Whirlwind Tour of San Francisco

With my cousin in town from Malta for a week, we tried to strategically plan our jaunts so he could get in as much of San Francisco as possible before we headed to Tahoe for a weekend. With two days and a number of evenings together (I mean, I did have to share him), I think we did a pretty decent job of cramming in some awesome sites, sounds and tastes without going overboard.

Photo op at the Hyde Street Pier. :)

As you may recall, Scott and I embarked on our own self-guided tour of San Francisco. We started at our home base in Nob Hill and made our way down Hyde Street to Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39 before heading through North Beach and Chinatown on the way home. It was a good 4+ hour jaunt and I thought it would be the perfect way for my out-of-town cousin to get an overview of a variety of San Francisco’s neighborhoods and highlights.

Seriously lucked out for December -- such a great day in SF.

We ended up having lunch in Chinatown at a little hole-in-the-wall dim sum spot on Jackson Street appropriately named Delicious Dim Sum, where all orders were prepared to go. My previous experience with dim sum was at Yank Sing with Scott so my concept of pricing for dim sum was a bit skewed. The shop we popped into had signage only in Chinese (sadly, I haven’t mastered my Chinese literacy yet) so I had zero idea of pricing when we placed our order. The total? Around $6. For both of us. Seriously?! I had to ask her to repeat herself.

Question of the year: why am I not eating every meal in Chinatown? After lunch, we headed home back in time to hang out and clean up before dinner in San Francisco’s Marina district.

Our Tacolicious Spread.

We knew in advance that we were going to have two nights together for dinner in the city (Monday and Thursday) so we wanted to make them worth it. Considering my cousin was visiting from the Mediterranean, we wanted to make sure that he had a chance to experience food that’s different from what he can normally get at home. Monday night’s option? Mexican! Since we had to head down to the Marina for the evening, we chose to visit one of the city’s newer gems, Tacolicious. Their taco options were great and their pricing structure makes it super easy for group ordering (4 for $13 or 10 for $31). We made a few pit stops for drinks in the area to extend Paul’s Marina tour: the Balboa Cafe (always a gem) and the nearby Tipsy Pig where the Strawberry Fields are my go-to order.

A little love at the Tipsy Pig - Strawberry Fields + Vodka/Lemonade

For a single day, I think we did a solid job of seeing a fair bit of what San Francisco has to offer. For a first-timer to the city there’s so much to see that it can be hard to narrow things down and prioritize so we were happy to help guide his stay. Our Thursday evening was an epicly American night, but more on that to come. Think steakhouses, piano bars + a speakeasy. #win

xoxo from San Francisco,

More about Shannon Kircher

Shannon Kircher is the founder and editor of The Wanderlust Effect. Founded in 2009, she has continued to document her international escapes as an expat in Europe and the Caribbean. Additionally, Shannon is the founder of Compass & Vine, a luxury boutique travel design firm, and is the Director of Marketing for the Frangipani Beach Resort. Shannon holds an MSc in Social Policy and Development from the London School of Economics and is a current candidate for WSET Level 3 in Wines & Spirits.