Hi Dame Travelers! Laura here. Today, I’m sharing some of the photos and tips I picked up from my solo trip to San Francisco. While shooting our e-course on travel photography for smartphones, I was lucky to have a good chunk of time on my own to explore this insanely cool, quirky city. I found myself absolutely enamored with this coastal California mecca, and I’m sure you will too! Here are some of my biggest recommendations for solo travelers exploring San Francisco on their own!
Pastries At Tartine Bakery Or Mr. Holmes Bakehouse
Start your day the right way, with a hot coffee and delicious pastry in hand. You’re going to need something delicious as all get-out to get you through a long day of walking around this very hilly city!
Tartine Bakery’s pastries and bread are out of this world. And if Mr. Holmes Bakehouse’s insta-famous “I Got Baked In San Francisco” isn’t enough incentive to visit – their cruffins or inventive croissants are good reason!
Be sure to get to both locations early though. Both of these restaurants are local and tourist favorites… and the lines out the door mid morning are the last thing you’ll want to do before you’re caffeinated and ready for the day.
Explore The Mission District
The Mission District is effortlessly cool. In between snapping a thousand photos of the unique architecture, I found myself enthralled by this ever-evolving neighborhood.Its vibrant and colorful murals line the neighborhood, welcoming visitors with vivid images and a uniquely special vibe. In between hipster vinyl stores, old taquerias, vintage clubs and exclusive eateries, tattoo shops, gourmet ice cream shops and craft restaurants can be found.
Golden Gate Via Marshall’s Beach
There are quite a few vantage points to see San Francisco’s iconic Golden Gate Bridge. But, I’m partial to seeing the red bridge from Marshall’s Beach. The hiking trails around the coast are great exercise and also well visited, but there are quiet corners for travelers to capture an uncrowded photo or two. There’s nothing quite like seeing the bridge from the ocean side and cliffs!
Palace Of The Fine Arts At Sunset
The Palace Of The Fine Arts floored me. As I entered the quiet grounds of this epic, monumental structure, I was awestruck. The sun began to turn to the perfect golden hour and all seemed right in the world! I could have walked the grounds for hours.
Picnic At Alamo Square
The Painted Ladies are certainly an iconic setting in San Francisco. It might be the second most photographed location of the city! While getting your signature snap of the colorful architecture, I would recommend bringing a simple picnic to enjoy the beautiful California weather. Alamo Square is quite the place to people watch!
North Beach For Vintage Shopping
I stumbled upon North Beach quite miraculously! I never intended on exploring this neighborhood, but I’m so happy that fate took me here. North Beach was once the hub of Beat Generation. And the spirit still lives on throughout the blocks filled with fabled classics like City Lights Bookstore and Vesuvio Cafe bar. Find yourself flashing back to the past as you walk through family owned trattorias, coffee shops and retro-vibes all around.
And whatever you do… no solo traveler should leave North Beach without stopping in to Schein & Schein’s store of antique maps and vintage prints of far off places! It’s heaven on earth for any Dame Traveler. Truly!
Rainy Day? Visit The Conservatory Of Flowers
This botanical conservatory is my version of slice of heaven. During a spell of mid-afternoon rain, I made my way here and found myself soaking in the pure beauty of nature.