Ultimate Travel Guide: San Francisco, USA
Hidden underneath the beautiful concoction of fog and a blissful cloudy skyline is San Francisco, the true delight of California.
Found in northern California, San Francisco can only be described as a city surrounded by skyscrapers, with meticulous luscious parks, cable cars, pristine marinas, pastel coloured Victorian houses, an extensive list of museums and of course, their iconic, bewitching Golden Gate Bridge which is somehow surrounded by thick fog clouds all year round.
Regardless of your length of visit, San Francisco is a city that always seems to encapsulate the hearts of its visitors. It is in no doubt the true delight of California.
Located in San Francisco’s The Castro district, just under a 15-minute walk from Mission Dolores Park is Wooden Spoon. Open daily from 8am to 3pm, Wooden Spoon serves up everything from breakfast through to lunch and even a delicious menu of cocktails for that afternoon pick-me-up. Decorated in wooden accents and blossoming floral arrangements from local florists, guests will be tantalised by the relaxed atmosphere within Wooden Spoon. Pair your visit with their Granola Crunch French Toast topped with raspberries and whipped cream. Or for a more fulfilling meal, their Open Faced Cornered Beef Melt couples fantastically with a Honey Bee (gin, black tea, lemon and honey).
Wooden Spoon – 2172 Market St, San Francisco, CA 94114
Kaiyō Peruvian Nikkei
Found tucked along Union Street, Kaiyō Peruvian Nikkei is one of San Francisco’s most highly regarded Japanese restaurants within the state. Named after two important elements: the ocean and Japanese immigrants and their descendants that reside in a foreign country; Kaiyō beautifully explores two cultures through a wild and tasteful combination of flavours and ingredients. Taking inspiration from the Japanese journey in Peru, Kaiyō shares a story of immigration, embracing new cultures and passion. Guests can expect everything from fresh ceviche, sashimi, grilled scallops and wagyu to name a few. As for cocktails, their list is impeccable, serving a range of drink delights to pair with your meal.
Kaiyō Peruvian Nikkei – 1838 Union St, San Francisco, California, 94123
With a notable track record behind them, Saison in San Francisco is a definite must visit upon your journey to the states. Winning the 46th place on the World’s Best Restaurants of 2018, Saison is described broadly as sophisticated, casual luxury and a showcase of incredible skill and imagination. Founded by Joshua Skenes and Mark Bright, Saison combines a contemporary American cuisine that focuses on using elements of wood fire cooking and seasonal ingredients to create an expansive menu. With all dishes made by hand in house, Saison boasts their portfolio of working directly with local hunters, gatherers, ranchers, fisherman and farmers; there’s no doubt that Saison uses only the best and freshest locally sourced produce for their nightly changing menu of up to 18 courses. Guests can expect Smoked Saison Reserve Caviar, Glazed Sea Urchin and Barbequed Celeriac.
Saison – 178 Townsend St, San Francisco, CA 94107
Tucked away in San Francisco’s Financial District, The Treasury can only be described simply as sophisticated, handcrafted and meticulous in detail. Guests will be bewitched by the relaxing 1916 Beaux Arts space embellished with leather furnishings and velvet lined detailing. There’s no denying that at The Treasury, the true highlight is their charismatic, classic and comfortable cocktails. Upon your visit, opt for the Fancy Fresh that’s filled with Sipsmith London dry gin, carrot and ginger cordial, yuzu marmalade and lemon. Or, for a more a feisty kick, the Game Changer will in no doubt please the palette with the infusion of Del Maguey Vida mezcal, treasury vermouth blend, blood orange, cayenne and lime.
The Treasury – 200 Bush St, Suite 101, San Francisco, CA, 94104
Placed at number 44 in The World’s 50 Best Bars, one visit to Trick Dog San Francisco will in no doubt not surprise guests with their remarkable ranking. Found in a neighbourhood friendly warehouse, Trick Dog is far from anything industrial with their flavoursome cocktails and relaxed atmosphere. Overlooking the sidewalk in Mission Districts dining precinct, Trick Dog is renowned for their various levels available for both diners and drinkers. With the menu changed twice a year, Trick Dog can only be described as American traditional meets grunge and excellence. Expect standard bar favourites with a Trick Dog twist. Complete your visit with ordering a Widows Tears that’s topped with rum, vermouth, sweet and sour, lime, soda and ice. Don’t forget to check out their range of bar snacks which include everything from Fried Chicken Wings to Tuna Ceviche Tostada and even Kale Salad for a more lighter approach.
Trick Dog – 3010 20TH St, San Francisco, CA, 94110
Considered one of the best rooftop bars in San Francisco and the world, Charmaine’s is located on top of a boutique hotel, Proper; boasting a blush colour palette meets luxury and some minimalism in between. Decorated in velvet furnishings inside and firepits outside, the venue definitely serves up a crowd with their ambience and glitter of the surrounding skylines. What better way to encapsulate your visit than with a drink or two from their impressive cocktail menu. From an Unsinkable Sam that’s topped with Jack Daniel’s, Campari and grapefruit or their infamous Kissin’ in the California Sun that’s a sweet shaken mix of vodka, crème de peche and cranberry.
