First-ever Chowhound post. Very exciting. My wife and I are taking a 4-day vacation from Washington, DC to San Francisco this Memorial Day weekend. I have been to the city before (for a week) and love it. She has never been, so I’m doing my best to plan a trip that will both hit the high points yet not run her ragged. I want her to love the city as much as I do, in the hopes of many return visits!
About us: we are in our late 20s/early 30s. We love to eat and be active. We’re going mainly for the scenery, the food and wine, and the outdoors. We’re not interested in museums, exhibitions, or history—at least, not this trip. Culinary interests for this trip: seafood, “California” cuisine (read: organic/healthy/fresh), wine bars, interesting food/wine pairings, and (a little less so) various Asian cuisines. Cuisines we’re not interested (mostly because we have a lot of good stuff on the east coast): Italian, Mexican/Latin American, Mediterranean, steakhouses.
We are staying at a friend’s place in Cow Hollow (near the intersection of Pierce and Hyde), so that is our “home base.” We will have a car for out-of-city trips. Our budget is basically unlimited; not that we are looking to break the bank with every meal, but we have been working hard in our jobs and are ready to pamper ourselves a little bit.
This is the tentative itinerary I’ve thrown together so far. I would appreciate any comments or reactions from locals who know their stuff. As you can see, I’m struggling the most with our day in Napa. I’ve never been to the area and just don’t know how to make a great single day out of it. It’s like drinking from a fire hose. Above all, I really want my wife to have a memorable time (and want to return!).
Breakfast at La Boulange [ANY OTHER PLACE TO GET GOOD BREAKFAST IN COW HOLLOW AREA?]
Walk around neighborhoods most of the day:
- Russian Hill/Lombard Street
- North Beach
- Telegraph Hill/Coit Tower
- Financial District
- Nob Hill/Union Square
- ride cable cars
[WHERE TO GET LUNCH DURING THE ABOVE WALK OF THE CITY? ASSUME SOMEWHERE IN UNION SQUARE/FINANCIAL DISTRICT. WE COULD DO SOME PLACE IN THE FERRY BUILDING, THOUGH WE WILL BE BACK THERE THE NEXT MORNING.]
Dinner at Anchor & Hope
Drinks afterward at Bix (jazz club)
Breakfast at Ferry Building and Saturday Farmer’s Market
Bike on Embarcadero, GG bridge, Sausalito, Old Mill Park, Tiburon, ferry back.
Lunch in Sausalito, at either Fish or the Spinnaker
Dinner at Farallon (Union Square)
Afterward: drinks at Top o’ the Mark (Intercontinental Hotel)
Sunday – day in Napa
Breakfast? [SOMEWHERE AGAIN IN COW HOLLOW, OR MAYBE ON THE WAY UP TO NAPA?]
Wineries to visit: Cade, Rombauer, Quintessa [THESE WERE RECOMMENDED BY FRIENDS. WOULD LIKE TO CHOOSE ONE OR TWO MORE. WE ARE TOTAL DILETTANTES; WE JUST LIKE INTERESTING ESTATES AND MEMORABLE VISITS; WE ALSO PREFER SMALLER, MORE QUAINT WINERIES TO MASSIVE PRODUCERS]
Lunch at Mustard’s Grill? [NEED OTHER LUNCH OPTIONS]
Dinner at ??? [NEED A GREAT, “NAPA-Y” DINNER OPTION]
Hiking in Presidio/Golden Gate Park
Muir Woods/Mt. Tamalpais
Lunch at ? [NEED LUNCH PLACE]
Dinner at Waterbar or A16 (depending on mood)
Drive to airport for 11:10 pm flight from SFO.
I know this is a little sparse… I wish we were there for a month, and not four days! But I would appreciate any thoughts or reactions. Thank you!
2355 Chestnut St., San Francisco, CA 94123
450 Post Street, San Francisco, CA 94102
56 Gold St., San Francisco, CA 94133
Anchor & Hope
83 Minna Street, San Francisco, CA 94105