Luxurious Destinations
Northern California
Destinations Within Northern California

Northern California Trip Itineraries

San Fran-1

Destination(s): Half Moon Bay

The Orchard Garden Hotel

The Orchard Garden Hotel

  • 466 Bush St
  • at Grant St
  • tel:888/717-2881
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94108
Transamerica Pyramid

Transamerica Pyramid

  • 600 Montgomery St
  • (at Columbus Avenue)
  • tel:(415) 983-4100
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94111
Cable Cars

Cable Cars

  • 401 Van Ness
  • (between Golden Gate and Grove Sts) Admin Offices
  • tel:(415) 673-6864
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94102

You just might not be able to stop yourself from singing the old Rice-a-Roni jingle each time you ride a gleaming, red San Francisco Cable Car. Although it's mostly tourists who ride these iconic streetcars, even locals who live near the cable lines get in on the action just because it's the most fun way to experience the hilly, roller-coaster ride that is San Francisco topography. Hold on tight and boldly lean outside the Cable Car for unparalleled views of the cityscape and the Bay rising and fading. For the best Cable Car ride the city has to offer, brave the line at Powell and Market and take the Powell Street line up some of the city's steepest hills, all the way to its terminus at Fisherman's Wharf. For an alternative, take the Hyde Street line to the top of twisty-turny Lombard Street. The California Street line takes you through the Financial District to the more elegant residential turf of the Nob Hill district, home to some of the city's most luxurious hotels. read more about Cable Cars

Alcatraz Tour plus Muir Woods, Giant Redwoods and Sausalito Day Trip

Alcatraz Tour plus Muir Woods, Giant Redwoods and Sausalito Day Trip

  • 1398 Haight Street
  • At corner of Masonic
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 95403
GPS-guided Talking Tour Cars San Francisco

GPS-guided Talking Tour Cars San Francisco

  • 1398 Haight Street
  • At corner of Masonic
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94130
Sausalito Segway Tour

Sausalito Segway Tour

  • 1398 Haight Street
  • At corner of Masonic
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94117
Japanese Tea Garden

Japanese Tea Garden

  • At the corner of Tea Garden at Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • (Golden Gate Park)
  • tel:(415) 752-4227
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94117
Grace Cathedral

Grace Cathedral

  • 1100 California St
  • Between Taylor and Jones Sts
  • tel:(415) 749-6300
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94108
de Young Museum

de Young Museum

  • 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr
  • (Golden Gate Park)
  • tel:(415) 863-3330
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94118

Renovated in 2005, de Young Museum's ultra-modern design stirred up quite the controversy in San Francisco when it was first reopened. However, locals warmed to the sleek, angular exteriors once they experienced the museum's indoor wonders. Perhaps San Francisco's most eclectic art museum, the de Young features permanent collections of American art, indigenous art and artifacts from around the world (including masks from Oceania, basketry from Africa, and pottery from the Americas), crafts and textiles, and graphic arts. And then there are the rotating special exhibits, which have proven to be the not-to-miss art events of the season, featuring the likes of ancient Egyptian relics or 20th century fashion designer retrospectives. read more about de Young Museum

Muir Beach

Muir Beach

Heading north on Highway 101, from the Golden Gate Bridge, the small southern Marin "town" of Muir Beach is just 6 miles from the Highway 1 exit but feel a world away. It's comprised of around 150 homes of mainly full-time occupants, who are lucky enough to enjoy the 2 beaches, the surrounding Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Mt. Tamalpais, nearby Muir Woods National Monument, Green Gulch Farm/Zen Center, Slide Ranch and the "old" English Pub---The Pelican Inn. This beautiful area is full of wildlife: Monarch butterflies in the pine trees, salmon in Redwood Creek, frogs in the pasture, fox, birds, deer, coyote. Horses and dogs are usually allowed on the beaches and some trails (but be sure to check with the rangers for updates or changes), the waves are great for boogie boarders and kayakers, the fishing is plentiful, and the star gazing is endless. read more about Muir Beach

Conservatory of Flowers

Conservatory of Flowers

  • JFK Drive, Golden Gate Park
  • Golden Gate Park
  • tel:(415) 666-7001
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94117

Built in the late 1870s, the oldest building in the park is the last remaining wood-frame Victorian conservatory in the country. It's also a copy of the conservatory in the Royal Botanical Gardens in Kew, England, with a spectacular, 14-ton glass dome atop its perch. The gardens in front of the conservatory are planted seasonally, with the flowers often fashioned like billboards depicting the Golden Gate Bridge or other city sights. On the east side of the conservatory (to the right as you face the building), cypress, pine, and redwood trees surround the Dahlia Garden, which blooms in summer and fall. To the west several hundred feet on John F. Kennedy Drive is the Rhododendron Dell. The dell contains the most varieties -- 850 in all -- of any garden in the country. It's especially beautiful in March, when many of the flowers bloom, and is a favorite spot of locals for Mother's Day picnics. read more about Conservatory of Flowers

