While in the city of San Francisco, visitors will find themselves intrigued by the intense fog that seems to stretch far and wide over the city’s skyline. While that fog may seem eerie in the beginning, most travelers will find that it adds a little more ambiance to the atmosphere of this fascinating destination. Plus, it does disappear some days, only to bring bright sunshine and added warmth.
Hotels in San Francisco
Here are our favorite hotels in San Francisco:
San Francisco Proper Hotel
This beautiful hotel can be found in a historic building that was constructed in 1907 and has been carefully preserved over the years. The spacious rooms are furnished to meet the needs of all guests and the lobby is the perfect place to meet up with family and friends. There are plenty of shopping and entertainment venues nearby and the staff at the front desk is available twenty-four hours a day to met guests’ needs. Every guest will love the rooftop terrace bar, complete with fire pits and extraordinary views, as well as the twenty-four-hour room service.
The Clift Royal Sonesta Hotel
Each guest room or suite is furnished with luxury in mind, which means that silk, leather, and velvet are the materials of choice. This elegant hotel is steps away from Union Square and only a half mile from the popular Financial District. Every guest will love the preferential treatment, especially when it comes to entering to the infamous Redwood Room Bar, where celebrities spend their time. This is considered a resort, so while there is a fee, each guest receives only the best when it comes to concierge services, tour assistance, in-room dining, and access to the fitness center and pool.
This hotel is in the middle of it all, only steps away from the Chinatown Gate, the Financial District, and Union Square. The guest rooms and suites offer the ultimate in luxury with everything that guests need for their time away from home. While many guests will not be at the hotel for hours at a time, those who are, will feel right at home as they sit next to the fire enjoying a drink or intriguing conversations.
Restaurants in San Francisco
There are so many different options when it comes to dining out in San Francisco, but there are a few restaurants that stand out from all the rest. Here are our favorites:
Nopa is a community style restaurant that focuses on people and the quality of the food rather than anything else. They create new menus each week, using only the freshest and best ingredients available in the area. The portions are always more than generous and each meal pairs perfectly with the wines, cocktails, and beer that they offer. An amazing dinner at Nopa could include grilled calamari, followed by a delicious curry lamb soup or chicory salad. The best options for the main course are the smoked brisket, rotisserie chicken, or the wood grilled hamburger. No one will be able to leave their seat before enjoying a taste or two of the brioche beignets, pumpkin pot de crème, or the honey and chamomile ice cream. The best part about this restaurant is that they also serve brunch, so no one needs to wait for dinner time for some great food!
Tadich Grill has been around for more than one hundred years, making it the oldest restaurant in all the state of California. In fact, it is the third oldest restaurant within the United States! This restaurant does not take reservations, so everyone should be prepared to arrive early to avoid a wait, as it does get busy at both lunch and dinner. It is common to see numerous celebrities at Tadich Grill, whether it is because of the cuisine, the ambiance, the company, or all the above. Those who choose to dine at this restaurant will want to begin their meal with either the Dungeness crab cakes or the Tadich platter. The halibut and filet are fabulous, but most people will want a taste of the seafood cioppino for their main course. There are currently only two choices for dessert, the bread pudding and the rice custard, but they will both melt away in a person’s mouth.
House of Prime Rib
Travelers who love prime rib will not want to miss the chance to dine on the best at the House of Prime Rib. This restaurant opened in 1949 and it hasn’t changed a thing recipe-wise since that time. Diners can choose between the city cut, the House of Prime cut, the English cut, and the King Henry VIII cut for their main meal, or they can have the fresh fish of the day. Each main dish is served with a salad, mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, and wonderful Yorkshire pudding. Past diners state that this is the place to order a martini in the city, with the original and the green apple one being all-time favorites.
The owners of this bakery have always had a goal of serving fresh loaves of bread and even better tasting pastries since they opened their doors. The best time to grab a loaf of their delectable fresh bread is right after 3:30 in the afternoon, because that is when it comes out of the oven. No one will be able to resist a loaf of their ancient grain or olive bread, but it is the baguettes that people flock in for the most. In the mornings, people line up for tastes of their croissants, pain au chocolate, and their infamous morning buns. Lunchtime brings hot pressed sandwiches like pecorino and almond or spicy turkey, as well as seasonal salads. When it comes to desserts, this bakery does them right with options that include a chocolate pudding tart, chocolate souffle cake, eclairs, and a coconut cream tart.
