First published on 1 Sep 2011. Updated on 1 Sep 2011.
1. Take the lift to the top of Coit Tower for panoramic bay and city views. The hills don’t look as steep from up above!
2. Hire a bike and ride across the Golden Gate Bridge for a different perspective of this icon.
3. Catch the ferry to Sausalito to dine at outdoor cafes, browse art galleries, eat ice cream on the wharf and generally just fall in love with this charming town.
4. Pick up some quirky novelty gifts or browse the shops on Castro, the heart of gay life in the city.
5. Order Clam Chowder in San Francisco’s famous sourdough bread bowls at Fisherman’s Wharf.
6. Do as the locals do and stroll around the farmers markets at the Embarcadero Ferry Building.
7. Avoid trekking up San Francisco’s steep hills by catching a historic cable car.
8. The North Beach outlet of In-N-Out Burger does excellent burgers – ask any true burger fan. Order a side of animal-style fries.
9. Explore the California Academy of Science the way all museums should be enjoyed – with music, entertainment and cocktails on Thursday nights from 6-10pm.
10. Enjoy progressive fine dining at Coi Restaurant in the Financial District.
11. Watch the world’s longest-running musical revue Beach Blanket Babylon: it truly captures the essence of this eccentric city.
12. Break the budget or just window-browse the designer name boutiques and department stores on Union Square.
13. Visit one of the world's most infamous prisons, Alcatraz. The last inmate left in 1963), but the audio tour, which features interviews with former inmates and guards, is powerful and chilling.
15. For rustic cuisine, go to Zuni Café on Market Street and order the roast chicken for two with bread salad.
16. Go to the speakeasy Bourbon and Branch for their classic cocktails and prohibition-era ambience – but don’t even think of ordering a Cosmo…
17. Get down and dirty at the Mission District’s 500 Club, where the jukebox is filled with rock’n’roll and the clientele are a mix of faded rock stars and salty bikers.
18. Relive the era of Kerouac and Ginsberg at the Beat Museum, in North Beach, co-founded by Laurence Ferlinghetti.
19. Drive down the street on which Steve McQueen has a car chase in the 1968 film Bullitt. Dubbed “the world’s most crooked street”, Lombard Street snakes steeply down from Hyde Street to Leavenworth.
20. Root for the San Francisco Giants (that’s baseball, folks) at their Downtown stadium AT&T Park – a quintessential San Fran experience.
Catch a performance by America's longest running professional ballet company, the San Francisco Ballet
, founded in 1933.
22. See the famous ‘Painted Ladies’ row of Victorian Houses on Alamo Square.
23. Dive bar Dirty Thieves on 24th Street is a great place to down shots of rye and chat with locals.
24. See the Bay Area’s up-and-coming basketball team Golden State Warriors at the Oracle Arena in Oakland.
25. Splash out at Berkeley’s Chez Panisse – the original slow food, locovore destination restaurant run by the legendary Alice Waters.
Located a mile from the Castro District and just a couple blocks from the Polk Gulch and Folsom Street, the Phoenix Hotel
is a landmark, celebrating over two decades of being San Francisco’s world-renowned rock’n’roll hotel. This converted 1950s motor lodge is irreverent, young at heart, and not for everyone. Its central courtyard is a true crossroads for the creative – a good place to check out visiting artists and entertainers, and a bit noisy at times. Even so, San Francisco’s Phoenix has some of the most loyal guests in the world.
in Union Square was inspired by the downtown San Francisco art and literary salons of the 1920s and 30s. Vibrant and alive, the clubby lobby surrounds guests with distinctive San Francisco period furnishings, walls of antiquarian books, and an exceptional collection of exotic objects, original portraits and murals.
is a luxury hotel on San Francisco’s waterfront. This landmark San Francisco boutique hotel was designed to encompass modern luxury touches balanced with soothing natural elements.
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