Here are 10 things not to miss!
1. Feel small next to a Muir Wood tree. Most of the redwood trees are between 500 and 800 years old, and at 79 meters tall you can’t even see where it ends!
2. Indulge your senses at the museum, grown up style. Music, creatures and cocktails come together in a mix you can’t miss at California Academy of Sciences’ weekly Nightlife at the Academy.
3. Jump on the cable cars. Say no more.
4. Eat (at) Greens. The New York Times named Greens “the restaurant that brought vegetarian food out from health food stores and established it as cuisine”. It still proves why.
5. Get some exercise. Cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito, a pristinely beautiful seashore area where the rugged trails of Mount Tamalpias meet funky houseboats and trendy restaurants. Added bonus: picture-perfect views back to the city skyline!
6. Celebrate all things organic. The Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is renowned throughout the US as one of the top farmers markets – and we can see why.
7. Throw away your city map, jump on a bike, and see where you end up.
8. Go crazy over the genius Farm-to-Bar concept, where local bartenders incorporate a touch of fresh produce from a local farm into their signature drinks. Mmmm.
9. Find a treasure. The Treasure Island Flea Marketplace is a scoop for repurposed and up-cycled goods, shabby chic and French garden pieces, emerging designers, art, specialty food and much, much more.
10. Fall in love with Sonoma’s bohemian vibe and 170 intimate wineries.
TIP! Too much sightseeing?
Treat yourself to a visit to one of the most luxurious places in the city, the Nob Hill Spa in The Huntington Hotel. Indulge in a quiet start to the day at the spa; whisk away any stress in the zen room with some organic herbal tea and a magazine; or better yet, book in for a massage with one of the spa therapists. Five letters: b-l-i-s-s.
Where to stay? Why not pick your bed based on your favourite TV show!
You love: True Blood
You’ll love: The Nobb Hill Hotel
True Blood fans will adore the quirky décor of this historic building. First established in 1906, the Nob Hill Hotel brings you back to the era of alabaster chandeliers, ornate ceilings, Victorian antiques and velvet beddings. Retreating to our burgundy painted room, a knock on the door from Alexander Skarsgård was the only thing missing from my True Blood fantasy. Budget tip: Don’t miss the free wine & cheese tastings between 5.30 and 7.30 daily. www.nobhillhotel.com 835 Hyde Street San Francisco.
You love: Mad Men
You’ll love: The Huntington Hotel
If Mad Men is more your style, look no further than The Huntington Hotel. This San Francisco institution will make you want to forget about the city and simply take in the atmosphere in the oversized luxurious rooms, or even better, the fireplace bar where live piano tunes make you feel like the real life Donald Draper. And just like in Mad Men, this is a hotel with a history of strong women! In the 50s, Eugene Fritz gave the hotel to his teenage daughter Dorothy. She was one of the first women in America to own and manage a hotel, and what a job she did! Today, the hotel’s Big 4 Restaurant is celebrated as one of the best dining rooms in America. Sipping a smoky red wine at the candlelit bar, surrounded by the rich and the famous, is a moment that stays with you long after you’ve returned from your holiday. www.huntingtonhotel.com 1075 California Street San Francisco.
You love: The Office
You’ll love: The Mosser
Looking for functionality and space efficiency? Without further introduction, The Mosser is like the Ikea of hotels: Functional, smart and simple. www.themosser.com 54 Fourth Street, San Francisco.
We love... SF Airport! The new T2 is every traveller’s dream; a relaxing yoga room (!), express spa, Napa Farm Market and chilled out wine bars. Yes, you read that right – with the genius Farm to Flight concept you can stock up on beautiful local and organic produce right there in the airport.