Feather & Flint

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District

May 14, 2017 55 Comments 25 Photos

Hi there! It’s been a couple of weeks since my last post—but if you’re following me on Instagram & Facebook (which you should do now if you haven’t already!), you already know that I took a gorgeous trip around Northern California. I’m so excited to share my photos and stories with all of you over the next few posts!

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

My husband and I flew to San Francisco, where we stayed with one of my favorite people in the world—a friend who I’ve been lucky to know since the ninth grade. Our friendship is one of those rare connections that picks up exactly where it left off the last time we were together, no matter how much has changed in our lives in the mean time. She fell in love with San Francisco and moved there after college, and I was so happy to get to experience the city that she calls home through her eyes.

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

Alex and I also got to celebrate our third anniversary while we were in California, which was the perfect way to cap off another big year in our lives together. The two of us have never been so relaxed as we were in CA—our Apple watches even stopped reminding us to breathe! Experiencing the gorgeous scenery, the vibrant city, and the amazing food (in addition to getting to spend some quality time with some of my favorite humans) made for a perfect vacation.

So without further ado, here’s the first installment of my favorite discoveries from our trip: Haight-Ashbury and the Mission District, two fantastic San Francisco neighborhoods.

Exploring Downtown San Francisco

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

Haight-Ashbury

Haight-Ashbury (named for the intersection of Haight & Ashbury Streets) was the epicenter of hippie culture in the 1960s—a culture that it’s maintained to this day. Haight-Ashbury was home to the first-ever head shop, Ray & Jay Thelin’s Psychedelic Shop; in addition to the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane, and other renowned psychedelic bands. I liked Haight-Ashbury’s quirky, bohemian vibe, fun shops, and Victorian homes; but there is a distinct grittiness underlying the neighborhood that you should expect to encounter when you visit.

Shop: Love Street Vintage, Sockshop

Drink: Cantata Coffee Company (I got lavender bubble tea with almond milk here—so fancy!)

Discover Haight-Ashbury, San Francisco's home of hippie culture, on #featherandflint! Click To Tweet

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

Haight Street & Ashbury Street

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

Decades of Fashion & The Red Victorian

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

For the Love of Ganesha

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

Sockshop Haight Street

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

The Booksmith & El Rancho Grande

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

Love Street Vintage

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

Love Street Vintage

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

Love Street Vintage

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

Love Street Vintage

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

The Mission

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint
The Mission District gets its name from the Mission San Francisco de Asis: the oldest standing building in the city, built in the late 18th century. The Mission District is characterized by its strong Central American culture; but Valencia Street in particular was known for its LGBTQ and punk scene in the 1970s and ’80s, featuring bands like The Avengers and the Dead Kennedys. It’s home to several renowned taquerías where you can try a Mission burrito, a style that originated here. Some areas of the Mission District are safer than others; to find the best shops and restaurants in one go, visit Valencia Street, the neighborhood’s trendy center of commerce.

Visit: Valencia Street

Shop: Paxton Gate

Eat: Papalote Mexican GrillBrasserie Saint James, Dandelion Chocolates

Drink: Katea (we tried the strawberry mojito & brown sugar ginger tea latte–delicious!)

Explore San Francisco's Mission District (burritos included!) with #featherandflint! Click To Tweet

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

Mission de Flores

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

Brasserie Saint James

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

Paxton Gate

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

Craftsman and Wolves, Brasserie Saint James & Dandelion Chocolates

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

Paxton Gate

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

Paxton Gate

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

Dandelion Chocolates

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

Clarion Alley

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

Paxton Gate

Exploring San Francisco: Haight-Ashbury & Mission District | Feather & Flint

Which San Francisco neighborhoods should you visit on your trip? Find out on #featherandflint! Click To Tweet

I have so much more to show all of you over the next few weeks. (Check out Exploring California, Part 2: The Presidio, Sunset District & Sea Cliff now!) I’d love to hear which parts of San Francisco you love the most or can’t wait to explore–leave me a comment and let me know!

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55 Comments

  1. Reply

    Sarah Althouse

    May 15, 2017

    I would love to go to San Fran one day. And looks like you captured the most interesting parts!

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 19, 2017

      Thank you!! These two neighborhoods were definitely the most vibrant – so many places to eat and shop on every corner!

  2. Reply

    Lecy | A Simpler Grace

    May 15, 2017

    I’ve always wanted to visit San Fran. Looks like they have some interesting shop there!

