Travel Calling: San Francisco

Sf View 1San Francisco is a vibrant city with so many incredible places to discover. Tiki bars, charming cafes, art galleries and cool street art – there is so much to see and do. Whenever I return from travelling, I love sharing what I’ve learned, and the places we experienced. San Francisco has been one of my favourite trips this year and I’ve put together my tips for navigating the city, and how to make the most of your time in the Bay area.

Lyndi Pink Flowers San Francisco EditDo your research and get up early!
If you have your heart set on a certain restaurant or place to visit, make a reservations. Do your research before your trip and call ahead. You’ll often find line ups at the popular bakeries and cafes. This is very normal in SF, and the line ups move quickly, so don’t let it deter you from waiting. It’s probably worth it!

It can be really cold
Yes, you’re in California, but San Francisco can be chilly! We were there in May and even though it was sunny, the wind was icy. Be sure to check the weather before you depart and bring along some light layers.

Wear good walking shoes
San Francisco is a great city to walk around, but it has a lot of very steep hills. It’s a pretty casual place so sandals or sneakers would be ideal. Be sure to have Lyft or Uber downloaded on your phone. The ride share is an awesome and inexpensive way to make your way around San Francisco
SF Guide 12Roy Lichtenstein
LOVE MomaVisit the Art Galleries
We visited two incredible galleries on our trip. SF MoMA and the De Young Museum. The MoMa houses so many recognizable pieces. I was really excited to see the Roy Lichtenstein Collection, some really cool Andy Warhol pieces, along with Henri Matiesse’s Women with a Hat.

Located in Golden Gate Park in a beautiful building you’ll find the De Young Museum. The exhibits are constantly changes, so check ahead to see what is being showcased. Afterwards you can take a wander through the park to Haight Ashbury or to Inner Sunset for great restaurants. We loved Nopalita and Arizmendi Bakery.

Haight Ashbury
We visited the hippie area known as Haight Ashbury a few times because it is filled with so many cool spots. I loved leafing through all the vinyl at Amoeba Records, and finding old favourites. You’ll also find incredible vintage stores on the this street. Wasteland Vintage was such a highlight as I found a Alexander McQueen black blazer in perfect condition for under $200.

SF Guide 13SF Guide 8SF Guide Tonga RoomSF Guide 9Stop by a tiki bar
There are lots of fun tiki bars in SF, it’s kind of their thing and a must see during your stay. We visited The Tonga Room, a restaurant and tiki bar located in the Fairmont San Francisco, open since 1945. In the middle of the restaurant you’ll find a pool, which has rain pouring down every 30 minutes along with a thunder storm soundtrack. This indoor pool was first installed in the Fairmont in 1929 before being transformed into the Tonga Room’s lagoon. Rum filled cocktails are served in bowls that are delicious, and dangerous!
Clarian AlleyClarian Alley 3Clarian Alley 2Clarian Girl 5Explore The Mission District
The Mission District is a colourful, constantly evolving neighbourhood. It’s Latino roots and hipster vibe make it such a fun area to explore. You’ll find the best taquerias here, along with cool live-music spots, book shops, cafes and eateries. Dolores Park is a popular hangout spot with views of the skyline views, and is often filled with locals soaking up the sunshine. Be sure to find the vibrant street Clarion Alley and check out all the artwork.

Eat in North Beach
Two of our favourite restaurants in San Francisco were located North Beach. Visit Mario’s Bohemian Cigar Store for the best cuban sandwiches and Tony’s for incredible pizza and Italian fare. This area is also home to SF Rock Posters and Collectables. A perfect place to pop in while you wait for your table at Tony’s.
SF Guide 7SF Guide 22SF Guide 1Ride the cable car
It might seem a bit touristy (and it is) but riding the cable car is SO much fun. It’s $7 each way and a great way to take in the city, especially all the hills. I would suggest popping down to Fisherman’s Warf and taking the cable car back downtown. If you catch it from Union Square you will be waiting a while with all the tourists. It’s so fun to hang on, and ride through the very hilly city. Also, a really great photo opportunity!Cable Car 4

Have you been to San Francisco? What were your favourite places?
Let me know in the comments below

Top: Revolve
Jeans: Mavi Denim
Denim Jacket: Levi’s
Trench Coat: Primark
Shoes: Converse
Sunglasses: Clearly

  • I really want to go to San Francisco!!

    Effortlessly Sophisticated

    • Oh you should!! It’s such a fun city for a getaway. SO much fun to photograph too!
      Hope you’re having a good summer so far Jennifer

  • Definitely one of my favorite cities to visit. Thanks for sharing these wonderful photos dear.

