Travel Diary – San Francisco Pride Weekend + Top Tourist Things To Do When In San Francisco

IMG_20160701_090739

Hi Guys!

I should first start off by apologising for being such an absentee blogger this past month and welcoming you all back! If you follow me on social media (FacebookTwitterInstagram & Snapchat: @adashoflime) then you’ll know I’m just recently home from two amazing weeks in San Francisco.

Last October, one of our best friends, Sara Kate flew the nest and moved to San Francisco so myself and Eadaoin promised her that no matter what we would visit this summer. Truth be told I was so excited to just see Sara Kate and spend time with the girls that I didn’t actually put much thought into San Francisco as a city itself or have that many expectations for it. Little did I know that I’d fall completely in love with everything about the place. If you haven’t been there then put it on the bucketlist, there is genuinely something there for everyone.

received_10157287745710393

For two weeks we managed to squeeze in an awful lot so I’ll be doing a good few different posts on all of the best places to eat, shop, visit and see! For now though, I’m going to give you a general overview on our first weekend and what my favourite tourist things were to do!

IMG_20160627_123043

received_10157287745690393

We didn’t intentionally plan it but the two weekends we were there were for Pride Weekend and 4th Of July so we really struck gold on our dates. Pride Weekend was absolutely brilliant and such an amazing thing to experience. On the Saturday we went to a Bloc Party which was exactly what we needed seeing as the three gals hadn’t had a good boogie together in over 8 months.For events like this it was so handy being with people who lived there and were in the know because they knew exactly what was going on where and what was worth checking out but if you aren’t as lucky as us to have your own tour guide then check sites like Resident Advisor to find out what gigs and events are on while you’re there.. there will always be something going on!

received_10157287745860393

received_10157287745800393

IMG_20160626_170737

 

For the Sunday of Pride we grabbed some beers and headed straight for the iconic Dolores Park in the Castro District. You’ll definitely recognise it from anyone who’s every been to San Francisco’s Instagram.. and rightly so.  Its beautiful and it’s views of the city skyline are a must see. We sat there for hours perched with our drinks catching up and spotting all of the amazing Pride inspired “rig-outs”.

IMG_3253

The following week then was when we attempted to do as many touristy bits as possible! And to be fair to us we ticked off an impressive amount for the time we were there. It makes so much of a difference when you go on holidays with someone who wants to do all of the same things as you! As I’ve already mentioned there are a million and one things to do in San Francisco so we didn’t quite get through them all but we’re already planning a visit back to tackle the rest. Here’s what we did get up to:

Top Tourist Things To Do In San Francisco!

  1. Bike The Golden Gate Bridge

IMG_3265

IMG_3285

IMG_3262

This was probably the thing I was looking forward to least (due to my completely irrational fear of cycling) but ended up being one of my favourite memories from the trip. There are so many bike rental shops dotted over San Fran and near the bridge in particular with most costing around $8 an hour. If you decide to bike the bridge then make sure to check the weather the morning of in hopes of avoiding that San Francisco fog!

2. Visit The Palace Of Fine Arts

IMG_3325

IMG_3306

IMG_3295

IMG_3294

IMG_3331

Located in the Marina District the monumental structure was originally constructed in order to present works of art there but I can’t imagine any piece of art being more beautiful than the Palace itself. It’s free in so grab a picnic and have your lunch there while taking in its beauty. It’s also home to some amazing wildlife so keep your eyes peeled. (The inner nerd in me is shining through right now, I know)

3.Walk Along Fisherman’s Wharf

FW1

FW2

We did this on our first day and it was such a nice way to break ourselves into the city. Walk along the different piers and take in all of the sights. Alcatraz can be seen in the distance and don’t forget to visit the sealions at Pier 39!

      4.Tackle Lombard Street

IMG_3337

IMG_3339

IMG_3345

San Francisco is a constant battle of hills and slopes so you always end up earning your lunch after a morning of wandering. Lombard Street is probably one of it’s most famous due to its iconic twists and bends.

     5.Take In The Pretty Painted Ladies

IMG_3441

Probably most recognised as San Fran’s most famous houses (alongside Mrs. Doubtfires), they’re known for their pretty pastel colours and their Victorian & Edwardian features. Although they are undeniably pretty I have to admit I was a little underwhelmed when seeing them in person. This is probably only because there is absolutely no shortage of amazing architecture and enviable houses dotted all over San Fran so when we finally went to The Painted Ladies I couldn’t help but think I had seen nicer. That being said, they are definitely worth a visit if you are nearby!

     6.Hike Lands End

IMG_3473

IMG_3485

IMG_3460

IMG_3466

Lands End is a park located at the mouth of the Golden Gate bridge giving you the best views of the bridge itself (weather depending) but even on a foggy day its a gorgeous walk. There are numerous hike trails and different routes you can take, all the while taking in the rocky and windswept shoreline

IMG_3499

IMG_3497

If hiking isn’t your thing then at least go to Lands End for the house spotting. I say houses but they’re really outrageous mansions like nothing you’ve ever seen before. #HouseGoals anyone?

     7.Watch The Sun Set Over The Pacific Ocean

IMG_3225

IMG_3236

IMG_3230

IMG_3232

I think the pictures speak for themselves but while you’re at it you might aswell dip your toes in the Pacific Ocean too and live out your very own Crossroads moment!

      8.Raise A Glass In Dolores Park

IMG_20160626_164826

I can think of worse places to have a drink!!

     9.Get Lost In The Districts

IMG_3404

IMG_3359

IMG_3445

The very best way to see any city (as corny as it may sound) is to just get lost in it. Put on a comfortable pair of shoes and just set off with no exact destination in sight. We did this a few days and it was on those days that we really got a feel for the place. From the Financial District to the Marina to Chinatown to the Mission and lest we forget North Beach, San Francisco is divided into lots of different districts, all as interesting and worthy of your time as the next!

         10.Hunt For Vintage On Haight Street

IMG_3455

IMG_3450

For any fashion lover, Haight Street is the spot for you. I’m going to be doing a full post on all the best shopping areas but if you only ever visit one place to spend your dollars in San Fran – make it Haight!

And last but definitely not least, visit Alcatraz! You need to book this at least a month in advance meaning we actually didn’t make it there (whoops!) but its meant to be absolutely incredible! Guess it just means I need to go back 🙂

So there you have it, my top 10 things to do and see in San Francisco. Just writing about it and going through all of my photos makes me want to be back there immediately. I have so many more posts to come over the next week or two so keep your eyes peeled and as always keep up to date with me on snapchat @adashoflime !

Gotta Dash,

Edel x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *