San Francisco California reigns as a global city that has taken its place as one of the great cities of the world. This city by the bay is diverse in its culture, outdoor and indoor activities and of course its culinary as well food and beverage offerings.
Visit for a weekend or a week, San Francisco’s prodigious places to stay, sip, dine, play and shop lends to an elevated adventure for all the senses. As a first time traveler or dedicated San Franciscan, you may discover as Rudyard Kipling did that, ”San Francisco has only one drawback, tis hard to leave.”
San Remo Hotel history is as intriguing as the city itself. One hundred years ago, after the 1906 earthquake and fire destroyed most of San Francisco, Bank of America founder A.P. Giannini constructed a new hotel at 2237 Mason Street, close to the shoreline and shipyards at the edge of North Beach. He named his 62-room three-story Italianate Victorian the “New California Hotel “reflecting an optimistic vision of San Francisco’s rebirth.
In 1922 the hotel was renamed the San Remo, in honor of the picturesque Italian town on the Gulf of Genoa and consistent with the Genoa-style meals prepared in hotel restaurant. Full course dinners were obtainable for fifty cents during the Depression. Eventually the San Remo became a North Beach neighborhood institution, one of San Francisco’s last family-style eateries and watering holes where the famous and anonymous mixed with informality for much of the century.
Today, the hotel’s ambiance is Old World featuring quiet rooms without phones or TVs complete with Victorian heirloom furnishings and hallways lined with historic photos and yes, shared bath facilities, reminiscent of European style lodging. Hotel visitors can enjoy a meal at Americas oldest Italian restaurant, Fiord’Italia established in 1886 and moved to the ground level of the hotel in 2005. Now two of the city’s best-known Victorian-era North Beach establishments share the same building.
Hotel Alise is a Staypineapple hotel that features lavish amenities in notable, non-smoking setting just steps from Union Square. Alise occupies an historic 1913 building that welcomes guests with a plush modern lobby. Its 93 chic colorful warm rooms feature all the modern conveniences such as free Wi-Fi, luxury bedding, flat-panel cable TVs, iPod docking stations, safes and coffeemakers with gourmet java.
The Bathrooms are literally a work of art with Carrara marble tile, designer toiletries, hairdryers, bathrobes and comfortable slippers. Relax, grab a newspaper and sit next to the grand piano within the artfully decorated lobby before you heading out for your daily adventure. Enjoy the hotel’s bistro and bar that is open all day and into the late evening for small bites and libations to please. During your free time, check out a bike, helmet and lock from the front desk and explore the city’s many iconic attractions.
Bring all your family members along on your visit. Dogs are welcome for a fee and live like royalty with snacks, water bowls and cushy beds. Take a walk and enjoy nearby theaters, dining and shopping, and the city’s theater district just two blocks away. Union Square is three blocks from the hotel and a six-block stroll to Chinatown. Catch a cable car three blocks away.
One Market is worth a visit on more than one occasion while in San Francisco with its convenient central location across from the Embarcadero. This renowned venue was Created by Chef Bradley Ogden and restaurateur, and still Managing Partner, Michael Dellar in 1993, One Market Restaurant has become a standard for sophisticated dining in San Francisco and one of the city’s best happy hours.
Make a reservation for the chef’s table or watch the kitchen in full service creating gastronomic pleasing dishes such Hawaiian Kampachi Crudo accented with tart green apple, ponzu and horseradish, grilled octopus with a sweet pomegranate glaze on a bed of curry lentils or main dishes of the perfectly seared Ahi tuna or a juicy 12 oz. Creekstone All natural angus beef New York steak.
For the past 14 years One Market has offered the award-winning farm-to-table cuisine of Chef/Partner Mark Dommen. The restaurant has wonderful views of the Ferry Building, F-Line Trolley and Bay Bridge.
For the oenophiles One Market has one of the city’s most impressive wine lists curated by Sommelier and Wine Director Tonya Pitts and a stellar cocktail program from Bar Manager Oscar Davila. Finish your evening by looking over the fabulous dessert menu created by Pastry Chef Mack Estrada.
Visit the Embarcadero and dine at Fog Harbor Fish House at PIER 39. Guests enjoy the quintessential San Francisco waterfront dining experience while taking in award-winning views of the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge.
In this family owned and operated restaurant you can certainly expect to meet members of the Simmons family in the dining room and at your table.
Fog Harbor was the first restaurant in Fisherman’s Wharf to serve 100% sustainable seafood. Award winning “Best of San Francisco” chowder is a must along with the garlic roasted crab, or the classic Dungeness Crab Louie.
In the Marina District Maybecks is THE place to dine. This new American classic restaurant located in an iconic San Francisco neighborhood is owned by chef owners Eric Lowe and Aaron Toensing.
With the skillful chef artistry of executive chef Michael Pihl and carefully curated wine program of Courtney Humiston, Maybeck’s highlights a hip vibrant atmosphere making this a neighborhood must stop and a tourist destination. Be sure to check out their fried chicken and champagne Tuesdays and the fun and interactive Wellington Wednesdays where diners can watch the “Ceremonial Slicing” at 7 p.m.
Sail San Francisco Bay with Adventure Cat and experience the majesty of San Francisco Bay on their large, spacious catamarans while seeing up close water views of the Golden Gate Bridge or iconic Alcatraz.
Guests can enjoy an adventurous sailing experience with the exhilaration of fresh sea air and silence on deck while sails unfurl above.
Explore the bay area in one day and take an Extranomical tour of Muir Woods from San Francisco. Hike among the tallest trees in the world within the Coastal Sequoia Redwoods of the Muir Woods.
Travel over the Golden Gate Bridge, through the Marin Headlands, and into an “old-growth” Redwood forest, some of only 5% remaining after 200 years of logging. A stop at one of the wealthiest zip codes is arranged after your redwood experience in the quaint town of Sausalito. Known for its well heeled habitants and the Richardson Bay houseboat enclaves, weary adventurers can drink and dine at one of the many upscale cafés and restaurants in the area.
Experience a cruise on the bay with the Red and White Fleet. The Red and White Fleet is one of the oldest businesses operating in the San Francisco Bay Area. It all started in 1892, a seventeen-year-old Thomas Crowley launched the company by buying a Whitehall boat with $80 he had saved.
The Red and White Fleet boasts the first and original boat cruise business operating in the San Francisco Bay Area that still knows how to create a lasting and memorable trip around the bay with numerous daily cruises.
Be hip and take the San Francisco Love tour. This tour is unique in every way, a true reflection of San Francisco’s summer of love 60’s history. It all about Peace, Love, Freedom, and Adventure as an authentic way to experience the City of San Francisco with a tour in an iconic VW Hippie Bus complete with neon blue seats, beaded curtains, and shag carpet.
Travel down unique streets where other buses are forbidden such as the twisting eight hair-pined curves of Lombard Street.
These buses are delightfully restored for comfort and fun while emanating the true 1960″s and 70’s Volkswagen imagery; -an homage to San Francisco hippie history- complete with orange shag carpet, colorful beaded curtains in the doorway, and hand-painted murals on the outside. Because they only seat 6 people at a time, the buses create a more intimate ‘VIP’ setting, which guarantees a more personalized and enjoyable experience for the group.
There is no one way one can experience this beautiful city on just one visit. San Francisco should be visited on numerous occasions and at various times of the year.
On each visit, take a walk, turn a corner and experience the many unique districts and their hidden treasures. After a week, a day or month you too may feel as song writer George Cory did as he wrote his classic hit by leaving a bit of your heart in San Francisco.