Last weekend a little bit of summer snuck its way into February here in San Francisco. To take best advantage of the sun and the three-day weekend, we set a theme for ourselves: a long walk to a different neighborhood each day where we would get ice cream at one of the city’s many fancy ice cream shops.

We kicked things off on Saturday with a walk down to Dogpatch, a neighborhood just a bit south of the baseball stadium and very much in transition over the last few years. Dogpatch has been one of our favorite areas for longer weekend runs as it’s usually quiet on weekend mornings, plus there are nice views and breezes along the Bay and there are a bunch of cute restaurants and food shops.

Mid-run isn’t really the time to stop in at cute shops, though, so despite being quite familiar with the neighborhood, we actually hadn’t been inside any of the shops, bars, or restaurants. Enter in the Dogpatch Wine Walk, the catalyst that finally got us down to that area in something other than our running tights.

Okay, now, we know what you’re probably thinking right about now: Wine walk? Wasn’t this supposed to be a post about ice cream? Hang in there with us, we promise it’ll all come back around in the end.

For the Wine Walk, a handful of local wineries and breweries set up in seven local shops, bars, galleries, and even a museum along a few blocks of Third Street, the neighborhood’s main drag. Each stop had wine or beer to taste, food to eat, and something interesting to look at. A great combination, to be sure, but due to some (overly) successful marketing, each stop also had long, long lines of people that the event just wasn’t quite prepared to handle. We stuck with the Wine Walk through most of the stops, but we added a few detours of our own to check out the butcher shop, the Fromagerie, and of course, Mr. and Mrs. Miscellaneous, the ice cream shop.

Walk: 4 miles, plus some wandering up and down Third for the Wine Walk

Ice Cream: Basil chocolate chip both with and without hot fudge. It was a great flavor for a hot day and a good ice cream shop overall.

Sunday our goal and destination was Smitten ice cream shop in Pac Heights, a 5-mile walk up and over two big San Francisco hills. If we were going to have ice cream two days in a row, then we were going to earn it. The weather was a little cooler on Sunday, with a nice breeze to balance out the warming sunshine. And thank goodness for that breeze as we trucked our way up California Street, waving at the tourists on the cable cars and ticking off the “stairs” on our Fitbit trackers.

(Yes, there are some streets/blocks in San Francisco that are steep enough to have stairs instead of sidewalks. No, California is not one of them. The Fitbit tracks “flights of stairs” based on elevation gain, so we get credit for hills too, not just for actual stairs.)

We stopped at the top of Nob Hill for one of the best views of the Bay that we’ve found in the city, then headed down the other side just to climb again into Pacific Heights.

Smitten ice cream shop’s claim to fame is their liquid nitrogen, double spiral churning process, which does produce amazingly smooth and creamy ice cream. It is, in fact, the creamiest ice cream that we’ve had. Plus, the quick-freeze with liquid nitrogen also helped our ice creams to not melt as we took them over to Alta Vista park to eat.

Full of ice cream and with the temperature starting to cool for the evening, we traced our steps back over two hills and home. And this time we definitely earned our ice cream – we each logged a grand total of 100 “stairs”!

Walk: 5 miles, 100 flights of “stairs,” and man were we feeling it that evening.

Ice Cream: Tcho chocolate for both of us. Always delicious. Plus, they were having a 2-for-1 special on the small size (which is always enough for us, this stuff is rich!) for Valentine’s Day. Because oh yeah, that was Valentine’s Day.

By Monday we had started this trend of walking and ice cream, so we had to keep it up for the last day of the long weekend. We’d had our fill of hills the previous day, so our destination was clear: Bi-Rite Creamery in the Mission. Long one of our favorite ice cream shops, Bi-Rite usually has both hard ice cream and soft serve. Their soft serve sundaes are truly amazing.

After a hot, sunny walk, our visions of soft serve were not to be, as the soft serve window was closed (we suppose it was a Monday, after all). The line for regular ice cream wasn’t too ridiculously long, so we went for that instead of our usual soft serve. After waiting and waiting and waiting in line – because the line was ridiculous, just slightly less so than usual – and a couple mishaps with Tink’s two flavors of ice cream not wanting to stick to each other, we took our frosty reward over to Dolores Park to eat and people-watch. Just about half the city must have been at Dolores Park that day, enjoying the sun and the warm weather.

Walk: 4.6 miles. Very warm, so we were glad it was the flattest of our walks.

Ice Cream: Salted Caramel+Chocolate Coconut and Chocolate Coconut+Mint Chip. Yummy as always, but don’t try to get the Chocolate Coconut on a cone with another flavor, the coconut milk ice cream and the cow milk ice cream just don’t want to stay together.