People always ask me what local hangouts and top “must see” places I like best when I return from a trip. Perhaps you too harbor a secret loathing for tour buses and crowded attractions. Here are some of my off the beaten path experiences from San Francisco. We truly had a great time!
I like more intimate hotel with quirky features like leopard robes and historic appeal. The Argonaut fit the bill and provided a great location.
95 Jefferson Street, Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco, CA 94109
We spent some time at the Argonaut. Enjoyed the décor, loved the location and the room product was nice, very nautical. They kept the history of the canning factory from DelMonte in tact along the meeting corridor which was a very interesting time capsule feel to it. The Sangria at happy hour was also delicious.
2840 Taylor Street
“Great Local Restaurant Feel in the Midst of the Touristy Wharf”
Our concierge recommended Alioto’s as a place with great food and a local feel. She was right! The wedge salad was delicious as was the Sole. Great view of the waterfront yet peaceful and above the street life crowd. Prices were high but that is to be expected for the location and quality. I would recommend it.
558 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965
After our walk across the bridge we headed into Sausailto for a nice lunch at the Trident. That iconic restaurant is on the main drag on Bridgeway street and has a wonderful view of the bay. The seafood selections are yummy. You can’t visit San Francisco and not indulge in the Sour Dough Bread, this diet buster is worth the extra calories.
900 North Point St, San Francisco, CA 94109
If you love chocolate don’t miss Ghirardelli Square. This is a bit of tourist trap but it does hold a certain iconic charm. The best part is, because of Ghirardelli, there are so many wonderful pop up chocolate shops that you start to feel like chocolate is woven into the very fabric of San Francisco.
Golden Gate Bridge
Be sure to take the walk across the bridge, breath in the mist and bring your tennis shoes and a wind breaker. There is a reason they built it as a suspension bridge which is designed to move when the wind speed picks up.
Spending at least a half-day is in order. Get there early because the parking in limited. Patience really does pay. We waited for a car to pull out and it turns out the gentleman in front of us was a supporter of the park. Because we waited so patiently behind him he let us in for free.
Fisherman’s Wharf/Pier 39
This is tour bus central, but go off peak and you’ll see the seals lounging on the pier and catch a glimpse of Alcatraz.
This is the epi-center of shopping. Hop on and off a cable car to get a lay of the land. You’ll find everything from Barneys to Uniglo.
Go down the hidden streets to find the cool tea house and off the beaten path stores. We bought some awesome green tea and spent a long-time tasting at a tea house.