San Francisco Staff Picks

San Francisco Staff Picks

  • wooded california road

    Road Trip Republic

    Plentiful sunshine and epic outdoor experiences are just a few of the reasons why California is the ultimate state to enjoy by road trip. This summer, consider making your way to Hotel Drisco by car. Embark on an adventure that leads to Pacific Heights, and experience a getaway where the journey is truly part of the destination.

    Visit California has created Road Trip Republic, which outlines incredible routes for road trips around the state, with itineraries suitable for anywhere from 1-10 days.

    More than one of the itineraries will lead you through San Francisco. The “Highway 1 Classic” route starts here and leads all the way down to San Diego. The “Call of the Coast” showcases iconic attractions along Highway 1 between Santa Cruz and Big Sur. Of course, a sojourn in San Francisco makes sense, and our notable neighborhood offers the panoramic views you’ll seek.

    Let the open road lead you to relaxation. Pick a route or craft your own, and we’ll look forward to hosting you during your journey.

  • mixologist

    Whiskey Galore

    Calling all whiskey aficionados: head over to the Belle Yacht at Pier 3 on Friday, March 28, for Whiskies of the World. The yacht will remain docked during this elegant event that will feature tastings from hundreds of varieties of Bourbon, Canadian, Irish, Scotch, and additional imported whiskeys from all over the globe. Also, learn more as you sip and sample during seminars advising on the fine art of pairing whiskeys with cigars and food.

    Participating brands for sampling will include such label luminaries as Alley 6 Distillery, Bardstown Bourbon Company, Frey Ranch Bourbon, Glengoyne, Kuleana Rum Works, Mosswood, Single Cask Nation, Single Malts of Scotland, Spirit Works Distillery, WhistlePig, and many others. The proceeds from this event will benefit Casa Círculo Cultural (CCC). CCC is a non-profit, grassroots, “multidisciplinary art organization dedicated to creating cultural programming reflective of the experiences of the Latino communities in the San Francisco Bay Area,” including such programs as their Community Impact Scholarship Program.

  • handmade chocolate

    One Sweet Destination

    This Valentine’s Day, make the most of a time-honored tradition and indulge yourself and your loved ones with some of the best candy in the country. San Francisco is home to an abundant array of chocolatiers, candy shops, and places to buy unique sweets, and listed below are five of our favorites. Plus, if you can refrain from eating them, many of these items make for interesting souvenirs.

    Brehmer’s Candies

    Handmade gourmet truffles, chews, and more. They also sell a variety of seasonal cookies and offer special candies for Valentine’s Day and other holidays.

    Giddy Candy

    An enormous selection of chocolate, licorice, European favorites, sour gummies, and rare classic favorites.

    Lolli & Pops

    Bonbons and dark chocolate truffles stand out here, along with mix and match gift boxes and bulk sweets.

    Shaws San Francisco

    The oldest candy store in the city, Shaw’s offers decadent homemade fudge, toffee, and truffles, along with flavored popcorn, and a variety of Mitchell’s Ice Cream.

    Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland

    Exquisite Swiss chocolate made into a luscious assortment of truffles and bars. Don’t leave without trying a Dom Perignon truffle.

  • red theater seats

    Several Singular Sensations

    San Francisco is renowned for hosting a plethora of world-class art and cultural events all year round, including many stellar theatrical productions. A variety of venues throughout the city feature an upcoming line-up of Broadway’s hottest shows, such as these listed below.

    The Book of Mormon

    Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s outrageous musical comedy made them the toast of Broadway and won them an impressive nine Tony Awards. Showing at The Golden Gate Theatre from March 31−May 26, 2020.

    A Chorus Line

    Winner of nine Tony Awards and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, this tribute to the unsung chorus members is a must-see. This singular sensation will be performed at the Victoria Theater from April 11−May 10, 2020 .

    The Rocky Horror Show

    Let’s do the Time Warp, again! Join Dr. Frankenfurter, Brad, Janet, and Rocky in this cross-dressing cult phenomenon that has endured through the decades to become a Broadway smash. You can catch TRHS from April 23−May 17, 2020 at A.C.T.’s Geary Theater.

