Visits to San Francisco

22/06/2011

San Fran
Image via Oh Happy Day

I'm so pleased me and the Mr have booked a trip to San Francisco in September, we are hoping to combine two joyous events; our first wedding anniversary and my 27th Birthday. I can't tell you how long I have been longing for visits to this adorable city! I have collected so many links and must see areas, but I would really love to hear any personal recommendations you may have for places to stay, eat, visit and play  around the city and beyond. We really want to make the most of this holiday as it is our first America trip together and I would love for us to find a place we feel totally at home. I have a good feeling this may be our happy place! 

20 comments

Becky said...

San Fran is great, you will love it!

Not sure if that inviting dinner table is still there though :)

Becky x

violet gray said...

SF welcomes you and your husband! How long are you visiting? And what type of places do you want to see? I'm a native SF so recommending hotel may not be best but I can give you an idea of the location of the hotels you are planning to stay at. If you guys have time, going to napa or the Northern CA for a day trip will be nice.

Sept is usually a warm month but make sure you bring a light weight jacket and a pair of comfy shoes (we have LOTS of hills - no joke). Fogs are unpredictable here and can get pretty cold. Try not to get suck into the tourist traps. Do lots of walking! That's the way to learn about the city/people and enjoy it.

Caitlin Rose said...

Oh congratulations Nadia! So exciting.

Caitlin said...

Oh so fun! I went to San Francisco last year and made this huge map of places to go, eat, shop, etc. from things that were recommended to me. I hope it gives you some ideas :) Sorry the link is a bit long: http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=203216329103938806193.0004857e81adfd8dfd5b8&msa=0&ll=37.869433,-122.400055&spn=0.254219,0.617294

Nadinoo said...

Wow Caitlin! Thank you so much for sharing this great little map of findings. I will look through every little icon tonight with huby and take note! I'm sure we will find plenty of little hidden treasures.. x

Hey Violet, so good to get tips from a local like yourself! We love visiting cities and imaging what it's like to live there so walking is definitely our thing, even if we usually get a little lost.
Good to know what the weather will be like in Sept, we will no doubt be leaving a wet and cold Manchester so a little warmth would be amazing!
We are there for 10 days so definitely have time to go to Napa and even stay there. Do you have any faiv spots?

Thank you so much for all your help :)

Charlotte said...

Hi Nadia,
I'm going to San Francisco in september too ! I plan to vist the californian coast and Nevada too.
If I spot a Nadinoo dress walking around in San Francisco streets, I will surely come to congratulate you on your beautiful work.
Enjoy your trip !
Charlotte

Nadinoo said...

Oh Charlotte! How exciting we may be there at the same time.
I will definitely keep an eye out for you, I love chance meetings! We head there on the 16th so maybe I'll see your cute self there. x

Betty said...

How random, I am also called Charlotte and I will be in San Fran in September! What are the chances, so please about that map that Caitlin, it is brilliant!

Here is to San Fran!

x x x

Nadinoo said...

I tell you San Fran in September is where it's at! x

odessa said...

You're coming to my city! Yay! Also received my Nadinoo dress and just sent you an email. And I agree with violet, a day trip to Northern Cali is a must. :)

Olga said...

Hi, Nadia!

Although I do not live in San Francisco, I've been there several times, so I have some suggestions.

1) As far as hotels, I would stay in the Union Square neighborhood. It's a bit touristy, but nice and safe, and I thought it provided easy starting point to go to other neighborhoods. The hotel I liked best, we stayed at 5 years ago (so, I am not sure if it's still as nice as I remember), JW Mariott PanPacific at 500 Post Street. It's not a boutique hotel, but I liked it better than any of the "smaller, hipper" boutique hotels we stayed at. And, I think you can get online deals for it.
2) If you happen to decide to visit the wine country, I recommend staying at least 1 night at the Candlelight Inn bed and breakfast. It's a bit of a splurge (we stayed there a couple nights during our honeymoon), but it's super nice, and the food is fantastic. Also, I strongly recommend hiring a limo if you are going to go to wineries -- that way you don't have to worry about tasting too much and then having to drive (they are very strict about that in Napa). Our favorite winery when we went was Miner Family Vineyards, but you'll probably have time to visit at least five in a day. There is a winery called V. Sattui that has a gourmet food shop and a picnic area, so you could make that a mid-day stop during your wine country tour and have a lovely picnic for lunch. It's a great way to spend the day, then nap, then go to a nice dinner. Speaking of dinner, the French Laundry is located in Napa as well, so if you guys want to do a super special anniversary/birthday dinner, you still probably have enough time before your trip to secure a reservation. The experience is worth the effort and the expense.
Finally, one more thing in Napa that I'd recommend doing (if you are staying more than 1 day) is go to the Lavender Hill Spa http://lavenderhillspa.com/. It was another one of our honeymoon indulgences, and I would go back in a heartbeat.
3) Food/Shopping/Etc. in San Francisco -- now, the restaurants are not fancy, but places I would go to again on my next visit:
-- Burma Superstar 309 Clement Street @ 4th Ave
if I only had one night in SF, that's where I'd go. The only issue with this restaurant is that they don't take reservations and you have to wait in line to get in. So, if you can, try to go NOT on a Friday or Saturday night , but it's worth the wait regardless. Make sure you get the samosa soup and tea leaf salad (in addition to all the other nom they offer).
-- Orbit Room 1900 Market Street -- very good cocktails.
-- Molinari Deli -- great Italian food shop, that's where I'd go to pick up a sandwich to take to the park. You are probably going to end up in North Beach neighborhood anyway, it's one of SF's attractions.
-- Medjool -- good restaurant if you find yourself in the Mission District (if you like used book stores, that's the neighborhood to check out!)
-- Speaking of cool book stores, there is one called Green Apple Books at 506 Clement street, which is great. The neighborhood that it's in is awesome as well, with lots of yummy Korean restaurants and in close proximity to a cool fabric store called Satin Moon (are you going to shop for fabric in SF? If so, you'll have to check out Britex as well -- expensive, but huge selection of fabrics and notions, and it's in/near Union Square).
--For Dim Sum, I would recommend Yank Sing (I went to the 101 Spear Street location) http://yanksing.com/
-- If you like seafood, Swan's Depot is awesome (again, no frills, just good food)
-- Fun areas to walk around in: Japanese Tea Garden, Haight Ashbury, Chinatown, Fillmore/Japan Town, Russian Hill (this last one is not necessarily a tourist attraction, but just a beautiful neighborhood)

