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Destinations >> San Francisco Overview

The cosmopolitan epicenter of Northern California is one of the most-visited destinations in the United States and the world. The politically progressive city built by pioneers seeking new opportunities in the American West offers everything from recognizable landmarks like the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, to a thriving culinary scene and picturesque landscapes and parks.

Cheat Sheet

Sleep in redefined luxury at the St. Regis Hotel in SoMa’s museum district – Eat where farm-to-table cuisine began at Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse and on innovative French-American tasting menus at Saison – Drink potent tiki cocktails in an unparalleled Pacific Rim ambiance at the Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar – See world-class art at the San Francisco Museum of Art and de Young Fine Arts Museum – Shop for locally made artisanal products at the San Francisco Ferry Building Marketplace – Get Outside and explore the bohemian Mission District and infamous island prison Alcatraz – Don’t Miss a chance to traverse the Golden Gate Bridge.

What to do in San Francisco

Get lost among the seven hills of San Francisco exploring the city’s unique attractions and cultural offerings. Top things to do in San Francisco include strolling the Golden Gate Bridge, exploring the infamous island prison of Alcatraz and wandering through the foodie heaven that now takes over the former transportation center at the Ferry Building. San Francisco also has a thriving arts scene with world-renowned venues and institutions like the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, de Young Museum and San Francisco Opera. San Francisco is also the birthplace of California cuisine at spots like Alice Water’s Chez Panisse. The culinary legacy continues with a city brimming with some of the world’s top restaurants like Saison, Benu and Atelier Crenn. San Francisco’s Chinatown — the oldest in North America — also boasts some of the best dim sum spots in the country.

What to bring to San Francisco

When you’re packing for San Francisco, think in terms of layers. The city’s temperatures fluctuate greatly from sunrise to sunset and from one area to another, especially when the fog rolls in off the bay. Winters also bring rain and chilly temperatures so plan accordingly; even though San Francisco is in California, don’t confuse its weather from its Southern California neighbors. San Francisco is a sophisticated city, so pack something stylish for a night out. During the day, make sure to bring comfortable footwear for traversing the walkable city on foot.

What to bring home from San Francisco

The San Francisco Ferry Building is a perfect place to shop for unique souvenirs from the city. At Bay Crossings, find post cards and greeting cards featuring the Ferry Building in addition to special edition books. Stonehouse California Olive Oil sells its award-winning locally produced oils. Savage Jenny creates natural cosmetics and skin products like facial serums, organic sun blocks, lip gloss and super-saturated color palettes.

How it works

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