Another cool city crossed off the bucket list.

Last weekend, Michael and I spent three days exploring San Francisco — a place I’ve been itching to visit since moving to California.

The city’s hilly streets, pockets of culture and trendy nooks beg you to wander off the grid for a more local experience.

Here are a few of the spots I enjoyed the most:

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse opens daily at 7am. But locals and tourists are already lined up outside the small shop well before then to get a box of tasty carbs. The first day I tried to eat here, the bakehouse had closed early because demand was so high. So the following morning, we got up early to wait in line with everyone else. It didn’t take long for things to get moving. The store’s regular guests swiftly ordered their usuals, while tourists lingered for a moment to take photos of the shop’s cool neon sign. Admittedly, this is the Instagram-famed attraction that originally lured me to Mr. Holmes. But the minute I bit into my croissant, I understood why the love runs deep here. I’m excited to go again and try more of their crafty pastries. Particularly, the cruffin — a staple item on their menu.

We picked the perfect time to visit San Francisco. It just so happened to be on the weekend of the 33rd annual Fillmore Jazz Festival — the largest free jazz festival on the West Coast. The celebrations last from sunup to sundown along Fillmore Street, which holds some impressive jazz history of its own. But amidst all the festivities, a much younger tradition is catching fire. The Brooklyn Circus SF Block Party rolled out it its 9th year with a series of popular local DJs including D-Sharp, Daghe, DJ Red Corvette and Soulection’s The Whooligan. Michael and I are big Soulection ridas so we couldn’t miss a chance to see one of their artists perform. We met a few other DJs and photographers that day and later got an opportunity to shoot backstage as The Whooligan played his set. One of my trip highlights, for sure.

Chinatown in San Francisco is full of vibrance, rich tradition and authentic cuisine. Just walking a couple blocks into the district immerses you into an entirely new cultural experience. It’s the largest Chinatown outside of Asia and the oldest one in the U.S. And the gorgeous architecture and oriental decor is quite a sight. I still can’t seem to fathom how the community has managed to preserve so many massive structures and relics for over a century and a half.

 

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