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Things to do in San Francisco

Within a short three-block walk, guests can easily explore the Union Square District’s multitude of exclusive boutiques, theaters, restaurants and nightlife, in addition to numerous historic sites, museums and architectural icons. 

Clarion Alley

Clarion Alley is a small street in San Francisco between Mission and Valencia Streets and 17th and 18th Streets. The alley lies at what was once the center of a lagoon that covered the central Mission District area, although some historians dispute the existence of the fresh water lagoon. Originally called "Cedar Lane," the alley's name was changed around the turn of the twentieth century to Clarion Alley. The street is notable for community and arts activity, including the Clarion Alley Mural Project. 

Visit Clarion Alley to see the latest artist collaboration on these ever changing walls. What's today's vibe? 

Presidio Pet Cemetary

Surrounded by a white picket fence and shaded by Monterey pines, the pet cemetery is the final resting place for hundreds of loyal animals owned by families stationed at the Presidio. Most of the grave markers mimic those found in military cemeteries and sometimes reflect the pets' military lifestyle—listing birthplaces including China, England, Australia, and Germany. Many markers also include family names and owners' ranks, which include majors, colonels, and generals. Others contain only a simple epitaph, such as "A GI pet. He did his time." As in many military cemeteries, there are also markers to several "unknowns".

Speakeasy in San Francisco

It's no secret San Francisco loves food and drinks, which is why people seek out secret watering holes. If a secret bar is on your agenda, it's best to pick a place with no discernible sign or marking on an otherwise unremarkable street. 

Bourbon & Branch is well-known for handmade cocktails, a fine selection of bourbons and very upscale cocktails presented by knowledgeable cocktail servers in an exclusive setting with mood-lit ambiance.

Otis, lends itself to the late-night crowd and welcomes every workaholic looking for a break. If you find your self here, you know it's meant to be.

Wave Organ

Located on a jetty that forms the small Boat Harbor in the Marina district of San Francisco is the Water Organ. Using materials from a demolished cemetery the Water Organ includes 25 organ pipes placed in various areas to create amazing sounds when water moves in and out of the pipes.

Quick Tip: The Wave Organ sounds best at high tide.

Live Like a Local


Black Cat – Ultra-Cool late night favorite throwback to the Tenderloin’s historic jazz clubs. Plan ahead and reserve a table downstairs to experience the late night Jazz sessions while experiencing Chef Alicia Jenish-McCarron’s incredible sharing menu along side some of the most beautifully crafted cocktails you’ll find in SF.

Curran Theater – The 1922 classic has been re-built as one of the best theaters in SF, now under the curation of Tony Award-Winner Carole Shorenstein Hays. Check their website for a current schedule.

Ruby Skye – An SF classic featuring live bands daily from electro-pop to punk to folk. Check their website for show times.

Jessica Silverman Gallery – One of the first to pioneer the gentrification of the Tenderloin, JSG is known for discovering emergent artists and launching them onto the national stage. A must visit for modern and concept driven art fans.  


Quick & Easy:

The Halal Guys – NYC Classic, brand new in SF. Gyros, Falafel etc in classic street food format.

Pearls – Let your inner fat kid come out. Voted the best burger in SF many many times and for good reason. Double down on house-made milk shakes and combo curly and regular fries. Diet starts tomorrow.

Tacorea – Tiny restaurant packed with cool kids and serving up Korean style tacos. Everything is under $11 and delish.

Taqueria El Sol – Classic hole in the wall Mexican taqueria. They make the food to order and you are in and out in 5 minutes.

All Others:

Rove – Casual and trendy neighborhood restaurant featuring an amazing burger, chicken sandwich, salad and that’s it. Really. With beers on tap and plenty of wine, what more do you need?

Katana Ya – In the middle of tourist everything, slink downstairs for some of the best Ramen in the city. Extra-credit for the underground, unbeaten path arrival experience.

Le Colonial – Hidden in an alleyway – entering this multi-story restaurant/venue feels like stepping into a time warp. Think white table cloths, rattan furniture, dim lighting and a live jazz band playing after 10pm – this Vietnamese/French fusion is a perfect date night or large party venue.  

