There are few places in the U.S. that are worth a girls trip. For example, Scranton Pennsylvania. According to a recent and relevant survey of airline booze sales, flights to Scranton, PA ranked the lowest in fun. And since girls trips are meant for fun … we needed to jet to a city that other party lovers call home! San Francisco was the perfect city and as I learned San Fran is like my organic soul sister city that is just waiting to rage. So, I packed my favorite nautical attire and headed West like Fievel to escape the Miami Memorial Day madness, and to meet the NYC girls for some West Coast fun.
Must Stop: Sausalito
Any town where my Sperry Top Siders feel at home – I’ll adore. Sausalito is a small Mediterranean style town is situated along the rocky coast and it is here where you can enjoy some of the best views overlooking San Francisco. The town is known for its charming bed and breakfasts and gorgeous waters. It is also home to Lappert’s, the best ice cream I’ve had in years! Seriously try the Pink Hawaii Sea Salt and the Brazil Avocado Acai. Their flavors are so decadent you will want to bring home a pint.
Some of the best views of San Francisco are best enjoyed from San Francisco Bay. The girls and I were invited to join Adventure Cat Sailing Charters for a day on the Bay and it was probably the most scenic memory we have of our trip. Adventure Cat will sail right past Alcatraz Island and Sausalito and you will have a 360 degree view of the beautiful City on the water. Best part – they will let you drive the boat! Aye aye captain!
Make sure you take lots of photos of the Golden Gate bridge during this tour. You will not want to miss all of the architectural details! This tour is perfect for a girls getaway because you can bring your own wine to celebrate any occasion… or just to celebrate a regular day. Remember to dress warm and bring comfy shoes because the Bay waters are choppy and you might get wet.
Where to Explore: China Town
China Town San Francisco is such a cool area to walk around and feel like you are in a different world. The open fruit and produce markets line the streets and make for a good food detour if it’s time for a snack. The girls and I loved walking along and checking out some of the ornamental shops along the way. Make sure you stop by one of Chinatown’s landmarks, The Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory. You can actually watch the fortune cookies being made right when you walk into the store. The smell of fresh baked fortune cookies should be preserved in a candle – just sayin’, it smells amazing!
Where to Go: Cable Car Museum
My favorite stop on the trip was the Cable Car Museum because it actually shows how the San Francisco Cable cars work underground! It’s interesting to learn how the underground system pulls the cars up the steep hills and how they replace the cables to keep the system moving along. Downstairs to the museum is a viewing area of the large sheaves and cable line entering the building through the channel under the streets. So you can actually see whats happening underground in the streets to make these cars move. I’m a huge history geek and I thought this was all super- Neat-O!
Where to Eat: Lunch at Fish & Chips of Sausalito
Fish & Chips of Sausalito – If you want to try something truly worthy of a mouthgasm try the Fish Tacos. You wont be disappointed. What makes these tacos stand out is the fresh goat cheese they use in the recipe. The Fried Icelandic Cod is topped with Pico de Gallo, Cilantro, Cheddar Cheese Goat Cheese and finished with a tangy coleslaw. This isn’t a fancy stop and the food arrives in either a basket or styrofoam container but don’t let the presentation fool you – the food is delicious and grilled to absolute perfection.
Where to Eat: Breakfast Sidekick Cafe & Milk Bar
I love cheese. And when I say love, I really mean I’m a sicko when it comes to cheese. If cheese where a man I would do dirty, dirty things to it. I would make love to cheese hourly and ride it like a cowgirl… which brings me to my next spot… Cowgirl Creamery’s Sidekick Cafe & Milk Bar. This spot is located in the Ferry Building and is a perfect quick stop for breakfast on the go. I suggest ordering the SPICY CHÈVRE & JAM made on a soft challah roll with fresh chèvre from the creamery and topped with green chillies & jam. It’s so good you will crave it for months (still craving!). One regret – not picking up their cookbook or shipping back some of their cheese, so make sure you add this to your travel to-do list.
Where to Eat: Dinner at the Slanted Door
When you first walk into the Slanted Door you are greeted with the most eclectic decor enhanced with pop art images of dogs in the main lounge. It’s modern yet chic and also gives you something to chat about with your friends while waiting in the long line to get in the door! Before you venture over (and to avoid the line) make sure you make a reservation! And trust me even if you must wait the food is irresistible and worth every second in the que. The service at Slanted Door was impeccable. Our server suggested a few small plates to get us started. She even suggested our cocktails which helped to enhance the dishes we were trying. Speaking of which, my favorite dishes are the Grass-fed Estancia Shaking Beef and the Cellophane Noodles with green onion, dungeness crab, and sesame. Not the best photo but I promise it will knock your socks off!
Where to Eat: Brunch at Mama’s on Washington Square
Standing in line isn’t my thing. It really isn’t. Ask any of my friends and they will tell you I am a total snob when it comes to lines. I become obnoxious and I am O.K. with this. But in San Francisco I stood in line for Mama. Mama’s on Washington Square is worth the wait. My suggestion is to grab a hot cocoa on the walk over and arrive early before Mama’s opens its doors – about 30 minutes before opening should suffice. My favorite dishes included: the Corned Beef Hash Benedict Special and the Blueberry Pancakes. Go ahead and order both! Why not, you are on vacation! They are the best brunch dishes I’ve had nation-wide. And before you leave grab a Carrot Cake to-go. It is too good to miss.
The Marina District is wonderful for shop-til-you-drop action! This boutique and consignment shop dominated area is great if you are looking for unique finds. One of my favorite stops is Toss – AKA – the Nautical Shopaholics dream store. I think the girls and I may have gone a little cray shopping here, but we had a great time doing it. I wish this store existed in Miami because my inner sorority girl was really giddy here. I found a few gifts for friends and even picked up something for my pup!
The girls and I had a blast in San Francisco. The food was spectacular, the wine was amazing, and the weather, although a bit chilly, was perfect for climbing the steep hills. If you are a looking to jet to this city, I suggest exploring outside the touristy areas – you will meet some spectacular people and find delicious food. I also suggest trying local coffees shops – because you will love the ambiance.
West Coast Kisses,