Nothing but Sneakers in San Francisco
Nowhere has the athleisure epidemic been so pronounced that in San Francisco, California. In the three days I was there, I clocked just one pair of heels. And they were on the heels of a drag queen in the Castro. For the rest of San Fran’s biological females, it was sneakers, gym pants and soul cycle tees. All day, erry day. Even at a chic sushi restaurant, on a Saturday at 10pm. Which led me to the scientific conclusion that:
San Francisco seems to practically live in athleisure.
In hindsight, athleisure is the fitting clothing equivalent of life in San Francisco. Wonderfully athletic, laid back, comfortable, and makes your butt look good (from walking up those steep hills). With all of these ingredients, and a mild bout of jet lag, I loved San Francisco and exploring it’s steep streets in sneakers. Below are some of my top tips for visiting because sharing is caring.
Stay: in Pacific Heights. Most hotels are located in Union Square, the somewhat soulless city centre and main hub for the San Francisco’s substantial homeless population. The sound of this to me didn’t appeal so after asking a local where to stay, I booked an Airbnb in Pacific Heights and from the sight of the Golden Gate Bridge from my window, I was so glad I did.
The area itself was also incredibly beautiful and after exploring areas like the Castro, the Mission and Fisherman’s Wharf, was convinced that Pacific Heights was the nicest area in San Francisco. While the views were incredible and the Sephora down the road was a dream, my favourite thing about the areas was the incredible houses. Every house was like a Barbie house and there was puppy dog on every corner, or at least it felt that way.
Don’t: bother visiting the Painted Ladies, also known as the famous houses from Full House After exploring Pacific Heights and it’s amazingly tall houses and harbour views, the famous houses didn’t really live up to their hype. Do: visit Alcatraz. You can spend days just exploring the streets of San Francisco, and you should. But you should also take a morning out to visit Alcatraz Island. I recommend booking in advance and getting on the first ferry out there when it’s not crowded (or maybe do it at night for something spooky). The cruise out there is beautiful and allows you to take in the harbour views. Once there, access to the island includes an audio tour of the prison, and you can also explore the island and spend as much time out there as you want, with the ferries going back to the mainland every hour.
Eat: After Alcatraz, take an Uber from the Pier up the hill to Tony’s Pizza Napoletana. I knew that when we arrived 5 minutes before it opened and there was already a small line to get in, it was going to be good. Once I’d taken my first bite, no exaggeration, I knew I was tasting the best pizza I’d ever had. Yes, even better than pizza I’ve had in Italy. This pizza place does not play! Don’t miss it. If you stay in Pacific Heights, go for breakfast at the La Boulangerie de San Francisco. Their freshly baked goods and bottled almond milk are delicious, but also be warned they serve coffee in breakfast bowls. Which is great for jet lag but not good for your heart.For dinners, the Marina District (within walking distance of Pacific Heights) is lined with great restaurants namely sushi and Mexican, as well as sports bars. We dined at Mamacity, and Ace Wasabi, both of which were great and we didn’t have to book to get in.
California dreaming? Dream on, out on that open road. Or stop dreaming and go!