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Both Bohemian and cosmopolitan, it’s no wonder San Francisco appears on the many lists as one of the ‘Best Places to live in the U.S.’ The hilly northern Californian city is home to iconic landmarks, a great food scene and spectacular views.

Take in the stunning sights of one of the city’s most iconic and photographed landmarks– the Golden Gate Bridge. Connecting San Francisco with Marin County, the bridge opened in 1937 and took four years to build. There are some fantastic vantage points if you fancy taking a few snaps of the bridge in all its glory from spots including Nob Hill and Alcatraz.
For avid art fans, a visit to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) is a must. The museum, which is one of the largest in the US, is home to over 33,000 works across painting, sculpture, photography, architecture, design and media arts. View the works of notable artists including Frida Kahlo, Georgia O’Keefe and Shirin Neshat.

Situated 1.25 miles offshore from San Francisco is the famed Alcatraz Island. Explore what life was like in the former military fort and notorious maximum-security federal prison, which housed dangerous criminals such as Al Capone, George “Machine Gun” Kelly, and Robert Franklin Stroud, aka, the “Birdman of Alcatraz.” Although both day and night tours operate daily, it’s advised that tickets are purchased in advance.

No trip to San Francisco is complete without a stroll along the popular Fisherman’s Wharf. The highly regarded tourist spot is the perfect place to take in the postcard views of the bay, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and colony of sea lions. Pick up a keepsake from one of the souvenir shops and sample the fresh crab and clam chowder in sourdough bread from one of the Wharf’s selection of mouth-watering food stalls.

Tackle the hills of San Francisco and take in its many sights by travelling in traditional style via one of the city’s cable cars. Three cable car routes are currently in operation (Powell-Mason Line, Powell- Hyde Line and California Line) which will get you to most of the tourist destinations including China Town and Fisherman’s Wharf.

Credit – Eduardo Santos, Unsplash

San Francisco’s renowned Chinatown between Stockton Street and Grant Avenue is a definite spot to explore. It is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia and also the oldest of its kind in North Asia. The vibrant maze of streets are filled with temples, souvenir shops, dim sum joints, traditional pharmacies, plus more!

If you’re a fan of Chinese food, Mister Jiu’s won’t disappoint. The high-end restaurant’s owner and executive chef, Brandon Jew, has created a menu that puts a contemporary twist on Chinese favourites. Options include Salt-Baked McFarland Spring Trout, Liberty Farm Roast Duck, Smoked Tofu and Shui Jiao.

Indulge at A Mano. The popular Italian restaurant owes its delicious menu to executive chef Freedom Rains. Consisting of Italian specialities that are influenced by California cuisine, flavours of dishes change with the season but expect to find mouth-watering pizza’s, and of course, their famed house-made pasta options.

Modern Argentine restaurant, Lolinda provides not only excellent food but a lively atmosphere also. The eatery combines ‘Latin American flavours with Californian Sensibilities’, the menu offers a wide selection of meats that are cooked to perfection over a wood-fired grill. Enjoy a cheeky cocktail, or two, during their Happy Hour– available daily from 5:30pm-7pm.

Credit – Cloris Ying, Unsplash

Located in downtown San Francisco, The Orchard Garden provides a tranquil retreat that blends luxury with an eco-friendly design. As the city’s first-ever LEED-certified hotel, The Orchard Garden offers comfortable and elegant rooms, a restaurant and a relaxing rooftop terrace. The hotel’s great location means it’s in close proximity to some of the city’s most popular attractions including Chinatown.

The W San Francisco is a luxury high-rise boutique hotel situated next to SFMOMA. The hotel itself features striking art and bold design with eye-catching sculpture and modern murals. If you opt for a suite in this contemporary hotel, expect spectacular city views, a living room and mini-bar. Other facilities include an impressive 24/7 fitness centre and restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The centrally positioned Hyatt Centric Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco hotel is a great base for exploring all of the attractions the vibrant city has to offer. Pier 39 and the Golden Gate Bridge are just a few of the attractions that are nearby. Each of the rooms in the hotel is stylishly decorated and equipped with a multifunctional work station, Wi-Fi and hairdryer.

Image Credit – Joseph Barrientos, Unsplash
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