Things To Do In San Francisco, CaliforniaFrom the grandeur of the Golden Gate Bridge to Union Square, San Francisco is an intoxicating vacation destination. The City by the Bay is a cutural mosaic of exciting attractions, world-class museums, beautiful theaters, art galleries, trendy shopping areas, diverse restaurants, lively nightclubs, entertainment, festivals and dramatic coastal panoramas.
Historic Cable Cars.Since 1873, the historic San Francisco cable cars have shuttled tourists and locals throughout the city - from Nob Hill to the Financial District and Fisherman’s Wharf. Ride to your favorite neighborhoods and attractions on one of the most famous landmarks of San Francisco. You can hop on the historic cable car just outside the hotel and see all the sights, sounds and attractions around us. Purchase a one-day ($9), three-day ($15), or seven-day ($20) Passport so that you can ride on the streetcars, buses, and cable cars to everywhere you need to explore.
Union Square.Downtown San Francisco’s landmark park and shopping destination, Union Square features fashionable shopping, a vibrant theater district, and exceptional dining. The shopping mecca of San Francisco, Union Square is home to the finest department stores, specialty shops, boutiques and restaurants in California, sporting every major haute couture, jewelry and department store you can imagine. Surrounding the park square, you’ll find department stores like Nordstrom, Macy's, Neiman-Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, and well as trendy boutiques and superstores. Walk streets lined with fine art galleries, see a show at one of the many theatres or dine at the trendiest restaurants in the city. Union Square is also a beautiful piazza with a monument of the goddess Victory, granite plazas, a terraced stage, light sculptures designed by artist R.M. Fischer, cafés, and four grand entrances bordered by palms that punctuate the history and beauty of San Francisco. The plaza presents many events, art and fashion shows, and parties. Hop on the cable cars that depart from Union Square or join a walking tour.
Aquarium of the Bay.Located at Pier 39, Aquarium of the Bay offers a unique educational and entertainment experience and helps you discover, see, touch and learn about the diverse aquatic life and ecosystems of San Francisco Bay. A window to the Bay, the Aquarium entertains and inspires preservation of this natural resource. Meet 20,000 amazing marine animals as you walk through 300 feet of crystal clear tunnels. Encounter seven gill sharks, the Bay’s largest predator. Touch leopard sharks, skates, rays, and sea stars. The four parts to your exciting journey - Discover the Bay, Under the Bay, Touch the Bay and Save the Bay - create experiences that steward the conservation of San Francisco Bay and marine environments. Visit www.aquariumofthebay.org. [Top]
Fisherman's Wharf.San Francisco’s historic waterfront attraction, Fisherman’s Wharf is a lively marketplace filled with activities and breathtaking Bay views. This favorite San Francisco destination is a coastal row of unique shopping, souvenir stores, seafood restaurants, vendors, Bay cruises, street performers, live music and a great fishing pier. Waterfront marketplaces include: The Anchorage, The Cannery, Ghirardelli Square and the world-famous Pier 39, a festival marketplace with 110 shops, restaurants, performers, cruises, Aquarium of the Bay, and the loveable sea lions. Take the ferry from the Wharf or charter a sailboat to scenic Marin County. Visit www.fishermanswharf.org.
Pier 39.Experience a wonderful day of shopping and dining at Pier 39 - a festival marketplace on San Francisco Bay. After an up-close look at the playful sea lions, browse in more than 110 shop and stores, and enjoy a variety of family attractions, fun street performers, and live music all around. Enjoy dining at the Pier’s 14 bay view restaurants and enjoy nightly entertainment under the stars. There’s something for everyone at this world-famous San Francisco attraction. Visit www.pier39.com.