Chinatown

Chinatown

  • Bush St. and Kearny St.
  • tel:+1 415 391 2000
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94108

Red lanterns waving in the breeze. Incense wafting out of small temples. Esoteric medicinal herbs dangling in shop windows. Some aspects of San Francisco's Chinatown, the oldest in America, hardly seem worlds apart from the motherland and haven't changed much from when the neighborhood was first built in the mid-19th century. Enter at the dragon-flanked gate on Bush Street at Grant Avenue and get lost in a wonderland of bustling produce markets, touches of ancient Chinese architecture, quirky gift and houseware shops, art galleries, clothing stores, dim sum eateries, and serene tea houses, the densest concentration of which are on Grant Avenue and Stockton Street. Some hot spots are Portsmouth Square, where you can admire the graceful movements of Tai Chi practitioners and the strategy of elderly chess players, and the Chinese Culture Center of San Francisco, where Sinophiles can take in art exhibits, be led on an informative, guided Heritage Walking Tour (excellent for those wishing to pick up on the area's rich history), or take a brush painting or traditional Chinese music workshop. read more about Chinatown

Aquatic Park

Aquatic Park

  • Jefferson and Hyde Street
  • San Francisco, 94109

At the historic Hyde Street Pier, which borders the park to the east, you can visit a worthy assortment of old-time wooden ships. The most impressive is the square-rigged Balclutha, which rounded the Horn many times throughout its illustrious history. read more about Aquatic Park

Angel Island State Park

Angel Island State Park

  • Located one mile south of the Tiburon Peninsula
  • tel:(415) 435-3522
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94133

What Ellis Island was to European immigrants, this island was to Asian immigrants. Volunteer guides lead informative tours of the islands historical sites, including the Immigration Station and Fort McDowell. Graffiti left by immigrants awaiting admission or deportation can be seen on the walls of the holding areas. Hiking and biking trails circle the 740-acre island and offer spectacular views of the Bay Area and glimpses of the indigenous deer population. Camping is allowed with proper permits. Ferry service varies according to the season. read more about Angel Island State Park

Lyon Street Steps

Lyon Street Steps

  • Lyon and Broadway Streets
  • San Francisco, 94115

Located between the mansions of Pacific Heights and the Presidio, the Lyon Street steps is a great, locally known workout spot and vista point. Start in the marina near the palace of fine arts and when you get to Lyon Street, roll up your sleeves and start climbing. Enjoy the mansions and gardens lining the way as your burning legs carry you to the top of the steps for an amazing view of San Francisco. read more about Lyon Street Steps

Nob Hill

Nob Hill

  • Sacramento and Taylor
  • San Francisco, 94109

Famous for panoramic views, expensive hotels, and restaurants, a stroll up to Nob Hill is a must for any visitor to San Francisco. Jimmy Stewart drove around these very blocks in Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo and the views were impressive all the same. Sit on a bench by the fountain in Huntington Park to take in the surroundings or meditate as you wander the labyrinth to the side of gorgeous Grace Cathedral. If you're feeling swanky, grab a drink at the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental, which affords glorious views, or sip a whiskey at the inconspicuous Big Four - you'll feel like you're in another era. read more about Nob Hill

Mount Tamalpais State Park

Mount Tamalpais State Park

  • 7665 Redwood Blvd, Suite 150
  • tel:415-388-2070
  • Visit website
  • Mill Valley, 94941

From its exposed 2,751-foot peak boasting panoramic views of the Bay Area to the redwood-, fir-, and oak- sheltered hiking and mountain biking trails meandering down to its base, Mount Tamalpais State Park is a paragon of Northern California natural beauty. Home to over 73 native plant species and a host of wildlife, Mount Tam is the ideal place to bask in the great outdoors. After all, visitors can not only hike or bike, but also go horseback riding or camping; overnight cabins are onsite and two quaint inns are nearby to provide more comfort to those who aren't crazy about tents. Although nature is the main attraction at Mount Tamalpais State Park, locals also hike in with a picnic to attend the annual springtime open-air Broadway revival performance at the Mountain Theater, which has natural-stone amphitheatre seating. read more about Mount Tamalpais State Park

