A 48-Hour Escape to the City by the Bay: The Best of San Francisco's Local Attractions

From www.justluxe.com by Parm Parmar
A 48-Hour Escape to the City by the Bay: The Best of San Francisco's Local Attractions

A weekend in San Francisco is the ultimate destination for a whirlwind getaway. But with a plethora of luxury hotels, designer shops and world-class cuisine to choose from, it can be difficult to know where to start if you’re new to the City by the Bay. If a quick two-day trip is all the time you have to explore the culturally-rich destination, The Palace Hotel’s concierge Jose Lopez helped us map out a guide to spending 48-hours in the city.

the palace hotelPhoto Credit: The Palace Hotel

The Palace Hotel, part of Starwood's Luxury Collection, has recently undergone a $40 million renovation. From the marble-columned lobby to the breathtaking Garden Court with its glass-domed ceiling and Austrian crystal chandeliers, this property screams elegance. It has 556 beautiful guest rooms including 55 suites. The hotel was established in 1875 and rebuilt in 1909. In the earlier part of the century it was considered San Francisco's first premier luxury hotel. It was the perfect base for my weekend getaway.

the palace hotelPhoto Credit: The Palace Hotel

If you’re looking for the ultimate luxury, the Royal Suite is almost 1,000 square feet with awesome views, and a marble fireplace. The Presidential Suite offers a spacious living room, formal dining room, carved fireplaces and vintage chandeliers. Other amenities include a marble-tiled pool and a 3,000 sq. ft. fitness center.

san franciscoPhoto Credit: Parmjit Parmar

Whether you’re in search of an Armani suit or a Tiffany necklace, you’ll find it at Union Square, a district in the heart of San Francisco. There you’ll find the city’s largest concentration of luxury shops and all the major department stores, including Barneys, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Saks, Gucci—the list goes on. There are also art galleries, outdoor cafés, bars, clubs and restaurants. It doesn’t matter when you visit this bustling area, there is always something interesting going on. Lopez recommends Gumps, a one-of-a-kind department store, literally it’s the only one in the world.

san franciscoPhoto Credit: Parmjit Parmar

For a change of pace visit the Ferry Building Market located along the Embarcadero, where you’ll find a phenomenal selection of fresh produce, cheeses and pastries among its many unique eateries, shops and restaurants. The market is a favorite for tourists and locals, and the young and old, with something for everyone. You can get some of the best ice cream, falafels or clam chowder all within a few steps of each other. Saturday is the busiest (and best day), as there are more vendors and it’s when the largest farmers market opens.

san franciscoPhoto Credit: Parmjit Parmar

Another great way to see the city is by a 20-minute helicopter tour. The pilot flies over Fisherman’s Wharf, Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, before diving down under it. The pilots are engaging, knowledgeable and explain all points of interest along the way. You can also get custom tours if you want to take in Monterey or Napa Valley’s rolling hills and vineyards.

san franciscoPhoto Credit: Parmjit Parmar

After such a busy day, reward yourself with drinks at Top of the Mark inside the Intercontinental Mark Hopkins Hotel. This sky lounge gives you, an almost 360-degree view of the city, Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Warf and Alcatraz. It’s the perfect place to relax while enjoying a pre-dinner cocktail, or one of their martinis, they have 100 varieties on the menu.

san franciscoPhoto Credit: Seven Hills

San Francisco has so many phenomenal restaurants to choose from, but I must admit, my favorite is Seven Hills, in the Russian Hills district. It’s a small cozy neighborhood trattoria, high-end without the pretension, and serves wonderful farm-to-table fare. The food is amazing, everything is delicious, and the pastas are nothing less than stellar, especially the ravioli uovo. This restaurant can get crowded but it’s one of the best in SF.

san franciscoPhoto Credit: Parmjit Parmar

Of course, no matter what you choose to do while in the city, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a great time. As a bonus tip, be sure to carry around a small sweater during the day, you never know when a cold front will hit—which it most definitely will. 

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