Culture and Cuisine in San Francisco, California

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San Francisco is West Coast icon and one of the most well known cities in the United States. The urban metropolis is brimming with people, art, and a personality all its own. It’s also one of the most renowned culinary destinations in the country – at any given time, there are more than 3,500 restaurants open in San Francisco! Here are a few places you won’t want to miss on your next trip to the Bay Area.

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Hotel Fusion

Stay at Hotel Fusion, an urban boutique hotel located right outside of Union Square. You’ll be in the heart of the city, just steps away from some of the best shopping and dining options in the area. The property blends classic Asian design with a contemporary San Franciscan flair. Hotel Fusion also includes upscale dining and drinking options. Taste on Ellis restaurant and bar offers Hawaiian and Hispanic fusion cuisine with a modern twist, while the stylish Infusion Lounge boasts a 6,500 square foot dance floor with VIP rooms and bottle service options. Book the Food & A Flick Package to make the most of your stay. It includes overnight accommodations for two, dinner for two at Taste on Ellis, and a $30 gift card to the ultra-modern Metreon movie complex.

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The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), is a short 10-minute walk from the Hotel Fusion. SFMOMA is a nonprofit organization that carries an internationally recognized collection of contemporary artworks. The current collection includes over 33,000 pieces in various mediums spanned across 170,000 square feet of exhibition space. Be sure to check out Noguchi’s Playscapes, on display now through November 26, 2017. Artist Isamu Noguchi explores themes of art, education, and humanity through playgrounds and play structures. The exhibit includes models, sketches, set designs, and archival images.

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Ferry Building Marketplace

San Francisco’s famous Ferry Building Marketplace is the perfect place to stop for a quick lunch. The expansive building comprises multiple eateries, vendors, restaurants, and a bustling farmers market that’s open 3 days a week. With so many choices it’s easy to get overwhelmed, so we recommend taking a few minutes to stroll through the marketplace and browse your options. Our favorite is Gott’s Roadside, a casual diner that’s been serving upscale classics since 1999. Order the California Burger, a 1/3 pound Niman Ranch beef patty piled high with Swiss cheese, bacon, arugula, balsamic onions, and a fried egg. Pair it with a hand-spun ice cream shake for the perfect meal.

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de Young Museum

The de Young Museum was founded in 1895 and is an integral part of San Francisco’s culture. Located in Golden Gate Park, the state-of-the-art facility brings together art, architecture, and nature from all over the world in one inspiring destination. Beyond the Surface: Worldwide Embroidery Traditions displays a unique collection of costumes and accessories from around the globe. The exhibition explores the distinguished craftsmanship and cultural traditions multiple countries.

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The Progress

The Progress is a new American restaurant that serves family-style dishes with seasonal ingredients and intriguing flavor combinations. The restaurant recently earned a Michelin star, and it’s no surprise why. Everything from the inviting staff to the artfully designed interior is truly remarkable. The building was originally a theatre built back in 1911 and the restaurant retains that same historic charm. The rotating menu changes frequently, so don’t hesitate to ask your server for recommendations. Reservations are accepted up to 30 days in advance. Be sure to book a table prior to your visit!

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The Forgery

End your night at The Forgery, a San Francisco staple known for “modern cocktails and classic craftsmanship.” What is now a 2,000 square foot bar was previously home to a printing press and glass blowing studio in a building that’s been a part of San Francisco’s history for many years. Today, the historical space features an open-air layout with floor-to-ceiling windows, exposed brick, and natural wood. It’s one of the cities best cocktail bars and carries over 300 different spirits along with beer, wine, and non-alcoholic selections. Ask your bartender about the featured Forgery Punch Bowl, a rotating recipe that serves 4 guests.

 

Holiday Celebrations in San Francisco | San Francisco, California

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With a 60-foot tree in Ghirardelli Square, ice skating at Embarcadero Center, and a giant gingerbread house at the Fairmont, San Francisco proves it’s one of the best cities to visit during the holidays. This December, enjoy a romantic winter getaway and experience San Francisco’s amazing holiday activities and cultural hubs.

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Fairmont San Francisco

Stay at the Fairmont San Francisco and see the impressive holiday decorations the hotel has been known for since 1907. They have a champagne bar, a 23-foot Christmas tree, and a giant two-story gingerbread house made with thousands of gingerbread bricks, gallons of frosting, and hundreds of pounds of candy. The hotel also offers a special Gingerbread Holiday Tea with a selection of sweets and pastries. Enjoy a romantic holiday getaway with the Love Is In The Air Package, which includes a one night stay, free parking, and your choice of a champagne buffet breakfast in the hotel restaurant or breakfast and mimosas in bed.

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Sears Fine Food

Located in Union Square, Sears Fine Food has maintained its old-school charm and atmosphere since 1938. They specialize in breakfast, which is served until 3:00 pm. Order their famous18 Swedish Pancakes, silver dollar pancakes served with fresh whipped butter, syrup, and lingonberries. The dish is so well loved that they sell bags of the pancake mix in their e-store.

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Embarcadero Center

Embarcadero Center is a four-block section of downtown San Francisco with shopping, dining, entertainment, and public art. Small gathering spaces, lovely gardens, and a collection of art and sculptures make the center perfect for a weekend outing. Through January 8th, 2017, Embarcadero Center is home to a large outdoor ice rink. Spend an afternoon skating and then warm up with a drink from Paramo Coffee.

