You probably don’t need to be told that San Francisco is one of the greatest cities in the world- It’s nearly impossible to avoid exposure to this idea in some form. Even if you’ve never been there, you’ve likely seen it appear countless times as the primary setting of books, movies and TV shows, as the subject of myriad songs, albums, articles, tourism guides, top ten lists, etc. Landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island are permanent staples of pop cultural iconography, and are recognizable the world over. The city is a global industry leader in both technology and finance, not to mention its status as one of the world’s premiere tourist destinations. It also happens to be one of the most uniquely beautiful cities around, seamlessly blending classic Victorian and modern architecture to create a style all its own.
Must-visit locations: Union Square – If you want to go shopping, there is absolutely no better place to visit than the Square in the heart of downtown. With a massive assortment of luxury department stores, shops, boutiques, theaters, galleries, and much more, you’ll never run out of things to do here. Plus, when you’re finished, you can take one of San Francisco’s famous cable cars from the Square all the way to Fisherman’s Wharf.
Fisherman’s Wharf – An immensely popular tourist area on the northern waterfront, the Wharf is home to great food, shopping, and breathtaking views of the bay and its most famous landmarks. Check out Pier 39 and Ghirardelli Square, and try a clam chowder bread bowl from one of the many excellent seafood spots while you’re at it!
Walt Disney Family Museum – For a good time with the kids, pay a visit to a one-of-a-kind museum about the Walt Disney company. With a detailed history of the man behind the legend, theater screenings of classic animations, and plenty of interactive exhibits and hands-on activities, there’s no shortage of fun for the whole family. And don’t miss their new exhibit exclusively for the holiday season!
Dinner – For one of the best recent additions to the city’s restaurant scene, hit up Mister Jiu’s in Chinatown. Make a reservation at the Zuni Café for some of the best roast chicken around, or try Liholiho Yacht Club in the Tenderloin for delicious Hawaiian-inspired cuisine. Lastly, Foreign Cinema comes highly recommended as a great outdoor theater/restaurant fusion.
Entertainment – Hopefully you have at least a passing interest in the arts, because the city has some of the best opera, ballet, and theater entertainment in the country. Certainly pay a visit to the San Francisco Opera if you have a chance (and for the holiday season, don’t miss their stunning performance of The Nutcracker), or see a concert at the world-famous Fillmore.
Nightlife – If you’re still searching for things to do after dark, there are nearly unlimited options for bars and clubs! Stop by DNA Lounge or the Monarch if you’re trying to get your dance on, or pay a visit to Bourbon & Branch or the Alembic for something a little ritzier.