*Sponsored by Alaska Air, Proper Hotels & ShopStyle
When I was asked by my favorite crew over at ShopStyle to team up with Alaska Airlines for a non-touristy/traveler style San Francisco Guide, I nearly fell out of my chair from shock and extreme excitement. There is no greater honor than having the opportunity to work with two companies you admire and trust, and San Francisco is one of D’s favorite cities in the world,so I was beyond excited to share this experience with him. I knew this would be such an incredible opportunity and memorable trip, but what I loved the most was that the team created such a fun itinerary for us that was completely out of the ordinary and it really encouraged D and I to come out of our shell and try completely new places and to try new experiences. The icing on the cake was sharing all of this with not only Darshan, but with some other Influencers who I have looked up to since my early days in blogging… never in my life could I have ever imagined myself here.
I wanted to put together the perfect 3-day travel guide for any of you looking for an easy weekend getaway or for those of you looking to have a unique and different experience in this beautiful city. Whether it is your first time visiting or if you’re a seasoned vet, my hope is that I can provide some alternate experiences to the typical tourist spots.
Did you know that Alaska Airlines travels to more cities, states, and countries than just to Alaska? #mostwestcoast means exactly just that, they travel to as many west coast cities as any other airline, and it is fast and easy to book every flight. If you are just like us, traveling out of LAX, it is a quick one-hour flight to San Francisco, which makes this destination perfect for a weekend or 2-3 day getaway.
What we loved about traveling on Alaska Airlines, first and foremost, was the customer service. Friendly staff at every front desk counter who were so kind and not only checked in each of our suitcases (first bag is free), but were cheerful and kind and ready to strike up a conversation with us; if you are a nervous flyer this initial contact can make all of the difference in calming your nerves. Our assigned seats, which is so much better than racing to try to find seats on first-come-first-serve basis, had so much leg room and we felt comfortable and not like we were sitting on top of one another. The in-flight service was just as wonderful as it was at the front desk and every flight attendant was kind and helpful. Darshan and I actually looked at each other before landing (this is a true story) and both said how we wish we had a longer flight, which has definitely never been the case! We were both enjoying our cups of coffee, I was reading my book and getting some work done on my laptop, and D was doing the same – in-flight internet is popular with us and thank goodness Alaska Airlines had us covered there.
Here are some links that might help you out when booking your next trip with Alaska Airlines:
WHERE TO STAY
I am and will always be a sucker for great hospitality just as much as I am for eye pleasing aesthetic, and this hotel is winning at both. Like I mentioned above about how great it is to be greeted with a kind smile and welcoming words at check-in at the airport, it is equally, if not more important at your hotel! This is the crew that will be caring for you for a few days and nights so comfort is always key. Upon first arrival Darshan and I were instantly blown away with the beauty and style of this hotel. So chic with its modern and artistic black and white decor, truly a luxury boutique hotel at its finest. The icing on the cake, Aēsop products… YESS! I packed my own shampoo and conditioner and never even had to remove them from my luggage. The room had all of the bells and whistles and we were so impressed with the functionality, from the hotel room classics: Iron + board, hair dryer, TV, to one of the coolest features, an in-room tablet to make all and any request through the hotel. You can order room service from the tablet, request information from hotel concierge, and do just about any and everything without even having to pick up the hotel room phone.
The location of the hotel was excellent. It was a very short walk to Market Street and all of the best shopping in town. Also, everywhere we went during the weekend cost us less than $15 on Lyft since the location is very central in the city; traveling to every neighborhood is very convenient!
WHERE TO EAT
What we ate: Mac “N” Four Cheese Fritters & Deviled Eggs (only $2 during happy hour and one of the best things I have ever eaten in life)
Experience: we learned this used to be a funeral home… whaaaaat?! From that minute I was hooked, sign me up for all things scary! Apparently there is a video on YouTube of the alleged ghost seen at the restaurant which I am determined to find, also they host live music shows in what used to be the chapel, talk about rad venue.
What we ate: Old School Tacos (holy goodness these tacos are a MUST)
Experience: this is a place D and I will frequent any time we come to the city. We love a great bar vibe and when the food and drinks are high quality and better than most formal restaurants it’s easy to become a favorite spot for us. Great place for Sunday and Monday night football, or to catch any game for that matter, or to hang out with friends and enjoy great cocktails and drinks. We were lucky and had the opportunity to take a bartending class with one of their bartenders and made our own margaritas… lets just say that is a very easy way to my heart!
What we ate: Peking Duck and Margherita Pizza (soooo delish and so fresh)
Experience: You can watch the pizzas being made in front of you in the most stunning oven I have ever seen, a 5,000 lb. Stefano Ferrara oven. Everyone on the staff is deaf so the entire purpose of the restaurant is to heighten and make you more aware of your senses and help you appreciate the beauty that truly using your taste buds and nothing else can help to enrich your dining experience.
What we ate: Grandma’s Churros
Experience: love the scene here and since we only came for dessert I am hoping to go back and try this place next time because the food reviews I have read are all amazing. Also they have a really cool bar vibe and the owner is hilariously fun, which completely shows in the design and interior of the restaurant.