City Hall

City Hall

  • 1 Dr. Carlton B. Goodlett Place
  • (Civic Center)
  • tel:(415) 554-4000
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94102
Haas-Lilienthal House

Haas-Lilienthal House

  • 2007 Franklin St
  • (between Wasthington and Jackson streets)
  • tel:(415) 441-3004
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94109
Octagon House

Octagon House

  • 2645 Gough St
  • (at the corner of Union Street)
  • tel:(415) 441-7512
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94109
Alamo Square

Alamo Square

  • Hayes and Steiner
  • tel:+1 415 391 2000 (Tourist Information)
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94117

The line-up of Victorian houses called "Postcard Row" and the "Painted Ladies" is one of the most photographed residential streets in America. You'll most like recognize the view from its appearance in the opening sequence of the television show Full House, which was filmed in Alamo Square Park and meant to give the impression that single dad Danny Tanner and his girls lived in one of the magnificent Victorians (though set in SF, the series was filmed in a studio in LA). Bounded by Webster, Broderick, Oak and Golden Gate streets, Alamo Square Park overlooks the downtown area to the east, framing these turn-of-the-century homes against a backdrop of modern skyscrapers. Several are open to the public either as private home tours or as Bed & Breakfasts. read more about Alamo Square

Flower Power Haight-Ashbury Walking Tour

Flower Power Haight-Ashbury Walking Tour

  • Haight-Ashbury
  • tel:(415) 863-1621
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94117
Strybing Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

Strybing Arboretum & Botanical Gardens

  • 9th Avenue at Lincoln Way
  • tel:(415) 661-1316
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94122
Barbary Coast Trail Self-Guided Walking Tour

Barbary Coast Trail Self-Guided Walking Tour

  • At the corner of Fifth and Mission streets
  • tel:(415) 775-1111
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94103
Mark Hopkins

Mark Hopkins

  • Mason and California Streets
  • tel:(415) 392-3434
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94109

Built on the ashes of railroad tycoon Mark Hopkins's grand estate (constructed at his wife's urging; Hopkins himself preferred to live frugally), this 19-story hotel went up in 1926. A combination of French château and Spanish Renaissance architecture, with noteworthy terra-cotta detailing, it has hosted statesmen, royalty, and Hollywood celebrities. From the 1920s through the 1940s, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, and other top-drawer entertainers appeared here regularly. The 11-room penthouse was turned into a glass-walled cocktail lounge in 1939: the Top of the Mark is remembered fondly by thousands of World War II veterans who jammed the lounge before leaving for overseas duty. Wives and sweethearts watching the ships depart gave the room's northwest nook its name -- Weepers' Corner. With its 360-degree views, the lounge is a wonderful spot for a nighttime drink. read more about Mark Hopkins

Top of the Mark

Top of the Mark

  • 1 Nob Hill
  • In the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental, California and Mason Sts
  • tel:415/616-6916
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94108
Pilsner Inn

Pilsner Inn

  • 225 Church Street
  • (between Market and 15th streets)
  • tel:(415) 621 7058
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94114
Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park

Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park

  • 250 Executive Park Blvd., Suite 4900
  • tel:(415) 330-6300
  • Visit website
  • Pescadero, 94060

Perched on a cliff on the central California coast, 50 miles south of San Francisco, the 110-foot Pigeon Point Lighthouse, one of the tallest lighthouses in America. read more about Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park

Asian Art Museum

Asian Art Museum

  • 200 Larkin St
  • Civic Center Plaza
  • tel:(415) 668-8921
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94102

San Francisco's Asian Art Museum can be best described in one word: staggering. As in, the western world's largest museum solely dedicated to Asian art. As in, a grand building with three floors of displays constituting only a fraction of the museum's full permanent collection. We did say 'staggering.' The Asian Art Museum's second and third floors take visitors on a tour of all regions of the continent dating back thousands of years, with excellent attention to history and culture in the text descriptions accompanying objects. The first-floor special exhibits exclusively feature contemporary Asian art. Located directly across from City Hall, the Asian Art Museum is also a quick walk away from the hip neighborhood of Hayes Valley, chockablock with unique boutiques, great restaurants, and local fave Blue Bottle Coffee. read more about Asian Art Museum

Fisherman's Wharf

Fisherman's Wharf

  • The Embarcadero
  • Fisherman's Wharf
  • tel:(415) 956-3493
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94133

Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco's historic waterfront, is at the top of every visitor's muse-see list—and we mean every visitor (locals tend to avoid it). Despite abundant souvenir shops, Fisherman's Wharf still has plenty of appeal. Families shouldn't miss the aquarium and sea lions sunning outdoors at Pier 39, nor Fisherman's Wharf's novelty museums, including Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum, the Musee Mecanique, and the Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf. History lovers can explore the area's maritime past at an anchored submarine, a WWII ship, and an array of old-time vessels. Shopaholics can find more than just souvenirs on Jefferson Street and at Ghiradelli Square, an outdoor mall featuring (you guessed it!) the city's signature chocolate. Fisherman's Wharf is also an unbeatable dining destination, whether you prefer only-in-Cali burgers at In-n-Out or premium fish and seafood. If you're in town during November through February, you're in store for a harvest of Dungeness crab, a local specialty. Try clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl for a year-round Fisherman's Wharf culinary delight. read more about Fisherman's Wharf

Sutro Bath Ruins

Sutro Bath Ruins

  • Point Lobos Ave.
  • tel:+1 415 561 4323(Tourist Information)
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94121

Dr. Adolph Sutro built the baths in the late 1800s to provide a diversion for local families. The four pools were housed under a giant glass dome, with room for 25,000 swimmers and spectators, as well as Dr. Sutro's collection of artifacts. Ruined by fire and earthquake, the foundations are still around for daring people to explore. Fog adds to the surreal quality of the ruins. read more about Sutro Bath Ruins

49 Mile Scenic Drive

49 Mile Scenic Drive

  • Throughout San Francisco
  • tel:+1 415 391 2000 (Tourist Information)
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94115
Muir Woods and Brewery Tour

Muir Woods and Brewery Tour

San Francisco Bay Sailing Cruise

San Francisco Bay Sailing Cruise

  • 221 4th Street, San Francisco, CA
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94143
Muir Woods, Giant Redwoods and Sausalito Half-Day Trip

Muir Woods, Giant Redwoods and Sausalito Half-Day Trip

  • 221 4th Street, San Francisco, CA
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94133
Monster Park

Monster Park

  • Monster Park
  • tel:(415) 656-4949
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94124

This is the football stadium that will never die. Although it is currently named Monster Park, this field has a long tradition in the Bay Area. It was originally known as Candlestick Park, owing to its location on Candlestick Point. With the rise of corporate sports sponsorships, the "Stick" was known as 3Com Park, for the telecom giant. This naming gave way to the current moniker, Monster Park, after the industrial cable manufacturer. read more about Monster Park

Japantown

Japantown

The noted American architect Minoru Yamasaki created this 5-acre complex, which opened in 1968. The development includes a hotel (the Radisson Miyako, at Laguna and Post streets); a public garage with discounted validated parking; shops selling Japanese furnishings, clothing, cameras, music, porcelain, pearls, and paintings; an excellent spa (Kabuki Springs & Spa); and a multiplex cinema. read more about Japantown

Civic Center Plaza

Civic Center Plaza

  • Grove St. and Polk St.
  • San Francisco, 94117

The tree-lined, freshly cut lawn of Civic Center Plaza is surrounded by some of the city's most important institutions. City Hall, retrofitted and gilded in 1999, houses the mayor's office, the Board of Supervisors chambers and a number of other government offices. The nearby Veteran's Building contains the Herbst Theater and a 1,000-seat lecture hall. On the corner of Gough and Van Ness is the modern Louise M. Davies Symphony Hall, home of the San Francisco Symphony. read more about Civic Center Plaza

Ina Coolbrith Park

Ina Coolbrith Park

  • Vallejo & Taylor
  • San Francisco, 94109

Beloved for its spectacular bay views and manicured gardens, this spot is unusual because it's vertical -- that is, rather than being one open space, it's composed of a series of terraces up a very steep hill. A poet, Oakland librarian, and niece of Mormon prophet Joseph Smith, Ina Coolbrith (1842-1928) introduced Jack London and Isadora Duncan to the world of books. For years she entertained literary greats in her Macondray Lane home near the park. In 1915 she was named poet laureate of California. read more about Ina Coolbrith Park

Aqua

Aqua

  • 252 California St
  • Near Battery
  • tel:415/956-9662
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94104
Greens Restaurant

Greens Restaurant

  • Bld. A, Fort Mason
  • Building A, Fort Mason Center (enter Fort Mason opposite the Safeway at Buchanan and Marina sts.)
  • tel:415/771-6222
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94123
Swan Oyster Depot

Swan Oyster Depot

  • 1517 Polk St
  • Between California and Sacramento sts
  • tel:415/673-1101
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94109
Anchor Oyster Bar and Seafood Market

Anchor Oyster Bar and Seafood Market

  • 579 Castro Street
  • (between 18th and 19th streets)
  • tel:(415) 431-3990
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94114
Castro Theatre

