My perfect day in San Francisco, kids included

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Everyone has their own idea of a perfect day in a favourite city– a secret haunt, restaurant, coffee shop or that special view. If you get it right, it's like putting on your favourite sweater. I lived in San Francisco in the 90s when I was single, upwardly mobile and thought I was the luckiest person in the world. If I squint, I can just about remember it. Now I live in the UK and have three gorgeous girls (ages 5, 6 and 8). Of course I wanted to share my favourite city with them. Oh, just an aside, please never say Frisco in my presence.

So what's my perfect day in San Francisco?

Drive down Lombard Street. Enter at the top of Greenwich.

Have a cappuccino at the Steps of Rome Caffe in North Beach. The girls had panacotta. 348 Columbus Ave.

Get some yummy pastries at Victoria Pastry Co. Like most bakeries in the US, they give kids a free cookie. 1362 Stockton St.

Indulge in your Italian favourites at the Molinari Delicatessen. I bought sweet sausages (as opposed to hot) and fresh pasta. They had some fantastic looking sandwiches. 373 Columbus Avenue.


Give the kids $5 and let them go crazy in Chinatown! Enter through the Gateway Arch at Bush and Grant.

And shop some more…
And more…

Then stop for lunch at the Empress of China. This is the view! 838 Grant Ave.

Jump on a cable car. We rode it all the way down to Fisherman's Wharf.

The girls were sufficiently tired on the drive back to Silicon Valley and fell asleep. Perfect.

What's your favourite city and thing to do?

All of these photo were taken on my fabulous iPhone 4!

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  1. 15/05/2012 / 12:23

    Brings back some good memories! Loved the drive down and view on San Francisco’s Crooked street! However driving up and down all the hills wasn’t the best idea as I suffer from motion sickness!
    Saving Mummys Money

  2. Susanna
    03/05/2012 / 06:29

    Just barely! Love it here. x

  3. 03/04/2012 / 09:03

    I have never been to SF, in fact never been to the USA. Hope to get there one day when work life is a little less hectic. Certainly looks like you had a fun life there! How do you find life here in the UK? At least the south east is sunnier than the rest of the country!

  4. Family Affairs
    28/03/2012 / 22:25

    Oh no – think I lost my last comment – can I guest post this on my blog please? Very good for my travel section – especially in light of the fact I’ve got to present myself as a travel blogger of brilliance in the next month!!

  5. 28/03/2012 / 18:11

    Kids do go crazy with all those bits and bobs in Chinatown – it’s perfect!

  6. 13/08/2010 / 05:57

    I hope the kids had a lovely time, how fun to share “your” city with them, it must have been so much fun to show them the sights. I love San Francisco with an irrational passion, and am trying to pass this on to our kids, They love the cable car, and the golden gate bridge, so we’re off to a good start!

  7. 12/08/2010 / 20:01

    I love SF. Have only ever had a really good time there. Not been with kids though!

  8. A Modern Mother
    12/08/2010 / 18:56

    I hate flying too.

  9. A Modern Mother
    12/08/2010 / 18:56

    I hope you make it there!

  10. 12/08/2010 / 07:34

    What simply fabulous pictures and a fabulous perfect day. I really need to get over the fear if flying thing so I can take the children to America they’re desperate to go yo New York

  11. 11/08/2010 / 20:52

    Looks fab! San Francisco is one of my “must-see-before-I-die” place in the world and now I know just where to go when I go šŸ™‚ Thanks, hope you are still having a great time x

  12. Susanna
    11/08/2010 / 19:24

    So did I!

  13. 11/08/2010 / 19:21

    How fabulous! I’d love to go visit San Fransisco as an adult — we lived near there when I was a toddler.

  14. A Modern Mother
    11/08/2010 / 17:31

    YES! I remember some great bike rides there (pre kids). Take the ferry to Angel Island and have brunch at Guaymas. You just gave me an idea of what to do this weekend!

  15. A Modern Mother
    11/08/2010 / 17:28

    I do agree.

  16. A Modern Mother
    11/08/2010 / 17:28

    I have you make it to La Jolla šŸ˜‰

  17. A Modern Mother
    11/08/2010 / 17:27

    Haight Ashbury brings back memories!

  18. A Modern Mother
    11/08/2010 / 17:26

    I HEART NYC too.

  19. A Modern Mother
    11/08/2010 / 17:25

    Now I’m curious about the Sony Centre. I lived is Washington as well, I was an intern!

  20. Susanna
    11/08/2010 / 17:22

    New York is right up their in my favourites, I spent a lot of time there in the foodie 80s.

  21. 11/08/2010 / 15:55

    Jumping on a cable car is the best. I love escaping the city too – we’re in Tiburon for the weekend soon – have you been there? It’s so lovely.

  22. Iota
    11/08/2010 / 15:06

    It’s on my list of cities I MUST see.

  23. 11/08/2010 / 14:36

    So lovely! San Francisco is one of my favourite cities ever! I’m planning to travel there with my family next summer for a week or so and then slowly move down to Southern California…I sooo envy you at the moment! Ciao. A.

  24. nappyvalleygirl
    11/08/2010 / 13:41

    I’ve been to San Francisco twice – once as a child and once as an adult. I still remember the thrill of taking the trolley to Fisherman’s Wharf as a child, and the other time I loved visiting Haight-Ashbury and the Golden Gate Park with its gorgeous Japanese garden. I’d love to take the boys there one day.

  25. 11/08/2010 / 12:06

    My daughter can’t wait to visit New York from the tales I’ve told her about my visits there before settling down to become a Mummy. San Fran is one place I would love to visit.

  26. 11/08/2010 / 08:00

    I’ve taken No 1 Son on the trolley down to Fisherman’s Wharf, for a boat ride, and also to see the buffalo in Golden Gate Park, the Sony Centre, dinner in Chinatown and for breakfast at Macy’s in Union Square. We’ve been there twice as a family and I’ve been twice with friends. San Fran (not Frisco!) isn’t my favourite US city – I never get the at home vibe in quite the way I do in NYC or Washington DC, or even LA – but it is a kid-friendly city, definitely.

  27. 11/08/2010 / 07:16

    Looks like you had a fab day. I’m officially in love with New York now but would love to go to San Francisco too.