    Jessica |

    • Me too! Thanks Jessica. I loved taking photos of SF. Such a colourful city.
      Hope you’re having a great week so far 🙂

  • Looks like you’ve been to really interesting parts of San Fran. I’ve only been there a handful of times, and mainly to touristy spots. Love these suggestions!

    • Thanks lovely! SF is always so fun to visit. SO much to see and do!
      Marina District is my favourite neighbourhood 🙂

  • That Tiki Bar looks amazing

    • The tiki bars are SOO much fun! Definitely a unique SF experience.
      Hope you’re having a great summer so far

  • Radostina Blagoeva

    Ohh I love this San Francisco travel diary. I’m thinking of visiting soon.

    • Oh I hope you get to visit soon too! San Francisco is such a great city to explore

  • Jenny SR

    I’d love to go to San Francisco one day, these places sounds pretty off grid which I like 🙂 Except the cable car but definitely agree that would be a must do!
    Jenny |

    • That’s the cool thing about SF! There are SOO many things you can do that are not touristy, and more authentic to the city. The cable cars are a must though 🙂
      Hope you get to visit SF some day too!

  • Such a fun place to visit. Love your snaps!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

    • Thank you Amy Ann! Hope you’re having a great week so far 🙂

  • I am so in love with San Francisco! It’s such a lively city. <3

    • Ah yes we had such a wonderful time visit SF. Such an amazing city to visit

    • It’s such a great city! Thanks for visiting Style Calling

  • I used to live in San Fran and miss it dearly! You captured the city so beautifully, enjoy your stay! xx

    • Thank you so much Naya. It’s such a great city! I’m sure you must miss it a lot.
      There are so many unique and interesting spots. Amazing restaurants and cafes too

  • OMG I wanna go to San Francisco tooo 😀
    Amazing pics!!!!!
    Have a wonderful day babe!
    Olivia Poncelet <3

    • Oh you would love San Francisco so much! Such a fun city to visit
      Hope you’re having a great week so far!

  • Amy Aed

    I think that getting up early is pretty safe advice for a lot of places – most of the tourists and a lot of the locals are unlikely to start some ventures in places early so it’s always great to start as early as you can!

    Love these photographs also, I’m new to your blog but am going to be a regular from now on 🙂

    Have a great weekend 🙂
    Amy x Wandering Everywhere

  • Nováková Irína

    Amazing atmospheric places and photos!

    The Gown 👗

    • Thank you! SF is a great city to visit

  • Dominique

    I’m planning a trip to San Fran soon so this is such a helpful post, thank you for sharing hun xx

    • That’s so exciting! I loved our time in this city so much. There is so much to see and do.
      AMAZING restaurants and cafes. Hope you have a wonderful visit 🙂

  • So many of these places I love! As a former SFer, this is definitely a great comprehensive guide for people. 🙂


    • Oh wow, thank you Emily! That’s such a compliment coming from you 🙂
      I had such a wonderful time in SF. Such a cool city to explore.
      Hope you’re having a great week so far xo

  • Kelly Thompson

    Such amazing photos!

    Kelly |

    • Thank you for visiting Style Calling!

  • amazing captures!

    kisses from the sandpits of dubai ❤️

    • Thank you so much!

  • I really love your point about doing your research and getting up early! This is something I’ve only recently begun to appreciate while travelling – what a way to beat the crowds, right!? Fabulous imagery in this post, you’re making me want to visit there asap haha 🙂

    Gabrielle | A Glass Of Ice x

    • Ah yes!! Doing research and getting up early is SOO important when you’re travelling, especially if you’re only visiting for a few days. The early mornings are usually when I have the fondest memories when you can explore usually busy spots when they are quiet. I hope you get to visit San Francisco soon too! You would LOVE it!

  • Looks so amazing there. I would love to visit San Fransisco one day. Your photos are always so lovely!

    Have a great week.

    Gemma x

    • Thanks so much Gemma. You would love SF! It’s such a colourful city. Awesome restaurants, cafes and things to see.
      Hope you get to visit one day 🙂

  • Hillory Renkema

    Awe San Fran looks even more amazing from your posts! Need to visit soon!!



    • Oh thank you Hilory! It’s such a fun city to visit.
      Hope you get to visit soon too!

  • Katrina Fernandez

    This is awesome! You look you had so much fun, happy to see that. I should include this to my bucket list!

    Katrina |

  • Sa Analy

    Great, every place is beautiful. Thank you for sharing these photos with us, I like them all

  • Zorica

    I would love to visit San Fran some day.
    Love the photo selection.

  • Emma Baker

    Oh, great, all these pictures are amazing,