California Trip 2014: San Francisco

After our California trip, San Francisco has quickly risen to the top of the list of the places I would most like to live.  What I appreciated most was that everything was beautiful (the architecture, landscaping, parks on every corner) while also being functional, eco-friendly, and just plain smart.  The public transportation was so easy to use, particularly with this Muni app that saved our tails about 5 times a day.  Honestly I can’t say enough good things about it.  It’s a shame I don’t have the millions to live there quite yet.  One day maybe.  I did some pretty significant planning for this portion of the trip and was happy with almost everything that we did so I wanted to give you guys some tips for your future trips.

First things first, download that app so you can get around easily.


The Mayflower Hotel – Such a lovely little hotel in a great location.  I honestly still can’t believe how cheap this place was.

Do (in no particular order):

The Alcatraz Night Tour – I think this was Corey’s favorite thing.  It was such a neat experience to just be at Alcatraz and watch the sun set over the Golden Gate Bridge.  The cherry on top was the fantastically executed audio tour narrated by past guards and prisoners.

Stroll through Castro and Dolores Park, grabbing a delicious Hot Cookie on the way.

Do a bit of shopping at the Rare Device and the Perish Trust before heading over to see the Painted Ladies.

Get up early to go see the sea lions at Pier 39, but don’t worry about the rest of Fisherman’s Wharf.  A little too touristy for my taste.  If you have time, drive down Lombard Street or at least walk by to see how crazy it looks.

Walk down to the dog park near the Golden Gate Bridge for an instant pick me up.  There’s nothing like watching dogs play in the ocean.


SPQR – A fancy italian restaurant.  Be sure the make reservations way ahead of time.

Zuni Cafe –  Just get the chicken – you’ll thank me.  Ditto on the reservations.

Tony’s Pizza – They don’t take reservations and your wait will probably be long but the margherita pizza is to die for.
















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  1. Stephanie

    Beautiful! Would love to go back – minus the earthquake!

  2. Katie

    Can you just redo your whole trip? But instead of Corey going, I’ll go with you! Corey can stay home with the cats!

    • Megan

      Me too!!!

  3. Megan

    So beautiful Bean!!

  4. Quinn

    Great pics – glad ya’ll had fun.

    One no so fun fact though is average rent in the city for a 1-bedroom is around $3,200 – parking, washer dryer, new appliances are all subject. You may or may not get those in that price. It’s absurd. Thank you facebook, twitter and all the other tech IPOs that have run the price of rent up. You don’t want to live here for that. Trust me writing a ridiculously high rent check each month for rent makes me cringe…

    Next time you come back let me know and will send you a fun list of things you may have missed!

  5. rox

    isn’t SF just MAGICAL?! I’ve always wanted to live in SF…but…like the commenter before me – it comes w/ a hefty price tag. makes the trips there all that more special.

  6. Taylor

    Lovely pictures as always Colleen! I’m going in August to visit Quinnie so this is a very timely post 🙂

  7. Jackie

    What an amazing job you did in capturing the city in your pictures. It sounds like you were able to experience so much and what fun to be able to share your experience

  8. Jean Wilks

    So glad you all had a great trip; I am enjoying your excellent pictures over and over. Thanks for sharing. Love you and Corey.