Castro Theatre

  • 429 Castro St
  • Near Market St
  • tel:415/621-6120
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94114
The Mint Karaoke Lounge

The Mint Karaoke Lounge

  • 1942 Market St
  • At Laguna St
  • tel:415/626-4726
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94102
Moby Dick

Moby Dick

  • 4049 18th St
  • tel:(415) 861 1199
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94114
440 Castro

440 Castro

  • 440 Castro Street
  • tel:(415) 621 8732
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94114-2020
Beach Blanket Babylon

Beach Blanket Babylon

  • 678 Green St
  • At Club Fugazi, Beach Blanket Babylon Blvd., between Powell St. and Columbus Ave
  • tel:415/421-4222
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94133
AT&T Park - Home of the Giants

AT&T Park - Home of the Giants

  • 24 Willie Mays Plaza
  • tel:(415) 972-2000
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94103

Baseball lovers would be remiss not to catch an open-air game at AT&T Park, home to MLB powerhouse the San Francisco Giants and the record-breaking feats of Barry Bonds. Built in 1997, AT&T Park is positioned on the bay in San Francisco's funky SoMA district and appeals even to fair-weather sports fans with its fantastic setting, beautiful views, and fun features, such as the 80-foot Coca-Cola bottle with playground slides. And then there's the matter of the park's top-notch eats. Where else in America could you expect to buy a gourmet sausage and garlic fries or a sushi roll for your mid-game snack? read more about AT&T Park - Home of the Giants

Coit Tower

Coit Tower

  • 1 Telegraph Hill Boulevard
  • Telegraph Hill
  • tel:(415) 362-0808
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94133

The landmark Coit Tower was built in the 1930's as a tribute to the city's firefighters, at the behest of eccentric local celebrity Lillie Hitchcock Coit, an honorary firefighter herself. Today, Coit Tower stands proudly on the northeastern edge of the city in the scenic Telegraph Hill district. Although Coit Tower is accessed by an entirely uphill climb, visitors who brave it are treated to unparalleled views of the Bay and its bridges, Marin County, the East Bay, and the undulating San Francisco cityscape. Plus there's an incredible Art Deco mural that covers the entire circumference of the tower's interior ground-floor walls. Painted by 26 artists, this masterpiece depicts many aspects of '30's California industry and labor. Remember, the walk back is all downhill; head southwest into the nearby Italian-American enclave of North Beach for a cappuccino and gelato and some fabulous shopping on Grant Avenue. read more about Coit Tower

Powell Street Hill Cable Car Turnaround

Powell Street Hill Cable Car Turnaround

The foot of Powell Street serves as San Francisco's downtown transportation hub, site of the cable car turnaround and underground Muni and BART stations, plus the F-Line Historic Streetcar route along Market Street. Trek four blocks up the hill, and you'll encounter Union Square, the heart of the city's shopping district. Banks and retail shops line Market Street. read more about Powell Street Hill Cable Car Turnaround

ACME Chophouse

ACME Chophouse

  • 24 Willie Mays Plaza
  • tel:(415) 644-0240
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94107
Levi's Plaza Park

Levi's Plaza Park

  • 1160 Battery Street
  • San Francisco, 94111
Lombard Street

Lombard Street

  • Between Hyde & Leavenworth streets
  • Above Ghirardelli Square
  • tel:(415) 391-2000
  • San Francisco, 94133

Famed as the "crookedest street in the world," the swath of Lombard Street between Hyde and Leavenworth streets in San Francisco's Russian Hill district is indeed full of twists and turns. Lombard Street was designed as a series of switchbacks in order to make its steep grade navigable by automobile. Today, you'll almost definitely see Lombard Street congested with cars making the celebrated drive down. Therefore, we recommend hoofing it—you'll be able to admire all the more slowly the lovely, brightly-colored houses flanked with bougainvillea and all manner of flowers, as well as the gorgeous view of North Beach, Telegraph Hill, and the bay. After winding down Lombard Street, head east to nearby North Beach for serious Italian eats, or north to the maritime delights of Fisherman's Wharf and Ghiradelli Square. read more about Lombard Street

San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Tour

San Francisco Hop-on Hop-off Tour

Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island

  • Embarcadero and Powell St
  • (Pier 39)
  • tel:(415) 705-5555
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94133

