what to do in san francisco with your family

I’m headed to San Francisco this week & the last time I was in The City so much about my life was different. My previous trip to the bay was with my family to celebrate my parent’s 35th wedding anniversary & it was just before my first niece was about to be born. Flash forward two whole years & so much has changed. I have one niece, another on the way from my brother & his wife who recently got married, & a nephew joining our crew soon too. This time around, I’m heading back to one of my favorite places with my mom for a girls weekend. But before we pack up the car later today, I thought I’d share with you all the places we visited two years ago as a family in SF with a sister-in-law who was 7 months pregnant at the time!

As a family we have all been to San Francisco many times because it’s less than a 4 hour drive from Reno. It’s a great weekend getaway destination & has so many parts to the city that you can check out & visit. We almost always stop by Fisherman’s Wharf for fresh seafood when we go, but will sometimes opt out of big tourist spots like Alkatraz or Pier 13 since we’re seen them before. This trip we happened to check out Pier 1 though which has a ferry building filled with all sorts of shops & restaurants. Here, we tried Blue Bottle Coffee & an ice cream place. There was also a farmer’s market going on across the street that we checked out as well.

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Over the course of the four days that we were there I made my family go to countless coffee & donut shops. My favorite coffee shop was The Mill Sf, but we also enjoyed Sightglass, & Four Barrel (now with a different name). The donut shops were more random & a lot were just called “donut shop”. Honestly, if you’re in the city, just type in donuts to your Google maps & any donut shop you pick will be good.

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During this trip we all were allowed to pick out a few things that we wanted to do. I had a lot more items on the list because let’s be real, I stalked Instagram for months beforehand to find all the trendy places for us to visit & then my oldest brother mapped them out by location so that we’d hit them all street by street instead of driving all over the city with no game plan. The San Francisco Zoo was on my sister-in-law & brothers list. The horse races were on my mom, dad’s, & other brother’s list. I complained this past trip, but if you haven’t ever been to a horse race, you need to experience one in your lifetime! They truly are so fun & unlike anything else, we’ve been three times as a family so far.

My family mentioned after we got home that they were so grateful for all the places I had on my lists because they didn’t realize there were so many unique places to visit in SF. I ended up showing them places like C.R.E.A.M., which is a cookie & ice cream sandwich shop, Mr. Holmes Bakehouse which is a bakery that sells out within hours of opening everyday, Haight & Ashbury, Mama’s, an amazing breakfast place right next to LaMaria’s bakery that has a line that wraps outside just to get it, & this awesome food truck lunch location under the freeway that was super convenient place where we could all eat whatever type of food we wanted.Photo May 15, 4 35 22 PM_preview.jpegPhoto May 15, 4 32 09 PM_preview.jpegPhoto May 15, 4 35 17 PM_preview.jpegPhoto May 15, 4 32 10 PM_preview.jpeg

We went to iconic places like The Painted Ladies, a row of colorful homes, the famous Full House home, & to Baker Beach to see the Golden Gate from the west side which we actually didn’t realize is a nude beach… I had them stop to get smoothies in Berkeley, & also stop for every single photo op I wanted to not pass up. The buildings, streets, & colors of SF are just so inspiring to me & I remember feeling that the entire time on this family trip.Photo May 15, 4 33 20 PM_preview.jpegPhoto May 15, 4 33 14 PM_preview.jpeg

Back in 2016 when we were there I also got to be a part of two campaigns for two companies that I still love today. For Glossier, I got to take pink inspired photos in front of a perfectly pink house. And for Nisolo I got to capture what it is that I do in my shoes from Nisolo, I chose drinking coffee of course. Props to my brother who used to be my go-to photographer whenever I needed photos of myself. Photo May 15, 4 35 14 PM_preview.jpegPhoto May 15, 4 37 18 PM_preview.jpeg

Since San Francisco itself can be a really expensive city to actually stay in, we chose to stay in a city just south of it called Pacifica. It’s a very small beach town that is home to the fanciest Taco Bell ever that lives right on the beach. Our last morning there was probably my favorite because just before we left my dad & I walked to the ocean & took photos of the rocks, & docks, & flowers. I love photographing nature so much & I loved sharing that moment with my dad. Photo May 15, 4 33 18 PM_preview.jpegPhoto May 15, 4 33 17 PM_preview.jpegPhoto May 15, 4 33 16 PM_preview.jpeg

I wasn’t at my best as a person on this trip. It was just a few months after my grandpa had passed away & I didn’t handle being so “stuck” with my family for so many days in a row so well. I had quite a few huge breakdowns on this trip & I am so grateful for my family who still loved me despite my emotions on this trip. Looking back I can remember the bad times of this trip, but the good moments definitely shine through more so. Overall, it was a great family trip to San Francisco & we did so much in just a few short days! I’m sure I forgot & didn’t mention like half the things we did, but maybe next time I won’t wait two years to write a post about it so then hopefully it’ll be fresher in my mind!


Always know that it’s okay to admit your faults, it’s okay to not be okay, & it’s okay to apologize when both types of circumstances collide & turn you into something you never meant to be.

– abbey kay


Check out my collab with Glossier while in SF here.


*brought to you by a girl who is so ready for a vacay






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