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Travel Diary // San Francisco

Three Days in San Francisco // Bubbly Design Co.If you’ve been following along for a little while, you know that I did a lot of planning and prep work for our trip to San Francisco { more here and here }. While this isn’t my typical post, I thought you might like to hear — and see — some of the highlights from our trip since I talked about it so much!

Traveling to San Francisco // A Bubbly Design Co guide{ a hike to find great views of the Golden Gate Bridge was full of tourists and locals alike // crosswalks at the main intersection of the castro // solitary confinement rooms at alcatraz // one of many adorable streets of sf // the redwoods are HUGE // view of sf from dolores park }

San Francisco manages to strike an interesting balance between history, culture, tourist activities, and total laid-back, California cool style. Even though we did super touristy things like stop to see The Painted Ladies { from the Full House opening scene }, I never felt like an outsider. Each neighborhood had it’s own highlights and unique vibe, which was fun to get to know. It felt like the type of city where anyone could find a place to fit in. Plus, I couldn’t get over the beautiful weather!

Eating Out in San Francisco // Bubbly Design Co.{ clam chowder in a boudin bread bowl for two // fish, a fresh seafood market in sausalito // 1st seating at bar tartine in the mission // pour-over coffee is all the rage in sf // didn’t make it to an original la boulange, but I did grab some from starbucks // our friday night italian dinner – so good! }

Because we planned early enough in advance, I was able to get reservations at a few “hot spots” including Perbacco { Friday dinner } and Bar Tartine { Sunday brunch }. But, we also saved a few meals to experience the local scene with a friend of ours who’s lived in SF for 5 years. With him, we made stops at 15 Romolo for appetizers, Li Po to try Anthony Bourdain’s favorite Mai Tai, and a small coffee shop in The Castro that carries Blue Bottle { a local gem }.

It would be too hard for me to stop at just the highlights, so I’ve got just a few more photos to share  { warning: mini photo diary coming up! }.

DAY ONE //
Friday morning was the only really foggy part of our trip, which perfectly suited our Alcatraz visit and added a certain spookiness to the air. We took a guided tour to learn about the various escape attempts from Alcatraz and also did the audio tour of the cell house.

Recommended time on Alcatraz: at least 3 hours

Alcatraz // San Fran tourist // Bubbly Design Co.

I was also surprised to learn about the occupation of island by Native American activists in the 60’s, which explained the graffiti that has been preserved on the island.

Alcatraz // San Fran tourist // Bubbly Design Co.

As we made our way through Fisherman’s Wharf and to Ghirardelli Square, the fog lifted and we had a few great views of “the rock,” although we didn’t spot the Golden Gate Bridge all day!

Alcatraz // San Fran tourist // Bubbly Design Co.Tourist tips for San Francisco // Bubbly Design Co.

DAY TWO //
On Saturday, we rented a car so we could cover more ground and see a few things outside of the city. This was probably the best money we spent during the trip because it made it possible to hike Lands End, see Sausalito and make it to the redwoods in Muir Woods all in one day!

I was impressed by the parks throughout the city, too. Even though we only made a brief stop at Alamo Square, it was one of my favorite spots, not just for it’s nostalgic connection to childhood, but for it’s beautiful landscaping and views of the city.

Alamo Square // San Fran tourist // Bubbly Design Co.
Tourist tips for San Francisco // Bubbly Design Co.

The views at Lands End and in Sausalito weren’t bad either…
Tourist tips for San Francisco // Bubbly Design Co.Sutro Baths // Tourist tips for San Francisco // Bubbly Design Co.

DAY THREE //
I knew I wanted to explore a few other neighborhoods on Sunday, so we left it flexible outside of our brunch reservation. Early that morning, we hiked up to Coit Tower for some pretty stunning views of San Francisco — don’t miss this!

We also meandered through The Mission, The Castro, and even back into the Marina area { for the Renegade Craft Fair }.
Tourist tips for San Francisco // Bubbly Design Co.

San Francisco Tourist Adventures // Bubbly Design Co.In our meandering, we also spotted one of the Banksy graffiti works in the city { this one is at the intersection of Broadway and Columbus }. We didn’t plan to see it – truly didn’t even know it was there – so it was a pleasant surprise! That’s the beauty of a few hours of unplanned activities!
Banksy art // San Fran tourist // Bubbly Design Co.

We ended our day at the Renegade Craft Fair. Not only was it swarming with shoppers, but I was also too busy browsing to take photos { whoops! }. However, I discovered several new makers that I’ll share with you soon. I highly recommend a trip to Renegade if there’s one in your area!

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So that was our trip in a nutshell! Have questions about visiting San Francisco? Drop them in the comments because I’d love to help! And, if you’re not sick of hearing about our trip, swing by next week to see what I wore and get my tips on how to stay stylish and comfortable while sight-seeing.

Happy Weekend!

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