What we ate: coconut milk latte, avocado/egg toast, and almond croissant
Experience: we randomly wandered into this coffee shop after walking down to Market Street from our hotel. We were in need of a pick-me-up from travels and this adorable little café was tucked into a corner and was surprisingly quiet and quant despite being center to one of the city’s busiest neighborhoods. We left feeling refueled and really thankful to have stumbled in; it is the perfect place for your morning coffee and breakfast or for that mid-afternoon coffee re-boot!
What we ate: Potato and Leek Croquettes, Heirloom Tomato Salad, Steak Tartare (been craving this ever since), Seafood sausage, Arctic Char Amandine, Steak Frites, Vegetables à la Provençal, Île Flottante, Marzipan and Cherry Ice Cream
Experience: it is always fun to get dressed up and head to dinner and this is a wonderful place to do so. Modern and chic interior décor, amazing wine list, and fantastic French cuisine… we were stuffed and feeling so great after this meal!
What we drank: Proper Cup (so so SO refreshing and delish)
Experience: this is one of San Francisco’s only rooftop bars, trust me when I say this is a place you all have to experience. Whether it is day or night, the views are spectacular and some of the best in the city. It has a very lounge/relaxed scene and is the perfect place to meet up with friends, end a crazy work week, or go for a date night out on the town.
What we ate: Warm olives, Heirloom Tomatoes, Kale Salad, BBLT, Lasagna
Experience: of all the places we went to in the 3 days we were in San Fran, this place was the most in sync with my personal vibes. Located in Sausalito on the water with sand and outdoor seating, this is a place I would probably live at if we were locals. It was really incredible to drive into Sausalito where the weather was easily 10 degrees warmer than in the city, the town is so quant and beautiful, I can’t believe this was the first time I ever visited! It was only a 30-minute drive from downtown San Fran so it’s such an easy and fun trip to make, 100% worthwhile to spend a day across the bridge!!
WHAT TO DO
Avital Food Tour: a foodie and wannabe-foodie’s dream come true!! We love trying new places but never really know where to start and never have we thought to do a FOOD tour when visiting a city. So many of the places listed above that we tried were while on this tour of the Mission District in San Francisco. This was such a fun experience and the best part was not just eating and trying new places but learning the history and background of the Mission District and every restaurant we tried. Camille was our tour guide and she was energetic, fun, full of really cool information, and made the entire experience wonderful!
Visit a bookstore: we took a Lyft down to North Beach and I was on a mission to visit a bookstore that was recommended by the ShopStyle team, and it did not disappoint. City Lights Book Store is every book worm’s dream come true. The book selection was incredible and the old-fashioned shop felt so nostalgic that simply wandering the aisles was so exciting and quite the experience. I have decided that from now on in every city we visit it is my goal to find a bookshop to visit. After an hour of browsing, we both walked out with books for ourselves as well as some books for Raj!
NFL Shop(for all you football/sports fans): located at Pier 39, this is a stop that is one of Darshan’s San Fran requirements no matter the occasion or season. He loves coming here to get stocked up on all of our football gear for the season and I don’t mind it either because you KNOW this girl loves some football. ALWAYS, always, end the shopping excursion with hot/fresh donuts from Trish’s Mini Donuts… I am already having a craving for those sweet, cinnamon bursts of delight as I type this.
Visit Sausalito: as you read above we had brunch in Sausalito at Bar Bocce, but I have to share this here because it was such an easy and fun day trip and something I have never done before. There are hikes, boat rides, SUP rentals, and everything you can do in a beach town. We went Saturday before heading to the airport and it was the greatest way to end our trip. This is such an easy plan to add to your itinerary as it only takes a few hours out of the day if it’s all you’ve got! Not to mention the drive itself is such a treat and full of so many beautiful views of the city – it’s a MUST.
OUR ITINERARY (how to do it all in 2-3 days)
- Arrive/Check into hotel
- Afternoon walk around Market Street/shops/coffee
- Evening Mission Food tour
- Room service (duh!)
- Book a tour (we were fortunate enough to have the opportunity to tour the Pinterest offices, I was elated and so thankful, I am a long time Pinner so this was a dream)
- Afternoon lunch in North Beach, book shop, walk around North Park and Washington Square Park
- Check out of hotel
- Load luggage in car
- Brunch in Sausalito
- Head to airport for takeoff
I truly hope this tour guide has helped you in any way when planning your next visit to this timeless, beautiful city, San Francisco. As I mentioned above it is one of our favorite places to visit and as much as there is to do, even if you only have a few days to spare, it is easy to leave the city fulfilled and happy after just a short weekend trip. Of course, there is a gigantic list of things to do in the city, but my hope with this guide was to introduce you to some out of the ordinary experiences. The Golden Gate Bridge, trollies, and Haight and Ashbury will never get old, but what is travel without forcing yourself out of your comfort zone to try new things in exciting and vibrant cities?!
Love this type of post? Leave a comment below and let me know if you would like to see more of these types of travel posts from upcoming travel plans we have and have taken recently!
SHOP all of my outfits here