My San Francisco Travel Guide and Instagrammable Spots

Pam Hetlinger at The Proper Hotel Bar in San Francisco |

Hey guys, as promised, I finally have my San Francisco travel guide finalized! I was in the city with Cartier earlier this month (shared a deeper story here) and had a total blast! You guys know that San Francisco used to be home for me and I’m now based in LA. Since I travel pretty often, I don’t get to visit this city as much as I would like. So while I was there, I made sure to take full advantage of revisiting my favorite spots. I was also introduced to some cool new ones, which I’ll be sharing today. San Francisco is a completely different vibe than LA or any other city for that matter. It has its charm and is full of places to explore, so save this for later!

Let’s dive right into my favorite spots by category!

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Where to Stay

Pam Hetlinger at Four Seasons in San Francisco |
Pam Hetlinger x Cartier - Four Seasons Hotel in San Francisco |


Throughout my trip, I stayed at the Four Seasons Hotel, which is a classic and reliable option. My room was spacious and the closet was so impressive because it held everything I brought. That’s a pretty rare opportunity for us fashion bloggers so I couldn’t have been more pleased. The modern decor was a bonus and super comfy! If you’re looking for a newer and edgier hotel, definitely check out The Proper Hotel (designed by the one and only Kelly Wearstler). The decor here is bold and stunning…I mean just look at the first photo. When combined with an attentive staff, what more can a girl ask for!

Where to Eat

Food is amazing in LA but it’s insanely good in San Francisco! I have so many spots to share with you, so when you’re off to SF, make sure you have room in your tummy and enough time to visit them all.

Pam Hetlinger at The Proper Hotel Bar in San Francisco |

Villon at The Proper Hotel – With a bar this beautiful, you at least have to stop in to check it out. It’s an all-day restaurant and lounge that whips up killer cocktails and fresh dishes with amazing flavors. I would def come here again when I go back to SF!

The Colonial SF – This is Vietnamese cuisine redefined! It’s a hidden gem with the cutest, lush interior. I found the ambiance so charming and romantic, but great for hanging out and enjoying your time. As for the food – just exquisite! And the portions are pretty big too!

Ferry Building – The Ferry Building Market Place has a plethora of restaurants and cafes to pick from, which makes it a wonderful option for eating! By the time you leave, you may have had a full three course meal from different places. Whether you’re in the mood for juice or sweets, it’s all here in one place.

Pam Hetlinger at Le Marais in San Francisco |
Pam Hetlinger at The Ferry Building in San Francisco |


Le Marais – This cafe is not to be missed when in San Francisco. And I believe it’s pretty popular among the locals. Not only is it Instagrammable (think European vibes), but it serves up some amazing coffee and food options (great for lunch or breakfast).

Tartine – If you need a quick pick me up or small breakfast, stop by Tartine for a delicious selection of pastries. I love the variety they offer and everything looks SO good!

Cotogna – In the mood for Italian? Cotogna’s the place for you! The service is excellent and the pasta dishes taste so fresh and authentic (from what I can remember when I was in Italy). Just really beautiful flavors and perfectly presented!

Leo’s Oyster Bar – I went here with my friend Kaeli from Bare Minerals and was so delighted by the tasty seafood. They’ve got a great wine selection and casual vibe which is perfect for catching up with friends. If you’re an oyster fan, then this is too obvious – they’re so fresh!

Nopa – I love how bright and lofty this restaurant felt. It’s a great place for groups but extremely busy so you may need reservations. Aside from that, the food is seriously outstanding!

Pam Hetlinger x Cartier - Four Seasons in San Francisco |

What to Do & Instagrammable Spots

Pam Hetlinger - The Golden Gate Bridge at Hawk Hill in San Francisco |
The Golden Gate Bridge at Hawk Hill in San Francisco |


Now for the fun stuff:

  • My San Francisco travel guide wouldn’t be complete without telling you to take a photo with The Golden Gate Bridge at Hawk Hill for the most gorgeous shot. It’s a super popular spot on Instagram and so obvious to see why. If time is not a factor, I even recommend you hike around here!
  • Painted Ladies are a row of Victorian-style houses in pastel colors. It’s a pretty iconic spot often seen in photos. There’s a park located across the street that will give you the perfect view and angle for an insta snap!
  • I mentioned this in places to eat, but the Ferry Building is also a stunning sight to see! Think of it as an artisan market filled with treasures you wouldn’t find anywhere else. There’s also a farmer’s market that opens three days a week where you can get beautiful fresh flowers!
  • SF Moma  (The Museum of Modern Art) is perfect for those who enjoy museums and have an appreciation for art. It’s filled with modern and contemporary art ranging from architecture and paintings to sculptures. It’s a great stop if you’re in need of inspiration fast!
  • If you have time, catch a game at the AT&T Park where the SF Giants play. If you’re not into sports, you can see concerts here too!
  • Alcatraz Island is worth checking out whether you’re far away or up close. If you’re into crimes and that sort of thing, there’s a ton of history here!
  • Just outside of San Francisco is Sausalito, which is a ferry ride across the bay. It’s known for the unique boutiques and restaurants that you can enjoy with breathtaking views!
  • Napa is MUST for the obvious reasons – wine! Take the Napa Valley Wine Train because it’s so fun and you’ll pass through some incredible views. The interior of the train will take you way back in time. Then, go to the Coppola Winery in Inglenook for wine tasting and a memorable tour.
Pam Hetlinger at Napa Valley in San Francisco |
Pam Hetlinger at Napa Valley in San Francisco |


What to Pack

Pam Hetlinger at Four Seasons in San Francisco |

As for what you should wear in SF, my rule of thumb is to always have layers! When I was working there, I would always bring a jacket and a scarf. Pieces like a suede jacket, vinyl and trench coat are all great examples of what’s appropriate for the weather. If you want some dressy options, then pack comfortable, low heels because SF is FULL of hills. And finally, bring some head and eyewear options to put the finishing touch on your look. You can never go wrong with accessories.

Honestly, if any of your outfits come close to what you see me wearing in this post, you’ll be fine!

Pam Hetlinger x Cartier - Four seasons Hotel in San Francisco |


Pam Hetlinger x Cartier - Four seasons Hotel in San Francisco |

And that’s it for my San Francisco travel guide. Let me know if I missed any new and cool spots in the comments below!

My San Francisco Travel Guide and Instagrammable Spots