California is an amazing vacation destination and it offers so many unique experiences year round that it can be overwhelming to narrow down a list of things to do and places to see. Here are my recommendations to make the most out of your trip!
Where to Stay
Fairmont San Francisco – Located atop Nob Hill, this luxury hotel offers impeccable service. I had the pleasure to interview William May, Doorman at the Fairmont San Francisco for a special feature on Passport Magazine, and I was impressed to hear about the history of the hotel, which hosts so many politicians, celebrities, and generations of families. This awe-inspiring picture of historic San Francisco is only a cable car trip away from downtown, Union Square, and more. And if you are staying in, there is plenty to do at the hotel, including visiting the hotel’s spa, the gym, or the Tonga Room, which is the coolest place to grab a cocktail or two. The Tonga Room has been there for 75 years and is highly recommended by the hotel’s staff and guests alike.
Huntington Beach’s Pasea Hotel – We stayed at the Pasea Hotel and were blown away by the hospitality. Located right along the beach, Pasea Hotel is within a walking distance to Main Street and the pier. Amenities include everything you can possibly think of needing, such as access to electric scooters, bikes, and beach gear. If you decide to stay in for a day instead of hitting the beach, Pasea Hotel has an amazing spa, which features treatment rooms, couple’s suites, relaxation lounge, fire pits, cabanas, and more.
Things To Do and Places To See
Asia SF – The transgender restaurant, cabaret and nightclub is such a unique and fun dining experience. The food is pretty good, but the shows are amazing!
Tonga Room – Aside from being a great place for cocktails, Fairmont San Francisco’s Tonga Room is also the perfect place for a romantic dinner. The island inspired setting is super fun and unique. Make sure to try the Mai Tai, recognized as one of the best in the city.
Cityscape Lounge – Located at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square, the Cityscape Lounge offers great views of the city, including views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Their menu includes a wide range of signature cocktails, wine, whiskey, and more.
Fisherman’s Wharf – Located on the northern waterfront, Fisherman’s Wharf is only a cable car ride away from Fairmont San Francisco. There is so much to do in that area! You can walk around, people watch, shop, eat, and you can also see the sea lions.
Golden Gate Bridge – One of San Francisco’s most popular tourist spots, the Golden Gate Bridge is a must see. Last time I was there, I rode a bike across the bridge and took the ferry back from Sausalito. For an even more unique experience, you can book the sunset sail and experience the stunning views of the bridge right from the water.
Cable Cars – Riding the historic cable cars is a truly unique San Francisco experience, and it is a convenient way to get places.
Tip: Buy 1, 3, or 7-day Muni Passport or Citypass, which includes entrance to some top attractions.
Castro District – One of the most famous gay neighborhoods in the world, Castro is a great destination for shopping and dining. This is also where you can find some of the most popular LGBT clubs, including BadLands, which has been in the area for two decades and offers entertainment and dance, and Moby Dick, which has a super friendly atmosphere. Moby Dick also has pinball machines, pool, and video games. Within walking distance from Castro, you can also visit Dolores Park, which has amazing views of the city and fun activities during the summer, including sunbathing.
Muir Woods National Forest – Located close to San Francisco, this is an amazing location where you can see the popular redwoods – the giant sequoias known as the tallest living things on our planet. Some of the redwoods in the area are over 1000 years old and over 250 feet tall.
Stay tuned for part 2 of our California adventure!