Things to Do in San Francisco
Those who visit this city can find themselves with a massive list of things to do and not enough time to do it all. Therefore, we have come up with this amazing list of things that everyone must do during a visit to San Francisco. These items should be at the top of everyone’s itinerary and everything else should only be added as time allows.
See the Golden Gate Bridge from Different Vantage Points
The Golden Gate Bridge is magnificent, but everyone must know that it will look slightly different from multiple vantage points. Therefore, everyone will want to see it up close, from a distance, and even from the middle of it. This bridge was opened back in 1937 and it has been an iconic attraction ever since. The Golden Gate Bridge is just over a mile and a half long and cars can be seen driving over six different lanes to get to where they need to be. While in San Francisco, every visitor must take the time to walk from one side of this bridge and back again, as it is an experience that no one will ever forget.
Visit Alcatraz Island
Alcatraz Island may not be directly in the city, but it is only one and a half miles off the shore. This tiny island used to be where a military fortification, military prison, and eventually a federal prison was located. The federal prison was in use between 1933 and 1963, and that is when this island grew in popularity. While there are no longer any prisoners within the cells on this island, visitors can still take the ferry over to learn about what life was like within those prison walls. Everyone can take a tour to see the different areas of the prison, including a few of the cells, which still have some prisoners’ belongings inside.
Visit Union Square
This popular square in the city is the area that is visited by the most amount of people every year. While everyone can be seen shopping, dining, and perusing works of art at the galleries during the day, it is the evening hours when this area truly comes to life. The reason for this is that the nightlife is extraordinary in this area and it is considered the place to be when it comes to a night out on the town.
Take a Ride on the Cable Car
The city of San Francisco used to be known for all the cable cars that transported people from one destination to another, but today, visitors need to be happy with the three that are left. Most of the locals never step foot on these cable cars, mostly due to the fact that the tourists create long lines every day of the year. Travelers who want the ride of a lifetime will want to arrive early, so that they do not spend most of their day waiting their turn to climb on board to ride through the streets of the city.
Visit The Presidio
The Presidio of San Francisco used to be a military base, but it is now one of the state’s historical landmarks. This area is now considered a park that everyone can visit, although there is not much to do there. The best feature of this park is the views that it offers of the Golden Gate Bridge and the surrounding water.
Visit Ghirardelli Square
Almost everyone has heard the name Ghirardelli, which is why everyone normally places this attraction at the top of their San Francisco itinerary. While this massive complex used to be a chocolate factory in the beginning, it is now home to numerous shops and restaurants. Visitors will love seeing how the spaces have been reused to create the stores and dining areas, and if nothing else, people will be amazed at the intriguing architectural details.
Explore the Marketplace at the Ferry Building
This marketplace happens to be one of the most famous landmarks within the city and it can be found at the bottom of Market Street. The little shops sell everything from fresh fish to specially made cheeses, but most people venture over there to try the cuisine that is served by some of the city’s best chefs.
Visit the Twin Peaks
Another infamous attraction within San Francisco is the Twin Peaks, which used to be known by another name, Los Pechos de la Choca. Each peak is nine hundred and twenty-two feet high and they both offer phenomenal views of the entire Bay Area.
See the Redwood Trees Inside the Golden Gate National Recreation Center
There used to be more than two million acres of redwood trees throughout the state of California, but while in the city, visitors must be satisfied with less than a quarter acre of them. As people are wandering around looking at the redwoods, they will want to tackle some of the nearby trails to see the other parts of the park.
Visit the Japanese Tea Garden
This Japanese Tea Garden was originally opened for an exhibition back in 1894, but it has survived long past when it was supposed to be shut down. The garden is now approximately five acres and is filled with stepping stones, pagodas, arched bridges, and authentic Japanese plants. While visitors love those features, many are even more impressed with both the koi pond and the Zen garden.
Visit Ocean Beach
Many of the beaches in California are crowded, which is why many visitors are surprised when they find that Ocean Beach is anything but. This soft white sandy beach is part of Golden Gate National Park, so everyone will feel as if they are in the middle of nowhere when they are there. Travelers love the tranquility of the area, as well as the views that never include tall buildings, lots of traffic, and the rest of the hustle and bustle that comes from larger cities.
San Francisco is such a wonderful place to visit, but everyone will need a plan in place if they want to experience only the best of this destination. The hotels, restaurants, and attractions above will give all travelers a place to start, as they are creating a vacation where the memories will last forever.