Thursday, October 9, 2014

Two Days in San Francisco

Downtown San Francisco San Francisco, CA Alcatraz

Last weekend I had the pleasure of heading north for a FREE stay at a beautiful San Francisco hotel. Back in December I entered a contest on twitter, yeah you read that right, and won a night at the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins + breakfast for two. Score!

I took Nautical By Nature with me and we decided to indulge in some touristy activities, along with some downtime in the City By the Bay. Unfortunately, the heat definitely played a part in us cutting back on activities. Somehow I managed to pick the hottest weekend of the year. It was over 90 both days. That's REALLY HOT for Northern California. I had prepared for 80 degrees that was predicted, and even expected it to be a very chilly 80. But the weather was miserable. Because it's rarely hot, most places don't have AC. Despite that misery, we made the most out of our time.

Since we've both been to SF several times but never to Coit Tower, we added that to our list. The scenic photos above are all from the Tower. Can you spot the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz?

Kate has never been to the Painted Ladies, aka Full House Houses, so we made a stop at Alamo Park to see the beauties, which by the way have an amazing view of the city behind them.

The Painted Ladies, San Francisco The Painted Ladies, San Francisco

We also took some time to ride several cable cars and enjoy the beautiful neighborhood we stayed in, Nob Hill. The architecture is so great in the city, specifically here, in the affluent area. Warning: if you've never been to SF, the hills are killer. At one point we hiked up a street that was practically at a 90 degree angle. I may have had an asthma attack, and my legs may have been seriously sore for days!

Nob Hill, San FranciscoSan Francisco Cable Cars

I can't say enough about the great Mark Hopkins! The location, service, and amenities are all wonderful. It's a higher-end hotel, so it's more expensive, but it's close to all of the areas you'll want to see. Union Square, Chinatown, Pier 39, etc. are all within cab, bus, or trolly and we took advantage of each mode of transportation this weekend.

The landmark hotel has breathtaking views that many take advantage of at their bar, Top of the Mark, which is a must in the city. Windows providing a 360 degree view of San Francisco make it the perfect sunset setting...and the list of 100 martinis helps, too. Before checking out, we cashed in on our free breakfast and it was so good. A buffet full of fruits, donuts, waffles, and more. You don't have to stay there to dine. Again, it's pricey, but the setting is grand and the selection wide. Well worth the splurge!

Intercontinental Mark Hopkins, SF Intercontinental Mark Hopkins, San Francisco
Intercontinental Mark Hopkins brunch
San Francisco Bay at sunset
San Francisco Bay at sunset from Top of the Mark

The only thing I was disappointed with on this trip was Mama's. It's a breakfast spot located in North Beach that's known for it's delicious food. We'd heard it gets busy but we had no idea we'd be waiting in line for over 2 1/2 hours in 90+ temps. By the time we got to eat, it was 3pm and we were so sweaty and tired we ended up ordering light. I feel like we wasted half of our day for decent food. If you go, get there early and order waffles or something decadent OR the Monte Cristo sandwich.


Kristin said...

I beyond love San Francisco. Looks like you had a wonderful time!

Kelsey Eaton said...

I've been excited to hear about what you did here! Mama's is definitely one of those things you have to do during off season at an off time. It can get crazy! Oh and I am so ready for this heat wave to be over. I work from home so I've been roasting in our tiny little sweat box of ant apartment haha

Julia said...

Never been there but I have heard about the hills being killer! The hotel breakfast sounds delicious!I've actually never been to CA at all but I so want to visit someday!

Marie said...

I so want to visit San Fran one day. I cannot believe how hot it was, I hate that. Glad you had a good time despite the heat. Amazing pictures!!

SMD @ lifeaccordingtosteph said...

Ugh, no way would San Fran be a good town to visit in 90+! Those hills are a killer when it's NOT hot.

Your pics are gorgeous.

I cannot waste the time on food like that. No dice!

Miss Angie said...

I love your pictures! I also LOVE San Francisco! Looks like a great time!

We walked all over SF when we were there and it definitely is steep. Got quite the work out.

There's an awesome Hostel there that we stayed in. The rooms/furniture is a bit old but they have a hot tub and at 9pm they go around with a bullhorn encouraging guests to come downstairs where they offer free beer, dancing, and beerpong lol

Lauren said...

what a great trip! trying to convince the boy to take me to SF for my birthday! hahah

I have never ridden a cable car and may have to now!

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

That is too long of a wait even for great food. The buildings are so pretty. I would not have wanted to climb hills in that heat, you were a trooper!

Selma @ Crazy Little World Of Mine said...

My love for SF is greater than my love for Orange County (hahaha) and I am so sad I couldn't make it over to see you two. Glad you had a fun weekend despite the disappointing wait in hot weather at the end of your trip.

C said...

Looks like so much fun! I still can't believe you won the trip on twitter! I've never seen SF so clear. It was probably a blessing that it was so hot so you could actually see everything.

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Yes! For Mama's you have to get there SO early! Next time walk right now the street and go to the French bistro. It's really nice and not a chain restaurant. I'm glad you had fun!