joyride with joie de vivre: A Perfect Day in San Francisco.
by victoria comment

5/6/15

joyride with joie de vivre: A Perfect Day in San Francisco / sfgirlbybay

in celebration of san francisco, and my imminent departure, i’ve partnered with joie de vivre hotels to share one perfect day in san francisco — the ultimate joyride, if you will. there’s so many perfect days in the city — it all really depends on the kind of day you choose to have — one in nature, a shopping spree, a day of gourmet gluttony — whatever you want, you can find it in san francisco. so here’s just one idea for you!

joyride with joie de vivre: A Perfect Day in San Francisco / sfgirlbybay

photographer cindy loughridge has captured joie de vivre’s beautiful hotels, and i’ve selected images from my book See San Francisco, in hopes it helps you fall in love with the city the same way I did when I arrived 20 years ago! so, here’s my idea of a perfect day spent in glorious in San francisco.

joyride with joie de vivre: A Perfect Day in San Francisco / sfgirlbybay

First off, I highly recommend staying at Hotel Vitale along the beautiful Embarcadero. There are breathtaking views of the Bay from your room, so sleep in a little and spoil yourselves with breakfast in bed. The beauty of joie de vivre hotels is that you can also bring your favorite companion along! Most of their hotels are pet-friendly, and Hotel Vitale welcomes your pooch with open arms. We brought my dog Lucy along with us, and you can see she made herself quite at home! Hotel Vitale is designed to feel like a serene sanctuary in the middle of the big city, and I can’t think of a finer place to stay.

joyride with joie de vivre: A Perfect Day in San Francisco / sfgirlbybay

joyride with joie de vivre: A Perfect Day in San Francisco / sfgirlbybay

Take a short walk to the Ferry Building just across the street. It’s full of wonderful shopping and divine eating! There are gourmet cooking shops and food choices galore, including a locally grown farmers’ market on Saturdays that’s amazing. If you want to treat yourselves to a great brunch with water views, make reservations at The Slanted Door or walk in for lunch. It’s right on the Bay and really good Vietnamese food, plus lots of tapas plates. Hog Island Oysters is also great.

joyride with joie de vivre: A Perfect Day in San Francisco / sfgirlbybay

joyride with joie de vivre: A Perfect Day in San Francisco / sfgirlbybay

joyride with joie de vivre: A Perfect Day in San Francisco / sfgirlbybay

joyride with joie de vivre: A Perfect Day in San Francisco / sfgirlbybay

If you need to work off those calories, you could walk… but I suggest a leisurely (but still thrilling!) cable car for further exploring. From California Street, ride up and through the towering old and new buildings of the Financial District downtown, then hop off at Powell Street at the very top of Nob Hill. From there, change cable cars and whoosh down past classic Victorians into Union Square, San Francisco’s renowned shopping district. Here, you’ll find a plethora of designer outlets and souvenirs.

joyride with joie de vivre: A Perfect Day in San Francisco / sfgirlbybay

joyride with joie de vivre: A Perfect Day in San Francisco / sfgirlbybay

If you’re not in the mood to shop, stay on the cable car and get off at California and Larkin, head south to Sutter Street, and drop in to Hotel Carlton, another charming Joie de Vivre property. They also love dogs! Have an Arabic fusion lunch at Saha, the hotel’s exotic and colorful in-house restaurant. Hotel Carlton’s interiors are inspired by cultures from around the world, and display a collection of gorgeous travel photography. Rooms are furnished with hand-painted Moroccan side tables, and decorated with photographs of 15th-century Nepalese temples. Hotel Carlton is truly one of the city’s unique boutique hotels.

joyride with joie de vivre: A Perfect Day in San Francisco / sfgirlbybay

joyride with joie de vivre: A Perfect Day in San Francisco / sfgirlbybay

From there, I suggest heading just a few blocks east to Hayes Valley. There’s more boutique shopping at Gimme Shoes, Lavish, Reliquary, and Dish.

joyride with joie de vivre: A Perfect Day in San Francisco / sfgirlbybay

joyride with joie de vivre: A Perfect Day in San Francisco / sfgirlbybay

There are notable cafés and bars, too. Miette is an amazing sweets and pastry shop. Two Sisters Bar and Books is probably my favorite bar in the city. Stop in and say hi to Michael, the bartender, and have a chamomile-whiskey cocktail.

joyride with joie de vivre: A Perfect Day in San Francisco / sfgirlbybay

Nearby, my very favorite restaurant in the city is one that’s been around a long while: Zuni Café on Market Street. I’ve been going here for nearly two decades, and I don’t think I’ve ever changed my order. I go with a group of good friends, and we stick together and share this menu every time: a good bottle of white wine, a dozen or so oysters on the half shell, Caesar salad, pommes frites, and Zuni’s signature roasted chicken-and-bread salad. It sounds like a lot of food, but share it with a group of your favorite people and it’s one of the best meals you’ll ever have. I promise. You can even skip dessert.

joyride with joie de vivre: A Perfect Day in San Francisco / sfgirlbybay

joyride with joie de vivre: A Perfect Day in San Francisco / sfgirlbybay

After this day of adventure, you’ll probably be exhausted. Get some rest back at Hotel Vitale, and don’t forget to indulge with some spa time in their serene, Japanese-inspired soaking tubs… the end to a perfect day in San Francisco!

joyride with joie de vivre: A Perfect Day in San Francisco / sfgirlbybay

• hotel photographs by cindy loughridge; city photos by victoria smith her book, See San Francisco: Through the Lens of SFGirlbyBay.

• this post in partnership with joie de vivre hotels, but all thoughts and opinions are my own. thank you for supporting the businesses that bring you fresh content from sfgirlbybay every day.

8 responses to “joyride with joie de vivre: A Perfect Day in San Francisco.”

  1. As much as I love my 2 dogs, it doesn’t feel right for a hotel to let dogs sleep on human beds. Dogs should have their doggie beds to make all hairy and drooly.
    Lovely photos and lovely pooch though.

  2. Really, those hotels should pay your ridiculously beautiful dog for gracing their premises with her loveliness. She’s obviously the Elizabeth Taylor of the furry set. Would love to travel there with my own pooch! Thanks for the tips.

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