Kevin and I both recently moved, so we’ll be spending a lot less time in San Francisco than we have in the past few years. As that chapter of our lives closes, we’re taking a look back on all the places in SF we’ll miss the most.
Food and Drinks
When deciding where to eat dinner, Valencia Street was our typical go-to. Specifically, Mau is a great spot for noodles and Vietnamese food. The Phở Bò, Wonton Noodles, and Bún Thịt Nướng (grilled lemongrass pork) are solid options.
For dessert, Dandelion Chocolate is the best for chocolatey drinks and treats. My favorite thing about Dandelion is that they have samples of chocolates from around the world available to try while you wait in line, and they’re very transparent about where they source the cocoa beans used in their products.
If chocolate isn’t your thing, you can’t go wrong with Boba Guys for some milk tea (or just plain tea).
Sophie’s Crepes in Japantown is also great for desserts such as ice cream and fruit filled crepes. They offer savory crepes as well if that’s more your taste.
And of course, Fisherman’s Wharf is the spot for the freshest seafood. Chowders on Pier 39 has pretty good clam chowder bread bowls and fish and chips, but virtually any restaurant in the area will be a good choice.
It’s a journey to get to Lands End, but the view is definitely worth it. You can hike to the edge of the cliff to see the Pacific Ocean in the west and the Golden Gate Bridge in the east, and you can even complete a rock labyrinth laid out in the sand.
Further west from Lands End is Sutro Baths. Not much is left of the former indoor swimming pool complex, but the ruins make for unique photo ops. Plus, you can look into the nearby caves and walk along the beach.
Twin Peaks is a great place to get a beautiful panoramic view of the city. You can reach the top by car, bike, or simply by hiking. However, make sure you plan your visit during a day and time when fog isn’t obstructing the view (trust me, it’s happened).
Stow Lake Boathouse, located in Golden Gate Park, is the perfect date spot. In April, we celebrated our anniversary by renting a pedal boat for $27 (row boats are also available for $21). It takes about 45 minutes to make your way around the lake, and afterwards, you can stroll around to see the various gardens and museums the park has to offer. It’s a great way to spend a relaxing afternoon with family, friends, or your significant other.
Art and Culture
San Francisco is 400 miles away from Disneyland, but you can get glimpse of the park’s magic at the Walt Disney Family Museum. When we visited, there was an exhibit titled Wish Upon a Star: The Art of Pinocchio, which featured original sketches from the early stages of the animation process. It was inspiring to get a behind-the-scenes look at such a beloved classic. After that, you can’t help but look at Disney films through new, more appreciative eyes.
The permanent galleries showcase Walt’s humble beginnings, his move to Hollywood, the creation of Mickey Mouse and the innovative animated filmmaking that followed. There are interactive features throughout the museum, such as a musical game set to a sequence from Steamboat Willie, and at the end is a scale model of Disneyland as it was conceptualized. It doesn’t compare to actually being at the park, of course, but if you’re looking for somewhere to take your kids (or if you’re a kid at heart), the Walt Disney Family Museum is worth checking out.
Lastly, the Museum of Modern Art is a must-see for art lovers and avid museum goers. We already dedicated a blog post to this incredible museum, but we have so many fond memories of our visit that it was worth noting again. From paintings and photography to sculptures and films, there’s something for everyone.
We’ll miss San Francisco for now, but we’ll be back again some day. Whether you’re a SF native or visiting from out of town, hopefully this guide helped you find some places to eat and things to do in the city.