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CATHERINE VIGEN

San Francisco Favorites – Part 1

Filed in: Travel

The Painted Ladies CatherineVigen.com

This month I got to visit San Francisco for my first time!

San Francisco is a place I have always wanted to visit.

We arrived very early Thursday morning (I had a 4 AM wakeup call to leave for the airport) and we stayed until Sunday morning.  Waking up super early isn’t my favorite thing in the world, but the airfare was so much cheaper!  If you are trying to travel on a budget definitely look into some of the earliest or latest flights!

Today I’m sharing with you my favorite things and what you should add to your next itinerary!

Three days wasn’t nearly enough time to see everything on our list.  There is so much more to experience, more places to see, and plenty more restaurants to dine in.  Even with the short amount of time, this list became quite lengthy very quickly.  Stay tuned as I’ll be sharing Part 2 later on!  Hopefully, this helps give you ideas for your next trip to San Francisco.

Photographing the Golden Gate Bridge

Where to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge

During my day job, I am exposed to financial news networks.  It seems like someone from San Francisco is being interviewed daily.  Tech titans!  Can you guess what is always used as their backdrop?  The Golden Gate Bridge!  Such a tease for someone who has always dreamed of visiting!

Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco Fog

The first day I arrived, I knew I wanted to see the bridge right away!  We called a Lyft from the hotel and were on our way!  As the Lyft started approaching the bridge, it was in plain sight.  RIGHT. IN. FRONT. OF. ME.  Such a great experience as I had dreamed of seeing the Golden Gate Bridge for quite a while!  Just two minutes later when I stepped out of the car, the fog had completely covered almost everyone’s view!  You couldn’t see a thing!!

Therefore, the next day we were determined to finally see the bridge!  Todd checked the live cam before calling a Lyft.  This time we decided to head to Baker Beach.  Upon arriving, I was speechless!  I can’t put into words how I felt.  (This is why I prefer photography over writing)  First of all, there is something magical about being near the ocean.  It’s a great way to be reminded (in a good way) of how small you are in the world.  Sitting near the ocean also puts in perspective, at least for me, of how small our problems are too.  Also, it shows how great of an artist our Creator is.  There is nothing like it!  That experience plus being mesmerized by seeing the bridge for the first time (without fog) equals no words for Catherine.  A rare occasion.

Now after seeing the Golden Gate Bridge in person, the news backdrops will no longer do it justice!

If you have time during your trip, you should take a Lyft or Uber ride (about 25 minutes or so from Union Square) to Baker Beach!  This is probably the greatest photo opportunity also!

*Side note: We didn’t know if we would be able to see the bridge (I didn’t trust the live cam after the day before), so clearly I didn’t get dressed.  On the other hand, yoga pants and Brooks running shoes are my travel uniform, for life!

Where to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge

Where to photograph the Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge CatherineVigen.com

Breakfast at Mama’s on Washington Square

Best breakfast in San Francisco

Breakfast in San Francisco

Although Todd and I arrived at Mama’s as soon as it opened we still had to wait an hour and a half to be seated.  Normally,  I would think that it is crazy to wait in line on vacation.  For example, being on vacation you are already pressed for time to see everything on your list.  Mama’s for breakfast is an exception.

Best breakfast in San Fran

Best breakfast in San Fran

Mama’s is WORTH. THE. WAIT! 

What is the best breakfast in San Francisco?

Plan to get here about a half hour before it opens to get a good spot in line.  Arriving a little earlier would have taken some time off of our wait.  With the purpose of walking off our breakfast, Todd and I headed for Coit Tower.  While it is just a short walk away, be prepared for a large hill and many stairs!  In addition to the exercise, there are also very pretty views of the city from Coit Tower!

Coit Tower San Francisco CatherineVigen.com

If you have been to San Francisco before please comment on your favorite thing!

Thank you so much for reading!

XO, Catherine

comments +

  1. Michael

    November 21st, 2017 at 2:33 pm

    What do you recommend in regard to getting around San Francisc, and back and forth from the airport? Also, any definite “Dos and Don’ts”?

  2. catherineavigen@gmail.com

    November 21st, 2017 at 4:02 pm

    We took Lyft and Uber everywhere and it was quite pricey. I recommend either taking the BART or limiting your rides. To and from the airport we took Lyft and I would definitely do that again! Do try Mama’s! Don’t walk to Coit Tower in the rain!! (we did!)

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