Since the San Francisco location of the Museum of Ice Cream was just announced as its first permanent location, I thought it would be fun to do a post with my visitor tips and experience. My blogger pal, Ayron and I recently did a quick whirlwind trip of San Francisco and our big stop was the Museum of Ice Cream! Read along for our experience!
Go on a weekday if you can. If you would like to avoid as many screaming, sugar high children as possible, this is vital. There will still be lots of kids but not as many.
Make sure you bought your tickets ahead and received them via text. It sounds so dumb but so many people were coming up to the staff and asking if they could buy from them. The answer was no.
Buy into a time slot that has lots of tickets available. The Museum of Ice Cream organizes admission by entry times that are spaced fifteen minutes apart. If you buy a certain time slot, you really are expected to be there in that time slot. Late arrivals are not admitted and there really isn’t much point in getting there early. If you buy a time that has lots of availability, you are definitely more likely to have time to wander in a less crowded space.
Don’t expect that empty sprinkle pool shot. Do expect to get hit in the head with a beach ball at least once. Also expect sprinkles to be everywhere.
Take advantage of the selfie stations as you line up for the sprinkle pool. These are kind of the only spots you are guaranteed to not have other people in your photos. The “carousel” is another good spot if it’s not too crowded as well as the unicorns and the mirror room.
All in all, keep your expectations for photos a little lower and just have fun. Eat the ice cream. Bring a buddy! The Museum of Ice Cream is a lot of fun but also kind of exhausting. You will likely only be here the hour so plan accordingly!
So you’re probably wondering- did they just fly in for MOIC and leave? No. We did not.
We started the morning by taking the BART to Embarcadero and grabbing breakfast at the Ferry Building. I love grabbing something portable and sitting up on the lookout where the ferries come in. It’s got the best view of the Bay Bridge and a pretty awesome view of the Port of San Francisco! The Ferry Building has so many great vendors- including a completely gluten-free bakery for Ayron!
After breakfast, we wandered around Union Square for a bit. Unfortunately, it was under construction. Still, that didn’t stop us from wandering into some fun shops and admiring the window displays of the designer stores.
We did our time slot at MOIC after this and really did clock it in at under an hour- even with crowds!
From here we headed to the Powell cable car stop. We saved time since we bought tickets in advance on the SF MUNI app but there was still a pretty long line. To be honest, this was the biggest time suck of the whole day. For us, it made the most sense since Ayron had never been on the cable cars and our destination was literally at the end of the line (by Ghirardelli).
We grabbed lunch over at the Blue Mermaid inside the Argonaut Hotel. I’ll be honest- we picked it for the name and the listing of gluten free chowder. The food was okay and the service was confused. I probably wouldn’t go back! We got dessert at Ghirardelli and it was delightful. Going there goes against my major travel rule of not eating anywhere on a trip that I could eat at back home; however, the ambiance at the real Ghirardelli cannot be duplicated.
One of our main goals for the trip was to check out all the pretty houses we always see on our IG feeds. Since it was still summer, we knew a lot of flowers would still be in bloom and we were not disappointed! We headed towards Hayes Valley to try the macarons at Chantal Guillon (all gluten-free for Ayron) and then wander the streets in search of pretty homes until we got to the Painted Ladies at Alamo Square.
Our last stop for the day was in the Mission District. If you follow any bloggers from San Francisco, I’m sure you’ve seen the cute photos of Media Noche! Let me tell you- the food was awesome and reasonably priced and the service was great as well. The whole restaurant is super IG worthy and the mural outside was stunning (it’s no longer the flamingos but it’s just as pretty). The area also consists of a ton of candy-colored homes!
From there, we headed back to SFO where we almost were late for our flight and then sat on the tarmac for an hour. By then we were so exhausted it just meant more time to nap!