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Eco-Conscious Travel Guide: Where to Eat, Shop and Things to Do in San Francisco

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Amongst the city of pastel building, urban hubs and picturesque oceans; it’s easy to compile a good bucket list of things to do, eat and experience in San Francisco. From my personal experience, I became aware that the city has a large population of homelessness and this can be quite confronting (even for someone like myself who lives in a major Australian city and often exposed to this).

Where to EAT

The iconic San Francisco bakery is, of course, Mr Holmes bakehouse but for the food-obsessed, look no further than Wholesome Bakery for organic, locally produced and thoughtfully sourced treats. Nourish Café as the name suggest has an amazing healthy whole foods menu, plant-based, organic and GMO-free. Farm to table restaurant Greens gets their produce from local farmers which means a seasonal vegetarian menu paired with organic, biodynamic and sustainable wines. The restaurant is also built from sustainable materials like locally crafted chairs. For the non-vegos The Plant Café has a local, organic menu alongside ethically-raised meat and sustainably caught seafood. The Plant Café sees itself as a health-directed organic restaurant with produce sourced locally allowing for minimal carbon footprint. It’s also received environmental accreditations, awards and certification in the bay area. 

Mr. Holmes Bakehouse San Francisco - Eco Travel Guide
Mr. Holmes Bakehouse

What to DO

San Francisco is the type of city you can experience on foot (if you’re up for climbing some sloping streets that is). Go for a walk up Lombard Street to experience a scenic view of the city and the beautifully kept gardens that hug the path on the way up. Spend a day along the water’s edge where you can make a visit to Pier 39 and say hello to the sea lions, then walk or cycle from the piers to the Golden Gate Bridge. Do a night tour to Alcatraz and learn some American history, during the tour you will get an uninterrupted view of the Golden Gate Bridge at sunset. 

Lombard Street - Eco-Friendly Places to Eat, Shop and Things to Do in San Francisco
Lombard Steet, San Francisco
Pier 39 San Francisco - Eco Friendly Travel Guide to San Francisco
Pier 39

Golden Gate Bridge - Eco-Friendly Travel Guide San Francisco

Alcatraz Prison San Francisco - Eco Travel Guide San Francisco
Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz San Francisco - Eco Travel Guide

Muir Woods with its beautiful giant redwood trees is across the other side of Golden Gate Bridge, as is the iconic Kirby Cove swing, it’s a win-win. If you’re driving from San Francisco down to Los Angeles or Las Vegas take a detour through Yosemite National Park and continue down through Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks often overshadowed by Yosemite these two combined parks are mesmerising, and you’ll get to experience giant sequoia trees!

Yosemite National Park - USA Eco Travel Guide San Francisco
Yosemite National Park
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park - Eco Travel Guide San Francisco
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks - Eco Travel Guide San Francisco

Where to SHOP

San Francisco has its fair share of conscious fashion, thrift and vintage stores. You’ll find ethical and sustainable bricks and mortar stores like Everlane and Reformation on Valencia Street in the Mission District amongst thrift stores like Community Thrift Store (requires a good sift through, look at the shoes to find some designer pieces), Buffalo Exchange and secondhand bookstores like Dog Eared Books.

While you’re on Valencia Street head down Clarion Alley to experience the painted murals, take several Insta-worthy shots and support some local artists. Haight Street is another trove of vintage stores like Wasteland for rock chic, Held Over Vintage, Decades Of Fashion for luxury, Sunchilds Parlour and Love Street Vintage for boho lovers. Jump across the bay to Alameda for their monthly antiques fair, find real vintage clothing, accessories and antique furniture and homewares amongst the chaos.

Reformation Valencia St
Reformation Valencia St
Clarion Alley - Eco Friendly Travel Guide to San Francisco
Clarion Alley

Clarion Alley - Eco Travel Guide to San Francisco

Loved this post? Heading to NYC? You’ll love our guide detailing eco-friendly and sustainable places to see and things to do in New York City. Check it out here. You can also read these zero waste travel tips from popular zero waste experts. And one last thing, ‘eco travel’ isn’t ‘eco’ if you’re not offsetting your carbon! So make sure you do!

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