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 19, 2017

      They really do! Paxton Gate in the Mission District was definitely my favorite – cacti, taxidermy, seashells… they literally had everything!

  3. Reply

    Wendy Tomlinson Coaching

    May 15, 2017

    Great pics. I’d really love to go to California. I’d like to travel around and see different areas, so this is a really useful post.

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 19, 2017

      That was my goal, too – I wanted to make sure I got a good taste of San Francisco since there’s so much to do there, but also get out and see the surrounding area (which I’ll cover in future posts!).

  4. Reply

    Melissa

    May 15, 2017

    Beautiful photos! San Francisco is one of my favourite cities. I hope to visit again one day.

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 19, 2017

      Thank you so much! I can definitely say now that it’s one of my favorite cities, too!

  5. Reply

    Rachel

    May 15, 2017

    I’ve never been to SF but want to visit SO BADLY! It looks absolutely beautiful.

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 19, 2017

      It really is – both the natural beauty and the city itself! I was absolutely dying to visit for many years, so I’m thrilled to have finally gone!

  6. Reply

    Anonymous

    May 15, 2017

    Oh my gosh! I want to fly to San Fran JUST so I can go in the sockshop! I LOVE weird socks and that place looks awesome!

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 19, 2017

      Bahaha I know, right?! My dad is a weird sock collector (as in he collects weird socks, not that he’s weird, hahah!) and I bought his birthday AND Father’s Day gifts here 😉

  7. Reply

    Rachel R Ritlop

    May 15, 2017

    Uhh this has me missing SF so bad!! I love it there! Your photos came out AMAZING btw! can’t wait to see more!

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 19, 2017

      Thank you so much, Rachel!! There are SO many more photos, I can’t wait to share them 😉 I love how different every single part of the Bay Area that I saw was – SF truly never gets old!

  8. Reply

    Becky G

    May 15, 2017

    It looks amazing there! I totally need to plan a visit.

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 19, 2017

      There’s seriously something for everyone here, I definitely recommend it! So glad I finally got the chance to visit!

  9. Reply

    Karyl | Karyl's Kulinary Krusade

    May 16, 2017

    I stayed in downtown San Francisco 2 years ago for a conference, and loved it. I didn’t love the insane hills though! In terms of restaurants, my favorites were Stacks, Hog Island Oyster, and Tadich Grill

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 19, 2017

      Ooooh, so many places that I didn’t get the chance to try – guess I’ll have to go back! 😉 The hills ARE nuts, but I lived on Beacon Hill in Boston for a year, including the winter – so I’ll take sunny hills in SF over icy ones any day!

  10. Reply

    Divya

    May 16, 2017

    Oh man, this made me so nostalgic for my old home! I miss the Bay Area so much.

    Don’t get me wrong – I am soaking up every minute while we’re out here in rural TN, but I imagine I’ll be back there soon. I had fun seeing all your pictures!

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 19, 2017

      Ahhh, I forgot that you were from this area originally!! I think you definitely have to spend some time away from a place to be able to appreciate it fully. If I grew up in the Bay Area, I imagine I would have gotten used to being surrounded by so much beauty every day until I didn’t even notice it anymore. As a visitor, though, it was breathtaking – I’m so glad that I got to pack in so many sights while I was there!!

  11. Reply

    Liz

    May 16, 2017

    This trip looks amazing and your photos are stunning. I’m bookmarking this for the future trip to California that I’ve been dying to take (you know, when I can road trip around for a few weeks, so who knows when :-P).

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 19, 2017

      Thank you so much, Liz! 🙂 So glad the post was helpful – definitely check back for the rest of the series, because I’ll cover so much more ground! Also, omg, I am absolutely dying to road trip around so much of the country – including the entire CA/OR/WA coast, the gorgeous national parks in the western half of the country, and the Southwest. Now, like you, I just have to figure out when I have a whole bunch of extra time on my hands!!

  12. Reply

    Harmony, Momma To Go

    May 16, 2017

    Im heading to SF this summer, Im def pinning this I want to remember that chocolate restaurant!

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 19, 2017

      YAY, you’ll have the best time! I loved it there! And absolutely go to Dandelion Chocolates and order the sampler – so good 😉

  13. Reply

    Rose

    May 16, 2017

    So much color! San Francisco looks like such a fun city to visit. I hope to get there someday.

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 19, 2017

      I absolutely loved how colorful this part of the city was! So full of life! And I absolutely recommend visiting – from the city itself to the gorgeous nature surrounding it, I can’t imagine anyone not having a good time!

