The Golden Gate Bridge is 35 minutes from my house. Despite its close proximity, our family only tours the City by the Bay about four or five times a year. Yesterday was one of those days.
There is a quote commonly attributed to Mark Twain where he said, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” In truth, Twain never actually said this, but that doesn’t make the context false. In summer, San Francisco is always foggy and chilly, but during yesterday’s ‘Sunday in the City’, we got lucky with perfect sunny and clear weather.
Take a tour with me of some favorite spots, gorgeous shops, and amazing architecture.
Our first stop was a look at the vista up in the Marin Headlands. This view is the definition of breathtaking. You can see the entire skyline of downtown San Francisco. Sailboats and cargo ships drift in and out under the Golden Gate Bridge, and seagulls soar all around, much to the delight of the children.
Our next stop was the Palace of Fine Arts, built in 1915 for an International Exhibition. We intended on visiting the neighboring Exploratorium, but with such fine weather, we decided to spend the rest of the afternoon outdoors.
Wedding parties and models are a common sight here. And you won’t be able to walk around the path without hearing at least a dozen languages, as this is very a popular tourist destination.
This architecture is so beautiful to look at, and you can walk right up to it and touch it. The columns soar several stories high among redwoods and cyprus, all competing for height. They remind me of standing among the ruins in ancient Rome many years ago, but without the price of a plane ticket.
The luckiest homeowner on earth lives right here, with his lawn connected to the walking path at the Palace of Fine Arts, and his view of the structure itself. This home has the most beautiful courtyard and climbing roses. And notice the whimsical “mailbox”, which is actually a bronze sculpture of a mailbag. I love that.
These folks also have a view of the Palace. I can never get enough of San Francisco’s unique architectural homes.
Here’s a glance at some other favorite homes, situated along the Marina, with front window views of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.
Last stop was Ghirardelli Square, for some window shopping and sweet treats. There is a fantastic tea shop called Crown & Crumpet that I simply fell in love with.
Inside Crown & Crumpet, you can sit down for any kind of fancy tea, English style. The interior decor is absolutely fabulous.
Look at this wonderful wall. The three panels are simply covered in fabric and “framed” in painted moulding. I adore the gigantic “Tea Merchant” sign, and the gilded mirror hung in the middle.
I noticed that every chair’s seat was covered in a different bright fabric. All of the tables were covered in fresh florals, and topped with glass.
I swoon over this pink checkered floor, painted blue buffet, and colorful sofa.
Gorgeous chandelier and chairs too.
These mugs certainly tempted me:
And this candle was so sweet – it would make wonderful decor for a child’s birthday party.
How wonderful are these signature teacups? The entire collection, including cups, saucers, teapots and pitchers are available for purchase. I had to be physically restrained.
Next door is the elizabeth W signature store. You may have seen these products in high end boutiques, but the store itself is in Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco, since all of the products are made in the City.
Her aromatic signature collection of Room Sprays, Lotions, Candles, Linen and Bath Products is intoxicating. Some of her unique scents include Tomato, Leaves, and Sweet Tea. They are all so absolutely lovely. And she just started featuring some unique aprons as well.
No trip to Ghirardelli Square is complete without a morsel of chocolate from Ghirardelli itself. Today we went with the freshly baked fudge.
Have you ever visited San Francisco? If so, what were your favorite stops?
And stay tuned for tomorrow’s post. I have the ultimate revamp to feature, and you’re going to love this one.