  • young ballerina in tutu with nutcracker toy

    One Sweet Christmas

    This holiday season promises to be especially sweet, with a different version of a classic ballet favorite, a variation on a beloved Christmas tale, and a visit to the city’s favorite gingerbread house. Check out the list below for details.

    Mark Foehringer’s Nutcracker Sweets    

    This version of Tchaikovsky’s classic ballet has been shortened to 50 minutes; making it ideal for families with small children. Foehringer’s choreography features contemporary dance, colorful sets and costumes, and is accompanied by a live chamber orchestra. Showing December 7-22 at Cowell Theater, Fort Mason.

    A Noh Christmas Carol

    Performed from December 6-29, this version of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is set in Meiji-era Japan and uses a mix of kabuki, noh, butoh, and kyogen. Under Nick Ishimaru’s direction, you’ll view the tale of Scrooge, Marley, and the Christmas ghosts in a delightful new light.

    A Giant Gingerbread House

    Every year, the Fairmont Hotel features dazzling holiday décor showcasing a spectacular gingerbread house. Located in the hotel’s grand lobby, this year’s two-story example of every child’s sugary fantasy will contain over 3,000 pounds of royal icing and 1.650 pounds of candy, along with an abundance of house-made gingerbread bricks.

  • two girls ice skating

    Favorite Holiday Events in SF

    All year round, San Francisco provides an abundant array of wonderful events for our guests, but the holidays bring seasonal favorites beloved by locals and visitors alike. A few of our favorites are listed below.

    Moscow Ballet’s Great Russian Nutcracker

    Catch the royally extravagant production of this beloved Christmas ballet from November 5 – December 23. Featuring stunning sets and costumes, performances are scheduled for a variety of venues.

    Ice Skating in Union Square

    From November 6, 2019, to January 20, 2020, you can glide blissfully across the ice in an urban winter wonderland. Lessons and skate helpers are available for newbies.

    The Velveteen Rabbit

    This charming version of the classic children’s favorite features a masterful narrative, delightful dance, music, and clever costumes. Ongoing November 29 through December 8, all shows will be performed at YBCA’s Blue Shield of California Theater.

    A Christmas Carol

    Join Tiny Tim, Scrooge, and a host of ghosts for this production of the Dickens classic. Performances are ongoing at the A.C.T Geary Theatre from November 29 - December 24.

  • colorful pumpkins

    The Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival

    Featuring just about everything a fall festival should be, the 49th Annual Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival will take place during the weekend of October 19-20.

    Just about everything a fall festival should be, the 49th Annual Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival will take place during the weekend of October 19-20. Head over to Main Street in picturesque Half Moon Bay for one of the greatest pumpkin festivals in the U.S. Celebrating a glorious array of oversize, prize-winning gourds and an amazing assortment of family-friendly entertainment, the “World Pumpkin Capital” is the place to be for this signature annual event. Don’t miss the Great Pumpkin Parade, and gaze in awe at the huge (11 feet high, 10,000-pound) mosaic pumpkin sculpture by artist Peter Hazel.

    Browse harvest-inspired crafts, enjoy craft brews and other fabulous food and drink (including the perfect pumpkin pie). Also featured are four stages of awesome entertainment, bungee jumping, contests, and the Sunday-only “Made on the Coast” Locals’ Artists Block, showcasing the finest arts, crafts, and demonstrations from local painters, potters, jewelers, glassblowers, photographers, furniture-makers and fabric artists. Be sure to pose for a selfie with “Gourdy,” the festival’s plump pumpkin mascot, and don’t leave without your own Halloween pumpkin from one of the many pumpkin patches in town.

