San Francisco

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It’s apparently been raining a whole lot in Northern California this year, which is good, because after years of drought, they most certainly need it! For eight glorious days in March, however, the sun came out and warmed our faces and our souls and made me want to move there all over again.

For the San Francisco portion of our trip, we stayed at the Hotel Zetta, which we completely loved. It was well-situated South of Market Street and offered modern and quirky accommodations that were pristinely clean and comfortable while being really fun to take in.

hotel zetta

hotel zetta san francisco

Hotel Zetta San Francisco 

Hotel Zetta is definitely a place to play, with their play room, bar, graffiti-marked stairwells, and whimsy everywhere, but it was also a place to get work done. I absolutely loved the desk and chair in our room and worked about eight hours a day before exploring. The food and wine was great. (I wrote about my dining experience at The Cavalier here.) Best of all, the hospitality and service were second-to-none. We received such a warm welcome and lovely interactions with staff throughout our stay; this hotel would definitely be top of our list for our next trip to San Francisco.

Hotel Zetta San Francisco

hotel zetta san francisco

As you do, I spent most of my time in San Francisco walking all over the city, up and down its famous hills, along the sea, and on the beach.

 Bay Bridge

 

The Ferry Building

The Ferry Building is always a must visit, and wine and cocktails at Hog Island Oyster were a nice way to refresh after our flight on our first day.

Hog Island Oyster

On my biggest walking day, I wandered the stunning beauty that is Ocean Beach; seriously don’t miss this expanse of sand and waves if you visit San Francisco. I set some intentions for the year while breathing in salty air, and then set off to explore Golden Gate Park.

  Ocean Beach

ocean beach san francisco

You could easily spend days wandering around and experiencing Golden Gate Park; I only had a few hours, but I loved every step.

Golden Gate Park

  I started at the Dutch Windmill and made my way to the Bison Paddock and into the Conservatory of Flowers.

Golden Gate Park

 

 

 Golden Gate Park

The Conservatory, with its greenery and humidity and just that amazing green smell was one of my favorite places in the park.

IMG_0732

And when I got to the butterfly room, I think I was more excited than the children there. Butterflies are just pure magic. They were flying and fluttering all over!

Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park  

From flower-filled meadows to hidden paths, to waterfalls, ponds filled with miniature sailboats, and so much more, Golden Gate Park is such an incredible oasis in the city and a place I will return again and again when we visit San Francisco.

Golden Gate Park

 Golden Gate Park

And speaking of places I visit again and again, Pier 39, while incredibly touristy, is a spot I always make a point of getting to; you can’t watch those sea lions without laughing with pure delight. They are adorable and hilarious!

pier 39

The foggy views of Alcatraz weren’t too bad either!

Alcatraz

There is so much to do and see in San Francisco, and plenty of outdoors activities; with the fine weather being outside was an amazing respite from New England winter!

Read all about our recent California travels:

Eating My Way Around San Francisco

The Mendocino Coast

Heritage House Resort

Find all of my travel blog posts, including Sonoma and Napa trips

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Tags: California, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, Travel, travel blog

What a whirlwind the past few weeks have been! From almost a week in NJ to over a week in California to arriving home late last night from a long weekend in Puerto Rico, I feel like I have been on the road and in the air nonstop. I’ve loved it. While I do crave routine, there’s something about a change of perspective that is really inspiring and motivating. It’s good to be home though (and planning our next trip, which is to Camden, Maine in just a few weeks!)

While my husband had a conference in San Francisco, I spent my days working on East Coast time, generally 5:00 am Pacific time until around 1:00 or 2:00, then taking time to explore San Francisco on my own, which was so fun. I still have so many blog posts left, but since food is such an important part of this blog, I bring you a quick peek into some of my San Francisco food and drink finds.

Beach Chalet Brewery & Restaurant San Francisco

Before a very long walk on Ocean Beach and in Golden Gate Park, I fueled up with a Beach Louie Salad at the Beach Chalet. I wanted something super fresh but also something hearty and filling to get me through the day, and this delicious combination did both. The views from the Beach Chalet are stunning, which certainly set the mood for a fun day of San Francisco exploration.

Magnolia Brewery

I walked for four hours straight in the warm California sun, and my reward in Haight-Ashbury was a cold Ripple in Cloud Water beer at the Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery. This cute corner brew pub was a fun stop for me to rest my feet and refresh with a delicious beer and for some people-watching.

