Retro Guide To The USA – San Fran To Vegas
On our way up to San Francisco we stopped in San Luis Opisbo at The Madonna Inn! Conveniently it was about a half way on our journey and the perfect relaxation. There are also lot’s of cute places to visit around Madonna Inn although you might not want to leave the hotel If you stay there as it’s so magical!
Solvang is a town about an hour away from Madonna Inn so if you are coming from LA/ Santa Barbara it’s definitely worth stopping here for a few hours. It is such a pretty place full of bakeries, wineries and Danish-style architecture.
A fun thing to visit whilst around Solvang is Ostrichland! You can buy food to feed them and it was very entertaining, there such unique animals! It’s also only about 5 dollars a person so a cheap fun thing to do whilst in the area!
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed for 2 nights at the Madonna Inn, which was such an amazing experience. All the rooms are decorated different with some really retro and out there décor, which we loved! We stayed In The Madonna Suite which boasts a bright floral carpet, waterfall shower and fire place! The place has so much going on with an incredible outdoor heated pool and Jacuzzis which are open until 10pm. If your looking for something a bit different and memorable on your trip this is the place to visit, It’s one we will never forget!
We then headed up to San Fran! We stayed in SF for 4 nights which was a perfect amount of time to see the sights and get a feel for the wonderful city! I really loved SF and it really is just as beautiful as in the photos with such a great vibe and so much history. There is so much to do and see here you won’t get bored, but you might run out of money. It’s a very expensive city BUT worth every penny!
THINGS TO DO SAN FRAN
One of my most favourite things we have done on the trip is the SF Love Tour! You get picked up in a painted hippie campervan which inside has shaggy carpet and beads galore. The tour guide takes you around to all the best places in San Fran and they tell you so many interesting stories and facts about the city but in the most fun and engaging way, we were laughing along for the whole tour. This was such a great way to see the city and all the things we learnt and saw made me fall in love with it more, a lot of great photo ops as well!
Another must do whilst your visiting is the Alcatraz tour. I didn’t really know what to expect but I found it so incredibly interesting. You get a headset and you walk around as it talks you through the tour, it was definitely worth the visit and you get the ferry over aswell which has really pretty views of the city.
PIER 39 SEAL LIONS
If you get chance after the Alcatraz tour head to pier 39! It’s full of seals lazing around and swimming. We were only meant to quickly stop by here and ended up spending ages here watching the fascinating creatures trying to scramble over eachother to get into the sea, it was highly amusing and worth standing the smell of them for!
One place I have wanted to visit for a long time because of the history with music and the 60s/70s. Also once home to Janis Joplin, Hendrix and The Grateful Dead which you can still visit there houses. The street has such a vibe full of cool vintage shops, hangouts and a lot of amazing spots. Definitely checkout Decades Of Fashion and also Aemoba Records!
Also on Haight Ashbury is Club Deluxe, I was recommended this place and it didn’t disappoint! Get there early for happy hour and to get a table as the music starts around 7pm. They have 2 acts on a night every night of the week. We had such a fun night here, we watched Mitch and the Royal Deuces and it was so much fun with people dancing and great cocktails!
THE PAINTED LADIES
High up on the things to see is the painted ladies. They are a row of beautiful houses in the city which are definitely worth it for the photo op. There is also a really nice park opposite them so on a nice day take a coffee or some lunch and enjoy the beauty of San Fran.
One very instagrammable place to eat is The Melt. The best grilled cheese I have had so far, everything is cheese related! I also had a side of Mac & Cheese which was equally as delicious. They also have burgers, fries etc. It’s also really reasonably priced its like a fancy fast food place but definitely worth the calories.
WHERE TO STAY
San Fran is a super expensive city so we opted for Airbnb’s as you really do get more for your money here and we stayed in two dreamy places which are both perfect for a San Fran visit in great locations.
The first night we stayed at a private room in an amazing Airbnb which is located really near Mission Doleres park so a great location in Mission. The room is decorated like a bohemian temple and is insanely beautiful and so relaxing. Gorgeous lighting, hanging fabric, mood lighting and the bed is on the floor, but we had the best night sleep here, it’s so comfy and we now want to recreate this at home! They also have a rooftop upstairs which is perfect for having a glass of wine and watch the sunset. This is such a great place to stay in the city at a great price.
The second night we stayed at Castro Villa Verde in the Castro neighborhood it was so homely and welcoming. You have the lower level of the house with your own private entrance. A big lounge at the front then the bedroom and toilet and full kitchen with patio and bonus Jacuzzi! The perfect home from home with great location and utilities! We decided to cook as the kitchen is so well kitted out and it was nice to have some home comforts when away on our trip. You feel at home straight away here!
One place I have always been fascinated by is Vegas! The bright lights, the casinos and the OTT of everything made me super excited to visit here! I actually didn’t know what to expect coming here, but it’s so much fun if you get stuck in and enjoy it. Everyone’s there to have a good time and it just makes you want to join in and do that too! We stayed in Vegas for 4 nights which was enough time to party and to chill as the weather is so nice, so some pool days were just what we needed after lot’s of driving!
ELTON JOHN AT THE COLLESUEM
This was a surprise, we went to see Elton John a the Collesuem in Cesears Palace and it was so fun! They have so many great shows in Vegas I definitely recommend doing one as it will be a highlight no doubt. Cher is also touring there at the moment, which would be another great show to see!
You have probably seen this a lot of Instagram if you have done some Vegas research. The Neon Musuem is a boneyard of old neon signs from around Vegas and is actually really interesting! We went in the day but I can imagine the night tours are really great as everything lights up! If you do go in the day take sunscreen and lot’s of water It was super hot! Top tip: don’t go on a hangover!
LITTLE WHITE CHAPEL
You can’t visit Vegas without going to check out the wedding chapels! We went to see the famous little white chapel where you can get married by Elvis in a pink Cadillac, we didn’t see any weddings unfortunately but it’s well worth visiting to get some snaps!
Probably one of the most touristy streets in Vegas is Fremont Street the under cover street which you can zip wire over and has a light show every night. The street is lined with endless bars, casinos and restaraunts and you will see some crazy characters here! Worth visiting if you are looking for a night out.
Another super touristy spot but well worth the visit especially at night is the Bellagio Fountains. It was actually so impressive and felt kind of weird as you always see it on TV and in the movies, very surreal being in Vegas in real life I feel like I spent my whole time with my mouth open in awe at everything.
HASH HOUSE A GOGO
I’m sorry to say we ate a lot of fast food in Vegas but probably the best breakfast place I went to in America was Hash House A Go Go! Perfect for hangovers and the most insane portions. So many different breakfast options aswell as main meals too, but the breakfast really is next level, you have to see for yourself. You will definitely be leaving with a box from here!
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at Circus Circus which my Dad actually stayed at in the 70s! Vegas is the perfect place to chill by the pool so I definitely advise booking somewhere with a pool. Circus Circus is huge and has restaurants inside, an adventure dome and live circus acts at night. All the hotels on the strip seemed really well kitted out aswell with everything you need under one roof to really experience Vegas!
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