How To Win At Instagram, Courtesy Of SF Girl By Bay

Photo: Courtesy of SF Girl By Bay.
We’ve been fans of SF Girl By Bay's adventures in home design since Victoria Smith exploded on the scene in 2006. Her Instagram feed is a vivid compilation of Bay Area moments — from cool homes to under-the-radar hangouts — all beautifully captured through her unique lens. So, we can't think of anyone better equipped to assemble a design-savvy guide to the prettiest, coolest, and most Instagram-worthy spots in the city.

"I hadn't seen a guidebook of San Francisco that focused more on where a friend might take an out-of-town guest. So, it seemed like there was a general need for something more true to living like a local," Smith tells us. "My view of the city may be a little quirky, and this is definitely not your typical tour."

Chronicle Books will release Smith’s See San Francisco on April 15 (you can pre-order a copy here), but we got a sneak peek at the gorgeous book before it hits the shelves. If you've ever wanted a design expert’s opinion on where to go in S.F., consider it your new go-to guide. It includes coveted locations in each 'hood — from General Store in the Outer Sunset and scenic strolls in Noe Valley. Click ahead for a special preview, and get ready to go exploring.
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Chantal Guillon
"This is such a charming little shop, with the most delicious French macarons. I just had to include this pretty place in the Hayes Valley section of the book! They've got SoMa and Palo Alto locations, too."

Chantal Guillon, locations vary.
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"I think Chinatown was one of my favorite places to shoot. With all that color and pretty bobbing lanterns everywhere, it's hard to take a bad photograph. I photographed at dusk as all the lights were coming on, and it was perfect."

Chinatown Gate, at Grant Avenue and Bush Street; no phone.
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"Mashka is a hidden gem of a shop on Grant Street in North Beach. I never hear anyone talk about it, and it's an amazing jewelry store with sublime decor. It's worth a visit just to take in all that ambiance."

Mashka, 1400 Grant Street (between Union and Green streets); 415-273-9330.
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Ocean Beach, Outer Sunset
"I spend a lot of time walking my dog at Fort Funston and Ocean Beach. I know a lot of people hate the graffiti, but I kind of like the contrast of these really graphic walls paired with the pastel blue sea and sky. It's so unexpected, and like a constantly changing art exhibit as it gets sprayed over."
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Bernal Heights, Precita Park
"I've loved this door forever. I can't remember the first time I saw it, but it was quite a few years ago. I knew I wanted to include it in the book, so I went hunting for it, and sure enough it's still there. There's something so whimsical about it and so 'San Francisco.'"

Precita Park, 3200 Folsom Street (at Precita Avenue); no phone.
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Noe Valley
"Every spring, the cherry blossoms come out all over the city, and Noe Valley seems especially full of them. When I saw these against the green house, I thought it might make for a really pretty picture."
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Shabby Chic
"I stopped into Shabby Chic one afternoon, and this vintage prom dress was just hanging there, beckoning me to take its picture. It's just such a faded beauty — I loved everything about it."

Shabby Chic, 3095 Sacramento Street (at Baker Street); 415-929-2990.
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"The Inner Richmond just keeps getting hipper and hipper with shops like Park Life, and now the Seedstore boutique. It's adorable inside, with a great, colorful collection of dresses; I was so happy to include them in the book."

, 212 Clement Street (between 3rd and 4th avenues); 415-386-1600.
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General Store
"General Store is one of my all-time favorite shops in the city. I love heading to the Outer Sunset, having breakfast at Outerlands, and then popping into General Store to see what's new — or old. They have great vintage finds, too, like these colorful old beach towels."

General Store, 4035 Judah Street (between 45th and 46th avenues); 415-682-0600.
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"I love this place. It's so old-school. Vesuvio is on Jack Kerouac Alley in North Beach, where City Lights bookstore is located, and it's quintessential San Francisco, a throwback to the Beat days."

Vesuvio Cafe, 255 Columbus Avenue (between Broadway Street and Jack Kerouac Alley); 415-362-3370.