Golden Gate Bridge.San Francisco’s grandest landmark and one of the most breathtaking structures in the world, the Golden Gate Bridge is the gateway where the Bay meets the Pacific Ocean and connects San Francisco to the Marin Headlands. Crossing under the iconic red towers of the 4,200-foot Golden Gate Bridge, experience magical views of the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Driving or biking across is a thrill, but a half-hour walk lets you absorb inspiring views. Unparalleled views of the Golden Gate Bridge are found at the beach at Crissy Field - a beautiful ‘green’ space with birds, joggers, and roller bladders. Walk along the beach and tide pool for one mile, past volleyball fields and windsurfers until you are right under the Golden Gate Bridge. Crissy Field is one of the world's best beach locations for windsurfing and offers unparalleled views of the waterfront. [Top]
Golden Gate National Recreation Area.One of the world's largest urban national parks, Golden Gate National Recreation Area hugs the California coastline for about 60 miles in San Francisco. Right in the backyard of the city, the park is a loved destination for locals and tourists to windsurf, walk the dog, go for a run, explore nature and get a taste of history. With unparalleled recreational opportunities, stunning natural beauty, and riveting stories, the national park attracts millions of joggers, polo players, roller-skaters, cyclists and strollers, and offers many tranquil spots with incredible ocean vistas. Explore popular park sites, such as Muir Woods, Stinson Beach, Marin Headlands, and the Presidio. Experience a "working" Nike Missile Site, a maximum security federal prison, the conversion of an abandoned airfield into hundreds of acres of productive coastal wetlands, and some of the most beautiful beaches and hiking trails in the nation.
The Presidio.The Presidio is a national park that preserves a complex cultural and natural heritage within its 1,480 acres south of the Golden Gate. Once a U.S. Army post and site of the World’s Fair, The Presidio is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area and recreational paradise with spectacular vistas, meandering trails, and historic and architectural treasures. Enjoy scenic hikes, fun walking tours, picnics, view an exhibit or take a stroll back in time. Enjoy the history and beauty of 500 historic buildings, coastal defense fortifications, a national cemetery, an historic airfield, a saltwater marsh, forests, beaches, plant habitats, coastal bluffs, and miles of hiking and biking trails with spectacular views. The park is open year-round. Visit www.presidio.gov.
San Francisco Zoo.Northern California's largest zoological park and conservation center, historic San Francisco Zoo features more than 1,000 exotic and endangered wildlife. Set against the Pacific Ocean, this urban oasis is a naturalistic habitat for over 250 animal species, and offers many entertaining exhibits, activities and events. Visit the Grizzy Gulch, home to two grizzly bears, or stroll through the exciting African Savanna habitat. Experience the wonders of the Children's Zoo and the New Zoo, a conservation zoo dedicated to the preservation of wild places and wildlife. The entire family will enjoy thrilling exhibits such as Gorilla Preserve, Penguin Island, Koala Crossing, Lemur Forest and the Australian WalkAbout. Ride the historical Dentzel Carousel and Little Puffer miniature steam train. Open daily 10am-5pm. Check out www.sfzoo.org. [Top]
Metreon.An innovative entertainment and technology marketplace, the Metreon is the first-of-its-kind entertainment venue. Located at Fourth and Mission streets in downtown San Francisco, this 350,000 square-foot complex features an eclectic mix of the Bay Area's most incredible restaurants, world-class shopping venues, 15 theatres, interactive attractions, family events and entertainment destinations, including the West Coast's largest IMAX theatre. The 15-screen Loews Metreon is San Francisco’s largest movie complex with a panoramic view of Yerba Buena Gardens Esplanade and the downtown skyline. Visit www.metreon.com.