"The Rock," as Alcatraz is known locally, has a formidable past. Most people don't know it served as a lighthouse, military outpost, and military prison before becoming the notorious federal prison that held the likes of Al Capone, George "Machine Gun" Kelly, and Robert Stroud, a.k.a. "The Birdman of Alcatraz." The tiny island only miles from the San Francisco shore was considered the perfect detainment spot due to the surrounding shark-infested, frigid waters. Today visitors can safely enjoy guided tours of Alcatraz, including various cells, the mess hall, the exercise yard, and the surprisingly beautiful natural features of the island. Tour guides are extremely knowledgeable and relish regaling visitors with quirky stories of prisoners past. The truly brave can get locked up in a darkened cell for several minutes—all the more exhilarating considering the penitentiary's claim that all 14 escape attempts in the prison's 29 years of operation failed! read more about Alcatraz Island

The Grove

The Grove

  • 2250 Chestnut St
  • Between Scott and Pierce sts
  • tel:415/474-4843
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94123
Westin St. Francis

Westin St. Francis

  • 335 Powell St
  • Between Geary and Post Sts
  • tel:866/500-0038
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94102
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
The Presidio Trust

The Presidio Trust

  • 34 Graham St
  • tel:(415) 561-5500
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94129
San Francisco Chinatown Walking Tour

San Francisco Chinatown Walking Tour

  • 335 Powell St
  • Between Geary and Post Sts
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94123
Hog Island Oyster Company

Hog Island Oyster Company

  • Ferry Building
  • Embarcadero
  • tel:(415) 391-7117
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94105
Crissy Field

Crissy Field

  • Old Mason Street
  • off Marina Blvd.
  • tel:(415) 561-4700
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94123

This 100-acre park blends into the surrounding urban landscape. It features a 20-acre tidal marsh, huge meadow, sand beaches and thousands of restored native plants. Bikers can cruise down a designated path, launching from a board-sailing site, or quietly muse about while peering into the depths of the tidal pond. read more about Crissy Field

Chinatown Gate

Chinatown Gate

  • Bush St. and Grant St.
  • San Francisco, 94108

The official entrance to Chinatown is a symbolic and literal transition from standard downtown scenes to what sometimes seems like another country altogether. Stone lions flank the base of the pagoda-topped gate. The male lion's right front paw rests playfully on a ball; the female's left front paw tickles a cub lying on its back. The lions and the glazed clay dragons atop the largest of the gate's three pagodas symbolize, among other things, wealth and prosperity. The fish whose mouths wrap tightly around the crest of this pagoda also symbolize prosperity. The four Chinese characters immediately beneath the pagoda represent the philosophy of Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925), the leader who unified China in the early 20th century. Sun Yat-sen, who lived in exile in San Francisco for a few years, promoted the notion of friendship and peace among all nations based on equality, justice, and goodwill. The vertical characters under the left pagoda read "peace" and "trust," the ones under the right pagoda "respect" and "love." read more about Chinatown Gate

Haight-Ashbury

Haight-Ashbury

  • Haight and Ashbury Streets
  • tel:+1 415 391 2000 (Tourist Information)
  • San Francisco, 94117

This center of '60s psychedelic activity to this day retains counterculture credentials with a proliferation of piercing salons, bookstores brimming with hippie nostalgia, and off-beat shops set amid Victorian architecture. read more about Haight-Ashbury

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

  • Lincoln Blvd & Hwy 1
  • Hwy. 101 N
  • tel:(415) 921-5858
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94129

Perhaps the most iconic bridge in the country, if not in the world, the rusted-orange expanse of the Golden Gate Bridge is a not-to-miss sight while in San Francisco. Connecting the city and neighboring Marin County to the north, the Golden Gate Bridge also serves as a gateway between the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. Although you'll be treated to glimpses of the bridge throughout the city, the best way to experience it is to walk or bike across, starting in the Presidio. You can then spend a serene afternoon strolling around the quaint Marin seaside city of Sausalito. If you prefer a gentler route, you can take a ferry from the San Francisco Ferry Building or from Fisherman's Wharf to Sausalito or Tiburon (another beautiful Marin town full of great restaurants and nearby walking paths), gazing at the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, plus sailboats, kite-surfers, and the gorgeous Bay views along the way. read more about Golden Gate Bridge

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

Fort Point National Historic Site

Fort Point National Historic Site

  • Fort Point NHS Long Avenue and Presidio of San Francisco
  • tel:(415) 556-1693 / (415) 556-0505
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94129
Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory

Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory

Walk down Ross Alley and you'll likely be invited into this small cookie factory. The workers sit at circular motorized griddles and wait for dollops of batter to drop onto a tiny metal plate, which rotates into an oven. A few moments later out comes a cookie that's pliable and ready for folding. It's easy to peek in for a moment, and hard to leave without a few free samples. Enjoy a bagful of cookies -- with mildly racy "adult" fortunes or more-benign ones; personalized fortunes are also available. read more about Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Factory

