Sunshine Chaser's Guide to San Francisco

Hello friends! Today I have another installment of Sunshine Chasers for you. I know Allie from some of my favorite twitter chats, and the second I found out she was from the Bay Area, I knew I wanted her to guest post on the blog. San Francisco has my heart, and so Allie stopped by today to give us 5 things to do in San Francisco this Spring. Take it away Allie!

There's just something about San Francisco in the spring time. Personally I think that's my favorite time to visit. I think the temperature is just right; it's warm but not too hot and you can still enjoy being outside! I have lived in the Bay Area my entire life, except for college when I went to school in Reno, and I had no idea how much I would really miss the Bay. After graduating I moved back home to the Bay Area to experience post grad life and today I wanted to share with you five things that I think you should do this spring if you are planning on making a trip to San Francisco.

5 Things To Do In San Francisco This Spring

1. Check out the Oscar De La Renta Retrospective at the deYoung: From March 12th until May 30th the deYoung Museum located in Golden Gate park is having the coolest exhibit ever. Well at least I think it is pretty dang awesome! They are having a Retrospective about Oscar De La Renta and his work. I went on March 12th with my mom and sister and we were absolutely amazed. I'll be honest, I'm not the biggest museum person, but since Oscar De La Renta was my favorite designer and I'm a major fashion/ art fan, I loved it. I highly recommend going if you too love fashion or appreciate the high detail and intricacies of design. If you do go, I can't stress enough how valuable it is to pay a little extra to have the audio tour. You learn so much more about individual pieces throughout time, special stories behind certain pieces, and what influenced Oscar. It truly was one of the coolest things I have ever experienced and I'm really tempted to go again.

2. Go to a SF Giants game at AT&T park: I love baseball, especially going to games at AT&T park. Even if you aren't a huge fan of baseball I would still highly recommend you go. Not only are the games incredibly fun to watch (especially if we're winning!) but the park is so cool. It's right on the water and it has seen many beautiful days. The players have so much fun doing what they do, in fact, many of their commercials center around showcasing each of the players and their personalities; adding another dimension to the fun of the game. Last season I only went to one game...LAME! I'm definitely looking forward to the official start of the season and hoping I get the chance to at least go to more than one game. (ed. note: As a Phillies fan, it's really hard to publish this on my blog. But I'll give her this, it IS a really nice stadium!)

3. Shop your heart out at Westfield and Union Square: San Fransisco has the best shopping in the Bay Area in my opinion. They have pretty much everything. The Nordstrom is the best Nordstrom I've ever been to, it has one more floor than the one in my current town and a bar that overlooks the city. I mean that's pretty cool, take a pit stop from shopping and enjoy a nice cocktail. I haven't been shopping in the city in a while but I do need to assemble my spring capsule wardrobe soon so you can bet I'll be making a stop to see if I can find any gems to add to my wardrobe. Besides the really cool Nordstrom that I'm obsessed with, this area has tons of shops to look around and browse. I'm sure you name it they have it. They have an H&M home in the city, I haven't been there yet but I'm dying to go after seeing a ton of UK bloggers do home wear hauls. Oh and if you are coffee obsessed like I am, definitely be sure to grab an iced latte at Blue Bottle. It's around the corner from all the shopping, you won't regret it!

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4. Stroll down Embarcadero Street and explore: Now this may seem a bit touristy with the Ferry Building and the piers, but I actually really like walking down Embarcadero. You're right next to the water, you get an amazing view of the bay bridge and on a nice summer day it really is a gorgeous walk. Plus you are getting some exercise in with those steps (YAY extra bonus). I think it would be worth your while to explore the Ferry Building since there's so many cool things in there. So far I've had food at two places in there. The first was Gotts; they have really great burgers there. In fact if you wanted to go to Gotts before a Giants game I highly recommend it. I've done that and then walked down from the Ferry Building to AT&T park no sweat. Then the second place I went was the Market Bar, which was amazing. They have both outdoor and indoor seating. I went with my boyfriend on a really nice sunny day last summer and the food was fabulous as was the atmosphere.

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5. Visit Alamo Square for awesome city views and to see the painted ladies: OK NOW this is touristy, but I think visiting Alamo square is a must. Being a local my whole life I must admit that I actually had never been to Alamo Square before until this past February! In case you don't know Alamo Square is home to the famous Painted Ladies aka the "Full House" house. I mean any '90s kid would visit here for the obvious reason, but seriously this park has amazing views of San Francisco. In fact, it's probably my favorite because you get an amazing 360 degree view! I'm totally a city girl with a love for architecture and design so city skylines make me happy. I think it's a great city skyline to appreciate just mainly because it is so different from New York. I find it interesting how the architecture of each city is different and how that can relate to the mood and culture there. AH I love it! Definitely a great place for any photography enthusiasts or bloggers.

All the Time Activities

Now I wanted to add some extra things that I have yet to do, but are definitely on my list for must try this spring/summer. I figured you might be curious as to what a local is looking try out someday soon:

Bike tour of the city: I think it would be so fun to experience the city by bike! I definitely think San Francisco would be a great city for a bike tour, there are so many different neighborhoods with different cultures and personalities. Not only would you get a great tour of the city but you would get great exercise while you do it! Here are a few places I've been looking into: Streets of San Francisco Bike Tours and Blazing Saddles. I love the idea of riding over the Golden Gate Bridge for a photo and to explore Sausolito as well! (ed. note: Hey, I did this!)

Do a food tour: Can you say yum? Food tours are all the rage right now! I've heard the mission is a great place not only for food, but for a food tour mainly because you can try a bunch of places at once. That way you can have a long list of places to try in the future. The Mission is up and coming and I've been dying to go mainly because my parents have been raving about the food, but I have yet to check it out. Definitely thinking the Mission Food Tour will be happening very soon. Here are a few tours I've been looking into: Sidewalk Food Tours of San Francisco, Avital, and Gourmet Walks.

Go to Alcatraz: now disclaimer: as a local I've been here about five times and I'm pretty sure three were elementary school field trips and two were Girl Scouts outings. Regardless, the last time I've went was probably 6th grade, so now that I'm an adult I think I would like to see it one more time and take my boyfriend as well since he has never been there. Hopefully this is something we can do together this summer, but I must warn you though that there's a really creepy, eerie, sad vibe on this tour so if you are looking for something a little bit more cheery, I'd advise going elsewhere.

I hope I've given you a few ideas of what to do on your trip to San Francisco if you are visiting this spring! Definitely connect with me on social media for more ideas on how to travel like a local in the Bay Area!

Allie Bigoness is a creative blogger at Allie Explores and a TV/Movie enthusiast who loves all things adventure and artsy themed. She dreams of one day moving to Manhattan and can be found painting, binge watching Netflix, eating sushi, and planning her next ambitious projects/travels. If you have a conversation with her, you might find that you'll either end up talking about "The Walking Dead," quoting "How I Met Your Mother," or her long time dream of working at Pixar.

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