12hrs in San Francisco


The City by the Bay is on its best behaviour in our 12hrs in San Francisco guide. Explore it with us!

Union Street

Old pastures turned fancy neighborhood
Union Life
Union Life
Union Street
Union Street
 

Walk back to Fillmore Street and continue until Union Street. This is the center of the Cow Hollow neighborhood; a place where cows used to graze and an old fishermen's village that is now known for its spas and Pilates studios, fine dining and boutiques hidden in old mansions. Definitely worth a short stroll!

 

 

Freda Salvador

A stop at shoe heaven
Freda Salvador
Freda
 

Don't miss to stop at Freda Salvador, San Francisco's coolest shoe concept store. Run by Megan Papay and Christina Palomo-Nelson, you'll find unique, high-quality designs here.

Freda Salvador // 1782 Union St // Mon-Sat 11am-6pm, Sun 12pm-5pm // website

 

 

Marina & Chestnut Street

Preppies, polo shirts and an old movie theater
Marina
Marina
Marina
Marina
 

Go back to Fillmore one last time and continue towards Chestnut Street. Once there, take a left turn and you'll be on Marina's main street. Marina is San Francisco's beautiful, young, fit, and preppy neighborhood. While black skinny jeans and flannel shirts are Mission's uniform, people in Marina wear yoga pants with expensive bags and polo shirts with yachting shoes. There is a flourishing party scene here on Fridays and Saturdays, followed by delicious Sunday brunches in the many restaurants. 

Some would say this part of town lacks variety, so love it or leave it. We still enjoy it here, thanks to Marina's proximity to three beautiful San Francisco spots: Crissy Field, the Palace of Fine Arts and the Golden Gate Bridge. The iconic 50s movie theater 'Presidio' is located here as well.

 

 

Marine Layer

 
 Locally produced shirts 
Marine Layer
Marine Layer
Marine Layer
 

Marine Layer produces super soft and great quality cotton shirts that are made in San Francisco. Marine Layer is very California and their clothes make for some great souvenirs. 

Marine Layer // 2209 Chestnut St // Mon-Sun 10am-7pm // website

 

 

Palace of Fine Arts

 
A great place to take a break and enjoy some sights
Palace of Fine Arts
Palace of Fine Arts
Palace of Fine Arts
 

Built for the World Expo in 1915, the Palace of Fine Arts is a good spot to take your first break and take some tourist-y pictures – or to just watch other people taking them. Greek inspired architecture, a calm water pond and green meadows were made for enjoying the midday sun. 

Palace of Fine Arts // 3301 Lyon St // website

 

 

 

Dynamo Doughnut

Donut break
Dynamo Doughnut
 

This small kiosk at the Marina is San Francisco's most beloved donut shop. Stock up on some sugar, we still have a long day ahead of us. Note that the shop is sadly closed on Mondays!

Dynamo Donut // 110 Yacht Road // Tue-Fri 8am-1pm, Sat 8am-4pm, Sun 9am-4pm // website

 

 

 

Crissy Field & Golden Gate Bridge

A long, beautiful walk along the water
Golden Gate Bridge
Crissy Fields
Golden Gate Bridge

DRESSING THE PART

Want to dress like a San Franciscan? Put on comfortable shoes, you'll climb a lot of hills. And leave the glamour at home. Both girls and boys here dress comfy and functional.

THREE SONGS

Dark Star – The Grateful Dead
Lust for Life – Girls
Coma Summer – Weekend

THREE MOVIES

Vertigo
Dirty Harry
The Rock

 

If we would only have one hour to spend in San Francisco, this would be the place to do it. Crissy Field is just amazingly beautiful. The beach, the ocean, and – towering above all – the majestic Golden Gate Bridge. You cannot take your eyes of her. This is going to be quite a long walk, but just take your time and soak in the beauty of the city. 

Walk all the way up to Warminghut Cafe. Just behind the building, Marine Drive leads you back to Marina. Take that street to have an amazing view of Crissy Field with the city in the background. Afterwards, walk back onto Crissy Fields and continue to enjoy the sights. 

 

 

Presidio

 
An old military base with a new purpose
Presidio
Presidio
Presidio
 

From Crissy Field, find your way through Marina's pretty roads to Presidio. This old military base has been turned into offices and apartments. Take a short stroll and then take the bus 43 that will take you to Haight Ashbury.

 

 

Sparrow Bar & Kitchen 

Local ingredients done right
Sparrow
Sparrow
 

Exit the bus at the Haight St & Clayton Street stop: it's lunchtime! And Sparrow is the perfect place for it. This restaurant on Haight Street offers a constantly changing menu full of inventive dishes that utilize local ingredients. It's a great spot to have brunch, lunch and dinner or to just enjoy some wine and a cheese plate in the backyard. 

Sparrow Bar and Kitchen // 1640 Haight St // Tue-Fri 12pm-3pm & 6pm-10pm, Sat/Sun 10am-2.30pm & 6pm-10pm // website

 

 

Haight-Ashbury

Where the Hippies hang out
Haight
Haight
Haight
Haight
Box
Haight
Haight
 

Time to explore the neighborhood. This is were flower power was born, where Janis Joplin penned her songs, where head shops selling smoking paraphernalia are a common sight, and where a new generation of young hippies still hang around and play music. 

It can get a little dirty here on Haight Street, but the area definitely has tons of charm. It's also a Mecca for vintage clothes lovers and skateboarders, and there are some nice restaurants and a few design stores. 

Walk the Haight, try on some 50s, 60s and 70s suits or dresses, and listen to the music.