  • chinese dragon boat festival

    Northern California's International Dragon Boat Festival

    Chart a course this month for Lake Merritt, Oakland, and the 24th Annual Northern California International Dragon Boat Festival. Happening on September 28-29, the festival will feature a fleet of sleek and brilliantly-colored 40-foot dragon boats, all racing in time to the beat of Chinese drums. Come out to cheer on your favorite teams, including competitive racers from all over the world. Get an airbrush dragon tattoo at the Kaiser Permanente Health and Fitness Pavilion, and don’t miss the opening ceremony on the morning of September 21, when Buddhist monks will perform a traditional blessing and eye-dotting ceremony to awaken the dragons for racing.

    This ceremony also includes lion dancing and a performance of the National Anthem by the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir. In addition to 120 teams of world-class dragon boat racers, you’ll find dazzling cultural performances by Chinese acrobats, Taiko drumming, martial arts displays, roving stilt walkers, magic shows, and Tahitian dancing, a marketplace filled with an amazing array of tasty eats, and a cool, shaded area with picnic tables to enjoy it all. Lastly, be sure to bring the kids, where games, arts & crafts, and other kid-friendly activities await them in Dragon Land.

  • woman with face and body painting

    Celebrate Summer’s End at Sausalito

    Mark your calendars now and make a date to join us on Labor Day weekend for the Sausalito Art Festival. One of the country’s most prestigious outdoor art events, this annual fest offers the finest of fine art, fabulous food, world-class wine, and live music on the Sausalito waterfront. From August 31 through September 2, the festival will be rockin’ with the sounds of 19 bands on two stages, featuring such musical luminaries as Blues Traveler, Blood, Sweat, and Tears, Andre Theirry, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, and ZZ Ward, along with tribute bands to Santana, The Beatles, Earth, Wind, and Fire, and Elton John.

    This 67th edition of the fest also includes the Summer of Love opening night preview party, where you can rub elbows with over 250 juried artists from around the globe while savoring curated appetizers and wine and champagne bars. Along with the 14 categories of art, be sure to check out the new Art-Tech Pavilion, with augmented reality art demos and virtual activations in addition to exhibits by Airstream, Tesla, and Chris Craft. Festival proceeds will benefit the local arts community in the form of grants, scholarships, and community programs.

  • colorful sprinkles

    Stay Cool at the Museum of Ice Cream

    Where in San Francisco would you find a pool of brightly-colored sprinkles, a tribute to gummy bears and popsicles, and an interactive gallery of suspended bananas? The answer is the Museum of Ice Cream! One of the most Instagrammable places in the SF, this fun and interactive museum was originally opened as a pop-up but has since earned a permanent place in the heart of the city. With the distinction of being the only one of its kind in the country, the MOIC features rooms of installations depicting delectable sweets in larger than life sizes.

    Located near Union Square, MOIC’s ticket price includes samples of other sugary treats along with loads of ice cream samples—and rotating seasonal installations just mean that you’ll always have a good reason to come back for more. Additionally, the MOIC offers special events to celebrate the months and the seasons. July 4 through September 22 will allow kids of all ages to relive or reimagine the experience of summer camp. Attendees can earn “Sprinkle Scout” badges, make S’mores, and meet the camp counselors. Just like the delectable frozen confection it's named for, this place is totally cool, super sweet, and fabulously fun!

  • little boy laying on sidewalk chalk art of a motorcycle

    A San Francisco Tradition

    Head over to the historic North Beach District this month for an epic street festival featuring an abundance of food, music, art, and fun. Long famous as the home for such “Beat Generation” luminaries as Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady, and poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, who founded the legendary City Lights bookstore, North Beach has been named one of the ten “Great Neighborhoods in America.” Also known as “Little Italy,” the neighborhood has thrived and grown throughout the last 50 years and celebrates its heritage annually at the North Beach Festival.

    June 15-16 will mark the 65th year of the festival, which is considered one of the original outdoor street festivals in the U.S. You’ll find over 125 booths with a variety of arts and crafts, two stages of live entertainment, poetry readings, gourmet food for sale, a kids’ chalk art area, beverage gardens, and the traditional blessing of the animals at The National Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi. Don’t miss out on this annual San Francisco tradition!