  14. Reply

    Nancy at Miles For Family

    May 16, 2017

    I love your photos! Simply gorgeous. I’m going to San Francisco in July with my kids. I haven’t been there since I was a kid!

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 24, 2017

      Thank you so much, Nancy! I actually went when I was 4, and all I remember was the Ghirardelli store (of course)! You and your family will have the best time, I’m sure – have a great trip!

  15. Reply

    Julie Hoag

    May 16, 2017

    Looks amazing and gorgeous! Super fun, thanks!

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 24, 2017

      Thank you so much, Julie! So glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  16. Reply

    candy

    May 17, 2017

    This is such a fun place to visit and explore, enjoy visiting San Fran anytime.

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 24, 2017

      It seriously is! This is my first time as an adult, and San Fran left such an impression on me!

  17. Reply

    Anonymous

    May 17, 2017

    I’ve been to California but didn’t see San Fran. Thanks for the tips.

    The How-to Guru

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 24, 2017

      Looks like you’ll have to go back to CA then, hahah! I know I feel like I’d need to go back at least 5 more times to see everything I want to see there!

  18. Reply

    Kristine

    May 17, 2017

    What an awesome trip! I’ve always wanted to go to San Fran, but just haven’t made it yet. Love the pictures… I felt like I was there!

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 24, 2017

      Awesome, Kristine, that’s exactly what I was hoping to achieve 😉 I hope you get the chance to go someday!!

  19. Reply

    Natalie

    May 17, 2017

    Wow! I’ve been wanting to visit San Fransisco and now I reeealllyyy want to go! This looks like you got to see and do a lot. Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 24, 2017

      Thanks so much, Natalie! I really do feel like we packed so much into one trip, and there’s still so much more – hope you get to see it in person soon!

  20. Reply

    Ada

    May 17, 2017

    San Francisco is such a neat city! I’d love to live there.

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 24, 2017

      It really is!! I would love to live on the West Coast – I fell in love with Marin and Napa counties, just north of San Fran.

  21. Reply

    Lyndsay // Lyndsay's Travel Kitchen

    May 17, 2017

    Those chocolates look out of this world!

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 24, 2017

      They were SO good!! So many exotic ways to eat the best thing in the world 😉

  22. Reply

    Elise Cohen Ho

    May 17, 2017

    We always have so much fun when we visit SFO. I will have to go through the list again to make sure we have not missed any of your recommendations.

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 24, 2017

      I seriously couldn’t believe how much there was to see in a single city – it was amazing! (So much that I’m splitting a week-long trip over 5 or 6 posts!) Thanks for reading, Elise 🙂

  23. Reply

    Neely Moldovan

    May 17, 2017

    Ive only been once and theres still so much I did not see. Would love to head back!

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 24, 2017

      I feel like I could have spent a month there and still had more to see – such a cool city! Thanks, Neely!

  24. Reply

    liz Cleland

    May 17, 2017

    The wall of character socks is GREAT!!

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 24, 2017

      Isn’t it amazing?! I bought gifts for everyone I know there (including myself)!

  25. Reply

    Leah

    May 18, 2017

    Such a beautiful city! I have been lucky enough to travel there once and I loved every minute of my stay. We didn’t get to the Mission area but hope to get back there one day! PS: your pictures are amazeballs!

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 24, 2017

      Thank you so much, Leah, you rock!! It absolutely takes more than one trip to see all of San Francisco’s amazing neighborhoods–I definitely recommend the Mission next!

  26. Reply

    Kallie | But First, Coffee

    May 18, 2017

    Your photos are so good! They really do each neighborhood good justice! I want to go back to San Fran, only went once and only for 2 days.

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 24, 2017

      Thank you so much, Kallie!! Omg, you have to go back – there’s so much more to see 🙂

  27. Reply

    Davi

    May 21, 2017

    Your trip recap makes me want to plan a visit to San Francisco! I’ve only been to California once, but did not have a chance to visit San Francisco. I love all the different districts and their different vibes! Happy 3rd anniversary!

    • Reply

      Robin

      May 24, 2017

      Thank you, Davi, you’re so sweet! 🙂 That was one of my favorite things about San Francisco, too – it felt like there was a neighborhood for everyone!

  28. Reply

    Agness of eTramping

    May 25, 2017

    San Francisco has a lot to offer. These spots are breathtaking and definitely worth checking out, Robin!

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