Leave Your Heart in San Francisco

But make sure to bring your hooks! We guide you up and down the hills of this scenic city in search of the best yarn shops.
By Meganne Fabrega

Poet George Sterling said it best when he called San Francisco the “cool, grey city of love.” Whether you travel its streets with your one-and-only or your BFF, you’ll fall in love with the countless quirky shops and European-style cafés, where you can linger with your latest project.

Start your tour along the bay in the Marina District with a morning stroll along the Golden Gate Promenade at Crissy Field (knockout spectacular views of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island), then wander over to Cow Hollow to visit Greenwich Yarn (2073 Greenwich St.) for your morning fiber. Owner Laurie Nelson’s dedicated clientele has been popping by her shop for 30 years. Next, perk up with a bowl (seriously—they’re big) of café au lait and a sweet or savory snack at La Boulange (1909 Union St.). Then, hop on the 45 Union bus toward Hyde St., where you’ll get off and walk two blocks to the famous-for-being-crooked Lombard Street. You can walk down the steps into North Beach (SF’s Little Italy) or catch a cable car joy ride on Hyde.

Next day, head over the hills to the Castro and the kaleidoscope of yarn colors at ImagiKnit (3897 18th St.). This friendly neighborhood yarn shop supports many local and international charities, which is one reason we love it. Make sure to check out the class schedule, too. Two blocks away you’ll find a foodie’s paradise, including Tartine Bakery and Café (600 Guerrero St.) for a hot pressed sandwich and a slice of coconut cream tart, or try Bi-Rite Creamery for small-batch, artisanal ice cream (the salted caramel’s so good). Lick your scoops at Dolores Park across the street
for fun people-watching and a breathtaking city view.

If you want to skip town (and the fog), Sausalito beckons from across the bay. It’s a quick drive north over the Golden Gate Bridge or a short scenic ride on the Golden Gate Ferry, which leaves from the Ferry Building (another worthy trip for food lovers). This quaint seaside town is home to Bluebird Yarn & Fiber Crafts (325 Pine St.), where you’ll find yarn galore, plus buttons, fiber craft kits, and patterns by local and national designers. Hungry? Fish Restaurant (350 Harbor Dr.) offers sustainably farmed seafood (try the melt-in-your-mouth fish ‘n’ chips) while you sit by the dock of the bay.

           

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