I”m back from my little trip to San Francisco and now mentally preparing to handle the frigid temps that New York is currently dishing out.
Despite being a little chilly, San Francisco was a lovely escape from the cold with average temps being around 58 degrees. Most days I wore a light jacket and sometimes in the evening when the temperature fell which is typical of San Francisco, I threw on my scarf for extra warmth.
Before I get into the meat of the post, let me start off by saying San Francisco is hella expensive. In fact it is the most expensive city I’ve ever visited. The only thing we got a break on was Uber as it was pretty cheap to get from our hotel to most areas of the city.
Now that we’ve established how expensive a visit to San Francisco is, we can move on. Just keep that in mind for when you go.
Where to Stay
We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Downtown. This was the least expensive location of the Marriott chain we looked at. I loved that we were within walking distance of lots of great restaurants and shopping while being outside of the hustle of the city. Our room was spacious and comfortable with two queen beds and a couch.
There are of course other great hotel choices in that area such as Parc 55 and Park Central Hotel. I would recommend the downtown area becasue prices seem to be a little cheaper than staying in Union Square or other popular parts of the city.
Where to Eat
San Francisco is known for having great food. I have to agree but know that you will be paying a pretty penny to sample the fine fare the city has to offer. The average dinner was twenty five dollars per person and that didn’t even include drinks or appetizer. We saved money by eating two meals a day which was doable because we slept in and then had such big breakfasts that we could skip lunch.
Here are a few of my recommendations for excellent food
- Lao Table– my favorite. Prices are steep but worth it. The ambiance is really nice and the food is AHMAZING. It was so good that we went back a 2nd time. It didn’t hurt that it was a five minute walk from our hotel.
Mama’s– You know those hyped up restaurants that’s on every list of places to eat and you have stand in line for about 60-90 minutes to get in? Well Mama’s is just that place and let me tell you, the hype is legit. The food was delicious and the portions are huge. I had some french toast with fresh strawberries and banana sitting in chocolate syrup. I also split an omelette with my mom. It was the Northern Italian and it has Pancetta (Italian Cured Bacon), Mushroom, Fresh Basil, Tomatoes and Garlic Jack Cheese. All the ingredients for something magical.
- The Grove– This was our go to spot for breakfast. The food is excellent and the service is great as well. I love that they serve coffee is big ol cups and with free refills. Get any of their omelettes and definitely try the hash brown.
- Pescatore– This restaurant was one of the few open on Christmas day. It was one of the restaurants recommended by our hotel and I was able to book on Open Table. I forgot to take pics of the meal but did manage to snap a pic of desert which was a decadent bread pudding in caramel sauce and sliced pear.
- La Briciola- We dined here on Christmas Eve and the service was excellent.They offer authentic northern Italian dishes and while I’m not a big Italian food lover I enjoyed the food a lot.
What to Do
- Ride the tram- this was my mom’s favorite activity. We took it from Fisherman’s Wharf to Union Square. It’s really fun especially going down the steep hills. It cost 7 bucks to go on a thirty minute ride and you get a chance to see a bit more of the city. I recommend taking it in the evening so you can see the city lights.
- Take a wine tour- I’ve always wanted to go on a wine tour in Napa. So of course that was the one thing that I had planned ahead of time, like months in advance.I booked the tour on Viator which offers a plethora of options to suit your budget.There are tours that only go to Napa or just to Sonoma. Our tour took us out to both Sonoma and Napa with a surprise stop at the end for pictures over by Treasure Island. This was the highlight of my trip and we met some fun people that day that made the trip fun with lots of laughs.
- Visit Sausalito- this cute little city is located on the Northern end of the Golden Gate bridge in Marin county. Sausalito reminds of a Mediterranean town perched a top the hills and surrounded by water. It’s a nice escape from the city and you can have lunch by the water or walk around a check out the cute little shops. There are a variety of ways to get from San Fran to Sausalito. We took Uber from the Ferry Building to get there. You can also walk or bike across the Golden Gate bridge to get there or take the Ferry. We opted to take the ferry back to San Francisco which offered a beautiful view of the bay and a glimpse of Alcatraz.
- Walk- One of my favorite things to do when I visit a new city is to just walk around and explore the place. That’s the best way to get familiar with and feel connected to the city. We did a ton of walking. We walked around Chinatown and Union Square, we walked on the Golden Gate Bridge and just around the city in general. I love the landscape of San Francisco with the hills and the water.
I really enjoyed our visit. Getting away on a vacation is always fun and exciting. Have you ever visited San Francisco? What was your impression?