Liho Liho – From Ravi Kapur and the Nopa gang, this new-classic is critically acclaimed with good reason. Known for fresh and delicious Hawaiian fair – the open kitchen concept makes you feel right at home – on the island. Go downstairs before or after to Louie’s Gen-Gen room for amazing tropical drinks.

Huxley – From Kris Esqueda (Sons & Daughters) and Sara Hauman (Bar Agricole) is the quintessential neighborhood restaurant. Low key but date worthy, small but always available, delicious but not fussy. The menu changes often, but food is always fresh, local and creative.

Del Popolo – One of a few in the city, but straight up delicious pizza and salads in their coolest and most comfortable brick and mortar. Great for a weeknight bite with friends.

Aliment – Very SF neighborhood restaurant. Chef-driven, locally sourced menu that changes almost daily.

Akiko’s – Great Sushi- cool tiny restaurant. Awesome lunch or dinner spot after a day of shopping.

Matador – Laid back Mexican restaurant with great margaritas and house made Juices.

The Saratoga – From the Spruce and Village Pub team, this New American supper club style restaurant feels like a modern interpretation of the 1920’s. I suggest eating downstairs for a more intimate vibe – sip some vintage chartreuse and luxuriate.

Elephant Sushi (RX) – Really good sushi, not too expensive and cute hole in the wall style seating. If there is a line, go next door to the ultra-hip bar RX for a cocktail while you wait. 

The Usual Attractions

Beach Blanket Babylon

Steve Silver's Beach Blanket Babylon is the longest running musical revue in theatre history. Hailed as "a constant cascade of showstoppers" by the San Francisco Chronicle, Beach Blanket Babylon follows Snow White as she takes a fast-paced journey around the world in search of her "Prince Charming."

Pier 39

From amazing views and a sea of sea lions to chowder bread bowls and California wines, your visit to San Francisco starts at PIER 39. Kick off your visit by exploring two levels of dining, entertainment, shopping and attractions, all surrounded by unbeatable views of the city and the bay. Take it from the world famous sea lions: a visit to San Francisco starts at PIER 39.


Alcatraz and history go hand-in-hand. Once home to some of America's most notorious criminals, the federal penitentiary that operated here from 1934 to 1963 brought a dark mystique to the Rock. The presence of infamous inmates like Al "Scarface" Capone, and the "Birdman" Robert Stroud helped to establish the island's notoriety. To this day, Alcatraz is best known as one of the world's most legendary prisons.

Fisherman's Wharf

As San Francisco’s most popular visitor destination, Fisherman’s Wharf offers a wide range of options for eating, people watching and having fun. A great option for exploring this northern part of the city is to rent a bike and cruise around at your own pace. Get your cameras ready for the gorgeous views of Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge and beyond!

California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences is a multifaceted scientific institution committed to leading-edge research, to educational outreach, and to finding new and innovative ways to engage and inspire the public. The Academy's mission - to explore, explain and protect the natural world - extends to all corners of the institution; from a research expedition in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, to a teacher training program in a California classroom, to an interactive game on the museum exhibit floor.

Ghirardelli Square

Named after the city's original chocolate maker, Ghirardelli Square is a popular San Francisco destination in the Fisherman’s Wharf, featuring a Ghirardelli chocolate shop, bakery, shoe shops, clothing stores, art galleries and a handful of tasty restaurants.

China Town

San Francisco Chinatown is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia as well as the oldest Chinatown in North America. It is one of the top tourist attractions in San Francisco. You can use this site to learn more about the attractions, culture, history, and events in Chinatown. If you plan to visit us, you can book a Chinatown tour, hotel rooms, and more.

Historical Sites

Golden Gate Bridge

An internationally recognized architectural icon, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge is an attraction that cannot be missed. Drive, cycle or walk across one of the world’s most beautiful bridges to experience its true glory.

Fort Point

From its vantage point overlooking the spectacular Golden Gate, Fort Point protected San Francisco harbor from Confederate and foreign attack during and after the U.S. Civil War. Its beautifully arched casemates display the art of the master brick mason from the Civil War period.

Lombard Street

With seven sharp corners in just 200 yards, Lombard Street promises to be the most winding, bendy street in California, if not the whole world, zigzagging down one of San Francisco’s many steep hillsides. Start a leisurely walk down this unique street from the cable car stop close to the top of Lombard Street, which was originally built with so many curves to make the street suitable for the city's many horses.


