Image by Tae Fuller
There are so many songs about San Francisco, it’s almost a given that you should visit to see what all the fuss is about. And, if you’re looking for the perfect honeymoon destination in the US, you can’t go past the city by the bay.
I visited San Fran on my honeymoon (hot tip: don’t actually call it ‘San Fran’ – the locals can’t stand it) and it was everything we could have hoped for: ocean breezes, amazing food and a never-ending list of touristy stuff to do. I hope this list will give you some inspiration for your stay. Don’t forget to check out New York, Kyoto, The Whitsundays and Lake Louise, Canada too.
Where to Stay
I know I’ve been guilty of recommending some expensive hotels in past articles, but to be fair they’ve all been amazing! This time around though, I’ve found the perfect balance of cute and cost. The Chancellor Hotel is a 3-star hotel located in Union Square which is in the heart of San Francisco.
The location gives you a great launch pad for everything San Francisco has to offer. Fun fact, the Chancellor Hotel was once the tallest hotel building in the city! The rooms are smallish so be prepared for that, but there’s a meeting of contemporary with retro that makes this place worth the stay. Worth it if you’re looking for comfort and location but not willing to break the bank. Oh also, they serve free cookies and coffee in the lobby all day!
What to Eat
Ordinarily when it comes to honeymoon culinary advice, it’s proper to recommend a romantic fine dining experience. However, I’d like to throw you a curve ball and recommend a brunch spot. Meet Farmer Brown – a “destination where good things gather”. Because brunch can be romantic too, you know? Farmer Brown’s boasts locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients and traditional Southern recipes.
Now it’s going to be tempting to go straight for the egg sandwich or Belgian waffles, but scroll down that menu a bit further and consider the sandwich menus. There’s chicken, pulled pork and catfish. I’m not game enough to recommend which one – just try them all! And if you’re up for it, why not kick off your day with a cocktail?
Apart from the food and drinks, the vibe of this place is what you need to experience for yourself. The interior is rustically funky and the soundtrack, which kicks on through your brunch, will have your foot tapping and fire you up for a day of sightseeing. Fair warning, Farmer Brown is on the edge of the infamous Tenderloin area in San Francisco. The Tenderloin is not exactly the best place for tourists to be strolling through, but Farmer Browns is literally on the cusp of it, so you’ll be fine.
P.S. You should also go to Fisherman’s Wharf for fresh seafood and sourdough rolls, obviously.
What to Drink
If you and your significant other are into the craft brewery scene (and who isn’t these days?) we’ve got the perfect spot. 21st Amendment, located in San Francisco’s historic South Park neighbourhood (no, not that South Park) is a self-described “brewpub”. Expect eight rotating taps of award-winning, hand-crafted house beers. Grab a paddle or just sample as you go. FYI, if you’re going to eat here, the meals are huge – although you’re in America so you should be aware of that already.
One of the best parts about 21st Amendment is that it’s just two blocks from the San Francisco Giants baseball park. If you time your run, the pub will be teeming with Giants fans who make the atmosphere that much better. History fact: the 21st Amendment is the one which repealed Prohibition, essentially bringing pubs back to life in the US.
How to be Romantic
The locals probably wouldn’t view this as the most romantic thing to do in San Francisco, but when you’re an out of towner, the cable cars are all kinds of gorgeous. Invented in San Francisco nearly 150 years ago, the cable cars are now a national historic landmark.
Riding the cable car up and down the hilly streets will give you and your significant other all the feels, including adrenaline – make sure you hold on! There are three cable car lines – two start at Powell and Market and continue to the Fisherman’s Wharf area; one starts at California and Market and continues to Van Ness Avenue. Keep an eye out for the brown-and-white cable car sign posts – that’s where you can board.
Image by Juan Salamanca
Just for Fun
Ok, so we thought San Francisco was a pretty busy city. It’s no Tokyo obviously, but you know, busy enough. So, when we discovered you could rent what are essentially go karts and zip around the streets, we thought: this is madness. But it was actually one of the best things we did on our honeymoon. The GoCar is a bright yellow mini car for two which comes pre-loaded with all the attractions you could want to see.
Hop in and visit all the things that make San Francisco famous, including the Golden Gate Bridge, the most crooked street in the world, or Pier 39 for lunch. You only need a valid driver’s license to get in the driver’s seat.
Ms Zebra: San Francisco is such a fun city! Thanks Mr Houndstooth for these great ideas and recommendations when visiting the city by the bay!
About the author Mr Houndstooth: I am a happily married man. I enjoy a fine whisky, a new suit and swashbuckling around town with my beautiful bride. Looking back on my wedding day always makes me smile, even though it began to rain just as I said ‘I do’.