Last September, we took 16 winners of Project Live Your Life to San Francisco for the trip of a lifetime. Despite long days shooting the American Eagle Outfitters Spring 2014 campaign, our cast and crew had some time to check out San Francisco’s coolest and most iconic sites. Check out our top places to eat, things to do and places to see in the City by the Bay.
Despite being located in sunny California, San Francisco does get chilly from the bay breezes. We recommend layers – lightweight sweaters that are easy to stick in your bag for girls. Guys should add a flannel to a graphic T or sweatshirt. A little more dressy than LA, girls can upgrade their look with printed soft pants and guys can trade in their board shorts for denim shorts.
San Francisco is known for its hills – be sure to pack comfy shoes. A pair of slip-on sneakers in a basic color works with just about any color for girls and canvas sneakers for guys will complete any look. Don’t forget accessories like beanies and sunglasses so you’re prepared for any weather change from rain to sun.
San Francisco is one of America’s biggest foodie cities. From the famous Mission-style burritos to every type of fusion imaginable, no one will ever go hungry in San Francisco.
Ferry Building Marketplace
Located along the water at the end of Market Street, you can find everything from fresh fish to artisan chocolates at the Ferry Building Marketplace. Our Senior Director of Analytics in our San Francisco office had a piece of chocolate there that “changed his life!” Be sure to go hungry – our Aerie Assistant Bra Buyer Emily T. recommends a snack of charcuterie at Boccalone followed up by a New Orleans Iced Coffee from Blue Bottle Coffee, a caffeinated SF staple.
Swan Oyster Depot
Over 100 years old, Swan Oyster Depot is a San Francisco institution. Be prepared to wait in line at 1517 Polk Street for your chance at the best seafood in San Francisco. Our tip? Order the San Francisco Sashimi, a “secret” menu item.
Tartine Bakery and Cafe
If the line out the door doesn’t let you know that a restaurant is good, we don’t know what does. Go early to avoid the wait and try the famed “Morning Bun” or stop by in the afternoon for a Banana Cream Tart or Coconut Cream Tart and take a loaf of bread home fresh out of the oven. Stop by Tartine on 600 Guerrero.
Take “dinner and a movie” to an entirely new level at Foreign Cinema, located in the Mission District. Nightly they screen movies in their covered back patio, ranging from silent films to your Wes Anderson favorites. Order the sesame fried chicken – you won’t regret it.
Our crew hit up Nopalita on 9th Ave right by the Botanical Gardens for amazing Mexican food while on the shoot. While Nopalita has all the Mexican staples, we recommend getting a torta, or Mexican sandwich, followed up with a Mexican Hot Chocolate.
Bike the Golden Gate Bridge
It’s one of the most iconic bridges in the world. See it up close and personal while biking it! The ride starts at Fisherman’s Wharf and takes you to the beautiful town of Sausalito. Once in Sausalito you can enjoy the shops and cafes, then catch a ferry back to the wharf. Bike rentals are available at Blazing Saddles, located at Pier 41 and 2715 Hyde Street.
Ocean Beach and Golden Gate Park
Jump on the BART Blue Line at the Embarcadero and get off at Balboa Park. This metro stop is steps from Ocean Beach, where you can walk along the water and put your toes in the Pacific Ocean. Then walk a few blocks to Golden Gate Park to experience nature right in the middle of the urban city.
You can’t leave San Francisco without taking a trolley ride! Catch either the Powell-Mason or Powell-Hyde lines and jump off at Union Square. Spend the afternoon window shopping and pick up a new pair of AEO jeans at our store on Market Street!
Dubbed one of the best viewpoints in San Francisco, where you can witness astonishing views of the coast and the city. There are also several hiking trails and a suspension bridge if you are feeling adventurous.
Spend an afternoon walking off all the culinary delights SF has to offer at Muir Woods. Not only can you see the famed Redwood trees but you can also spend a few hours hiking the trails that surround the area and afford views of the Pacific Ocean.
A former military base, The Presidio was founded by the Spanish in 1776 and was their northern-most outpost of colonial power in the new world.
Although hilly, San Francisco is small enough to be walkable if you’re up for it. If you need to get from point A to point B quickly, we recommend Uber. If you’re not in the know, download the Uber App and open it up when you need a lift. A private car will be to you in less than ten minutes to take you anywhere you need. The best part? You pay through your phone, so you don’t even need cash for a taxi.