It’s so cliché to say that I left my heart in this beautiful city. I visit so frequently that my best friend’s couch perfectly molds to my body and I feel at home. I came here for the holiday weekend as my last hooray before taking off to Europe next month. I come here at least once a month both for work and fun, I’m signed to Scout Model Agency in the bay area. I almost feel like I have more friends in the city than I do back home in Los Angeles. I never eat alone; always have a dinner date, and someone who always wants to meet up for a drink after. There’s something special about the people in San Francisco. As the start-up capital of the world, you’ll never meet so many determined, motivated, and intelligent people as you do in this 7x7 metropolitan square. Everyday I meet someone who’s trying to sell me on their new idea: the next big social media that will take over the world or the newest app that will deliver a five-course meal prepared by a sous-chef to your doorstep with a tap on your phone screen.
There are so many different pockets in San Francisco. Every visit I discover something amazing, and here is my guide of things to-do in this pretty city:
1. Bi-Rite Ice Cream- Yeah whatever, my number one thing is a dessert. But this little gem is walking distance from Dolores Park and the salted caramel ice cream in a waffle cone might change your life forever.
2. Hayes Valley- Stumbled upon this hipster mecca this time around and I’m so in love with this area. Look out for cute bike shops, pop-up juice bars, colorful street art, and unique boutiques. I ate brunch at The Flipper, and got a short stack of strawberry pancakes. When I got my food I thought they forgot the strawberries, but actually they were just hidden inside the fluffy flapjacks. Dreamy.
3. Golden Gate Park- This place is HUGE. So many different entrances that there is like a 78% chance you’ll get lost if you’re a tourist. Not a bad place to get lost. It is filled of grassy hills, tennis courts, Japanese tea garden and bike trails. This is where Outside Lands Music Festival takes place every August!
4. Union Square- Of course you have to go to Union Square if you’re in the city. If anything just find a bench and stare at the 7 story Macy’s and think about why people are shopping during our recession (are we still in a recession? Idk). This is my first time ever seeing the ice skating rink they set up in the square every winter. I wanted to have a total Serendipity moment and gracefully glide across the ice to find my potential soul-mate, but unfortunately this rink isn’t as big the one in Central Park and I was disappointed to see that no one was over the age of 14. But, I’m sure it would still be fun if you had a hot date to hold your hand as pretend to stagger and wobble, but in my case I actually don’t really know how to ice skate so I really do need someone to hold my hand.
5. Fillmore Street- Another cute go-to destination. This street is filled of designer boutiques such as Alice + Olivia, Marc by Marc Jacobs, James Perse and Ralph Lauren. This street is booming with happy hours, coffee shops and salons. Yes, salons. There’s one like every other freaking store. If you need your hair done I guess this is your landing-place. If you’re looking for a pick-me-up or going somewhere special I recommend stopping by Drybar. Treat yourself to a blow-out and style while having a drink. When making an appointment I recommend the stylist Ashley, she’s fun and professional and made my hair red carpet gorgeous.
6. Alamo Square- Park with the houses from the show Full House. Go on the hill and do a cartwheel and pretend you’re one of the Olsen twins.
7. Valencia Street- Vintage stores, wannabe vintage stores, modern furniture stores, over-priced recycled paper stationary stores, appliance stores (wanted to go into a washing machine because sometimes I act like I’m 8), thrift stores, and so much more. I think I felt a little trendier leaving this street. I often go to the restaurant Tacolicious for the best tacos and guacamole in the entire world, not to mention this have pomegranate infused margaritas by the pitcher (this is true). Also stop by the store Betabrand, a men and women’s clothing store where you can submit your ideas or designs on their website, and the highest votes turn into a prototype. A cool new concept so we can all feel like creative fashion designers. As I type this I am wearing a pair of their red plaid ‘Vajamas’ that I picked up yesterday. The softest pajamas pants made out of a synthetic fleece that warm my heart and soul.
8. Haight-Ashbury- I always have to come here because I’m such a sucker for designer thrift shopping. The street is filled of second-hand clothing stores that you can sell your clothes to and buy new ones to support your shopaholic addiction. My favorite store is always Wasteland, I have come across many treasures here such as a vintage Escada jacket for $50 and my friend scored a pair of Alexander Wang leather boots that look straight off the runway for like $100.
9. Mission District- If you’re going to San Francisco I recommend bringing some workout clothes. A must-do thing is going to the many yoga classes offered throughout the city. My all time favorite is ‘Yoga to The People’ which is on the top level of an office building. This studio is donation-based; you can rent a mat for $2, and enjoy a city view outside the huge glass windows. Simply one of the best yoga experiences you can find.
10. The Marina- Went out here for the first time during this visit. If you’re looking for bar-hopping and a variety of restaurants this is a great place to check out. Bars are all within walking distance from each other so you don’t have to worry about getting a ride every time you get sick of listening to a DJ play the most over-played top hits of 2014.
All of these pictures were taken with a handy dandy iPhone. xx