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24 hours in SF

Posted on Dec 1, 2014 in Travel

My sister and I celebrate November birthdays a week a part.  This year what I wanted most was a getaway with her, remembering back to June when the two of us got to spend almost two weeks in Italy.  We managed to pull of a 24-hour girls getaway with our mom in San Francisco.  It was quick, yes, but so worth it.  While we live only an hour from the city we hardly ever go up there and still have so many places yet to visit and explore (and many places we seem to consistently gravitate back to).

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What we did:

  • Drive past Mission Dolores (future stop someday), through the Castro, past Castro Theater
  • Twin Peaks lookout (unbelievable views, also above – fall is a great time to go for the best weather – will definitely come back sometime and hike around)IMG_6104
  • Check in to hotel in the Financial District (big deals on the weekend – we searched on Hotwire but ended up going with a Travelzoo offer heavily discounting a 4.5 star hotel) – this was my first time staying in the financial district…positives were being a block or two from the Ferry Building, right by the Transamerica landmark, views of the Bay Bridge and water.  Drawbacks were expensive parking (although if you’re willing to shlep your luggage for a block or two you could find reasonable weekend garage rates – check yelp), so many of the eateries right around the hotel were closed on the weekend (even Starbucks, people!).
  • Walk to the Ferry building for late lunch (Cowgirl Creamery – gourmet grilled cheese – UNBELIEVABLE).  We were aiming to be there for the Saturday morning Farmer’s Market but enjoyed Twin Peaks instead.2014_111 2014_11IMG_6141
  • Walk along the Embarcadero during golden hour before SunsetIMG_6175 IMG_6182
  • Shop in Ghirardelli Square – they were assembling the Christmas Tree.  We got our chocolate samples and went back for a super expensive but ultra-decadent hot chocolate.  Shopping: Jackson & Polk (clever and crafty gifts) and the Olive Oil / Vinegar store next door (I also have enjoyed tastings and purchases at the olive oil store in the Ferry Building).IMG_6204 2014_113 IMG_62062014_112IMG_6222
  • Uber – this trip was all of our virgin voyage with Uber.  My mom was even quite impressed with how easy/safe/reasonably priced it seemed.  We got our first trip for free since we signed up using a promo from someone.  We used it twice, mostly to avoid walking crazy distances uphill (obviously a consideration in SF).  Night walk from dinner to our hotel – enjoying everything all lit up.
  • Dinner at a little family owned Italian restaurant in North Beach – Francinos on Columbus – delicious!
  • Girls night in the hotel with facials and chick flicks
  • Leisurely breakfast at the Elephant & Castle (British Pub) – great find considering we first tried a coffee shop that was closed….this was way better.
  • Walk to Union Square, checking out Macy’s Christmas floor
  • Quick lunch at Boudin Bakery in the basement of Macy’s – can you say soup in a bread bowl? – and then heading home

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May you find fun ways to use 24 hours to explore with someone(s) you love sometime soon.


  1. Yum. Yum. Yum! Esp the hot chocolate! Love the pic of you 3 in the ornament – so talented, Michelle!

    • Thanks Mikaela! I’ve got more places to take you now when you guys decide to make a trip out here again! Granted – we’ll need our own tour bus to get around with all these babies! 🙂

  2. Michelle – you never cease to AMAZE me!!!!! What a fun adventure is such little time! Glad you carved the time out to do something like this. Thanks for the inspiration this Christmas since we won’t be able to get away and could use a 24 hr adventure too 🙂

    • I’m a believer in the quick trips…sometimes they are all we get! And SF is SO worth more exploration – it’s a beautiful city!

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