  • man controling robot from computer

    Cool Rules at the Bay Area Maker Faire

    For more than 10 years now, a “maker movement” that originally begun in the Bay Area has become a worldwide sensation. Featuring some of the most interesting and coolest creations ever, the Bay Area Maker Faire on May 17-19 plays host to an array of works and their creators, including a myriad of artists, engineers, techies, teachers, students, and craftspeople. The result is a display of creativity, resourcefulness, enthusiasm, and often, genius. Join us at the San Mateo County Event Center for a veritable combustion of creativity, with talks, demos, robots, and the opportunity to meet and speak with the creators and their teams.

    Attractions include Adam Savage’s “Sunday Sermon,” lightsaber training, the Tiny Home Zone, the Museum of Future Sports, and the Dance Battle Stage. You can also browse hard-to-find crafts, handmade items, unique art, and hundreds of interactive exhibits. Don’t miss the “Navajo Mythbusters” as they demonstrate their unique sustainable energy systems, watch the Space Enterprise at Berkeley team show you how they’re going to take their Eureka-1 Rocket into space, help with crowd-sourced, 3D-printed sculptures, and interact with many more makers and their exciting visions of our future!

  • cherry blossoms

    Welcome Springtime at the Cherry Blossom Festival

    One of the loveliest of the state’s many native floral offerings, cherry blossoms are a not only a colorful and fragrant harbinger of spring but also represent the U.S.A.’s ongoing alliance with the country of Japan and Asian cultural traditions. The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival was created in 1968 to honor this partnership and has since become one of California’s most famous celebrations, as well as the largest such festival on the West Coast. In 2019, the 52nd Annual Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival will take place on April 13-21 in San Francisco’s Japantown.

    Don’t miss the festival’s Grand Parade, featuring Co-Grand Marshals: Mayor London N. Breed and Marié Digby. Experience Japanese classical (Buyo) and folk dance (Minyo) performances throughout the parade route. Additional activities include origami and flower-arranging exhibits and demonstrations, tea ceremonies, fashion shows, live music, Cosplay on the Catwalk, and more, including an exciting scavenger hunt to help you discover the treasures of Japantown. Mark the date, and make your plans now to join hundreds of thousands of attendees at this free event honoring Japanese and Japanese-American culture.

  • san francisco conservatory of flowers

    Valentine’s Day at the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers

    For a genuinely memorable and exotic experience, the San Francisco Conservatory of Flowers is the place to go. Inhale (if you dare) the reek of the Corpse Flower blooms from Sumatra, get a close up view of the tiny “dragon faces” on the Dracula Orchids from South America, and, for a much more pleasant olfactory experience, sniff the White Ginger Lily, whose fragrant and delicate flowers resemble butterflies, or Mariposa, as it is known in Cuba, where it is the national flower. The conservatory features five different galleries to explore: Aquatic Plants, Highland Tropics, Lowland Tropics, Potted Plants, and the West Gallery, each with a variety of rare, remarkable, and frequently endangered plants.

    In addition to the galleries, the Conservatory hosts a variety of changing exhibits and events. As a special treat for Valentine’s Day, come out for their latest exhibit, “Aphrodisiacs for the Tropics”, where you and your special someone can take a trip to the rain forest to view “aphrodisiac” plants on February 14. Browse the Conservatory galleries as you nibble on chocolate and sip a complimentary libation. Also included are tarot readings, a Victorian pink velvet photo booth, and a live accordion performance.

  • whale breeching the water

    A Whale of a Good Time

    A stunning view of a spectacular phenomenon can be seen here each December through February when magnificent gray whales pass by during their annual migration. One of the best views of this migration is from the Point Reyes National Seashore, when about 90 percent of the whales will pass within a mile of the Point Reyes peninsula. January is one of the optimal viewing months, as it is estimated that approximately 1,000 of these cetaceans pass through this area each day. Point Reyes offers one of the best views on the coast, but direct access is restricted during the migration.