Buena Visa Park

Buena Visa Park

  • 498 Buena Vista Avenue East
  • San Francisco, 94117

Buena Vista Park, located in the Lower Haight, looks like a little patch of grass with some trees, but actually has some considerable hiking trails. Beware of clouds rolling in, as they tend to do in the Haight. read more about Buena Visa Park

Beach Chalet

Beach Chalet

  • 1000 Great Highway@Ocean Beach
  • tel:(415) 386-8439
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94121

The Spanish colonial-style structure, architect Willis Polk's last design, was built in 1925 after his death. A wraparound Federal Works Project mural by Lucien Labaudt depicts San Francisco in the 1930s; the labels describing the various panels add up to a mini-history of Depression-era life in the city. A three-dimensional model of Golden Gate Park, artifacts from the 1894 Mid-Winter Exposition and other park events, a visitor center, and a gift shop that sells street signs and other city paraphernalia are on the first floor as well. On a clear day, the brewpub-restaurant Beach Chalet upstairs (notice the carved banister on the way up) has views past Ocean Beach to the Farallon Islands, about 30 mi offshore. Park Chalet, on the ground floor, has a stone fireplace and glass ceiling, offering indoor-outdoor dining facing a lawn, garden, and Golden Gate Park. read more about Beach Chalet

Little Italy and North Beach Walking Tour

Little Italy and North Beach Walking Tour

National AIDS Memorial Grove

National AIDS Memorial Grove

  • 856 Stanyan St
  • Middle Drive East At Bowling Green Drive, Golden Gate Park
  • tel:(415) 750-8340
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94117
Baker Beach

Baker Beach

  • Lincoln Blvd.
  • At Lincoln Boulevard
  • tel:+1 415 831 2750(Tourist Information)
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94121

Baker Beach is located inside the historic Presidio. If driving, consult a map for detailed directions, while Muni Bus #29 makes stops at the beach entrance. If you arrive in the middle of the day, you'll find a secluded beach, sheltered from the wind, with a great view of the massive cargo ships passing beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. Note that on a warm day it won't feel so secluded as the locals descend to soak in the sun. Also be aware that at the north end of the beach you might find some nude sunbathers. This is not a swimming or surfing spot as it has strong and dangerous rip currents. Arrive just before sunset and you'll think you stumbled upon the most beautiful beach in the world. As the sun is setting, get your cameras poised for a view of the ocean, the beach, and amazing view of the Golden Gate Bridge. read more about Baker Beach

City Lights Booksellers & Publishers

City Lights Booksellers & Publishers

  • 261 Columbus Ave.
  • At Broadway
  • tel:(415) 362-8193
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94111

Designated a city landmark, the hangout of Beat-era writers -- Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti among them -- remains a vital part of San Francisco's literary scene. Still leftist at heart, the store has a replica of a revolutionary mural destroyed in Chiapas, Mexico, by military forces. read more about City Lights Booksellers & Publishers

California Academy of Sciences

California Academy of Sciences

  • 55 Music Concourse Drive
  • Golden Gate Park
  • tel:(415) 379-8000
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94143

Renovated and reopened in late 2008, the California Academy of Sciences has a lot to boast about. With a four-story tropical rainforest, an aquarium housing over 38,000 species of fish, the deepest coral reef exhibit in the world, an impressive all-digital planetarium, and a host of other exhibits that take visitors on a tour of the natural world, it's no wonder tourists and locals alike are lining up every weekend. The building is an attraction in and of itself. A gem of sustainable architecture, it features a living roof made of solar panels and 1.7 million species of native plants, uses recycled denim for insulation, and has floor-to-ceiling windows that give visitors a seamless view of surrounding Golden Gate Park greenery. Underscoring its hip, green image, the California Academy of Science's café serves up decidedly healthy, yummy dishes that even kids could like (and that's no small feat). read more about California Academy of Sciences

Sea Cliff

Sea Cliff

This affluent neighborhood of multimillion-dollar homes, manicured lawns, and spectacular ocean views is home to famous actors and some of San Francisco's most prominent residents. Just below the houses is beautiful and secluded China Beach. read more about Sea Cliff

Toronado

Toronado

  • 547 Haight St
  • At Fillmore St
  • tel:415/863-2276
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94117

Think of it as a session pub from the old country without the lilting accents or the exposed timbers. Lower Haight's most popular pub is the best place to find the beer you've been missing, whether its from the continent or the California countryside. If you want a boozy sit-down tour of the Northern California micro-brew renaissance, park yourself at the bar here and get started, but don't plan on getting it all done in one trip; you'll burn through 40 pints before you exhaust that list. Thankfully $1-off pints are available during happy hour from 11:30am to 6pm every day, so the tourist, or the neighborhood sop, looking for a day long drunk of fine brews never has to get up, except maybe to pay a visit to specialty sausage shop Rosamunde conveniently located next door. And you're welcome to bring your food back into Toronado to maximize your drinking time. At night this bar gets crowded and loud even on weekdays, and its smallish back room is no frills, sticky floors, and springless booth benches. But who needs decoration when the brew is so tasty. A couple HDTVs keep the Giants fans and the wallflowers amused.

