Last month my friend Kelly and I traveled to San Francisco to celebrate her birthday and take a styling workshop we’d been wanting to do for awhile. If you’ve followed our travel (aka Cookie Squad Adventures) we like to pack in every minute of our travel time. We will literally stay up all night just to see it all. It’s true, we saw visited the Empire State Building at 12:30am.
What I’ve discovered after taking TWENTY flights this year and sharing much of it on social media is that many of you want to visit the same places and want to know the greatest (and not so great) places to go! In the next month, I’ll compile my travel recommendations and experiences into a series called Jenny Cookies Travels. You’ll be able to find these trips under the Explore tab on my site!
So here we go, let’s explore San Francisco!
If you grew up watching Full House, one thing on your childhood bucket list was to see the houses in the opening credits of the show in real life. Or maybe that was just my childhood bucket list. Either way, those beautiful houses are known as the Painted Ladies in San Francisco and they are stunning. I was giddy being in the area and the 8 year old in me was wishing DJ Tanner would walk out one of the doors with Kimmy Gibbler. (Not to crush anyones dreams, but, none of the houses are actually the real Full House house, but it’s just a short distance away.)
If you grew up watching the original or the newer Fuller House series, it’s worth a visit. It’s a quick uber from downtown. There is a huge park across the street from the houses where you can picnic or just sit in the sun and take in the view.
We were warned before our trip that San Francisco would be dirty, filled with homeless and unsafe. We were expecting a lot worse as we walked the streets, pleasantly surprised that it was clean, felt safe and didn’t come across any homeless. Turns out, we were just in a different area of town, but it’s reassuring to know that you can travel there without seeing the yucky areas.
We walked from our hotel down to the pier and came across several hot dog carts. I can’t pass up a hot dog vendor and quickly indulged in my first San Francisco street food.
Later that night I got a message on Instagram warning me not to eat hot dogs from food carts in San Francisco from a police officer in the area. They said they’d had a lot of issues with street vendors not being legal. I’m just passing this info along.. I am still alive and my hot dog was delicious!
As we got closer to Pier 39, there were lots of street vendors, tourists, musicians and plenty of cable cars passing us by.
Pier 39 was hopping. If you aren’t a big fan of crowds, this might not be the place for you. But..if you love snacks and dessert, there are endless options of food available. We stopped by the Biscoff cookie store, the famous Boudin bakery and a made to order Crepe Cafe. The food was endless. We ended up eating at Pier Market Seafood which was delicious!
Kelly and I travel really well together because both morph into tourist mode when we arrive in a new city. We realized before our trip that Alcatraz was on both of our to-do wish lists, so we made sure that was a must visit while we were there.
Here’s an Alcatraz tip. Get your tickets WAY IN ADVANCE. I waited until the last minute to get our tickets, only to discover that they sell out. I had to buy them on a re-sale site that doubles the price.
Double the price or not, the trip to Alcatraz was by far the highlight of our trip. It was so incredible that I am going to write a separate post on the visit because the pictures need their own blog. IT WAS AMAZING! Stay tuned…
After our incredible trip to Alcatraz, we settled in at our hotel, the Omni San Francisco. Look at this darling note the housekeeping staff left us. I loved the little details they provided to make sure our trip was extra special.
If there is one thing I love in life, it’s room service. I live for a great room service menu in a beautiful hotel room. The Omni San Francisco did not disappoint. We ordered a variety of breakfast choices and let me tell you, they were incredible. Their french toast and avocado toast were both the best I’d ever had.
I soaked up the morning in my room and caught up on emails before our last day of exploring.
If you are contemplating a place to stay while in town, I highly recommend the Omni. It was located in a great area. We felt safe, the area was clean and it was close enough for us to walk nearly everywhere we went! I have stayed at a variety of Omni properties over the past few years and have never been disappointed. When you are traveling to a different area, it’s nice to stay at a place that feels familiar and well known.
One of my must-explore adventures in any city is the best bakery. I have been wanting to visit Mr Holmes Bakehouse forever. When we arrived, I didn’t think we were in the right space. It’s teeny tiny. You literally walk into a small (but super cute) shop with one short counter of treats. They are known for their donuts and cruffins (croissant x muffin) but their homestyle cookies were hands down some of the best I’ve ever had. If you go, please bring me back some cookies!!
After we stuffed ourselves with treats, we walked down to the Ferry Building which is filled with yet more food. The Ferry Building is San Francisco’s most famous landmark for more than 100 years. It’s an indoor public food market offering every food imaginable. Inside, we tried Humphry Slocombe ice cream which lived up to it’s hype.. it was delicious.
From the Ferry Building, we took one of the adorable cable cars down to Fisherman’s Wharf. The cable car was super inexpensive, I think around $2.50. If you are traveling with kids or you don’t like to walk too far, take the cable car. It’s a must in San Fran!
The wharf is pretty touristy but fun to see. We ate at the big Boudin restaurant for lunch before we had to head back to the airport. Boudin is known for their sourdough bread, so we ended the trip with a big clam chowder sourdough bread bowl.
We left the city at least five pounds heavier than when we arrived, (well I did, not sure about Kelly) but it was super fun to explore a city I hadn’t seen in so many years. I’d love to go back to see a San Francisco Giants game and take my kids to Alcatraz.
Are there any San Francisco landmarks or experiences we missed? Let me know in the comments below!
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