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California Trip Itineraries

Romantic San Francisco

Destination(s): San Francisco

We know it’s rather trite—droll, even—to start waxing poetic on how visitors will leave their hearts in San Francisco, et cetera, et cetera. However, we have to admit that the song is right. Once you’ve visited the City by the Bay, you realize there is a certain magic here that sets the heart aflutter, whether you’re basking in beautiful sunset vistas, enjoying stolen moments in serene spots, or savoring the sensual flavors of local cuisine. read more about Romantic San Francisco

Ferry Building Marketplace & Farmer's Market

Ferry Building Marketplace & Farmer's Market

  • Ferry Building Marketplace
  • One Ferry Building
  • tel:(415) 693-0996
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94111

While ferries still run from this historic building, it's also been transformed into a veritable shrine to food. The San Francisco Ferry Building Marketplace is chockablock with eateries, specialty culinary stores, and gift shops. Dining highlights include the mouth-watering burgers at Taylor's Refresher, the decadent sandwiches at Lulu Petite (the egg salad with truffle-artichoke pesto on brioche is truly the nectar of the gods), and the Vietnamese-inspired deliciousness of SF's legendary Slanted Door. Shopping for some special culinary treats? Stock up on loads of rare mushrooms and truffle salt at Far West Fungi, the finest fromage at local fave Cowgirl Creamery's Artisan Cheese Shop, and creative chocolate flavor combinations Rechiutti Confections. Want to sample local farmers' bounty? The San Francisco Farmer's Market convenes behind the Ferry Building every Tuesday and Saturday, and features stalls upon stalls of produce, meat, eggs, cheese, baked goods, and prepared foods (we love the tamales and crepes, but everything is tasty). Vendors are friendly and always willing to allow shoppers a sample taste or a detailed explanation of farming practices. After all that munching, take a brisk walk on the Embarcadero past piers and views of the Bay Bridge. read more about Ferry Building Marketplace & Farmer's Market

Palace of Fine Arts

Palace of Fine Arts

  • 3301 Lyon Street
  • tel:(415) 563-6504
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94123
Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park

  • Stanyan & Fulton Sts
  • (Great Highway at Fulton St)
  • tel:(415) 831-2700
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94118

Spanning three miles from the edge of Haight-Ashbury all the way to the Pacific Ocean, Golden Gate Park contains so many mini-universes and attractions you'll want to (literally) stop and smell the roses on several occasions. Die-hard nature lovers can check out the Rose Garden, the Conservatory of Flowers, or the famous Japanese Tea Garden, featuring a classic pagoda, cherry blossoms, and landscaping straight out of the Land of the Rising Sun. Golden Gate Park's natural highlight, however, is the San Francisco Botanical Garden, which features a horticultural trip around the world (don't miss the redwood grove and succulents section).
Don't miss Golden Gate Park's two world-class museums, the California Academy of Sciences and the De Young Museum. Both were completely rebuilt in their original locations in the past decade, and are worth a visit for their architecture alone. The park is also the perfect place to get active. There are tons of walking paths, several public tennis courts, an affordable pitch and put nine-hole golf course, sport fields, and picnic grounds. You can even rent a boat and head out for a delightful row on Stow Lake. Spring, summer, and fall bring a number of events to Golden Gate Park, including bluegrass, rock, and hip-hop concerts and Shakespeare in the Park performances. read more about Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Bay Cruise

Golden Gate Bay Cruise

Strybing Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

Strybing Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

  • 9th Avenue at Lincoln Way
  • tel:(415) 661-1316
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94122
Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach

The massive beach stretches the length of the city's Pacific Ocean frontage from Seal Rocks all the way down to Daly City. Popular with surfers, kite flyers and families, it's San Francisco's main city beach. Although it can often be foggy and/or windy, on sunny warm days it's a joy. Swimming isn't advisable, as currents and waves can be extremely rough. A trip to Ocean Beach at sunset, followed by dinner at Beach Chalet (make sure you have a pint of the beer they brew on site) is just about a perfect evening. Or, enjoy a bonfire on the beach after dark, per NPS regulations.
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Citizen Cake

Citizen Cake

  • 2125 Fillmore St
  • Between California and Sacramento Streets
  • tel:(415) 861-2228
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94115