I always kind of rolled my eyes whenever someone would reference “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” How original. But after spending a long weekend here, I can understand how it happens.
Bonus: The city is only 7 x 7 miles! Most areas are super walkable, but if you need to jaunt across town, you can Lyft seemingly anywhere within 15 minutes.
I went to visit my college friend, Dana. She lives in SF and was my top-notch tour guide all weekend.
Also, you know a friendship is legit when you haven’t seen each other in years, but can pick back up like no time has passed!
Our first activity was a picnic in Alamo Square Park.
…complete with wine, Greek salads from Souvla, plenty of laughs and some judgment.
The park is bordered by this famous view of the Painted Ladies. (Full House, anyone?)
Haight-Ashbury: I’ve wanted to visit this spot since I can remember! The neighborhood is home to the 1967 Summer of Love and essentially the birthplace of hippie life.
We spent the afternoon wandering in and out of the unique shops on Haight Street.
As far as thrifting goes, you’ll be entertained inside any of the vintage shops on Haight. I found this dress ($48) at Wasteland and this bag ($5) at Piedmont Boutique, a flashy costume shop. If you’re looking for cheap, the Goodwill was full of hipster-y finds.
For anything New Age, you must stop inside The Love of Ganesha. You’ll find plenty of crystals, plus an array of bohemian and Indian-inspired clothing, jewelry, and gifts. The vibes (and prices) are just right.
The colors, the hills, the homes. I loved it all, but the sidewalks… kind of kicked my ass. Not used to those inclines!
Brightly-hued Victorian homes are synonymous with San Francisco, and the colorful details are fun to admire on a leisurely walk to basically anywhere.
I was rather delirious by dinner time (I worked the night before and was up for 40 hours!), but I do remember Nojo Ramen Taven was on. point. Before this dish, my ramen history was embarrassingly limited to the 99-cent kind, so my standards are suuuper high now.
I slept for 12 hours, hit a hard restart on the Pacific time zone, and wandered over to Cafe du Soleil for a solo brunch.
It’s a French cafe, but I was delighted to see this special on the menu:
A salad, not only with bacon, but SPANISH TORTILLA.
Why does this matter? I lived in Spain for a summer in high school, and haven’t had tortilla (egg + onion + super-thin potato omelette) done right in 12 years! This was an emotional experience, you guys.
Another thing about SF: there are little doggies… everywhere! These bebes were up for adoption outside of a corner pet supply store.
Next up was hiking Lands End, which hugs the coast and offers sweeping views of Ocean Beach, the Golden Gate Bridge, Sutro Baths, and cliffsides that drop into the ocean.
I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.
The trail dips out into a fancy neighborhood, with multi-million dollar homes like this one.
And not too far away, these colorful tiled steps! Upon closer look… #girlpower
Next, we were off to a house party, hosted by Dana’s boyfriend and his roommates.
Not just any party, but a… gnome party.
U gnome what I mean? luuulz
There were a few stand-up comedy acts, and this band capped off the night.
So my favorite meal in life is brunch, but dim sum was new to me! So many nomz at Hong Kong Lounge.
There are dozens of options for bite-sized apps served on small plates. (I trusted Dana on ordering everything.) This picture is only maybe half of what was delivered to our table!
Chinatown was my final stop in San Fran, and I couldn’t get enough of it. So much culture in the shops and on the streets.
I wish I had more time, but a long weekend was the perfect getaway I needed.
There’s still so much to see in San Francisco, which gives me an excuse to plan a return trip sometime.
Yay for friends who live in cool places!