    The best option for whale watchers here is to board the frequent shuttles in the parking lot – shuttle drivers will then convey them to any drop-off point they wish. For a much closer look, book a seat on one of the cruise boats. These run through the season, which usually ends in early spring. No matter which whale-watching option you choose, remember to wear sturdy shoes, bring nutritious snacks, plenty of water, and to dress warmly for the duration. You may also want to pack your camera and/or binoculars. Happy whale watching!

  • A Month of Festive and Family-Friendly Fun

    This December, treat yourself to some of the city’s finest festive events, several of which are listed here. First, check out the Lighted Boat Parade on December 14 on San Francisco Bay. Sponsored by the Fisherman's Wharf Community Benefit District and the St. Francis Yacht Club, this is one of the biggest and oldest such parades. Next, don’t miss the A.C.T.’s Geary Theater production of “A Christmas Carol.” Showing through December 29, this will be the 42nd year A.C.T. will perform their version of Dickens’ beloved holiday classic.

    Another holiday traditional favorite is the December 14 performance of Handel’s Messiah, sung by the stellar members of the Grammy Award-winning San Francisco Symphony Chorus and its world-class soloists. Also, don’t miss ’Twas the Night - A Festival of Carols, which features the SF Symphony’s brass section and chorus on December 23. Both concerts will be performed at Davies Symphony Hall. Lastly, be sure to catch one, or all, of these direct-from-Broadway hits: “A Bronx Tale,” showing at the Golden Gate Theatre through December 23, “Dear Evan Hansen,” showing at the Curran Theatre through December 30, and “Mary Poppins,” showing at the San Francisco Playhouse through January 12, 2019.

  • A Toast to a Wonderful Holiday Season

    San Francisco is chock-full of wonderful events to help you kick off the holiday season, and three of our favorites are listed here. First, join us at the San Francisco Opera for their inaugural presentation of “It’s a Wonderful Life” on November 17. Showing through December 9, the West Coast premiere of this beloved holiday classic is based on the Frank Capra film and features music by Jake Heggie. Next, don’t miss a visit to the Cow Palace Exhibition Halls November 17- December 23 for a real Victorian Christmas.

    The 36th Annual Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Holiday Party will take you back in time to a London lit with lamplight and full of pubs, theaters, and dance parties. Hundreds of colorful, costumed characters will make merry as they recreate a true Dickensian Christmas. Lastly, don’t leave without a visit to PIER 39’s Winter Wine Pour on November 30. Toast the holiday season with award-winning wines from the Livermore Valley, as you stroll along the pier and enjoy our 60-foot tree. A part of the proceeds will benefit Aquarium of the Bay’s free conservation education program for Bay Area children.

  • Haunted Alcatraz

    Whitey Bulger, Machine Gun Kelly, and the banjo-playing Al “Scarface” Capone were all convicted and sent to Alcatraz, along with thousands of others. “The Rock” had a bad rep from the beginning, with reports of inmates killed in fights, by committing suicide, shot trying to escape, and some mysterious deaths that were never explained. Tales of the sadistic mistreatment of inmates, particularly in Cell Block D, abounded, and it’s famous for being the most haunted block there. Prisoners described being left in dank cells without human contact, sound, or light, sometimes for weeks at a time.

    It’s no wonder the former prison now has a different kind of reputation – one that sends chills down the backs of both casual visitors and hardened ghost hunters. Feelings of dread and icy cold, hollow footsteps, rattling chains, ghostly gunshots, and blood-curdling screams are only a small sample of the “hauntings” experienced on tours of the prison. One prison guard even reported hearing a banjo playing in the shower, which was the only place Capone would play. To experience Alcatraz for yourself, check out the tour companies that offer day or night tours.

  • Arias al Fresco: Opera in the Park

    The San Francisco Chronicle is proud to present the San Francisco Opera’s presentation of Opera in the Park on September 9 at the Robin Williams Meadow in Golden Gate Park. In celebration of the opening of the Opera’s 96th season, “Arias al Fresco” will feature a magnificent afternoon of opera, accompanied by the San Francisco Opera Orchestra and sung by many of the company’s stars from the new fall season. This annual free concert is usually attended by tens of thousands of opera lovers and general spectators.

