You know those trips you’re always saying you ‘should’ take with friends but never get the chance to do so? That was always San Francisco and Napa for us. Years ago Adam and I drove the California coast from San Diego to San Francisco but never made it further north. So naturally – over a glass of wine- we got to planning. We netted out on a 10 day trip kicking off in San Francisco and wrapping up in Napa for the perfect way to close out Summer 2016.
Leave it to me to get crazy busy at the office and discover one week before our trip, we haven’t yet booked a hotel, restaurants or activities. So what do you do when you’re in a pinch (ok, more like bind)? You call the American Express Platinum Card Travel service and Concierge team.

With two simple phone calls on my way to work, I had the Amex Platinum Card Travel Service on all systems go making hotel recommendations and my Platinum concierge making restaurant suggestions and must-see and do activities. Knowing we’d be doing a ton of walking, we wanted a luxurious retreat in San Francisco where we could kick our feet up at the end of the day. The Platinum Travel Service team was able to secure us a room at the Ritz Carlton, a FINE HOTELS & RESORTS property, and with buy three nights and get one free as part of a current promotion– we were sold.
We kicked off our vacation by breezing through the security line at Pearson with a flash of our Amex Platinum Card and headed straight for the Plaza Premium Lounge. Talk about starting off on a positive note! We fueled up or our flight with some snacks and a glass of rose- the first of many for the trip ahead!

There’s nothing better after a 5 hour flight and lengthy jaunt from the airport to the hotel to hear that your room has been upgraded to a junior suite free of charge and that you have complimentary daily breakfast with room service or restaurant dining. (We all know how much I love my Eggs Benny on vaca!).

We had an early start on our first day and kicked off our sightseeing right with a Catamaran tour of the San Francisco coastline. With views of Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, it was honestly an awesome experience. What amazed me more is we had literally booked this less than 12 hours before walking onto the plane with American Express Concierge.

Views of SF from the catamaran tour!

For lunch, we headed to the San Francisco Ferry Plaza for a Saturday morning market stroll and feast. Vendors that caught our eye were Miette for pastries, Blue Bottle coffee for the perfect cappuccino and Humphry Slocombe for dessert.

Treats at Miette!

If you aren’t planning on making it out to Napa, then be sure to dine at Gott’s Roadside. We ended up at Hog Island OysterCo. for lunch and it was just what we needed to satisfy our seafood craving ;)
How do you wrap up an already perfect day? Shopping of course! And since every $1 spent earns you points towards another vacation, it’s far easier justifying those boots you just need for fall and know they’ll look fabulous in your next vaca #ootd! We did most of our damage in and around Union Square – a must see if you’re new to the area.

For supper, we headed to Foreign Cinema – an Amex recommendation and a personal favourite from the last time we were in town.

Saturday morning on vacation always calls for brunch in our books. Thankfully, the Amex concierge team had passed along the Cole’s Notes guide to the city with an encouragement to visit Pacific Heights for shopping, eating and bougainvillea hunting. Rose’s Café, nestled in the heart of the area, is the quintessential Parisian inspired restaurant with amazing brunch options. 

When you’re wrapped up, wonder over to the Bud Stop for some fresh floral inspiration.

Our wanderings brought us to Marina, Palace of Fine Arts, the Painted Ladies and much more in the area. I have to admit, once you get beyond the obvious checklist of tourist things to do in the city, it really is a stunning place to wander around. We closed out the afternoon with a stroll along Baker Beach for views of the Golden Gate Bridge. What seemed like 20,000 steps later (ok more like 10K), we went back to our hotel room, got gussied up and headed out for dinner to Park Tavern. Super swanky, great scene and awesome food!

Parked out front of a bakery waiting for treats!

The painted ladies!

We did learn very fast in the city that reservations are a must so be sure to plan ahead when visiting, as banking on waiting for a table can often be lengthy – and nobody likes to be hangry!

Our last day in San Fran called for a slow start. We ordered room service a using our daily complimentary breakfast, caught up on emails and mapped out our final day. Being the bike enthusiast that he is, Adam was super eager to bike over the Golden Gate Bridge into Sausalito. With mixed emotions, I agreed (remind me not to do this after a glass of wine next time!).

And to the bat phone we go (aka The Amex Concierge 1-800 phone)! Wam, bam, boom – within minutes we knew where to go to rent our bikes, which lunch stop to hit and when we should start making our way back.

Incredible views of Sausolito!

Naturally, I wanted to look cute and photo-op ready. I did hear the bike ride was downhill the entire way. Whoever told me that – LIED. Now I’m certainly no avid biker but I didn’t find the ride easy and the ‘downhill’ part that’s a breeze lasts all of 5 minutes of the 1.5 hour ride. BUT – it’s totally worth it! Sausalito can feel reminiscent of the Amalfi Coast with stacked homes on the hillside. We stopped in at The Trident for margaritas, fish tacos and some insane views of the city.

A stroll around town and a few hours later, we boarded the ferry and took a much more efficient route back to San Fran. Exhausted, we headed back to the hotel and crashed in what may be the coziest bed ever! With one last night on the town we headed to Wayfare Tavern – voted the best fried chicken in the US – and it definitely disappoint. We then hightailed it over to the Tonga Room, a fun tiki bar in the Fairmont property – for Mai Tai’s and a great cover band.

Overall, we had a blast and would definitely consider heading back to San Francisco, The architecture is stunning, shopping is great and food is superb! The restaurant tips, neighborhoods to see and accommodations were a dream and we owe such a fabulous experience to the Amex Platinum concierge and travel service!
Thank You to American Express Canada for partnering on this post. All opinions expressed are my own.


  1. Such a nice post dear ;)


  2. Gorgeous photos and San Fran looks amazing! I love your sweater with bows on!


  3. wwaaaoouuuhhhh! next trip to the states ,I go to san francisco .Tks

  4. I always wanted to go to see San Francisco. Nice post dear and I love love your bow sweater, do you mind telling me where you got it from, I NEED it :-)

    Have a lovely weekend

  5. Amazing photo diary... LOVE the vibe, sights, outfits, everything...


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