Bed and Breakfast Hot Spots!
SAN FRANCISCO:The city by the bay offers a little something for everyone.
San Francisco, created during the gold rush days, has long been considered one of the world's finest cities. From its intimidating hilly streets to its cable cars to its assortment of architecture, San Francisco is a place like no other. You'll find hundreds of great restaurants, an array of wonderful B&Bs and inns and plenty to see and do.
Search for inns in San Francisco
Alcatraz Island (415) 705-5555
Be sure to reserve a ferry ride to "the Rock" well in advance. Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly were two of the many inmates at this infamous high-security prison. Included in a daytime tour is the ferry ride, an introduction with national park rangers about the prison, a slide show and self-guided cassette tour. The cassettes are available in six languages. It is recommended to plan two and a half hours for the complete tour.
San Francisco is definitely one of the world's great food capitols. There are many, many great restaurants here, but these are few innkeeper recommendations.
Fantastic food, very unusual, refined Asian cuisine.
An eclectic upper-end restaurant.
Fleur de Lys
A good place for a romantic and expensive treat.
Elegant restaurant in Presidio Heights . Offers California-Mediteranean cuisine.
House of Nanking
Great Chinese, kind of a hole-in-the-wall establishment.
Considered one of the city's best, unique Chinese and French cuisine.
Popular with guests, one of Wolfgang Puck's creations (chef/owner of L.A.'s popular Spago and Chinois on Main).
In North Beach, Italian done by one of the city's premier restaurateurs.
Excellent, California-Mediterranean cuisine.
Nighttime tours are available Thursday through Monday. In addition to what the daytime tours offer, night tours also offer park guide-led tours and spectacular views of the San Francisco skyline.
Daytime ferries to the island depart daily from Pier 41 at 9:30 a.m., 10:15 a.m. and every 30 minutes after that until 4:15 p.m. Tickets for adults are $16, seniors age 62 and older pay $14.25, and for children ages 5 to 11, the cost is $10.75.
Nighttime ferries depart at 6:15 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $23.50 for adults, $20.75 for seniors and for children ages 12 to 17, and children ages 5 to 11 pay $14.25.
Tickets pre-purchased by phone have an additional $2 service charge. All tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. The ferry company, Blue Gold Fleet, also offers tours to Muir Woods and Jazz on the Bay.
California Academy of Sciences (415) 750-7145
This wonderful museum includes a planetarium, natural history museum and aquarium all in one. The museum is open 365 days a year from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. This one is terrific for the entire family, and there is always a special featured exhibit. Now located at 875 Howard Street, between 4th and 5th Streets, in San Fancisco.
No longer is the influence strictly Chinese in the unique ethnic neighborhood. An influx of immigrants from Southeast Asia has added to the flavor of streets lined with restaurants, shops, markets and vegetable stands. Enter at the Grant Avenue entrance, flanked by the famous Chinatown Gate. At Grant Avenue and Stockman Street, you'll find Chinatown's busiest area. At Grant and Jackson, visit the city's largest tea emporium.
Coit Tower (415) 362-0808
In Chicago it's Sears Tower, in New York it's the Empire State Building, in San Francisco, the place to catch a great view of the city is Coit Tower. Tickets are $3. Open 10am to 5pm.
The Wharf begins at Pier 39 and continues on to Ghiradelli Square with shops and restaurants lining the way. At Pier 39, you'll find plenty of family fare from sea lions to the Cable Car Company to Aquarium of the Bay.
Touristy, but a necessity for those new to the city. Restaurants and shops line the way, and it is here where one catches a ride to Alcatraz. On a cool, foggy day, we recommend a stop at the Buena Vista for an Irish coffee. Or even on a bright, sunny day, we recommend an Irish coffee at the Buena Vista.
Golden Gate Park
Among the notables in this 1,000-acre park are the Conservatory of Flowers, Garden of Shakespeare's Flowers, and the Japanese Tea Garden (415) 752-1171. The California Academy of Sciences (above) also is located here, as are gardens and a children's park. Golden Gate Shuttle: Free shuttle picks up passengers every 15 mins at various locations throughout the park on summer weekends and holidays from 10am to 6pm.
Chinese immigrants created Chinatown and Italian immigrants created North Beach. This is the place for Italian food, a cup of espresso and nightlife. Although some of the nightclubs make this a not-so appropriate place for kids, it's full of adult fun.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (415) 357-4000
Whether it be paintings or sculpture, there's always something new and exciting to see at this museum, which displays works from some of the world's best modern artists. The museum is closed Wednesdays.