This doesn't cover most of the traditional guide book things, but it's just what I like to do when in SF. Hope it helps!

charlotteauzou said...

Wow this is really funny ;) Unfortunately, my flight back to France is on September 11th... Too bad !

Rosaspina Vintage said...

Oh Nadia, you'll adore San Francisco! I fell in love with the city the moment I stepped foot on it! It's the only place where I would be really happy to live other than Italy, maybe because even if it's american, it's got a little bit of "european" feel to it, and the food is amazing ;) I don't know if it's a cliche spot or not, but I had the best crab cake in my life in a sicilian restaurant called Alioto at Fisherman's Wharf.
Ohh you make me so jealous :) You'll have so much fun there darling!

bunnyteeth said...

I recently left SF after living there for 5 years. These are some of my suggestions. You can google them for locations:
1. Cocktail Bars- Koko Cocktails, Tosca, Alembic, Comstock (check the calendars for live music/dj sets)
2. Coffee- Blue Bottle (Hayes Valley location if the weather is nice), Four Barrel, Ritual
3. Food- Tony's Pizza in North Beach, Suppenkuche in Hayes Valley, Foreign Cinema in the Mission, Front Porch in Outer Mission
4. Doughnuts- Bob's on Polk Street (preferably after the bars let out)
5. Weekend warm weather activity- Dolores Park (bring beer, a blanket to sit on, other picnic essentials)
6. Shopping- Hayes Valley
7. Photobooth/Cheap fun- Musee Mechanique
8. Free Evening Activity- bonfires at Ocean Beach
9. Movies- Castro Theatre (arrive early enough for the organ player)
10. Fabric- Britex Fabrics (not cheap but worth a visit)
11. Books- City Lights for being historical and thoughtfully stocked. Valencia St in the mission has a string of large used bookstores.

**Koko's is my favorite bar bug may be gone by Sept. The owners are opening a new place on California & Polk, possibly called High-Low (or Hi-Lo?)

Oh and no matter how nice the weather is, don't leave the hotel without a jacket or sweater or both

violet gray said...

i can you a brief/rough guide into the districts that you might want to check out sometime in july (sorry for the wait). not a lot of tourist goes into the district (that's where the local lives and cheaper food) and you can take the bus ($2 per person). ferry building is a must and walking along the water (up to the pier and to the opposite end - ball park). try to go to the ferry building on a tuesday that way you'll get to explore some of the food trucks and the farmers' goods. i don't like pier 39 (typical local dislike of mine) but my cousins went to joes crab and said it is pretty good w/ decent price. golden gate bridge is a must - they recenlty closed one side of the bridge for renovation so only 1 side is open (a bit crowded since biker bikes across that bridge too).

Nadinoo said...

O my gosh! thank you all soo much for your helpful suggestions.
We have started to book things up and with your help now have so many good ideas of places to try.

Hope you are enjoying the weekend!

We have finally managed to get some sun :)

nicole said...

Two great causes for celebration! Congrats & happy (early) birthday. Joanna, from A Cup of Jo, recently visited SF. Her recommendations and photos are here:

http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2011/06/san-francisco-vacation-photos.html

xo.

kristin said...

oh how exciting!

don't forget to come to the east bay...we have lots of yummy places to eat...
http://www.dopoadesso.com/dopo/
http://homeroom510.com/
http://www.lanoterestaurant.com/ - definitely get breakfast here!

and some nice outdoorsy things, too...
http://www.ebparks.org/parks/tilden
http://www.oaklandnet.com/parks/programs/boating_hours.asp

plus, the weather is always pleasant!

-kristin-

Meg said...

Love this, and love Oh Happy Day :)

Anonymous said...

Fantastic. Here are a few places that would be lovely to visit (and reminds me of your designs).

Miette - confectioners in hayes valley, the store is adorable.

Blue Bottle - their gibraltar is the best. Ferry Building on Saturday for the market is a must, too.

Enjoy our fair city!