Charmaine’s – 1100 Market Street, San Francisco, CA
Golden Gate Bridge
Standing at over 227 metres high, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge will in no doubt be the highlight of your trip to California’s San Francisco. Stretching out over 2,737 metres, the bridge was one of the longest suspension bridges in the world up until 1964. Attracting more than 10 million people each year, the best way to encapsulate its charming views is in fact by visiting its surroundings. For a full, side on perspective to the renowned landmark, opt to visit either Baker Beach or Battery East lookout which are both as grand as each other. After soaking in the magnificent man-made beauty, the surrounding regions of Main Post are the best way to hide away from the crowds. A short 30 minute walk through the parkland will have visitors end up at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre that’s home to a range of performances and artists showcased throughout the year inside the Greco-Roman styled attraction. Since its opening in 1915, the Marina District is constantly filled with locals soaking in the faint ambience of its surroundings.
Golden Gate Bridge – 1504 Pershing Dr, San Francisco, CA 94129-3306
Welcome to Fisherman’s Wharf – one of San Francisco’s busiest, tourist-driven areas of the city. Located in the North Beach region, 20 minutes east of the Golden Gate Bridge, locals and tourists flock to Pier 39 for family friendly fun. With countless attractions including Aquarium of the Bay, Magowan’s Infinite Mirror Maze and the famous San Francisco Carousel that lights up at night; a day at the pier is much needed throughout your stay. Known also for its handful of dining options, a visit to Fisherman’s Wharf isn’t complete without a seafood fix. Rolling in fresh crab and claw chowder daily, is sourced at no better place than at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. For a lighter and sweeter option, visitors are also open to a handful of ice creameries, lolly shops and cafés. To work off the hearty meals, Lombard Street, home to the steep, sporadic turning, crooked street is a mere 20 minutes away. You’ll be amazed by the traffic build-up amongst the meticulous flower beds.
Fisherman’s Wharf – The Embarcadero, San Francisco, CA 94133
The Painted Ladies to Mission Dolores Park
For a more colourful and art driven day out in San Francisco, consider walking through Lower Haight district through to Dolores Heights. The trip, taking almost an hour by foot, will have visitors passing through the Painted Ladies houses that sit along Steiner and Hayes Street, through to Haight Street that’s packed with nifty shops with decorated balconies with bright charismatic colours, to then pass through Clarion Alley, a laneway which can only be described as an art mural covering the walls of the laneways – similar to Melbourne’s Hosier’s Lane. Finally, on your walking travels, the last stop upon your adventures will be Mission Dolores Park that stretches out across 16 acres in the heart of Dolores Heights. Described as vibrant, culturally diverse and lush – visitors to Dolores Park will find locals fleeing to use the soccer fields, tennis courts, picnic areas and even live performances. Regardless of your reason to visit, Mission Dolores Park is perfect to even sit back, relax and enjoy the surrounding city skyline.
Steiner St & Hayes St, San Francisco, CA 94117 to Mission Dolores Park, Dolores St & 19th St, San Francisco, CA 94114
Fairmont San Francisco
Conveniently located central to Fisherman’s Wharf, Downtown and even to Union Square, Fairmont San Francisco is the perfect accommodation for visitors to the much beloved Californian city who are on a time budget. Starting from $330 a night, Fairmont boasts its world-renowned title thanks to its luxurious reputation, extraordinary service and overall memorable experience. Filled with 606 guest rooms and suites, Fairmont San Francisco is also home to three fine dining restaurants and lounges. Home to one of the city’s most renowned in-house spa’s and fitness centres, guests will also be in complete awe from the panoramic views of the surrounding city. Decorated in a classical style with marble furnishings, bay windows and navy blue trimmings; there’s no denying that Fairmont San Francisco can only be described as the absolute best.
Fairmont San Francisco – 950 Mason St, San Francisco, CA 94108
Welcome to The Battery – the perfect stop for some recharging after a full day of exploring. Found just streets away from the Exploratorium in North Beach, The Battery boasts everything from luxury accommodation with a combination of minimalism, excellence and a pristine experience all in between. Described as exclusive to say the least, The Battery is equipped with only fourteen rooms and suites which start from $815 a night. Apart from the exquisite penthouse which will in no doubt take your breath away; regardless of your length of stay, The Battery will surely be your favourite in San Francisco. Of course, The Battery is also equipped with a spa, gym, an enormous library, a meticulous garden, as well as minibars and Nespresso machines in each of the rooms. The staff at the North Beach venue treat guests with the best and finest service throughout their stay.
The Battery – 717 Battery St, San Francisco, CA 94111
The Axiom Hotel
Described simply as innovative, The Axiom Hotel is a combination of history meets digital age. Found tucked away on Powell Street in San Francisco’s Union Square, The Axiom is one of the regions only boutique hotels that is also pet friendly. Embellished with the newest technology amenities in common areas and in each of the rooms, The Axiom surely does have a young, fresh and wild energy within its walls. Inspired by innovators, The Axiom Hotel is surrounded by some of the city’s most classical building faces and architecture which is where the venue drew its design from. Each of the guestroom floors are built with Brita Hydration Stations and the hotel also boasts their Cloud Level that’s filled with classic video games and even foosball. Apart from is eclectic and modern charisma, from $255 a night guests will feel at home with the contemporary furnishings, minimalist approach and a soft yet welcoming ambience.
The Axiom Hotel – 28 Cyril Magnin St, San Francisco, CA 94102
Feature image: Trent Erwin via Unsplash