We love living in Berkeley and there are so many wonderful things to do over here that we often get caught up in just being and exploring in the East Bay. But we live just a short BART ride away from one of the most incredible cities in the world and Sam and I have made it a goal this year to spend more time exploring San Francisco. Plus, if you do this kind of day trip on foot, it’s great exercise! haha. 🙂
We got off BART at Montgomery street and wandered up and along North Beach’s Columbus Avenue. I love this area – the mix of crazy tourists and old Italian locals always makes me happy.
And this bakery… oh my. I have good memories of getting snacks here with my Momma when I was little and honestly it’s just as good as I remember.
Mara’s Italian Pastries – 503 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco.
We shared a decaf cappuccino, too. I’m not supposed to have caffeine (thanks, auto immune disease), but it’s almost impossible not to have a capp with a pretty little treat like that!
From there we walked up and over and along to Chinatown. San Francisco’s Chinatown is fun; I find there are two main streets that have two completely different feels.
The upper street is full of locals. There’s bustling grocers markets, wonderful fish and meat markets, dumpling places that are full of Mandarin and Cantonese. You have to fight your way (nicely) down the sidewalk and everybody speaks in a language I don’t understand.
The street below is so obviously for the tourists. There are red paper lanterns hung across the top buildings and the stores all hold San Francisco tchotchkes and weird guided art that’s faintly Asian. We walked down one street and back up the other and then wound our way over to the Dragon Gate to join the tourists in taking a picture.
It’s not far from the Dragon Gates to Union Square, but by the time we arrived amid the bustling groups of holiday shoppers and ice skaters and Christmas time lookers (like us!), it had started to drizzle. We snapped a quick pic in front of the tree (happy holidays!) and then headed for one of our favorite little Italian restaurants that’s sort of nearby.
And that’s it for our little Sunday adventure in SF! I was so glad we didn’t let the holiday bustle and slight drizzle keep us home! <3
For more San Francisco posts, see HERE.