Magnolia Brewery  

After a long hot shower when I returned, I headed to a trendy spot, The Cavalier, for solo dinner. I really enjoy dining alone at times. And I immensely enjoyed my black cod with truffle and the incredible half an avocado with pickled fennel, beets, and red onion. It was a heavenly blend of richness and freshness. The restaurant vibe was great, and while I had a great time alone, I would love to dress up and come back with a group.

 Cavalier San Francisco

Wattle Creek Winery

Since I was in California, I of course made time to find a wine tasting room in San Francisco. On another day of walking, I made my way to Wattle Creek Winery, where I started tasting wines, got to the Viognier, and loved it so much I decided I wanted to stop there and have a glass. The tasting room in San Francisco is in the heart of Ghirardelli Square, and with the sun shining, a musician playing nearby, a delicious glass of wine and a friendly tasting room staff, I was one happy traveler.

Wattle Creek Winery

Ghirardelli Square

That night, I opted for takeout and TV. . . walking those San Francisco hills can definitely take it out of you, and the time zone change meant I was ready for bed by 9 most nights! Oasis Grill in the Financial District has been a favorite for tired takeout in the past, and I loved this falafel and eggplant wrap. I have been craving it ever since!

falafel wrap

We spent the next few days in Mendocino at the Heritage House Resort, and when I returned to San Francisco for a work event, finally had dinner at The Slanted Door in the Ferry Building. I had been to San Francisco so many times and never visited this favorite waterfront hotspot, so I was very excited.

I didn’t disappoint! Talk about cravings. . . I want to eat this food every day. Go with a group, and share as many dishes as possible. Four of us put quite a dent in the menu, devouring all sorts of rolls and noodles and crunchy, spicy, fresh vegetables.

We also polished off a bottle of Croatian wine, which was a highlight of the evening.

The Slanted Door

The Slanted Door

Some people may feel that the Ferry Building restaurants are too touristy, but I still love it. There’s some great food, and the views definitely don’t hurt!

Bay Bridge Sunset

Because of the blizzard back at home, I got a bonus day in San Francisco and was not only able to head back to Sonoma for wine tasting at Gloria Ferrer and Anaba, but we also got introduced to a very cool wine bar I almost don’t want to share. . .

High Treason is the creation of two former fine dining somms who have taken their knowledge and experience and opened up a completely chill local wine bar with ridiculously good small plates and a really interesting wine list, which they know inside and out. If we didn’t have to get to the airport, I would have stayed all night. 

 High Treason

High Treason

I’m beyond lucky that my job, my husband’s job, and blogging have allowed me to have so many of the experiences I have had this year. I am definitely happiest with a suitcase packed and travel research notes all over the place!

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Tags: Food, San Francisco, Travel, travel blog, travel media, wine

San Francisco. It’s one of my favorite cities of all time, one I would love to live near someday, and where a piece of my heart always is. It’s also always the last stop from our beloved Sonoma County as we reluctantly head to the airport. SFO has seen many a tear from my eye.

To soften the blow of leaving wine country, we usually stop at an old favorite, Gloria Ferrer for bubbles and endless views of the vineyards. After that stop, we make our way to our favorite beach in San Francisco and, if we have time, to the Cliff House.

San Francisco Views

It might be a little touristy, but in addition to incredible views, the Cliff House has an interesting history and fresh seafood, along with some great California wines by the glass. It’s the perfect way to get a last taste of Northern California before taking off.

Cliff House, San Francisco oysters On our last visit to the Cliff House, we splurged on plates of oysters, briny, sweet, West Coast oysters paired with St. Supery Sauvignon Blanc. Its tart, lemony notes went perfectly with the salinity of the oysters.

We also went for a couple of Dungeness crab cocktails and baskets of fries. If there was ever a perfect meal in my world, this was it.

dungeness crab San Francisco Sunset Food tastes better with sea-rumpled hair and salty skin and sand in your shoes, of that I am convinced. One of the most beautiful places to watch the sunset in the world doesn’t hurt.

San Francisco Sunset I’ve left my heart in San Francisco many times, but I’ll be back for it.

view from the Cliff House

Until then, there’s lots of other travel fun to be had, including my annual ladies trip to the Cape this weekend! I pretty much can’t wait. Girlfriends, wine, karaoke, dancing, and the beach? I am in.

Have you ever been to San Francisco? Favorite part?

Where’s your favorite spot to watch the sun set?

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Tags: California, Food, San Francisco, Travel, wine

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