I finally made my way to San Francisco in May, after wanting to visit for a very long time. Partially because San Fran looks oh so beautiful and because my best and very beautiful friend lives there; yes, the one who looks like Katy Perry – but hotter!
I got to spend a long weekend in San Francisco and was lucky to have Mary show me around some of the coolest spots in the city, kicking off with her workplace.
1: Airbnb HQ
I am a huge Airbnb fan. While I’ve only stayed at a few Airbnb’s on my travels, I adore the whole concept and the cleverness of the creators. The idea of staying in someone’s else home and having a real authentic experience living with a local is pretty special. Having come across some epic Airbnb listings, I knew that the design concept of the headquarters wouldn’t disappoint – and I was right.
Mary works in global mobility for Airbnb and kindly gave me the guided tour. Wowzers! The HQ is insane! Each floor is basically a different city, kitted out with décor and ambiance to resemble Amsterdam, Jaipur, Havana and so on. If you currently work in an office, you’ll be sick to know Airbnb have a ball pit conference room at the HQ(your office just got instantly shitter). This room and the Airsteam meeting room were my two favourite spaces in the HQ. What a creative and colourful place to work, a tad jealous to say the least. I highly recommend a visit to Airbnb HQ if you happen to know someone working there or I know they also do tours for groups as well. Also, I’m currently reading the Airbnb story and it’s a great read for anyone interested.
2: Golden Gate Bridge
I mean you wont leave San Fran without seeing it so let’s stick the Golden Gate bridge high on the list. The one-mile wide bridge is the hottest tourist attraction here and a true beauty to say the least. We drove across it and then went to capture it from a few different viewpoints.
3: Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar
Looking for a bar in San Fran with a difference? Tiki yourself to Tonga room and dance the night away! Located in the Fairmont hotel, this place is full of tropical décor delights. The best bit of the bar – the lagoon in the middle and the Island Groove band, entertaining on their thatch covered barge. Oh, and it periodically fake rains in there from time to time. Don’t miss this place, it’s an absolute hoot.
4: Calzone’s Restaurant
Italian and Instagrammble calzoned into one. One of Mary’s favorite places to hang out and it’s easy to see why. When the sun shines, enjoy your pizza and cocktails on their sidewalk seating with monochrome tiling and flower covered tables. The perfect place to enjoy some people watching which is also quite the treat in San Fran.
5: Mrs Doubtfires House
Ah what a classic. If you fancy seeing where the magic happened on Mrs Doubtfire, why not head straight to the house for a peek. Located in a very lavish neighborhood, the house is on the corner of Steiner St. While you can only view the house from the outside, its still pretty cool to see the house and surrounding neighbourhood.
6: Lombard St
Another street certainly worth checking out is Lombard st. Claimed as the world’s crookedest street, watch as people wind the street in cars, bike and scooters. Apparently one million cars drive down it a year..just for fun I’m assuming.
7: The museum of ice cream
While I couldn’t actually secure tickets to get into the museum (they sell out months in advance) I did manage to get a sneak peak into their exclusive ice-cream shop and i’m sure you can tell from the name this is one hell of a fun museum. Any museum that gives you ice-cream tastings in every room you walk into is my kind of place.
8: Fishermans Wharf
This is a busy neighbourhood area in San Fran, packed full of activities and things to do. From cute waterfront restaurants to souvenir shops, a great area to spend a few hours. Enjoy live outdoor entertainment and don’t forget to spot the colony of sea lions.
9: The painted Ladies
The iconic San Fran painted ladies are a row of colourful Victorian houses across from Alamo Square park. These ladies are true symbols of California Victorian architecture. I adored the pastel hues on these houses and you will find many similar ones dotted around the city. All I can say is god help the people who live in these houses with people outdoors constantly snapping pictures of your home, it must get pretty annoying.
While your sure to stumble across a Chinatown almost everywhere you travel to, San Fran’s is also pretty cool being the countrys largest chinatown. Explore the historic buildings and sample foods in the shops and restaurants.
Have you been to San Fran? What would you add to the list?