48 Hours in San Francisco

Sapphire & Elm Travel co-founder,   Carly   took a weekend trip to San Francisco to celebrate her birthday and visit some good friends.

Sapphire & Elm Travel co-founder, Carly took a weekend trip to San Francisco to celebrate her birthday and visit some good friends.

Hailing from Los Angeles and living in San Diego, I've never really understood the appeal of San Francisco. The weather is terrible for California standards, the city isn't that walkable, and there is just as much culture in LA.

I realize my opinion is pretty short sighted and biased but since the majority of my college friends live in the Bay Area, I decided to give San Francisco another shot for my birthday weekend.

I went in with an open mind and I'm pleased to say I was wrong about San Francisco.

Here is how to spend 48 hours in San Francisco.



6pm - Arrive in San Francisco and Check into Your Hotel

We landed at rush hour but opted to take an Uber into the city. You can always take BART to get into your hotel. Public transportation is much better in San Francisco than Southern California.

We stayed at Hotel Zeppelin which is centrally located in Union Square. Hotel Zeppelin is a boutique hotel and part of the Viceroy family. It's in the historic part of town, it's hip, and it was the perfect spot for our quick weekend trip.

The plan after we checked into the hotel was to head to my birthday dinner but this Friday happened to also be game 4 of the NBA finals and not one of my friends was going to miss the 3-0 Golden State Warriors taking on the Cleveland Cavilers in a potential sweep of the series. 

We headed to a bar in the Marina District to meet up with our friends. The bar was packed with Warriors fans. It was quite an experience to watch a game in a city on the verge of winning a championship.

The Cavs ended up winning that game.

Had we made it to dinner, we would have gone to Lolinda, an Argentinian Steakhouse in the Mission.

10pm- Grab Drinks

Since we were already in the Marina, we stayed in the area to bar hop. We went from Sabrosa to Jaxon and ended our night with street food outside of Eastside West.

The area has a bit of a younger crowd but since I was with college friends trying to relive my glory days and desperately trying to forget I was another year older, it was perfect for us!



11am - Brunch at the Palm House

Since we went out the night before, we got a late start on Saturday. We returned to the scene of the crime and headed back to the Marian to have brunch at Palm House. Palm House has indoor and outdoor seating and the inside is bright and airy.

Palm House has an Island flair which is perfect since we are still obsessed with all things Tiki.

1pm - Park Day at Fort Mason

Since sunny days are a rarity in San Francisco, when the sun is shining (and even when it's not) locals flock to the park. Since we were in the Marina, we walked to Fort Mason. The park is perched on the hill over looking the Golden Gate Bridge. 

San Francisco allows park goers to bring alcohol into the park, as long as there is no glass. On the walk over to the park, we grabbed a bottle of Rosé and a wiffle ball and bat. We enjoyed an afternoon sipping wine and playing games.

6pm - Sunset cocktails and Dinner at El Techo.

El Techo is in the Mission and one of the few rooftop bars in San Francisco. Since seating is limited, we did have to wait in line but it was the worth the wait. The views are unparalleled and the food and drinks are tasty.

10pm - Try Something New

Since we were already in the Mission, our group decided to stay in the area to go out for the evening. A friend who is a local suggested we head to Bissap Baobab, a Senegalese restaurant and dance club.

When we arrived, Bissap Baobab was still in full blow restaurant mode. We were a little hesitant but we waited it out with a cocktail and by 11pm, we were on one of the liveliest dance floors I've ever seen.



9am- Breakfast at Cafe Réveille

After a few days of over indulging, a good breakfast, coffee and green juice was in order. We headed to Cafe Réveille, just a few blocks away from AT&T Park. Your order at the counter and then grab a seat.

The menu has options for pastries, eggs and even grab and go sandwiches. The food and coffee are great and the cafe itself is even cuter.

11am - Walk Along the Bay

Cafe Réveille is only a couple blocks from the water, we opted to walk along the San Francisco bay. We walked around the back side of AT&T Park, home to the San Francisco Giants. As a Dodger fan and an avid Giants hater, even I had to admire how gorgeous that baseball stadium is. 

We had to get back to the hotel to get ready for our flight but depending on the time of year, a day baseball game would be a good option.


1pm - Pit Stop at Mr. Holmes Bake House

We had a little more time to kill before our flight, so we stopped in at Mr. Holmes Bake House. It's a tiny location only a few blocks from Hotel Zeppelin. Blink and you might miss the store front.

I'm still dreaming about their blueberry donuts. I was still full from breakfast but I happily ate one and got another one for flight! And the signage in the shop is pretty appropriate!

48 hours is not enough time to even crack the surface of all that San Francisco has to offer. Dare I say I will be back!

After a few days in San Francisco, why not head to the stunning coast of Big Sur for a getaway?


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