BAY AREA TRAVEL DIARY || WHAT TO DO AROUND SAN FRANCISCO

Not to be a total cliche, but how are we already more than halfway through the first month of the year?! Madness I tell you. Madness! As I wrote that, I imagined how my Bitmoji would look saying it. That’s when you know you’re addicted. My sister, Mackenzie showed me the app and helped me make a cartoon strip version of myself over the holiday’s and now I’m hooked. (Doesn’t she look just like me?!)

Speaking of the holidays, I gathered up some of my favorite pictures from the week I spent home, and decided to include some of my recommendations for things to do in the Bay Area. I’ve lived in Los Angeles long enough now (those 6 years FLEW!) that it feels very much like my home. I will always blissfully ride the wave of nostalgia as I drive through my hometown, but I have a newfound perspective that allows me to view it as a non-local as well. Each trip is split between visiting my old stomping ground staples (honestly, almost all of which involve food) and checking out new areas or attractions that seem to keep popping up left and right! Here are a few of my favorite Bay Area things.

Day Trips

  1. San Francisco: Duh! How do you come to the Bay Area and not explore San Francisco? I could truly dedicate an entire series just on the best places to visit in the City. Each neighborhood though small and fleeting, is ripe with a culture all it’s own. Among my favorites is Pacific Heights (for the beautiful views, but mainly the company as of late 🙂 ) The Marina is great for a night out. Last month, my friends and I laughed our way through Samba night at Tupelo and had the best time ever. Union Square and Haight-Ashbury are vastly different but both have prime shopping potential!

2. Yountville/Napa Valley: This road trip destination became even more appealing to me after I moved because now I’m old enough to actually indulge all the wine tasting it has to offer. It’s beautiful regardless, my parent’s don’t drink and we had a fabulous time walking and eating our way through Yountville a few weeks ago (see pics of our trip below!) Yountville is pretty much Thomas Keller Town and a foodie’s dream- The French Laundry, Ad Hock, Bouchon, and Addendum all call it home. Napa itself is definitely worthy of a day trip a least and a long weekend if you have the time!

3. Arnold/Angel’s Camp: Tahoe is a lovely getaway destination and can easily make all your snow bunny dreams come true, but quite honestly, it’s a schlep from the Peninsula. Arnold and Angel’s Camp are like Tahoe’s hipster younger cousins, except with animal heads on all the wall. You go to Angel’s Camp to shut your phone off and decompress, but it can also satisfy those winter wonderland desires if you choose to seek out snow and slopes.

Hikes

When you imagine Silicon Valley, most people probably don’t think of lush greenery and sprawling hikes, but let me tell you it’s all there. The Peninsula is home to some of my favorite places to hike, whether I want a good sweaty challenge or a calm walk through beautiful scenery. Some of my favorites are: Sawyer CampCoyote PointHalf Moon Bay, The Dish, and Filoli. (All links take you to their respective Yelp pages because I’m a Yelpaholic.)

Eat

The quality of the food in the Bay Area just keeps getting better and better, and I love that our little towns along the Peninsula are benefitting from it! Some of my tried and true places I always stop at are TOWN in San Carlos (ok A. I used to be a hostess here and all the staff is amazing, but B. Their cheesy garlic bread is the stuff of angels). El Grullense or “El Greasy” as we affectionately called it in high school has some of the best authentic (i.e not fancy at all) Mexican food around. Mr. Pickles is my favorite lunch spot, they make the world’s best deli sandwiches! For something a little more upscale, I recommend Nola for Cajun(ish) Evvia for Greek, Salt Box for a great brunch spot, Water Dog Tavern if you want a hearty lunch, and La Boheme is a cute, authentic French bistro.

My mama!

Jordan was very excited to see Pliny and had to stop in for a pint!

Before I schooled the boys in Pool…jk I suck.

No, no sir you must be mistaken. Check again under S-T-R-E-E-P. I’m sure I have a reservation…

The French Laundry garden was so gorgeous, you are able to walk around and see everything they have planted to use at the restaurant.

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