I’ve only been to California twice now and each time we’ve been in San Francisco, it’s only been for a day. It’s been out pit stop before our main vacation. Maybe in the future I’ll get to stay longer instead of cramming as much as possible into a 24 hour period. There’s so much to do and see. So I actually used Pinterest to find ideas that were less touristy – did that on the last visit (think: Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street, Fisherman’s Wharf, Muir Woods, you get the point).
Here’s what we saw this trip, along with my opinion on whether it’s worth a stop.
Breakfast: Mana Bowls – 1930 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, Fairfax, CA
While this is not downtown San Fran (about 40 minutes north), it’s an amazingly delicious place to stop for a bite to eat if you’re in the area. The homemade açaí sorbet was to die for! Add to that fresh fruit, honey and granola, you have yourself an energy packed meal.
Land’s End & Coastal Trail
We hiked a good hour and a half to two hours. I can’t really say where we started or how far we got as I believe this is a five mile hiking trail in its entirety and we certainly didn’t go five miles! But we saw some amazing views, walked the labyrinth, wandered through the Sutra Baths, took pictures with the Golden Gate Bridge as our backdrop, and explored some small caves. It’s almost like I forgot we were in this huge city as it seems so remote while on the trail. A good thing to know is that you don’t have to wear special attire on the trail. It was a fairly easy hike in my sneakers, jeans, and sweater.
16th Ave Tiled Steps
By the name, this may not seem too interesting. And it’s exactly how it sounds – 300 steps that are decorated with mosaic tiles. I thought it was very pretty, especially with the well manicured lawn/garden surrounding the steps. You really only need to spend 15 minutes or so here. Climb to the top for some views of the city! Read the plaque or visit the website for the full story. The neighbors helped create these pretty steps with the design an artist came up with. How cool would it be for these steps to be in your neighborhood?! (Minus all of the human traffic coming to see them!)
When we left here, we actually stumbled upon a smaller set of tiled steps next to a school. There was no one there and these were just as pretty without the traffic!
Lunch: Umami Burger – 242 King St, San Fran, CA
My husband raved about this place ever since his bachelor party two years ago. And apparently he’s been craving it since too! He’s only ever had the Truffle Burger which I was able to steal a bite from and it sure was delicious! I had the falafel burger which was also delicious and a nice selection for non-meat eaters. I’m not a huge burger person myself, but if you are I would suggest trying this place. Me personally? I’ll likely check out different places in the future that are non-burger joints 😉
Clarion Alley Mission District
I feel like this alley is a photographer’s dream. Or an artsy couple’s ideal locale for engagement photos. It was fun wandering down this street and seeing all the different murals on the wall. I mean, yes, some are a bit provocative, but that’s art! The Mission District as a whole is an artsy area with lots to do other than this alley. I wanted to check out the actual mission but we ran out of time and only just drove by for a quick look. I would love to spend an entire day in the Mission District solely and check out the rooftop bar, thrift stores, the park and much more.
What are some other great local spots to check out the next time?