San Francisco is an incredible city and I feel so lucky to call it home. Whether you live here or are making a trip in, there are a few activities that are perfect around the holidays for locals and tourists alike. There is something so special about being in the city around the holidays. Maybe it’s the buzz of the people around, the festive decor that starts to pop up or the abundance of things to do, but it’s a feeling that I look forward to every year.
If you’re looking for some chocolate in the city, I suggest skipping Ghirardelli and make your way to Dandelion Chocolate in the Mission. It was listed as having some of the best chocolate in the US. Thomas and I like to order the house hot chocolate with almond milk and usually pick a variety of sweet treats (with chocolate, of course!). And don’t forget to add a few of the house made marshmallows to your hot chocolate.
Calories don’t count around the holidays, right? This hot chocolate will warm you up for a long day spent around the city. I also usually buy a few chocolate bars to bring back and save for friends or family from out of town.
One of the more touristy activities in SF is riding a cable car. I can count on one hand how many times I’ve actually ridden one and have friends who’ve lived in the city for years and still have yet to do so. I find it more of a novelty ride than an actual way of transportation. We usually take friends that are visiting, but it’s still a fun experience and worth doing every once in a while.
We grabbed a cable car that took us to Union Square to do a little shopping downtown. It was actually a really fun (and short) ride. I can’t wait until my girlfriends come up closer to the holidays to re-do the trip with them. We did the same one years ago while we were in college and it’s one of my favorite memories!
Union Square is always filled with holiday decor around this time of year- a giant Christmas tree, ice skating rink and lights galore. While we usually avoid shopping downtown because of the crowds, I love the hustle and bustle around the holidays. It gets me in the festive spirit!
If we’re downtown, we’ll usually grab lunch at the Rotunda in Neiman Marcus. It’s a glamorous spot for a late afternoon lunch with a great view of Union Square. The popovers with strawberry butter are my favorite!
The last spot I would recommend adding to your list is walking along The Embarcadero to the Ferry Building. One of my favorite views in all of San Francisco is the Bay Bridge lit up at dusk. It’s a magical sight!
The Ferry Building has a long list of shops and restaurants to choose from. When we stop by, we usually pick up a loaf of bread from ACME, some cheese from Cowgirl Creamery, olive oil from Stonehouse, a sweet treat at Miette, coffee at Blue Bottle and grab a bite to eat at Frog Hollow.