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SoMa StrEat Food Park

SoMa StrEat Food Park describes itself as a “culinary carnival and urban playground.” The park has everything you need for a fun night out – beer, wine, carnival games, and rotating food trucks like the Kabob Trolley, which serves delicious Middle Eastern foods with an American twist. They also host events, including Trivia Night every Tuesday and an All-You-Can-Eat Crab Feast on Sunday, December 18th.

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Japantown

Experience Japanese culture in San Francisco Japantown, one of only three Japantowns in the country. Try authentic foods and browse specialty shops. You can also take the San Francisco Japantown History Walk, a self-guided tour that illuminates the area’s fascinating history. 16 signs throughout Japantown teach visitors about the arrival of the Japanese in San Francisco in the 1860s, the internment of the Japanese during World War II, and the creation of the Japan Center in the 1960s. On December 17th, check out the Kimochi Silver Bells: Arts & Crafts and Food Faire, where you can try Asian and Pacific Islander foods and pick up some last minute gifts.

California on a Budget | San Francisco, California

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San Francisco is one of the most recognizable cities on the West Coast. It’s known for foggy weather, the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, and a bustling city full of cable cars and Victorian architecture. In addition to popular tourist attractions, the city has a culture and charm that’s one of a kind. There are plenty diverse neighborhoods and countless hidden gems to explore. Spending a day in one of the tourist capitals of California can be pretty pricey, so check out some of these spots to experience the incredible city without breaking the bank!

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Hotel Bijou

Stay at the Hotel Bijou, a cinema-inspired property set inside a historic building just steps away from Union Square. The modern design and movie-themed guest rooms create a hotel experience that’s truly unique to San Francisco. Amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi and an in-house theatre that plays a nightly double feature. You’re within walking distance to countless shops, restaurants, galleries, and the Powell St. BART station. Save money when you book the Get Up and Go Shopping Package! It includes a $25 Macy’s gift card, discounts and shopping guides for the Westfield San Francisco Centre, and complimentary bottles of water to take with you.

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Bi-Rite Creamery

Visitors and locals alike form a line down the block for homemade organic ice cream from Bi-Rite Creamery. The shop opened in 2006, and since then they’ve created ice cream, soft serve, and baked goods by hand. Local, seasonal ingredients play an important role in the unique flavors. The in-house bakery serves everything from brownies and peanut brittle to granola and breads. Our favorite ice cream flavor is “Ricanelas.” It’s a rich cinnamon base with snicker doodle cookies mixed in! Stop in for a scoop and you can taste the level of quality and care that goes into each product.

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Mission Dolores Park

Enjoy your Bi-Rite ice cream cone at Mission Dolores Park. The park spans 16 acres and features lush lawns, shady palm trees, a soccer field, tennis courts, a basketball court, playground, and more! Locals flock to the park to walk their dogs, lay out on the grass, have a picnic, and take in sweeping views of the city from the top of the hill. Bring a blanket and spend your afternoon people watching! The diverse crowd is reflective of the city’s culture.

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Land’s End

Escape the hectic rush of the city, enjoy a scenic hike, and take in the gorgeous sunset. Explore Land’s End, a windy trail at the northwestern end of the city that offers breathtaking scenery and stunning views of the ocean. You’ll find hillsides covered in cypress and wildflowers, old shipwrecks, hidden beaches, and the remains of Sutro Baths. Stop by the new visitor’s center to learn about the history of the area and pick up a map before you begin your adventure!

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Twin Peaks

Twin Peaks is near the geographic center of San Francisco and is known as one of the best viewing points in the area. The summit reaches an elevation of 922 feet, making it the second-highest point in the city. Drive up to the north peak parking lot and enjoy 180-degree views of San Francisco. Make sure to dress in layers to protect yourself from the wind and notorious city fog!

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Off The Grid

End your day at Off The Grid, an outdoor gathering of food trucks that provides a remarkable culinary and community experience. They operate on a weekly basis in cities all over the Bay Area, including the original location at Fort Mason Center. Discover eclectic cuisine from all over the world, browse merchandise from local businesses, and enjoy live music! Since it began in 2010, it’s grown to be a quintessential San Franciscan activity.

Ritz-Carlton Vacations | San Francisco and Los Angeles, California

Major hotel companies are making big improvements to their loyalty programs. The new Ritz-Carlton Rewards program allows frequent guests to earn points when they stay at one of the many amazing properties. Guests can redeem their rewards points for future trips, flights, or activities. Check out our favorite Ritz-Carlton locations in California and take advantage of this new opportunity!

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San Francisco

The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, is an ornate hotel set within a 1909 Neoclassical landmark. Experience heightened comfort and stylish elegance that reflects the unique culture of San Francisco. The timeless property is located in the quaint Nob Hill neighborhood, just a cable car stop away from the city’s countless attractions. Venture down to Fisherman’s Wharf, Ghirardelli Square, and the iconic Ferry Building. After a day out in the city, enjoy globally inspired cuisine made with seasonal ingredients at their signature restaurant, Parallel 37. View current packages.

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Los Angeles

The Ritz-Carlton, Los Angeles is the pinnacle of luxury. The stunning hotel is located in the L.A. LIVE entertainment complex and embraces the city’s glamorous vibe. There’s never a shortage of things to do when you’re just steps away from STAPLES Center, The Grammy Museum, and some of the finest restaurants and nightlife in Los Angeles. The 26th floor rooftop pool lets you take full advantage of Southern California’s sunny climate. Grab a drink at the Ritz-Carlton Club Lounge and enjoy panoramic views of downtown LA, Hollywood, and the Santa Monica Mountains. View current packages.