TWO GREEN DAYS IN SAN FRANCISCO
par CAROLINE

two-green-days-in-san-francisco

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two-green-days-in-san-francisco
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Green is the state of mind in San Francisco. Spending a few days in the Bay area comes with a friendly reminder that green is uber cool. Just hanging out on a normal day means seeing trees, parks, beaches, mountains, water…tons of cyclists, joggers and oh yes cable cars!
Welcome to the city where they speak the language of sustainability and freedom.


Day 1

Let’s say you arrive in the city on a Friday and decide to stay for the weekend. I would suggest you start “slow” and sleep at Hotel Vitale. I love this hotel for its zen vibe (wood, clean, minimal décor) and also because it’s right by the sea.

hotel-vitale-san-francisco

Start the day with either a jog or a long walk along the waterfront. Then go for a brunch at Plant Café Embarcadero (which is walking distance) and ask for a table on the terrace above the sea. Kale salads, green smoothies, it’s a bit of a vegan/vegeterian girl paradise. Then, moving on with your green immersion, go check the huge organic farmers’ market at the Ferry Building (which is a landmark and a must-see!). I would totally pack a little bag of fruits and nuts and then take the Ferry to Sausalito, rent a bike once there and check out the little shops in the area, as Sausalito is super charming (don’t miss “Low Tide” which showcases local artists, jewelry and design). You can also decide otherwise and head directly to Mill Valley for a hike. In that case, I’d suggest you rent an eco car (the hotel can help you to do that). Depending on your mood, you can check out Marin Headlands, Stinson Beach or Mount Tamalpais for a breathtaking view and outdoor experience.

The Plant Café, San Francisco

On your way back, you have to check the beauty of Cavallo Point (which by the way is Gold Level LEED certified and awarded « New Green American Landmark » by Travel & Leisure) and enjoy a massage (if you decide to do that, book ahead, like 3 days in advance) in their fabulous spa. They have some of the best therapists in town and it’s worth every penny. Being surrounded by nature and enjoying their hot pool is the ultimate treat.

cavallo-point-hotel-and-spa

Golden Gate San Francisco

Day 2: cycle and live like a local

Check out from Vitale, rent an Airbnb to feel at home and live like a local. Try to get an apartment in the Lower Haight so that you don’t miss the mythical vibe of this area. I mean, I always like thinking that’s where the Summer of Love took place. At the same time, the Lower Haight is part of Hayes Valley, which is THE place to be (fashion with an interesting edge, friendly and laid-back vibe, all things nice).

Rent a bike at Golden Gate Tours & Bike rental and don’t forget to ask them for a bicycle map of SF so that you avoid crazy hills!

bike-in-san-francisco

In the morning, go to Hayes and Octavia (the heart of cool) and taste one of the best juices in town from The Juice Shop truck on the esplanade by Ritual Coffee.

Cycle all the way to Grove and Divisadero and have breakfast at the Mill (gathering with all the hipsters crowd), the mecca of slow teas and coffees as well as homemade bread in town. Right next to it, there is the Farmers’ market every Sunday. Check it out and fill your backpack with an organic picnic for later. Then cycle to the Golden Gate Park, heading to the Japanese Garden, which is delightful.
I would suggest you don’t pass on whatever the De Young Museum has to offer and spend some time there.

The Mill San Francisco

The Mill (Photo: Aubrie Pick)

Then, maybe you go check The General Store on Judah, if you feel your legs can cycle there. And then all the way to Ocean Beach and enjoy your picnic there! If you’re not too tired push it up the hill to the Cliff House and have a drink. It is kind of cliché, but worth the detour for the grandeur of the view!

golden-gate-san-francisco

On your way back, time for a well deserved all organic massage at Earthbody on Laguna and Hayes (book ahead).

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Useful links

www.hotelvitale.com

http://www.ferrybuildingmarketplace.com/farmers_market.php

http://www.theplantcafe.com

http://togetherinfood.wordpress.com/s-f-farmers-markets-the-full-list/

http://lowtideclub.com/

http://www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=471

http://www.cavallopoint.com/

https://www.airbnb.com/locations/san-francisco/hayes-valley

http://goldengateparkbikerental.com

http://deyoung.famsf.org/

http://shop-generalstore.com/

http://www.cliffhouse.com/history/index.html

http://www.parksconservancy.org/visit/park-sites/ocean-beach.html

http://www.earthbody.net/

Other cool green places/brands/places to check out:

Bar Jules www.barjules.com, Taste www.tasteteasf.com, Rainbow Foods www.rainbow.coop, Pressed Juicery www.pressedjuicery.com, International Orange spa – yoga lounge www.internationalorange.com, In Fiore perfumes www.infiore.net, Heath Ceramics coffee shop in the Mission www.heathceramics.com/home/pages/discover-heath/studio-stores/san-francisco.

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