To say I LOVE San Francisco is putting it lightly. It's arguably one of the best cities in the world. Incredibly vibrant, chic and super hippie crunch all at the same time, San Francisco ticks all the boxes. Team Sims hit the road for a quickie (48 hour trip) to procure a little adventure and share the scoop on a city that turns into Camelot the moment the weather is nice. But, before we get started I’m going to share a few hard and fast rules to help you blend with the locals.
- Do NOT call her “San Fran.” “SF” or “The City” is welcomed vernacular. “San Fran” is nails on a chalkboard to most San Franciscans. I have no clue why!
- San Franciscans take their coffee seriously. It must put hair on your chest to be good. Weak coffee is not allowed within the city limits.
- San Franciscans also take their beer seriously. Microbrew or Craft? That could be a topic for a heated debate or at the very least a thumb wrestle for a pint of Pliny the Elder.
- ALWAYS walk on the sunny side of the street. Just do it. Tourists have been known to freeze on the shady side. No, really they have. I saw it on the news.
- Calories don’t count if you partake of baked delicacies (macaroons, croissants, anything chocolate covered) while walking around exploring. One of my favorite things to do is walk around the different neighborhoods and eat and shop my way through them. Hello Hayes Valley, I’m talking to YOU!!
There are so many incredibly amazing things to do and see (and eat) in San Francisco!! Below is a small tasting menu of some of our favorite spots.
Step into this historic building to find a bustling marketplace of yumminess. Easy on the eyes, this gorgeously renovated space is home to some incredible vendors. Some serious notables are: The Slanted Door, Gott’s Roadside, Blue Bottle Coffee & Hog Island Oyster company. They have a farmer’s market on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.
Hidden down a side street in Union Square, this spot was perfect for Sunday Brunch. The food was great and the cocktails were excellent. Could you say no to a drink called “pork chops and applesauce?”
P.S. - Check out the ladies rooms. The wallpaper is really unique.
Open since 1992, Life is a welcoming Oasis to the rough and tumbleness of the Lower Haight. The perfect place to purchase a gift for someone you love, especially if what they love is perfume. Life has an extensive array of essential oils and scents where can make your own custom blend. The shopkeepers are really nice and extremely helpful as you make your magic scented concoctions. This Zen gem is not to be missed.
Arlequin (café and wine merchant)
Smack dab in the middle of the hub-bub of Hayes Valley, Arlequin boasts a café as well as stellar wine merchant. Hands down my favorite part of this place is the gorgeous garden patio they have out back. On one of those Camelot SF Days, this is the place to sit with friends to enjoy the sunshine and a glass of wine.
Seasonal fare deliciousness. Shining bright like a diamond in the typically casual eats of the Upper Haight, Sparrow prides itself in using local ingredients. The grilled kale salad is a must try. We had no idea quinoa could taste this good. Just looking at their menu again is making me hungry!!
I knew the coffee had to be good. The line for the caffeinated gold was out the door!! Turns out this joint is very chic and uber popular with the coffee swigging carb lovers. They mainly sling coffee and bread. I mean, the most heavenly bread, topped with incredible things like Nutella, peanut butter, and honey. Those super cool peeps in the know, take Instagram pics of their pretty bread to share their hipness with the world. #hipstertoast
This home décor and interior design spot located in Hayes Valley (Yes, I played favorites this trip) is just what the doctor ordered if you are feeling drab. The fabrics, colors and textures of all these treasures made me wish I packed an extra suitcase. A great place to buy gifts for others, and even better for a treat for yourself.
Actress, model, active humanitarian, & Mom! Author of 'Everyday Chic'.