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Lincoln Park Golf Course

Lincoln Park Golf Course

  • 300 34th Avenue
  • tel:(415) 221-9911
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94121
Vesuvio

Vesuvio

  • 255 Columbus Ave
  • At Jack Kerouac Alley
  • tel:(415) 362-3370
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94133

This historic but still hip little pub palace features stained glass, funky seats, and photos galore of the literary beatniks who once spent their pay (most likely from City Lights Publishers, just next door) on booze and loose women inside. At the corner of Jack Kerouac alley and Columbus Ave, it's premier location at the downtown edge of North Beach suggests it should be hopping all the time, but in fact its the perfect place to take a notebook, grab a pint and wax poetic, inspired by the beat of the beats that still lingers in the walls. Or do your waxing outloud with some friends in the sweet wraparound 2nd floor, where the tables at the front feature a downright uplifting view of the mad cats in strait jacket suits making their way from the Financial District to the Gentlemens' Clubs down Broadway.
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SFMOMA Museum Store

SFMOMA Museum Store

  • 151 Third St
  • 2 blocks south of Market St., across from Yerba Buena Gardens
  • tel:415/357-4035
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94105
California Palace of the Legion of Honor

California Palace of the Legion of Honor

  • Lincoln Park
  • 34th Avenue & Clement Street
  • tel:(415) 863-3330
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94121
E & O Trading Company

E & O Trading Company

  • 314 Sutter Street
  • tel:(415) 693 0303
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94108
Farallon

Farallon

  • 450 Post St
  • Between Mason and Powell sts., adjoining the Kensington Park Hotel
  • tel:415/956-6969
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94102
Dutch Windmill

Dutch Windmill

  • Kennedy Drive
  • tel:+1 415 391 2000 (Tourist Information)
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94117

Two windmills anchor the western end of Golden Gate Park. The restored 1902 Dutch Windmill once pumped 20,000 gallons of well water per hour to the reservoir on Strawberry Hill. With its heavy concrete bottom and wood-shingle arms and upper section, the windmill cuts quite the sturdy figure. It overlooks the equally photogenic Queen Wilhelmina Tulip Garden, which bursts into full bloom in early spring and late summer. The Murphy Windmill, on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive near the Great Highway, was the world's largest windmill when it was built in 1905 and also pumped water to the Strawberry Hill reservoir read more about Dutch Windmill

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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Precita Eyes Muralists

Precita Eyes Muralists

  • 2981 24th St
  • tel:(415) 285-2287
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94110

San Francisco's Mission District is known for more than just great Mexican food and offbeat dive bars. It is also home to one of the most impressive collections of public murals anywhere. While many are decades old, new murals are constantly being added to the scene by a flourishing group of professional muralists working out of the Precita Eyes muralist collective. This great resource also helps art lovers by preserving and interpreting these fantastic works of public art. Tours given by muralist members of the collective present 75 murals in just 6 blocks. It's a great way to get to know one of San Francisco's richest neighborhoods.
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Magnolia Pub and Brewery

Magnolia Pub and Brewery

  • 1398 Haight Street
  • At corner of Masonic
  • tel:(415) 864 7468
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94117

The Grateful Dead are always playing in the background, but they are often drowned out by the crowds of people, from 20 and 30 something professionals to artsy hipsters to not-so-burned-out hippies, who congregate here for fantastic beer and delicious food designed to complement the brew. The menu changes daily, and the cuisine is sensibly seasonal and local, which pleases the locals and shows off the possibilities of Bay Area farming. Wait, why the constant stream of Grateful Dead, you ask? This historic Haight-Ashbury location was once the site of the infamous Magnolia Thunderpussy bakery/restaurant, run by the eponymous burlesque dancer, free love pioneer, restaurateur and favorite friend of many of the musicians who came to record in San Francisco. If you don't know about Magnolia Thunderpussy, well, you shouldn't leave San Francisco until you do. Good beer will help, making Magnolia a great place to start, or continue, your investigation.
read more about Magnolia Pub and Brewery