What is one of the perks of being spontaneous? Ending up in a cool city for no reason, except that you had a sudden desire to be there! What initially started as a conversation about using one of our Alaskan air miles companion tickets, turned out to be a random and quick trip to San Francisco (we’re saving the companion ticket for a bigger trip, maybe Canada, eh?)
I have always loved SF, although I hadn’t spent a ton of time there, I passed through a time or two and experienced enough to know that I’d like spend more time there. Kris had never been, except for layover flights and really wanted to see the city, so off we went. We left early Thursday morning (6:30am flight, with a flight time of 1.5 hours) and left Friday night at 8:30pm, so yes it was definitely quick. But we squeezed a lot in during that time.
I’m lucky that I can trust in Kris picking amazing places for us to stay, he’s picked some great places so far and this was no exception. Our one night stay was at Hotel Vitale and it was great, my only wish was that we had more time!
Of course we arrived early, and we planned on checking our bags with the bell hop and grabbing breakfast. But they not only ensured we were able to check us in when we arrived, but our room was upgraded (for a small fee) The upgrade was for the Circular Suite on the 6th floor overlooking both the Bay Bridge and waterfront. The room was gorgeous, with windows expanding from one side of 180º to the next. There was also a huge soaking tub (which I definitely made use of!) a huge double headed shower and lots of closet space (if it were needed). I loved that Hotel Vitale was so close to all the great “City” neighborhoods, and yet close to the piers and the waterfront also. There were so many options within walking distance.
They also have a Restaurant and Bar on site, “Americano.” We didn’t have a meal, but their Lavender Blueberry Lemonade cocktail is to die for!
If you need a little pampering, their spa is ahhhmazing. They have these beautiful outdoor soaking tubs on a private terrace (highly recommend it prior to getting a massage!) and their massages are on point (a little spendy, but worth it)
Kris and I are definite foodies (why do you think I need a “fitness journey?” 😜 ) and we wanted to experience some of the great food that SF has to offer. Not an easy task! There are something along the lines of 4,500+ restaurants in the small square footage of the city… and I only had an evening to find and decide which would be the best.
One of the things both of us have heard is that SF has the best Vietnamese Pho soup (we love this stuff, seriously… it’s a problem) so I pinned our Pho options down to 3 places. Yummy Yummy, Turtle Tower and Miss Saigon. I had read on several sites that Miss Saigon was the definite winner, with a filet mignon Pho… so we decided to go their despite the warnings that it was in a “rough” neighborhood. Um, yes. If your heart can handle the massive amount of people living in extreme poverty, and your stomach can handle people defecting on the street as you try to cross a pedestrian walk, people yelling and screaming down the sidewalk (including a man with vomit dripping from his mouth and onto his very large beard and coming towards us with no intentions to stop) then by all means, take your chances and go to Miss Saigon. I didn’t think the food was all that great (in fact they got my order wrong twice, then blamed me for ordering the wrong soup!) So I’d recommend one of the many other Pho stops mentioned. P.S. Oregon to this day, has the best Pho… sorry not sorry!
Here are some places you should go:
Breakfast- Mama’s (get there early, the line gets super long!)
Lunch or Dinner-
- The Slanted Door (Embarcadero area)
- Tony’s Pizza in the “Little Italy” District, officially called North Beach neighborhood
- Original Joe’s (across the street from Tony’s)
Cool spot for a drink? Pagan Idol Tiki bar and Alembic (Haight and Asbury area)
There are also some great cafe’s but sadly I can’t remember the names!
All food aside, we took the touristy route for some sight seeing…
No trip to SF would be complete without visiting the Golden Gate Bridge right? Right!
We also went shopping in Union square and then took a cable car to the curvy part of Lombard St!
On Friday the sun finally came out (still freezing tho), we did a little more exploring before getting spa treatments and then heading home!
My favorite parts of SF? Little Italy, and Haight and Ashbury… One thing I wished we had time for was touring Alcatraz, everyone (including locals) say it’s worth it, we just didn’t have time sadly. But I think for a two day trip, we made the most of it and had a fantastic time being tourists. Looking forward to the next one!
See you here on Beach Body Bliss later this week for some fun health/fitness specific posts, fingers crossed I stick with my schedule!