    Some of the musical selections for this performance will be a sampling from the new season’s operas, which will include Puccini’s “Tosca,” Donizetti’s “Roberto Devereaux,” Bizet’s “Carmen,” Handel’s “Orlando,” and Dvorak’s “Rusalka.” A new opera by composer Jake Heggie and librettist Gene Scheer, “It’s a Wonderful Life,” is based on the popular movie, and will be performed just in time for the holidays. For more information, or to purchase tickets, click here.

  • San Francisco by Bike

    Trade in your four wheels for two and experience San Francisco from a different point-of-view. Take advantage of our complimentary bicycles and hit the streets in style. We like to provide eco-friendly alternatives for our guests and being green is easy when there are landscapes like these just waiting to discover. San Fran is one of the most bike-friendly cities on the West Coast. We suggest exploring the Golden Gate bridge on your way to Sausalito for breathtaking sights or staying local and riding through the jeweled toned hills of charming San Fran neighborhoods. For over 500 miles of trails, opt for the San Francisco Bay Trail or try Bicycle Boulevard to experience excellent bike lanes. Oakland Hills provides a scenic route, or Hawk Hill has picture-perfect views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Be creative and enjoy the journey. Traveling should set your soul on fire. Time to start your fun adventures by snagging a bicycle from downstairs.

  • Ice Cream Adventures

    Take advantage of the warmer temperatures to cool off with homemade ice cream from any of these delightful parlors.

    Swensen’s Ice Cream, 1999 Hyde St.

    Step back in time at this old-school ice cream shop. Treat your loved ones to a massive classic sundae or feel decadent with flavors like sticky chewy chocolate and Turkish coffee.

    Salt & Straw, 2201 Fillmore St.

    Surprise your taste buds with innovative flavors such as green apple mayo sherbert and peach vinegar cobble with toasted nutmeg. Sounds more like a meal than a creamy treat? Wait till you taste them.

    Bi-Rite Creamery, 3692 18th St.

    Is the ice cream worth the wait? Absolutely. We can’t get enough of their delicious small-batch, seasonal, local, and organic scoops. Flavors like honey lavender and salted caramel are a foodies dream. All of the ice creams are made with organic eggs, milk, and cream from local Straus Family Creamery.

  • Spirited Booze Tasting on Treasure Island

    Make the most of your time in San Francisco by spending the day at Treasure Island. Hours from Napa and Sonoma is the heart of the urban winery movement, with seven different tasting rooms all within walking distance of each other. However, don’t expect the picturesque country scenery of those mentioned above, these wineries are rustic and housed in repurposed WWII submarine training vessels such as Sottomarino or former Navy prison cells like Fat Grape Winery. However, the unique and charming environments are what keeps wine aficionados coming back for more. For instance, Sol Rouge and Vie both have bocce courts with sweeping view of the San Francisco skyline, something you would never see from the rolling hills of St. Helena. Our favorite is The Winery, which holds dozens of award and houses a vast array of wines, ranging from Chardonnay to Tempranillo. The diverse selection of Northern California vintages guarantees there is something for everyone. However, if you are craving a beer, pop over to Woods Island Club for a makeshift beach, and craft brews served inside a vintage airplane hangar.

  • 36th San Francisco Jazz Festival

    Heading to San Francisco this summer? You’re in luck! This June, the 36th San Francisco Jazz Festival will take over, featuring dozens of celebrated jazz greats. From June 6 to June 17, head to the SFJazz Center, the city’s 36,000-square-foot, $64-million-dollar center at Fell and Franklin streets, to enjoy afternoon and evenings of live musical performances. While you’re in the heart of San Francisco’s cultural corridor, be sure to check out the second floor and the famous tiled murals by Sandow Birk and Elyse Pignolet. Our favorite, “Jazz and the City,” represents the story of our city’s famous music clubs, including Jimbo’s Bop City and the Keystone Korner. A few not-to-miss shows during the San Francisco Jazz Festival on our list include John Brother’s Piano Co., Lea Delaria, Amadou & Mariam, Marcus Miller and Kendrick Scott Oracle. Purchase your San Francisco Jazz Festival tickets here.