Yerba Buena Gardens/Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.An award-winning mixed-use venue, Yerba Buena Gardens is an urban oasis in the heart of downtown San Francisco that features many cultural attractions, including museums, public art, formal gardens, shops, restaurants, outdoor concerts, a lovely children’s garden, an ice-skating rink, a bowling alley and a colorful, historic carousel. The magnificent gardens at Yerba Buena are a peaceful retreat in the middle of the city, including a butterfly garden and a children’s garden. One highlight of the many public art displays is the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, a granite and water structure with the largest waterfall on the West Coast as well as King's speeches etched in stone. An entertainment and arts complex on Mission Street, Yerba Buena Center presents visual art exhibitions, performing arts, film/video screenings, and community engagement programs that showcase San Francisco's artistic diversity and offers world perspectives on art. The Yerba Buena complex includes the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Cartoon Museum.Visit www.ybca.org.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.Designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta, SFMOMA houses an extensive collection of more than 25,000 works of modern and contemporary 20th Century art, including artistic developments in painting, sculpture, photography, architecture and design, and media arts that span the globe. Several art galleries display selections from the permanent collection of art, sculpture, furniture, and photographs along with changing exhibits. Experience the masterpieces of Henri Matisse, Frida Kahlo, René Magritte, Jackson Pollock, Georgia O'Keeffe, Man Ray, Andy Warhol, Ansel Adams, and Frank Lloyd Wright. SFMOMA also features a beautiful atrium lobby, a 299-seat theater, an interactive Education Center, the museum shop, CaffË Museo and the new 14,400-square-foot Rooftop Garden. Visit www.sfmoma.org. [Top]
Asian Art Museum.One of the largest museums in the world, Asian Art Museum celebrates Asian art with a collection of 17000 artworks spanning 6,000 years of history and seven regions. Located at the Civic Center, the technologically advanced museum showcases the material, aesthetic, and intellectual achievements of Asian art and culture. The Museum holds one of the most comprehensive collections of Asian art in the world with rare and exceptional objects. The collection includes thousands of objects ranging from tiny jades to monumental sculptures, paintings, porcelains, ceramics, lacquers, textiles, furniture, arms and armor, puppets, and basketry. One of museum’s celebrated objects, the gilt bronze Buddha dated 338 -years is the oldest known dated Chinese Buddha in the world and a noted example of Chinese Buddhist art. Visit the children’s discovery center and special rooms on African-American, Chinese, Filipino-American, and gay/lesbian works that surround the light-filled atrium. Visit www.asainart.org.
Chinatown.Experience the culture of the Orient at the unique restaurants, shops, markets, and bakeries in historic Chinatown, the largest Chinese community on the West Coast. Through the dragon-crested gate - a gift from China in 1969 - Chinatown’s 24-square blocks offers culturally-diverse stores, open markets and facades resembling shopping in Hong Kong. Stroll colorful streets to the elegant Chinese Presbyterian Church, Oakland Asian Cultural Center, and Pacific Renaissance Plaza, which houses shops and restaurants. Check out the restored Bank of Canton Building, Sing Chong Building, one of the first places rebuilt after the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco, Bank of America, decorated with gold dragons, Herbal Shop, and Old St. Mary’s, California's first cathedral. Walking tours guide you through Chinatown’s back alleys to authentic food markets and eateries. See artisans hand make crafts using ancient techniques. Uncover authentic crafts and pottery, antiques, musical instruments, Chinese cookware, and exotic Asian herbs and teas in secret alcoves. Delve into Chinese mysticism and culture, as you explore the neighborhood’s sculpture and architecture. Enjoy Chinese cuisine and Dim Sum, a traditional Chinese brunch, at one of the oldest bakeries.
Ghirardelli Square.A historic San Francisco shopping and dining destination, Ghirardelli Square features over 70 stores specializing in eclectic art, gifts, clothes, souvenirs and chocolate, as well as wonderful waterfront restaurants, breathtaking views of San Francisco Bay, beautiful landscaped gardens, and historic walking tours. While its oldest building, Woolen Mill, dates back to 1864, this colorful festive marketplace is famous for its years as a chocolate factory until 1964 when it was renovated into the Bay Area’s exciting historic landmark. Visit www.ghirardellisquare.com. [Top]
AT&T Baseball Park.Home of the San Francisco Giants, AT &T Baseball Park is a San Francisco landmark featuring breathtaking views of the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge. Bordered by downtown San Francisco and the Bay, this classic brick baseball park is an incredible venue for sporting events, concerts and the 2007 All-Star game. AT&T Park features an inspiring nine-foot statue of America's greatest living ballplayer, Willie Mays. Portuguese water dogs fetch home runs that splash into McCovey Cove (named after Hall of Fame Willie), along side an 80-foot Coca-Cola bottle with playground slides and a miniature AT&T Park behind left field. Be sure to avoid traffic by taking public transit that rivals any sports complex on the planet. The San Francisco Giants are a smash hit in the city's sparkling new jewel by the bay. Visit http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/sf/ballpark/index.jsp.
