The Exploratorium is an experimental, hands-on museum designed to spark curiosity regardless of age or familiarity with science. With hundreds of exhibits to touch, look through, pick up, and tinker with, let curiosity be the compass to endless discoveries! The Exploratorium is located in the Palace of Fine Arts, near the Golden Gate Bridge. The Exploratorium's legendary Tactile Dome is a pitch-black maze of twisting passageways, chutes and rooms that visitors can explore only by sense of touch (reservations are required).
This bright white tower atop Telegraph Hill lends San Francisco a European feel. Take the elevator to the top for stunning views, and keep an eye on the lookout for the famous flock of parrots that sometimes perch in the cypress trees along the hill's slopes.
With the likes of Henri Matisse and Diego Rivera gracing its walls, this institution in San Francisco's Yerba Buena neighborhood is one of the premier modern art facilities in the world. However, much of its vibrancy comes the rotating exhibits of contemporary artists, who range in discipline from sculpture to interactive art.
Imagine San Francisco as you've never seen it before! On a San Francisco Vista Grande Helicopter Tour you'll see all the famous sites: Alcatraz Island, Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco skyline and of course, the Golden Gate Bridge! Plus, your helicopter flight takes you north over the spectacular Pacific Coastline, Tiburon, Angel Island, Marine Headlands and Sausalito.
Take time out from San Francisco on a half-day trip to Muir Woods and Sausalito. This enthralling half-day trip takes you across the Golden Gate Bridge to the Bay Area's most popular national monument and the prettiest village in California. Special Offer - Book by August 31, 2009 and save over 20% off the recommended retail rate - BOOK NOW!
For the best deal in San Francisco, go for the CityPass! Your pass to the City by the Bay includes tickets to world-renowned attractions, discounts and seven days' unlimited use of San Francisco's cable cars and Muni public transport.
Combine a San Francisco City Tour and guided visit to Alcatraz for the ultimate introduction to San Francisco! You'll enjoy the beauty and attractions of everyone's favorite city, in addition to a scenic ferry ride to Alcatraz Island for an audio walking tour. Special Offer - Book by August 31, 2009 and save over 14% off the recommended retail rate - BOOK NOW!
Want to experience San Francisco's must-do attraction? Take the 60-minute Golden Gate Bay Cruise and you'll see why it's the perfect introduction to San Francisco. The narrated one-hour cruise does a loop of San Francisco Bay, sailing next to Alcatraz and under the Golden Gate Bridge!
Get out of town! Exchange the big-city charms of San Francisco for the fresh air and natural beauty of Yosemite, California's most famous national park. You'll spend around four hours within Yosemite: one hour with the group, and approximately three hours to explore the scenic wonders of Yosemite Valley independently.
One of the most bewildering mansions in the world, the Winchester Mystery House has stairways that lead to the ceiling, doors that open into walls, and a profound history of the occult. Designed by the mystifying mind of Sarah Winchester, widow of the well-known rifle manufacturer, the bizarre house and its grounds are now open to guided tours for intrigued visitors.
The HP Pavilion at San Jose, formerly known as Compaq Center at San Jose and San Jose Arena is an indoor arena. The arena is also commonly called The Shark Tank or The Tank, both of which come from its primary tenant, the San Jose Sharks.
Tossing aside the old adage of "look but don't touch," the Tech Museum of Innovation is a hands-on center that seeks to both entertain and educate. With exhibits that take visitors into the virtual world where they can design a museum or construct a rollercoaster, The Tech is setting the bar for a 2.0 museum revolution.
The fastest game on ice is expertly played by the San Jose Sharks, one of the NHL's elite teams of late. Though they have yet to take home the Stanley Cup in their nearly 30-year history, they continually make the playoffs and send fans cheering from the stands for yet another shot at hockey immortality. Important Information: Sharks Games take place between October 4 and April 5.
See the beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge, the drama of Alcatraz Island and the lush forest of Muir Woods on a seaplane tour of San Francisco. The beauty of the green and gold hills of wine country and the deep blue expanses of the Pacific Ocean can only be truly appreciated from above during your flight.
Foreign Cinema is a 'one of a kind', nationally acclaimed restaurant combining foreign and independent films with Cal-Med cooking. Enjoy an industrial chic setting, complete with outdoor courtyard, mezzanine and full bar.
Acquerello, named for its original watercolors, envelops guests in a warm and gracious atmosphere the moment they arrive. A recent renovation of the 20-year old restaurant, led by designer John Wheatman, highlights the former chapel, graced with arches and a rustic wood-beamed vaulted ceiling, with warm Mediterranean colors of gold and terracotta. Co-owners Giancarlo Paterlini and Suzette Gresham-Tognetti work together to provide an unparallel Italian dining experience. Acquerello has received countless awards, including a Michelin star in the first-ever 2007 Bay Area guide.
