Luxurious Destinations
Northern California
Destinations Within Northern California

Northern California Trip Itineraries

Reservations Needed

Destination(s): Oakland

This past weekend, the San Diego local expert visited the Bay Area for some fun in the unlikely sun. read more about Reservations Needed

Tony's Pizza Napoletana

Tony's Pizza Napoletana

  • 1570 Stockton St
  • tel:(415) 835-9888
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94133

The buzz preceding the opening of Tony's Pizza Napoletana in San Francisco's North Beach neighborhood was deafening but nothing if not accurate.  Located off of Washington Square park and cooking everything from the 2007 World Pizza Cup (Naples, Italy) Margherita - only 73 made a day - to Sicilian Colombo to an authentic Jersey Tomato Pie, Tony's has a pizza for each and every taste. All of the staff are knowledgeable and attentive, the wine list is extensive, and the restaurant is a great place to see and be seen.
read more about Tony's Pizza Napoletana

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

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

R & G Lounge

R & G Lounge

  • 631 Kearny Street
  • tel:(415) 982-7877
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94108
Caffe Trieste

Caffe Trieste

  • 609 Vallejo Street
  • (at the corner of Grant Street)
  • tel:(415) 392 6739
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94133
Fentons Creamery

Fentons Creamery

  • 4226 Piedmont Avenue
  • tel:5106587000
  • Visit website
  • Oakland, 94611
Lefty O'Douls

Lefty O'Douls

  • 333 Geary St.
  • tel:(415) 982 8900
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94102
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

Bix

Bix

  • 56 Gold Street
  • Off Montgomery
  • tel:(415) 433 6300
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94133
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

Cellar 360

Cellar 360

  • 900 North Point St
  • Woolen Mill Building, Suite F301 at Plaza Level
  • tel:(415) 440-0772
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94109

A tasting room in San Francisco, Cellar 360 brings together the work of 30+ wineries around the world into one stylish tasting room in the heart of Ghirardelli Square. Tasting flights change every month, and various wines are also available by the glass. Classes on Wednesdays and Sundays are open to the public, pairing exciting selections with tasty treats from Cellar 360's in-house Chef. Bottle selection is extensive, and there is a patio for those who would like to consume their purchases there. They ship around the world, and have partner tasting rooms in Napa and Sonoma.
read more about Cellar 360

Bar None

Bar None

  • 1980 Union St.
  • At Buchanan Street
  • tel:(415) 409 4469
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94123
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

Buena Vista Cafe

Buena Vista Cafe

  • 2765 Hyde Street
  • (at the corner of Beach Street)
  • tel:(415) 474 5044
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94109
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

Courtyard by Marriott Fisherman's Wharf

Courtyard by Marriott Fisherman's Wharf

  • 580 Beach Street
  • tel:(415) 775-3800
  • Visit website
  • San Francisco, 94133
Sausalito

Sausalito

Sausalito is a quaint, Mediterranean-style waterfront town that serves as the ideal gateway to outdoors adventures galore in Marin County—or as the perfect après-activity haven. From window-shopping at eclectic boutiques to grabbing some scoops at Lappert's Ice Cream and savoring them by a Spanish-style fountain in the sun-splashed plaza, Sausalito certainly has its charms, not to mention its fair share of top-notch dining. And then there are Sausalito's views of San Francisco twinkling across the bay and the surrounding Marin hills dotted with gorgeous homes. Sausalito is also home to a vibrant community of artists, who open their galleries and studios on the second Wednesday of every month during an Artwalk in the Caledonia Street neighborhood. In addition, the renowned Sausalito Art Festival takes place in the center of town every Labor Day weekend. read more about Sausalito