If you only have about 24h in a city you want to make the most of them. Lucky for me my jetlag helped me get out of bed early and roam the streets of SF by 8.30 am on a Sunday. I was staying at a Hostel close to Union Square and decided I would make the most of the day by walking. In theory awesome, with the ongoing wildfires not my brightest idea ever but nevertheless I would highly recommend it.
My first stop were the Painted Ladies, a must see but by far not the prettiest of architecture in the city. The combination of cult status and a glimpse of the traditional houses paired with downtown SF make this place worth the visit. You will be able to get one of those famous shots without people in them on a Sunday morning but by 11 am the meadow is packed with selfie sticks, couples and in general masses so be sure to head there early.
Just a quick walk away is the famed Haight-Ashbury neighbourhood. I see it as the Friedrichshain of San Francisco for all my Berlin connoisseurs out there. Packed with vintage shops, phenomenal street art and shop fronts as well as some highly recommendable coffee places. But definitely don’t be there before 11 am on a Sunday as most places will only open then. Which makes it also the perfect spot for a coffee break and energy fuel up after an early breakfast.
At the end of Haight Street you will not only find a Whole Foods to buy some beverages and snacks but also end up at the beginning of Golden Gate Park. There are plenty of places that you should go and see there and it is great to just chill and get away from the busy street for a bit. My favourite discovery was the Disc Golf Parc, well I was made aware of it’s existence only after I almost got beheaded by one of the discs flying right at me. Definitely worth seeing if you wanna know what’s cool, plus I will be putting my money on one of those opening in Amsterdam, Berlin, Copenhagen (any hipster city) in a year or so.
With my decision to walk towards Baker Beach and the Golden Gate Bridge through 30th Avenue I was pretty alone, so got the chance to check out the yard sales along the way with only the locals. Without smoke and good weather conditions you will catch your first view of the bridge already here. After my little stroll I ended up at just the place I needed for an early afternoon chill out. The view on one of the most famous bridges in the world, my bare feet in the sand completed with the spotting of dolphins and chatting with some of the fishermen/-women there made it all the more worthwhile.
You may be thinking: ‘How much better can it get?!’. The answer is A LOT! Once you hike up the sand ladder just follow the signs leading you closer to Golden Gate Bridge and you will have a new view on the most famous sight of the city after every turn, leaving you a little more speechless and also making you understand why it is so hyped. Make sure once you make it all the way there to also walk down to Chrissy Fields and enjoy the relaxed atmosphere there and around the Marina.
In case this was not enough walking for you, I would dearly recommend checking out Ghirardelli Square with it’s massive old school sign and loads of chocolate to taste. Especially with all the Christmas decorations up it is more than worth stopping by when in the area. Plus for the true Cali experience you can head to the In&Out right around the corner. I am sorry if you where one of the many people that had to listen to me go on and on about trying this chain during my week in the Bay Area. Therefore, thank you Jordan for making my dream come true and thank you Camilla and Mik for still talking to me after seeing me devour that double-double at 2.30 am.