City 'Scapes: San Francisco

As a follow-up to my favorite eats in San Francisco, here are my must-sees, must-dos, and must-shops in Frisco!

DO

BIKE

The Cunningham Family has a thing - we bike wherever we go. I think we have biked in every city and country we have visited, so clearly, when visiting San Francisco, we were going to bike. 

We rented bikes at Blazing Saddles, and journeyed from Ghiradelli Square to the end of the Golden Gate bridge. Most riders choose to bike into Sausalito, a small Cinque Terre-esque town across the bay, then catch a ferry back. But the ferry lines are notoriously long (even in the winter the wait can be over 2 hours), so we chose to cross the bridge then turn around (wise decision). 

It truly was a great way to experience the city (but of course, I'm biased).

www.blazingsaddles.com, 2715 Hyde Street

FERRY PLAZA FARMERS MARKET // Embarcadero/Financial District

Hands-down, the largest and best farmers market I have ever been to (and I've been to a lot). Samples galore, with so much variety in their produce (donut peaches! Arctic peaches! Pluots, etc.). The massivity of it all made it a little overwhelming, thus I probably wouldn't rank it as my favorite market (that special place in my heart belongs to you, Eastern Market), but nothing can compare to the Ferry Plaza one. 

Within the Ferry Building is a collection of restaurants and speciality food shops - here are the ones we stopped by!

Cowgirl Creamery

Acme Bread

Blue Bottle

Dandelion Chocolate

Boccalone Salumeria 

http://www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com

Saturdays, 8am-2pm, Tuesdays/Thursdays, 10am-2pm

KAYAK // Sausalito

If you're looking for a different perspective of San Francisco, then I definitely recommend kayaking in Sausalito. Sometimes it can be a little windy, but on a clear day the views are incredible! Mountains on one side, the Golden Gate Bridge on the other. 

Sea Trek Kayak & SUP, 2100 Marinship Way, Sausalito, CA; www.seatrek.com

MUIR WOODS // Mill Valley

Muir Woods is filled with God designed, majestic Family Circles of Redwood trees. From the roots of one trunk, thousands of tiny seedlings form. Over time, the seedlings grow tall and strong as independent trees, but all are born out of and connected to ONE unseen root system.

My sweet, symbolism-loving Mom connected this to us as humans: I was born into a family that has given me strong roots as they help/helped me understand true life is being rooted spiritually in Jesus.

I visited the family trees the summer before I started college: As I am growing into an independent tree, visiting the family trees was a reminder to not forget my physical roots with my family and spiritual roots with my Creator, as well as an encouragement to stand strong because of my rootedness in life.

Try to go early in the morning to avoid the crowds! There's a $7 fee per person, but when we arrived, there was no one at the ticket counter (so earlier is better?)

1 Muir Woods Rd, Mill Valley, CA; 8 am - 8 pm 

SIGHTS

Here's the thing about San Francisco - a good deal of its sights are extremely touristy and have incredibly long waits. aka no fun. 

But there are also iconic parts of the city that are completely free (yay!). 

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FULL HOUSE HOUSE // Lower Pacific Heights

This a drive-by sight, but as a child raised on Tanners, it was a fun must. Clearly, this photo was taken while driving. The owner actually repainted it in attempt to stop the tourists from frequenting its doorsteps (Obviously, it didn't work).

1709 Broderick

THE PAINTED LADIES // Alamo Square

Another familiar sight to any Fully House fan. Painted Ladies is actually a term in America architecture used for Victorian and Edwardian houses and buildings painted in three or more colors. Many in San Francisco were destroyed in 1906 Earthquake; in World War II, many were also repainted gray and demolished. 

This is the most famous collection of Painted Ladies, also known as Postcard Row. Parking's kinda tricky (when is it not in SF?), but it's fun to walk around Alamo Square Park and take in the views.

Fulton St. at Steiner St.

MARIN HEADLANDS // Sausalito

I will tell you one thing - San Francisco is not lacking in sights. On a clear day, you can see a perfect view of the Bridge from the Marin Highlands. An easy drive with the benefit of perfect pics. 

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PIER 39 SEALS 

Those seals. They reminded me of my two chocolates labs - the creatures were impossible not to love. Goofy, lazy, and personable. 

Go see the seals and take some joy in them!

SHOP

I'm not much of a shopper, but here's one shop that I love (plus a few that I didn't make it out to!)

LITTLE PAPER PLANES // Mission

First place I went to after getting off the airplane this summer was this place - it's my absolute favorite store (probably in the whole world). If you're familiar with Young Blood Boutique in Atlanta, it's fairly similar. 

The store itself is incredibly well-decorated. They have everything - clothing, jewelry, bags, prints, household items and decorations, a guy's section - everything. I especially love their delicate necklaces and prints. 

littlepaperplanes.com, 855 Valencia St

OTHERS (that I didn't make it to):

General Store

Rare Device

The Perish Trust

Gravel & Gold

Mint

Heartfelt General Store