Before making our short trip (no slow travel this time) to California we had looked at the travel guides at our local bookstore and bought the Lonely Planet guide. It served us quite well as did our traditional “go to” websites, Trip Advisor and Yelp, however my favourite person discovered a really useful travel guide for San Francisco via her new favourite clothes store “Kit and Ace”. They have two stores in San Francisco, one in the trendy Hayes Street and the other in Fillmore Street, and their websites come complete with suggested places to go nearby – places they describe as their “neighbours”.
Their recommendations provided the basis for a late Friday afternoon in the trendy Hayes Street area and the starting point for a Saturday largely spent in Fillmore Street and the Marina.
We were told not to walk from Union Square to Hayes Street as it goes through a less than desirable part of San Francisco, so we caught an UberX to our first destination Kit and Ace, Hayes Street. After making a couple of purchases it was off to visit Kit and Ace’s neighbours. Being a late Friday afternoon that meant a bar and our first stop was Brass Tacks for a glass of wine and a relaxing seat at the bar right opposite a delightful park. We could have sat there for a couple of hours but decided to wander on up the street in search of more neighbours. A walk along Hayes Street includes a mix of new and old architecture and lots of interesting shops. We took Kit and Ace’s advice and stopped at 2 Sisters Bar and Books another little bar. From there we decided to walk back to our hotel. While my favourite person felt it was fine, I would have to say that I felt the ambience of the area change markedly as we walked back and was relieved to get back to Union Square where our hotel was located.
Union Square is home to many restaurants bars and lots of shops. So after a walk through Macy’s, Saks 5th Avenue it was off to Del Popolo a new pizza restaurant. It was busy, so a drink at the bar entertained by the guys making pizza filled in the half an hour or so wait for our table. The pizza was great and would do Naples proud.
We had been so impressed with Kit and Ace’s recommendations that we set our plans for Saturday based on their store in Fillmore Street. Another great idea! After a visit to their store and making a couple more purchases, not just for my favourite person this time we walked up the street towards Union Street. We visited Rapha Cycle Club one of Kit and Ace’s neighbours and then along the street before stopping
for a glass of Rosé at
Belga. We were so impressed by the food that we saw being served to other tables that we went back for a late lunch but not until after we’d visited Union Street Papery, where we bought some presents for the family and ourselves. It was then a a walk through Cow Hollow and Pacific Heights, a pretty steep hill that rewards with stunning views and fabulous architecture. From there it was a short walk down the hill and onto another fashion precinct that includes Ralph Lauren, Ragh & Bone and Marc Jacobs. On our list to visit was a delightful book shop called Browser Books. Crammed full of books it was a reminder that books still have a place in our lives. We then ventured back over the hill to Belga for a late lunch where our very helpful waitress suggested that a walk down to the Marina would be worthwhile. She was right the Marina offers stunning views across to The Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, the boats and the Bay. It was easy to just sit and gaze at the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and the wisps of fog that make it all the more romantic, and then across to Alcatraz and the Bay itself. From there it was about a 2 mile walk along the beach front through Marina Green Park before reaching the highly touristy Fisherman’s Wharf precinct. We decided to stop at Ghiardelli for an ice cream. We weren’t the only ones with the same idea as the queue was about an hour long! The ice cream was good and the view from the bench where we sat to eat our ice cream even better.
With the day largely done it was time to head back to the hotel. We thought for about 15 seconds that we might catch the trolley back to our hotel. The line to get on the trolley was enormous, even longer than for ice cream so it was onto the Uber App to organise an UberX ride back to the hotel.
We’d easily filled in a day and a half without reference to a traditional guidebook thanks to Kit and Ace. By the way their clothes are also great!