a weekend in san francisco.

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San Francisco is a one of a kind city. It’s full of color and personality and an endless amount of things to do, see and eat right within the 7×7 mile radius that is its city limits. Since moving out west from Chicago six months ago I’ve been making it my mission to explore my new home and discover my own set of local gems and favorite places in the city by the bay and today I’m sharing some of ‘em with you.

Here’s the perfect weekend guide to San Francisco:

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To Eat:

  • Ferry Building Farmer’s Market: There is nothing better than the Farmer’s Market at the Ferry Building on a sunny Saturday morning. Take your time and browse the huge variety of fresh, local produce and grab a sampling of food from the variety of food vendors (favorites include RoliRoti, Wise Sons and The Farmer’s Wife). While you’re there also grab a glass of fresh squeezed juice from SOW and check out the inside of the Ferry Building which features gorgeous architecture and several other shops and places to eat.

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  • Presidio Off The Grid: Grab your friends and a few picnic blankets and spend a Sunday morning in the Presidio where dozens of favorite food trucks gather with stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge as a backdrop. There’s bound to be something for everyone!

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  • Zero Zero: The best pizza in San Francisco! Zero Zero is great for groups – order a mixture of pizza and pasta for the table to share and be prepared to leave feeling very full and very happy. Be sure to ask about the special pizza of the day, they’re always the best, and save room for a custom ice cream sundae for dessert.
  • Mr. Holmes Bakeshop: Mr. Holmes has a huge variety of unique baked goods with their superstar being the “cruffin” (a croissant / muffin hybrid). Warning: if you have your eye on a cruffin, come early. Very early. Even earlier than you’d expect. Even if you miss out on a cruffin or feel intimidate by the long line, there’s an express line for all other pastry options and their donuts are also incredible so you’d bound to leave happy.

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  • Dottie’s True Blue Cafe: Dottie’s is a diamond in the rough – don’t be fooled by its less than ideal location or simple exterior, they have the best brunch in the city. Go early in the morning to avoid the prime brunch time wait and be sure to order their pancakes.

The Great Outdoors:

  • Sunset at Sutro Baths: Do a little urban hiking at Sutro Baths and check out the ruins of a once elaborate saltwater bathhouse and entertainment destination. Plan to visit near sunset and grab a spot to sit overlooking the ruins and you’ll get a gorgeous sunset view over the ocean and cliffs.

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  • Golden Gate Park: You’ll instantly feel transported away from the city when you step into the lush greenery of Golden Gate Park. Make a day out of it and stop in the Botanical Gardens or pay a visit to the California Academy of Sciences.

  • Crissy Field: Catch the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge by biking along the Embarcadero to Crissy Field. Crissy Field is the perfect spot for a casual group get together or picnic and also a fun spot for dogs to stretch their legs and swim in the bay.

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  • Dolores Park: Get a true San Francisco experience by spending some time soaking up the sunshine in Dolores Park in The Mission. You’re bound to get the ultimate people watching experience as all of the characters of the city merge together in one park with amazing skyline views.

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To Sip:

  • Sightglass Coffee: Stop by Sightglass’ SOMA location for amazing coffee and killer decor. The roomy, bright interior is also where Sightglass roasts its coffee beans – be sure to grab a bag to bring home as a useful souvenir.

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  • Anchor Brewing: Book a brewery tour in advance and get a taste of San Francisco history while learning about one of the first beers in the craft brewing scene. Tours are only $15 and include a tasting which makes it a nice activity for a foggy grey day.
  • Cockscomb: Wind down your weekend with a specialty cocktail or negroni on tap at Cockscomb in SOMA. The bar features two levels, an open kitchen and a nice variety of craft beers and wine on tap.

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Have you ever been to San Francisco? What are some of your favorite spots?