Slanted Door is a modern Vietnamese restaurant that showcases the abundance of produce as well as ecologically farmed meat, game and poultry found at farms around the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aziza offers an elegant and stylish dining experience. Chef/owner Mourad Lahlou is a leader in modernizing Moroccan cuisine and adapting it to a western style fine dining setting. His innovative cuisine combines artisinal products and organic market ingredients, intense flavors and stunning presentations all combined with a progressive Californian influence.
Kokkari (pronounced "Ko-Kar-ee") is a small fishing village located on the islands of Samos in the Aegean Sea, whose name is derived from the small onions that were once produced in the nearby fields. Dine at Kokkari Estiatorio on food "fit for the Gods," prepared with an Aegean palate and the style of innovative California fare.
Bar Crudo is a modern raw bar offering an elegant menu of cooked, chilled, or raw, fresh seafood paired with wine and an extensive selection of Belgian beer.
Chouchou is a French Bistro with a Provencal feel. Homemade chocolate fondue and caramelized fruit tart are a specialty along with seafood and meat cassolettes. Chouchou has a bright, colorful dining room with a casual yet chic bistro atmosphere.
La Ciccia is a cozy and intimate restaurant located on the edge of Noe Valley. Husband and wife owners Massimiliano Conti and Lorella Degan work together to take you to a culinary journey through the Italian island of Sardinia. The chef is committed to use the freshest and the most authentic ingredients from his native island, resulting in pungent, lively, flavorful food.
Yoshi's San Francisco is the most impressive space to open in San Francisco in years and is the heart of The Fillmore District. Showcasing the acclaimed cuisine of Executive Chef Shotaro "Sho" Kamio, a menu that celebrates the diversity of Japanese cuisine and the quality of ingredients found in the Bay Area is offered.
The Millennium restaurant creates a gourmet dining experience out of vegetarian, healthy, and environmentally friendly foods.
Il Fornaio means "the baker" in Italian. This award-winning restaurant offers an authentic and unique dining experience. Specialties include wood-fired rotisserie and grilled meats, poultry and game; housemade pastas; pizzas from an oak wood burning oven; fresh salads and housemade soups; a wide variety of desserts; and fresh baked bread made daily from scratch.
VILLAGE California Bistro and Wine Bar features California inspired cuisine focusing on the bounty of artisan quality seasonal ingredients from the Wine Country to the Central Valley and Pacific waters. The chef creates ever-changing seasonal menus with items that pair with the Wine Spectator award-winning wine list including a selection of small plates for creating your own tasting menu or for simply sharing.
This popular bistro in the Old Masonic building offers excellent Northern Italian cuisine in a beautiful atmosphere. Blond wood floors and Tuscan yellow walls adorn the inside.
Nominated for "Best Tapas in the Bay Area" by Citysearch, Habana Cuba has enchanted diners with its festive, home-style and unforgettable blends of tropical seasonings that will bring you back to Old Havana. Favorites include paella, tostones, sweet plantains, Vaca Frita and slow roasted pork.
High ceilings, geometric brickwork, hanging lights, and gracefully curved dining room create a sleekly intimate atmosphere at this upscale Japanese restaurant and lounge. Along with a sushi bar offering the freshest seasonal seafood in town, Bluefin's lunch and dinner menus offer deliciously prepared starters and entrees from noodles, teriyaki and bento boxes to Kobe beef and premium Japanese Wagyu beef dishes. Numerous varieties of sake, original house-crafted cocktails, and a generous sampling of domestic, Japanese and other wines and beers complete your evening. Just a short walk from the Sharks and other events at the HP Pavillion.
Yankee Pier, a bustling and vibrant seafood house, offers chef Steve Wallin's ocean-fresh seafood from coast to coast. Live Maine lobsters, fresh-shucked oysters, an array of grilled fresh fish, and beer-battered full belly clams are some of the offerings, along with local produce, house-made desserts, a selection of all-American wines and a full bar.
The newest addition to Santana Row, Thea is a celebration of Mediterranean cuisine with highlights from Greece and Turkey. An expansive bar and lounge features creative vodka infusions and a selection of Mediterranean and California wines. Authentic Greek art, a 20-foot olive tree and a stylish contemporary setting complete the experience.
Morton's The Steakhouse, the nation's premier steakhouse group, specializes in classic, hearty fare, serving generous portions of USDA prime aged beef, as well as fresh fish, lobster and chicken entrees. Morton's is famous for its animated signature tableside menu presentation: steaks, whole Maine lobsters and other main course selections, along with fresh vegetables, are presented on a cart rolled to your table, where the server displays and describes each menu item in appetizing and entertaining detail.
Highlights at this popular Santana Row restaurant include spacious dining areas, an open kitchen with French rotisserie, a bustling bar and oyster display. Accents include a mahogany sunlit bar, revolving door, dining terraces, four private dining rooms and rich brasserie atmosphere.
With sweeping views of the city and bay, AT&T Park is considered by many to be one of best parks in baseball. During Giants games, the park offers the added thrill of watching home runs land in San Francisco Bay just beyond the right field stands. The stadium also holds many special events throughout the year. Tour Information: Hour-long behind-the-scenes tours are available every day at 10:30am and 12:30pm rain or shine, except when day games are scheduled at AT&T Park.
