The Princess Diaries | San Francisco Locations

If you’re a fan of the Princess Diaries like me, you understand why I couldn’t leave San Francisco without visiting those on-set locations. It just wouldn’t be right. It’d be like going to Disneyland and not taking a picture of the castle. I take things like this very seriously. Thankfully though, my travel buddy is just as big a fan as I am so I didn’t feel too silly going around the city asking myself “What Would Princess Mia do?”

The Princess Diaries in San Francisco

Upon doing my research for these Princess Diaries locations, I was a bit disappointed to learn that a lot of the film locations were actually a lot closer to home – in LA of all places! ;) But there are several spots in this glorious Northern Californian city that were good enough to make it into the movie.

Thermopolis Residence

princessdiaries 001
princessdiaries 002
princessdiaries 003

princessdiaries 004

In the Excelsior District, you will find the firehouse-turned-Thermopolis home at 724 Brazil Avenue. It was actually only half a mile walk away from our AirBnB, but we only made it out there on our last full day in SF. We were just two random girls outside the house in the late afternoon, the neighbors surely get us movie fanatics every now and then. A little history on the house: it was originally a firehouse built in 1911 before becoming a residential property.

Musée Mécanique

princessdiaries 006

princessdiaries 007

princessdiaries 008

princessdiaries 009

You know the scene where Mia and Queen Clarisse go to the arcade, arm wrestle the muscle man, and take photo booth pictures? You can find those machines at the Musée Mécanique at Fisherman’s Wharf on Pier 45. It is free admission, but costs to play the arcade games.

Anthony R. Grove High School

The infamous high school. Infamous because my friend and I could not find the building. First, we had the wrong address. Then, when we had the correct address, it was at least a 10 block-uphill hike. Asked Maps if there was an alternate route, but it ended up taking us to BFE and away from the actual destination. Keep in mind that we were chasing the sun since we wanted to watch the sunset at the Golden Gate Bridge. Sadly, I have no photo of Grove High School, but don’t let that deter you from finding it yourself. I hear it’s quite the beauty. The address is: 2601 Lyon Street in Marina District.

Rose and Branch

princessdiaries 010

When the ‘stang and the cable car had their run-in at the intersection of Rose and Branch, it was really the corner of Taylor Street and Broadway. You’ll find this in the north of the city, and you can tell Bernice* all about it. (*movie reference)

As you might have learned through this post, I’m quite the movie nerd, especially when it comes to Disney movies. I can easily quote the Princess Diaries from start to finish; and every time I watch it, I’m filled with so much childhood nostalgia. It’s one of those movies that will never get old to me, and I’m so happy to have scoped out these locations for myself when I was in San Francisco.

Of course, I can’t forget to mention another two childhood shows that are set in San Francisco: Full House and That’s So Raven. You best believe we found those houses as well.

The Full House house

princessdiaries 011

I read an article just yesterday that the Full House house recently hit the market for $4.15 million!! Have mercy! The previous owners of 1709 Broderick Street definitely didn’t want Full House fans knocking on their door looking for Uncle Jesse because they had their steps gated off and trees right in front. It has also been repainted, which explains why we thought the house next door was the house. It isn’t.

Baxter Residence

princessdiaries 012

princessdiaries 013

Ending with another Disney Channel classic, here’s the Baxter residence from That’s So Raven. Located at the corner of Ashbury and Page, you’ll find the house that was used for the exterior shots of the Baxter home.

Check out all these places next time you find yourself in San Francisco!



City by the Bay

It has been years since my last trip to San Francisco, so one could say that this visit was long overdue. My friend Diana and I booked our roundtrip flights way back in December, so when the day finally arrived, we were pretty excited to re-explore the City by the Bay.

citybythebay 001

We landed at SFO on a Tuesday afternoon with our bulky travel backpacks, an AirBnB reservation, and several days for city ‘sploring. To get us started, we purchased the Muni Passport. Designed for visitors to SF, the passport gets you unlimited rides on Muni, Muni Metro, streetcars and cablecars for 1, 3, or 7 consecutive days. I highly recommend this pass, even if the idea of getting around via public transport is daunting to you. Unfortunately though, the passport does not include the BART, which is the only transport (aside from taxis, Ubers, and rental cars) out of SFO.

citybythebay 002

citybythebay 003

After checking in to our AirBnB, we decided to venture downtown for dinner. We ended up at the top of Macy’s at the Cheesecake Factory. Not our best decision, but when you haven’t eaten all day and aren’t exactly in a 24-hour town, a restaurant chain is your best bet. We did a better job researching the following days.

Day 1

citybythebay 004

citybythebay 005

citybythebay 006

citybythebay 007

citybythebay 008

citybythebay 009

According to our weather apps, our first full day was also going to be the sunniest day of our trip. With this in mind, we decided to do Twin Peaks, Alamo Square, and the Golden Gate Bridge. One thing we quickly learned, however, was that sun and warmth aren’t synonymous in NorCal. Now I love crisp Autumn-like weather, which SF gave me 100%! I think I just really underestimated the wind chill because it was way more than “a bit nippy.”

Day 2

citybythebay 010

citybythebay 011

citybythebay 012

citybythebay 013

citybythebay 014

Our second day was more of a “foodie” day, which I’ll dedicate another post to. But feeling a lot more comfortable with Muni, we saved many steps and racked up those bus miles. We began our day at Mr. Holmes Bakeshop in Nob Hill, found our way back to Union Square, took the Powell-Hyde cable car to Lombard Street, made it out to Ocean Beach, followed by the mosaic steps on 16th Avenue, then finally back to the Financial District. That’s pretty impressive for two girls who couldn’t even find some bus stops just the day before.

Day 3

citybythebay 015

citybythebay 016

citybythebay 017

citybythebay 018

citybythebay 019

citybythebay 020

citybythebay 021

Our final day in SF, which just so happened to be game day! We started off in the Castro district after enjoying breakfast near Dolores Park. We spent a lot of time walking around the neighborhoods around this area before heading back to our AirBnB to freshen up before the ballgame. We were also determined to cram in what we considered must-sees this day, which included some Princess Diaries’ film locations.

To end our time in San Francisco, we went to watch the SF Giants play the Chicago Cubs. The Giants were my first MLB game all those years ago, so it was only right that Diana’s be the Giants too. Sadly, the one game they lost to the Cubs in that series was the game we attended, but it was still fun to be there with my bestie. We had many laughs once the pesky seagulls started arriving for the clean-up shift following the game.

The City by the Bay

thumb_IMG_7539_1024

thumb_IMG_7540_1024

thumb_IMG_7545_1024

thumb_IMG_7554_1024

The perfect farewell was seeing the famous sea lions of Pier 39 before jumping on our ferry to Vallejo. Once we got to our second AirBnB, we took the longest nap. San Francisco was tiring and a lot of fun, evidently.