I just finished writing a long e-mail to my friend about my favorite things to do and see in San Francisco. I thought it would also make a good blog post. These are my top 5 things (that I can think of right now) to do in San Francisco, and the surrounding areas.
So…Other than the uber touristy requirements of eating chocolate at Ghirardelli, going on a tour of Alcatraz and getting a sourdough bread bowl with chowder at Fisherman’s Wharf, and then going to check out the Sea Lions…… (all those things I recommend, btw)
Samovar – A Tea House.
They have 3 locations, but I fell in love with the location in Yerba Buena Gardens. Its a great place to just sit and drink some tea. For a light lunch or a little snack, I highly suggest their cheese and fruit platter. Its little and light and perfect for a little zen moment. Some fruit, cheese, nice bread and some honey in the comb. Absolutely delish.
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art – AHhhht.
Practically across the street from Samovar. They have a pretty wide range of modern art, so even if you find alot of the stuff horribly shocking that it’s called art (i did), you’ll also definitely come across some stuff that you really love. Not a huge museum, and do-able in maybe 3 hours? I enjoyed spending an afternoon there, and their gift shop was fun to poke around in.
Chinatown and Dim Sum!
Yeah, Chinatown is pretty touristy, but its fun to poke around shops and getting dim sum is a MUST on a saturday or sunday morning! I can’t remember where I ate, but I started my walk at the big gate on Grant Ave at Bush Street, and I walked north on Grant. I think most restaurants on Grant are often marked up and more touristy, so look down the side streets until you find a place that looks interesting. That’s what D and I did, and we ended up in a totally packed place where we were the only gringos, and the waitresses didn’t speak any english. Luckily with dim sum you just point to what you want off their carts.
Asia SF – Dinner and drinks with talented dancers of the transgendered variety
I think I’ve gone here every time I’ve been in San Francisco, starting with a girl’s weekend trip with my Mom. Reservations are a good idea. It is awesome!!!! Dinner is good, but can be pricey. I think they have a prix fixe type menu thingie. The bartenders have always been great with helping me make a mixed drink decision, in addition to their sake and wine menus. And don’t even get me started on the lady dancers of AsiaSF!!!! Most real women can’t even stand in 6 inch stripper shoes and here these ladies are, dancing in them on top of the bar to the latest Britney Spears songs. It’s a truly an awesome sight to behold.
Wine Country - Sonoma and Napa Valleys
Do it. I recommending having either a designated driver, or doing using a tour company. I’ve done both, and prefer having a DD, but the tour was pretty nice as well. We got to go to places that weren’t open to the public, and there weren’t a ton of annoying super tourists… I just don’t recommend doing the drinking & driving route. The pourers can have heavy hands. Wineries I recommend: Domaine Chandon (great champagne, and beautiful landscaping) and Mumm (also great champagne). If you’re driving, I suggest driving up the main drag in Sonoma Valley, Rt.12, i think? and then crossing over at the top and going back down through Napa Valley on rt. 29. And just stop into whatever wineries strike your fancy.