San Francisco

Things to do in San Francisco

Visitors to the city by the bay will be hard pressed to run out of things to do in San Francisco. From the lively nightlife scene, to the multitude of delicious dining options, to the cultural wonders and outdoor attractions, it’s a hard vacation destination to top.

Beer-lovers wondering what to do in San Francisco will be delighted to learn that the metropolis boasts more microbreweries than New York City. Anchor Brewing Company is located in the city, and tours are available by appointment every Friday afternoon. Most bars serve a rotating list of craft beers from nearby breweries.

Because there are so many things to do in San Francisco, it’s wise for visitors to start their trip by taking a walking tour of the city. These tours, which are led by local volunteers well versed in the city’s history, are free and cover a wide swathe of the metropolis, from well-known landmarks to more out-of-the-way hidden gems. If you are still overwhelmed after the tour, these knowledgeable guides can help you craft a list of options for what to do in San Francisco before you leave the foggy city by the bay.

Tucked in a corner of the Civic Center, the Soluna Cafe and Lounge is but a short walk to the Golden Gate Theater and venues for the San Francisco Opera, Ballet, and Symphony.

The dramatic new building is situated on a stubbornly bleak stretch of Mission Street. Designed by Thom Mayne, of the L.A. firm Morphosis, this is probably the most visible symbol of the new San Francisco.

Located in Jackson Square, this high-end clothing boutique is owned by sisters Melissa and Catie Grimm, whose family runs Grimmway Farms, the world’s largest producer of carrots.

Do yourself a favor and see the Golden Gate Bridge the way it was meant to be seen: from below. Start at the Marina end of Crissy Field, an airfield-turned-recreation-area-and-bird-refuge in the Presidio.

The go-to store for cool, brainy fashions from Martin Margiela, Dries Van Noten, and Zucca, M.A.C. is also a shop that champions local designers.

This museum displays more than just a fabulous collection of European and American art from antiquity to the 1900s. The building itself is a draw, with its beautiful Beaux-Arts architecture and unimaginable views from Lincoln Park down to the Golden Gate.

Located in the historic Hearst building close to Union Square, Thomas A. Goldwasser Rare Books rare books and manuscripts ranging in topic from travel to Europen literature, even music.

Certified-organic olive oils and 80 Acres body products are among the items featured at McEvoy Ranch’s shop in the Ferry Building Marketplace in San Francisco’s Embarcadero district waterfront.

Located in the lobby of the 1928 iconic Sir Francis Drake Hotel, Bar Drake is known as the patriarch of Union Square bars.

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Despite its location in Kimpton’s Hotel Palomar, the Fifth Floor lounge fails to look like a hotel bar (thankfully). Subtle lighting sets the lounge in a golden hue, and seating includes a backlit bar and round tables with plump leather chairs.

Miette translates to “crumb” in French, and is a small, boutique-style pastry shop with four California locations. At this Hayes Valley branch, the store is decorated with pink and yellow floral wallpaper, pastel-hued tables, and white shelves lined with glass candy jars and vintage cake stands.

Proprietor Gus Harput turns out avant-garde pieces that look deceptively simple on the rack. Most can be worn a multitude of ways; the three-hole blazer and the swacket (sweater-jacket) are travel essentials. Look for Yohji Yamamoto clothing and several eras of Adida's kicks.

Think the Brooklyn Academy of Music meets Mass MoCA, all under one roof.