Pier 39 is filled with family attractions, but the pick of the bunch is the Aquarium of the Bay, where exhibits such as a 300-foot glass tunnel under the sea allow kids to understand San Francisco Bay's incredible ecosystem firsthand. Shark Week is every week at Aquarium of the Bay! There's something ginormous swimming in the water at Aquarium of the Bay. Weighing in at more than 330 pounds and measuring nearly 10 feet, Shirley, Aquarium of the Bay's newest sevengill shark, is the largest in captivity. Get up close and personal with Shirley and the Aquarium's 70 other sharks, 364 days a year. Gain further insight into the largest predators of the San Francisco Bay when the Aquarium's divers feed its nine sevengill sharks on Thursdays and Sundays at 1:30pm. Also, Aquarium of the Bay is pleased to announce the return of AquaTots, its unique monthly drop-in program for two-to-five-year olds. AquaTots is held on the second Friday of each month and is free, with paid Aquarium admission. Children and their caregivers can stay for the entire two-hour session or just participate in specific stories, live animal interaction, crafts, songs and games that interest them the most. Each month focuses on a different animal theme: November 14 will feature "Fantastic Fish" and December 12 will showcase "Silly Sea Stars."
This unique family attraction puts an emphasis on letting children explore their creative sides. Kids can create their own animations, music videos and digital light paintings.
For a family outing in the midst of nature (but not far from the city), head to Muir Woods National Monument, where coastal redwood trees tower over a lush forest ecosystem.
A must-visit for any age group, Raging Waters is a water park that provides everything from mile-a-minute thrills to the relaxing undulations of floating along the Lazy River. For the adrenaline junkie, a ride down Blue Thunder/White Lightning will have you grinning down all 60 feet of snaking twists and turns.
Located in the heart of San Francisco's Marina District, Nectar Wine Lounge brings together the very nectar which feeds the soul. Our 50 frequently metamorphosing wine selections by the glass span the vastness of the globe and of the palate, and our 900 selection bottle list offers something for even the most adventurous of spirit. Wines are also available for retail purchase. Executive Chef Gavin Schmidt crafts exquisite and mouth-watering dishes, utilizing a New Californian approach with International fusion. Our small plates tantalize the tongue and bring fullness and life to each wine-pairing. The Decor is a stunningly beautiful marriage of Chic, New York style with a distinctly San Francisco aesthetic that is at once both warm and cool.
According to the SF Weekly, "[The Fillmore] is legendary and one of the best venues anywhere: great sightlines, killer sound system, and - most importantly - a continuous parade of top musical talent gracing the stage. Whether it's country legends, indie iconoclasts, crossover punks, or rhyme-slinging hip-hop crews, this venerable S.F. institution has got it. If you're bored between acts, scope the photo gallery that lines every hallway wall with pictures of the icons who've shared the same space in which you're currently standing."
Bergerac, on the border of SOMA and the Mission, features great cocktails and food pairings in a casual, bar/lounge.
There's a whole lot brewing at this ambitious specialty beer bar in the Tenderloin, a co-venture of the famous self-described 'gypsy brewer' Mikkel Borg Bjergs and Chuck Stilphen of The Trappist that boasts 40 hard-to-find international craft beers (including a slew of Mikkeller brews), along with another 100 in bottles; a small, midpriced upscale pub menu (think housemade sausage and smoked meats) is served all day in the minimalist Danish-looking digs anchored by a 30-seat, four-sided white oak bar and outfitted with antique streetlight fixtures from Copenhagen and whimsical artwork from Mikkeller's label artist.
For the polar opposite of Union Square, serious shoppers head to the Fillmore neighborhood, where there is hardly a franchise in sight. Stop by Nest for handmade quilts or Neja Cosmetics for beauty products.
The Ferry Building Marketplace is a people's marketplace serving residents and travelers alike. Located within the historic Ferry Building at the foot of Market Street, shops large and small celebrate food in all its forms, offering everything from artisan cheeses to the freshest of local fish. Restaurants and cafes serve cuisine representing the quality and cultural diversity of San Francisco's best chefs.
Sometimes its great to have a unique and intimate shopping experience at a boutique. Other times, its just great to have it all. In case of the latter, it's off to Union Square. This hub of activity boasts numerous department stores (think Macy's or Bloomingdale's), international brands (e.g. bebe or H&M) and high-end stores that only the world's style capitals are entitled to have (like Gucci, Chanel or Escada).
Not to be confused with Union Square, this Victorian row in the northern part of the city offers shopping opportunities in an intimate, neighborhood setting. Of particular interest are the area's collection of jewelers who sell unique necklaces, earrings and bracelets, but there is also a good supply of chain and indie clothing shops.
This lovely neighborhood between Alamo Square and Market Street has become the place for boutique shopping in the city. Head to Ver Unica for vintage clothing, Azalea for locally designed and savvy threads and Gimme Shoes for high-quality footwear.