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48 hours in San Francisco

Where to stay

Situated in the heart of the Nob Hill neighborhood, the Huntington Hotel is steps from some of the city’s best sites, including Grace Cathedral and Union Square. The building was created as an apartment complex in the 1920s, and each of the 134 rooms has retained its stately size, making the accommodations some of the largest in town.

The Mansion on Sutter was originally built in 1808 as a home for one of San Francisco’s most affluent families. The property showcases the current owners' personal art collection with pieces from Salvador Dalí among others, in addition to luxe amenities like rainforest shower heads, Japanese-style soaking tubs, and Italian linens.

Day 1

Jump-start the morning with a visit to Tartine Manufactory. Settle into a sun-soaked dining area and try a herbed omelet with arugula and trout roe or pomegranate-laced porridge with mascarpone and honey. Industry insiders have hailed the croissants as some of the best in the Bay Area (and the country) so be sure to grab one for later.

Choose your adventure:

Slide 1 of 2
  • Option 1: Culture

    Head to SFMOMA, a 45,000-square-foot destination for modern art. Considered one of the first institutions to recognize photography as an art form, the museum shines a special spotlight on the genre, as evidenced by a gallery with some of history's earliest photographic prints.

    When hunger strikes, walk to the ground floor for lunch at In Situ, the museum’s Michelin-starred eatery. The restaurant works in tandem with chefs from around the globe to deliver thoughtfully composed plates like shrimp grits with pickled jalapeño (from New York City–based chef Wylie Dufresne) and caramelized carrot soup (from author of Modernist Cuisine, Nathan Mhyrvold).

  • Option 2: Fitness

    Take to the Bay Area waters with City Kayak. Experienced kayakers can paddle their way to see sweeping views of the San Francisco skyline, Alcatraz, and Treasure Island, while beginners can keep it simple—and equally beautiful—with a trip to McCovey Cove or the Bay Bridge.

    Work up an appetite for oysters at Hog Island. Kick things off with a round of gin-based drams, then enjoy a selection of mollusks—namely the Sweetwater, the venue’s plump, sweet-and-smoky signature offering.

Book dinner at Sorrel, the brick-and-mortar product of chef Alex Hong’s pop-up dinners. Here, Hong presents both tasting and à la carte menus that are rooted in ingredients from the Northern Coast. Try plates like dry-aged duck with quince, honey nut squash, and Tokyo turnip or gnocchi with sweet corn and chanterelles.

Carry on with an evening of libations and live music. Sip on the Mission Penicillin (tequila, lemon, and coconut honey) at Black Cat, an intimate jazz haven.

Day 2

Fuel up with breakfast at b. patisserie, a French-focused bakery located in Lower Pacific Heights. Have a mushroom tartine and, if you're feeling indulgent, the kouign-amann (a caramelized croissant).

Choose your adventure:

Slide 1 of 2
  • Option 1: Culture

    Walk down Fillmore Street, where a bevy of boutique shops await, to Alamo Square’s Painted Ladies. The escalating row of candy-colored Victorian houses is one of the city’s most iconic spots.

    From there, head two blocks west for brunch at Nopa. Try the escarole hearts with pears and walnuts, sesame-pecan granola, and soft-scrambled eggs with butternut squash and mint.

  • Option 2: Fitness

    Run the 7.3-mile-long perimeter loop around Golden Gate Park, which is celebrating its 150th anniversary. At 1,017 acres, the park clocks in as one of the largest urban greens in the world. While there, don’t miss the Conservatory of Flowers and the San Francisco Botanical Gardens.

    Recharge at Cassava, a seasonally-inspired restaurant highlighting coastal cuisine. Bright and airy interiors are energizing as is the fare: baked burrata and poached eggs, Cornish game hen with arugula and stone fruits, and a Japanese breakfast with miso soup and pickled local wakame.

On the edge of the city is the Sutro Heights Park. Walk around, taking in the impressive views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin Headlands.

There’s no better San Francisco send-off than a visit to Quince, the three-Michelin-star restaurant from chef Michael Tusk. The 12- to 14-course prix fixe menu changes nightly, but includes dishes like garganelli with lobster and black trumpet mushrooms and golden osetra caviar panna cotta. Take advantage of the extensive list of over 1,400 wines by opting for the beverage pairing.

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