Over the holidays my family and I travelled across the Atlantic for Christmas in California with some great friends. Our trip consisted of shopping, wine tasting, donuts (a personal highlight…) and lots more. We spent the day in San Francisco so I thought I would compile a little round-up of what we got up too in case you’re ever in that area of the big ol’ world. As well as listing a few of my San Fran recommendations I have also included a few other stops around California just in case you happen to be travelling a little further a field 🙂
The Tourist Part
Golden Gate Bridge: San Francisco, CA 94129
The first obvious stop in San Francisco was the Golden Gate bridge. After taking the obligatory photographs for the holiday scrapbook we travelled over the bridge by car since we were only in San Francisco for one day and there was so much to see/do. You can also cycle over which I think would be fun and is on my list for my next trip…better get saving I s’pose!
Twin Peaks: 501 Twin Peaks Boulevard, CA 94114
As the night falls the best thing to do is to head up the hills to the Twin Peaks. San Francisco from the hill tops was beautiful in the day – but it was even better at night when lit up. We drove up the hill, parked at one of the designated tourist stops and took pictures of the spectacular view – definitely worth a visit.
The Shopping Part:
Haight: Haight Street, San Francisco, CA 94117
I have so many pictures of Haight as there was so many cool sights to photograph. From the vintage filled shops to the colourful graffiti – I loved it all. As well as vintage shops, the area around the Haight-Ashbury crossing had a number of shops similar to the Buy-Sell-Trade shops in Nottting Hill. As well as selling vintage, these stores offer current high-street/designer goods which have been traded in so there really is something for everyone here.
Union Square: San Francisco, CA 94108
Sometimes when I go on holiday I miss the high-street. Pining after the high-street didn’t last long in this area. After a good route around the Urban Outfitters sale (50% off sale items, yes please) we headed over the street for my first ever Sephora experience – and I loved it. As well as Urban Outfitters and Sephora, this area is densely populated with favourite high-street shops so is not one to miss if you want a good ol’ browse. After all, it’s guilt free shopping when you’re using monopoly look-a-like money, right?
The Eating Part
Cha Cha Cha: 1801 Haight Street, San Francisco, CA 94117
Since we were only in San Francisco for a day trip we only went to one place for lunch but it was a good’un so wanted to include it. If you’re into tapas style food washed down with jugs of sangria and you’re in the Haight area when your tummy starts to rumble then this is the place for you. Cha Cha Cha had that laid back atmosphere and the food was so tasty (as was the alcohol). It’s right in Haight so you can literally stumbled out and carry on shopping – lovely.
Other parts of California
Paso Robles: CA 93446
If you’re a wino (kinda like the members of my family) then this area is a good place to head too. Travel south of San Francisco for around 3.5 hours and you will find yourself in Paso Robles – an area known for its abundance of wineries. As we travelled south the music changed from Pop (Ed Sheeran & Ella Henderson) to Country (‘Might as well blame it on the whiskey’ being a new favourite lyric of mine). The day after arrival we visited 5 wineries merrily tasting the grapes as we went. We also found time to squeeze in a trip to an Olive Oil tasting session which was my idea of tasting heaven. From truffle salt to spices I’ve never heard of to tangerine flavoured oil – all taste buds were welcome here. The employees recommended which spices/salts should be eaten with certain oils/vinegars. The thought of this tasting room is making me hungry so I’m just going to sign this section off by saying….YOU HAVE TO STOP HERE!
Premium Outlets: 681 Leavesley Road, Gilroy, CA 95020
If you like a discount (and let’s face it – who doesn’t?) then this is the place for you. We stopped off at the Gilroy Premium Outlet en route to Los Gatos from Paso Robles but there other outlets around California shown on this map. From sports such as New Balance and Nike (oh, the trainers) to designer bag shops (one day, one day) as well as high-street stores (All Saints, anyone?) this is the perfect stop off when travelling around California.
I hope this small guide helped out a little if you’re planning a trip around California anytime soon. I miss the place already and can’t wait to go back – fingers crossed for Christmas in Cali Round Two…
Love, Hannah x