California

California Travel Guide

From the outside, the brick facade of The Bradbury Building—the oldest commercial building in the city center—looks fairly unremarkable, but walk inside and you’ll be rewarded by architectural treasures inspired by an 1880’s science fiction story and a Ouija board.

For over a century, locals have flocked to Molinari for Italian specialties: olive oil, fresh pasta, and the plump, house-made salami dangling over the counter. Take a number for a heaping sandwich on fresh focaccia.

Part of a group of Robert Redford-owned cinemas, the Kabuki location offers excellent independent and international fare. Booze is available from one of the cinema’s two bars at over 21 shows, and reserved seating saves you from having to elbow for space.

It’s now become a Southern California chainlet, but this original Kitson location was what started the phenomenon.

Since opening in 1957, this renowned live music club has helped launched the careers of some of rock’s most famous names, from Elton John and James Taylor to Guns N’ Roses and Metallica.

Mamma Mia sing alongs, double features, and hard to find films aren’t the only things that make this theatre one of the city’s most special. The two-tiered historic building and Wurlitzer organ player secure the setting as a destination in its own right.

Formerly a private beachfront estate that William Randolph Hearst built for actress Marion Davies, the Annenberg Community Beach House is now open to the public as a place to enjoy the Santa Monica sand in style.

So what if riding a cable car brands you a tourist? The snub-nosed icons are terrific fun to ride, with their bay views from the north side of Nob Hill. Two lines have a terminus just below Union Square, where cable cars sedately spin on a turntable before starting back up the hill again.

A few blocks inland from the Embarcadero, this historic district was once the rowdy Gold Rush–era waterfront. Now the mid-19th-century buildings hold genteel antiques dealers, art galleries, Thomas E.

Mani Niall works the ovens at the light-filled Sweet Bar Bakery. Our pick: the pumpkin-ginger cupcakes with salted caramel. BART stop: 19th Street/Uptown Oakland

The shelves of this petite, independent book boutique are crammed to bursting with travel volumes covering every global destination imaginable, including an array of guidebooks along with travel literature from essay collections to poetry.

Deep within Los Padres National Forest, Pfeiffer Beach is a surreal mix of purple sand, giant redwoods, sycamores, and oaks. Offshore, a smattering of sea stacks are scattered like biscuit crumbs across the ocean.

This historic neighborhood theatre offers one of the best movie-going experiences in town.