I did a trip to San Francisco recently. It was my first time in the USA which was exciting!
San Francisco is known by Golden gate, cable cars and hilly roads. It´s one of the most populous cities in California. It´s located in Northern California, in the north end of San Francisco Peninsula surrounded by the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay.
San Francisco is a great combination of big city vibe with its cool cafés and great shopping, beach, the ocean and hills. Every neighborhood has its own personality which makes the city look interesting and colorful.
I actually spent most of my stay in San José (an hour drive away from San Fran) which is home to several tech start-ups, and I ended up spending 4 days in San Francisco in total. Here are some of my travel tips and favorite spots that I discovered over there.
If you like seafood, Fisherman´s Wharf is a must-see spot in San Francisco. There are plenty of food stalls and seafood restaurants around. I can highly recommend a traditional seafood restaurant called Scoma´s. There´s nothing better than fresh and tasty seafood! Fisherman´s Wharf is a touristy area but it´s nice to walk around the piers, get some cool photos and spot some noisy sea lions! Also, ferries to Alcatraz leave from over there.
If you want to go shopping head towards Union Square. There are several stores around, anything from active wear brands such as Nike, Adidas and New Balance to luxury brands. I didn´t go shopping but I went ice skating spontaneously at Union Square which was so much fun! I haven´t been ice skating for years so I was as excited as a little kid. :D
Muir Woods National Park
If you like it outdoors and want to get out of the city, go to Muir Woods National Park. There are several trails to choose from. Me and my travel company wanted to do 18 km scenic hike but we were a bit unlucky with the weather as it was raining heavily. Once we got to the place where we were supposed to start the hike, we decided to go for a little coastline cruise instead. Which wasn´t a bad option at all… We found some beautiful spots on the way, like this place looking over Stinson Beach.
On our way back to San Francisco we also stopped by Marin Headlands where you can see Golden Gate from above. I´d really recommend renting a car while in San Fran so that you can go and cruise around, get some fresh air and explore the places outside of the hectic city!
Besides all the touristy stuff and exploring outdoors, I also went to check out a couple of cafés: Réveille Coffee Co. and Outerlands. I enjoy good quality coffee so I did a bit of research as I had heard it´s not easy to find good coffee in San Francisco. If you love coffee and good food you should definitely visit those places!
Reveille Coffee Co. (North Beach)
200 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94133
I was recommended Réveille Coffee Co. by my coffee roaster friend. I was staying in North Beach so I visited one of their cafés over there. North Beach is also called Little Italy. It´s Italian suburbia and you´ll find some amazing Italian restaurants and small goods stores in the area. Réveille Coffee Co. is in a cool corner shop on Columbus Avenue. I got a cup of tasty Ethiopian filter coffee and yes, it was worth the visit! I liked it so much so I also bought a bag of coffee beans to my friend as a gift.
4001 Judah Street, San Francisco, CA 94122
On my last day in San Francisco I went to check out a restaurant called Outerlands. It´s on the west end of the city near Ocean Beach. Outerlands is a great spot for a breakfast and a good coffee. They also serve lunch and dinner. I had Vegetable Hash with eggs and avocado and a cup of filter coffee. They serve Four Barrel Coffee which is a local coffee roastery as well. Outerlands has cool wooden interiors and a nice relaxed atmosphere. It seems like a pretty popular place for a breakfast so it´s worth going there early.
Also, if you have a car, I´d recommend driving down to Santa Cruz for a day trip. We drove along the coastline (Highway 1) and the views were amazing! It takes around 1 hour 30 minutes to drive down but it´s seriously worth it!
I must admit I fell in love with San Francisco a bit… I can´t wait to go back to California and discover some new places! Follow Ihana Wellness Instagram @ihanawellness for more travel and lifestyle photos!
// Love, Jonna xx
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