Alcatraz Island offers a close-up look at the site of the first lighthouse and US built fort on the West Coast, the infamous federal penitentiary long off-limits to the public, and the 18 month occupation by Indians of All Tribes which saved the tribes. Rich in history, there is also a natural side to the Rock—gardens, tide pools, bird colonies, and bay views beyond compare.


California Academy of Sciences

The California Academy of Sciences is a multifaceted scientific institution committed to leading-edge research, to educational outreach, and to finding new and innovative ways to engage and inspire the public. The Academy's mission - to explore, explain and protect the natural world - extends to all corners of the institution; from a research expedition in the highlands of Papua New Guinea, to a teacher training program in a California classroom, to an interactive game on the museum exhibit floor.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA)

From the onset, the museum has championed the most innovative and challenging art of its time, and they continue to exhibit and collect work by both modern masters and younger, less-established artists. Located just a short walk from downtown San Francisco, our landmark building features a soaring atrium topped by our signature turret and oculus skylight.

Cartoon Art Museum

From editorial cartoons to comic books, graphic novels to anime, Sunday funnies to Saturday morning cartoons, the Cartoon Art Museum has something for everyone. Located downtown in San Francisco’s Yerba Buena cultural district, the museum is home to over 6,000 pieces of original and cartoon and animation art, a comprehensive research library, and five galleries of exhibition space.

Cable Car Museum

Houses a collection of historic cable cars, photographs, mechanical displays and gift shop run by the Friends of the Cable Car Museum - a nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of cable car history.

The Walt Disney Family Museum

Explore the fascinating and inspiring story of Walt Disney, whose artistry, creativity and vision helped define 20th century American culture, is brought to life in our galleries. The Museum’s collection includes some 25,000 works such as animation cells, rare film clips, concept art, scripts, musical scores, and cameras that Disney and his staff used in creating his characters and films. Walt and his family are also represented in photographs, artifacts, and home movies.


Westfield Shopping Centre

An iconic shopping destination, the Westfield Shopping Centre is just outside Hotel Zetta and home to Bloomingdale’s West-Coast flagship store, the second-largest Nordstrom in the country and 170 additional world-class boutiques and dining venues.

Ferry Building Marketplace

San Francisco is renowned for its pioneering gourmet culture, and the heart of it can be found at the Ferry Building Marketplace, where shoppers choose from a dizzying variety of locally sourced items, including fresh produce, meats, artisan cheeses and more. The Ferry Building Marketplace is open daily, but be sure to catch the Farmer’s Market every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday if you're available.

Union Square

The true center of San Francisco, Union Square and its surrounding district showcases the city’s unique character and charm with the best in fashion, dining and entertainment. Meet friends and family in Union Square to begin a day of exploring shops and boutiques, sampling any of San Francisco’s numerous gourmet restaurants, taking in a world-class play or lollygagging away a few hours in the newly remodeled Metreon.


At every turn, candles burn and vivid silks grace the jam-packed window fronts, where import vendors sell nearly everything, including (but by no means limited to) carved Buddhas, paper parasols and regal mahogany furniture, perfect for exotic gifts or indulgent tourist fodder.

Haight Street

The stretch of shops, referred to by San Francisco as the Upper Haight, was the center of '60s psychedelia. Despite gentrification and the proliferation of globally recognized stores, it still retains its hippie counterculture credentials, and is dotted with Victorian houses, anarchist bookstores, piercing salons and funky clothing shops.

Other Local Recommendations:

Hero Shop – From uber chic Emily Holt (former Vogue Fashion News Editor), this neighborhood boutique features a highly curated collection of read-to-wear, jewelry, shoes, bags, home, gift and tech items from established designers and emerging local brands.  

STRKE MVMT – The Vancouver brands only US location. Great active wear in body hugging styles that double as loungewear. Very cool store available for event rental as well.

The Hundreds – The Norcal outpost of the quintessential LA brand inspired by surf, skate, punk and streetwear styles.

Jay Jeffers the Store – Jaw-droppingly stunning home décor studio and shop from interior designer Jay Jeffers. Beautifully curated selection of housewares, gifts and even bicycles.

Argonaut Book Shop – One of the last standing book shops in the city. A massive inventory of old and new and a very knowledgeable shop keeper.