please find yourselves a seat facing the road. Standing in the crowd, huddled up with other people just won’t have the same effect… ! 🙂
That’s all for now…
Hope you enjoyed reading my SF story and liked the pics :*
Will be back soon with the next chapter on Portland!
Love you loads