Moscone Convention Center.
Located in the urban core of Downtown San Francisco, Moscone Center (Moscone North, South and West) is San Francisco’s preeminent meeting, event, convention and exhibition venue. The Moscone Center features 700,000 square feet of exhibit space, six primary exhibit halls, 106 meeting rooms, 123,000 square feet of stylish pre-function lobbies, and houses a diverse collection of San Francisco's public art. Moscone also offers catering services, state-of the art audio/visual technology and a total digital network. The Moscone Convention Center hosts many of the areas largest corporate events and has set the standards for efficiency and green initiatives. Covering one city block, and towering 110 feet above the street, the freestanding Moscone West anchors the 87-acre Yerba Buena Center district in a vibrant downtown neighborhood of theaters, restaurants, museums, galleries, and parks. The Moscone Center, one of the busiest convention, trade and meetings facilities in the nation, now offers ‘green’ meetings with zero waste to lead the industry in environmentally friendly practices. The convention is easily accessed by multiple forms of transportations and located near The Orchard Garden Hotel. If you are looking to host a smaller event, please contact our San Francisco hotel to find how we can meet your event's needs. Visit www.moscone.com.
Twin Peaks.Drive up to Twin Peaks and gaze at the sweeping panoramic vistas of San Francisco, Oakland and Berkeley. Named for its two virtually identical summits that stand at 922 feet above the city, Twin Peaks offers the best vantage point to see the city at 360 degrees. Enjoy awe-inspiring views of the Golden Gate Bridge, downtown San Francisco, Angel Island, Alcatraz, Pacific Ocean, and the hilltops of Yerba Buena Island. Enjoy the direct view down Market Street into downtown. Visit on a clear night and watch San Francisco illuminate the night sky. The lower portion of Twin Peaks is a community with colorful houses in the hillside. [Top]
Coit Tower.Built in 1933, Coit Tower is one of San Franciso's most recognizable landmarks. The 210-foot high, Art Deco tower of unpainted concrete sits majestically atop Telegraph Hill in the North Beach neighborhood and offers amazing views of San Francisco Bay, Golden Gate Bridge and many San Francisco attractions such as as Fisherman's Wharf and Alcatraz Island. The interior of Coit Tower is covered with 19 beautiful al fresco murals, painted by 26 artists, many of whom studied under Mexican muralist, Diego Rivera, each piece depicting a different aspect of the Great Depression The themes focus on "leftist" and socialist topics, popular in the 1930s. The murals in the spiral staircase are open on Saturdays at 11am as part of a free guided mural tour.
Palace of Fine Arts.Magnificent home of the Exploratorium, the Palace of Fine Arts was created as part of the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. The Palace, designed as a "valentine for San Francisco" by renowned architect Bernard Maybeck, is an imposing structure featuring a classical Roman rotunda with curved colonnades in an idyllic park setting. The Palace holds art exhibitions, theater performances, events and has been the backdrop for many movies, such as Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. Enjoy a stroll by the lake, a romantic picnic, experience the ethereal beauty of the park and waterways, and visit the Exploratorium.
Alcatraz Island.Cruise through the cruel waters of San Francisco Bay to the rocky Island of Alcatraz, one of San Francisco’s most historic attractions. Formerly America's infamous maximum-security prison, sitting in the middle of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz once held the country’s most notorious criminals including Al Capone. See “the rock” on one of the day or evening Alcatraz Tours departing from Pier 41 by ferry. You will experience a one-hour, self-guided tour of the mysterious abandoned prison and cell blocks enhanced with interesting audio commentary. You’ll even get to experience a minute locked in a darkened cell. Explore the remnants of the prison, and learn about the Native American occupation of 1969 - 1971, early military fortifications and the West Coast's first and oldest operating lighthouse. These structures and natural features - gardens, tide pools, bird colonies, and bay views - are incredibly preserved by the National Park Service. [Top]
Transamerica Pyramid.The 98th tallest building in the world, the Transamerica Pyramid has become a San Francisco landmark of innovation and strength. Transamerica's new headquarters, an unconventional pyramid shape, creates an open, light-filled space in the heart of the Montgomery Financial District. An international symbol of pride, the Transamerica Pyramid is part of Transamerica Center - a complex that includes Two Transamerica Center and Transamerica Redwood Park that encompasses a city block.
Castro District.San Francisco’s “gay village” is home of the annual San Francisco Gay Pride Parade and the city's gay nightclubs, gay-friendly restaurants, shops and theaters. Bordered by Haight Ashbury, Noe Valley, Mission, and Twin Peaks, this vibrant neighborhood features unique shops, diverse restaurants, cafés, clubs, book and music stores, novelty stores, annual events and landmarks such as the Castro Theater and Harvey Milk Plaza. SF’s longest-running street fair, the Castro Street Fair entertains festive folk with music from four stages, arts and crafts, comedy, drag shows, food, and drink.
Lombard Street.San Francisco’s twisty attraction, Lombard Street is known as America’s “crookedest street” because of its 8 sharp turns on a treacherous 40-degree slope. The steep, hilly street was created with sharp curves to switchback down the one-way hill past beautiful Victorian mansions. Lombard Street goes all up Telegraph Hill to Coit Tower and continues west down through the Marina to the Golden Gate Bridge. Paved with red bricks, the street is a beautiful sight. Enjoy a winding walk through the Russian Hill neighborhood past stately mansions. In the spring, Lombard St. is colorful with blooming chrysanthemums. [Top]
Grace Cathedral.Situated atop Nob Hill, Grace Cathedral is the daughter of historic Grace Church. Designed in French Gothic style and completed in 1964, Grace is the third largest Episcopal cathedral in the country. With its famed Ghiberti doors -"The Gates of Paradise" - two labyrinths, beautiful stained glass, medieval and contemporary furnishings, carillon, organs, and choir, Grace Cathedral is an international pilgrimage center and a place of spiritual exploration. Walk the two labyrinths - the outside terrazzo stone labyrinth and the new inside limestone layout - based on the famous medieval labyrinth of Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Chartres. Visit www.gracecathedral.org.
Wine lovers will discover a sip of heaven in Napa Valley, one of the earth’s preeminent wine growing regions. Lined with sun-kissed vineyards and over 250 beautiful wineries, Napa Valley is a captivating destination filled with charming estate wineries, diverse vine varieties, wine-tasting tours and salons, wine and food festivals, and amazing landscapes - all just beyond the Golden Gate Bridge. Boasting some of California's award-winning wine estates, such as Domaine Chandon and Robert Mondavi, the beauty of the land is enhanced by the rich flavors of Napa’s distinctive wines. Savor wines as you walk through old vines on the Silverado Wine Trail. Enjoy a 33-mile wine journey through the Napa countryside on the Napa Valley Wine Train. In Napa, the views will amaze and the wines will soothe your soul.
Looking for a spectacular view with great food? The Cliff House overlooks the Pacific Ocean and offers great sunsets and fine dining. After the renovation, the Cliff House now offers 2 restaurant floors of panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean coastline. History walks of the premises and surroundings are available but call first for pricing and availability. Come enjoy this 1863 local landmark that is located in the Northwest of San Francisco! Visit http://www.cliffhouse.com/
Ever wonder why there is a Japantown in San Francisco? Come visit the area to uncover the rich history surrounding the neighborhoods that create Japantown. Come with the family and enjoy the food, beautiful landmarks, art and history. Be sure to take a camera as there is always something interesting happening in San Francisco.
665 Bush Street, San Francisco, California 94108
Phone: 415-362-8878 Fax: 415-362-8088