  • Go Green When You Travel

    Love to travel? How about traveling and making a positive impact on the environment at the same time? We are dedicated to being a good neighbor and providing a sustainability program that allows our guests to embark on feel good travel. While Earth Day is just around the corner later this month, our green policies and practices are year-round and are key to a number of ways we do business as a sophisticated hotel destination. We have been awarded with “Green Leader Gold” status by TripAdvisor and certified by the City and County of San Francisco for having complied with the San Francisco Green Business Program standards. We invite all of our guests to join us in our mission to lessen our footprint thanks to a number of simple program offerings, including in-room recycling bins, option to reuse towels, and utilize public transportation or our complimentary bikes. And, we recycle all electronic equipment, use certified green cleaning products, purchase 10% of energy from renewable sources, offer water-saving aerators in each shower, donate left-behind items to the local St. Anthony Foundation, and use as many locally-certified ingredients and products as possible. Learn more about our green efforts here and feel good when you travel. Here’s to being green!

  • A Night at the Ballet

    Did you know the San Francisco Ballet is the oldest company in the United states? Established in 1933, the prestigious ballet company brought the internationally-recognized Nutcracker to an American audience on Christmas Eve in 1944. Performed at the War Memorial Opera House, the San Francisco Ballet turned this traditional show into one of the company’s most popular performances. Still today, the company performs the Nutcracker every December. Luckily, you don’t have to limit your San Francisco Ballet experience to the 12th month of the year. The typical season runs from January through May, offering a number of performances ranging from Frankenstein to Robbins – Ballet & Broadway. Insider’s tip: make it a full night or day at the ballet and start with dinner or Sunday brunch at the iconic War Memorial Opera House. The elegant spread is offered two hours prior to show time and features a number of gourmet culinary options for any palette. Ready for the stage curtains to open? See our current offers and visit us before the ballet season ends in May.

  • Chinese New Year 2018

    There are so many reason why we love San Francisco and the Chinese New Year is one of them! Starting February 10th through March 4th, the city celebrates the Chinese New Year with a number of festivities that pay homage to our city’s vibrant culture. Help us usher in the Year of the Dog this year with a number of not-to-be-missed activities, including the Chinese New Year Flower Fair (2/10-2/11), the Chinatown Community Street Fair (2/24-2/25) and of course, the Chinese New Year’s iconic parade on Saturday, February 24th.  Named as one of the top ten Parades in the world by International Festivals & Events Association, the night illuminated parade is the biggest celebration of the lunar new year outside of Asia. Are you excited yet? A collection of gorgeous floats, costumes, firecrackers and the crowd favorite, the Golden Drago know as “Gum Lung” will take to the streets. Not felling up to the crowds? Take in all the action from the comfort of your guest room and tune in to KTVU Fox 2 or KTSF 26 at 6 p.m. on the 24th.

    Inspired by the Chinese New Year? Check out our current specials and offerings and make the last-minute to be part of this special celebration.

  • Celebrate Love in San Francisco

    Take romance to new heights in 2018 with an experience that makes you an honorary private mansion owner atop the Bay Area’s most exclusive neighborhood. Book the Pacific Heights Romance Package and enjoy a half bottle of Schramsburg Sparkling Wine to toast to the occasion, a box of confections by local chocolatier Jenner Ashby, a romantic silk rose-petal turndown service, and a much-needed guaranteed late check-out time.

    While in your town, check out our top three ways to celebrate love in San Francisco:

    1. Sit down for a picnic at Crissy Field, one of the area’s most expansive spaces of green with a gorgeous view. Bring a cozy blanket and basket filled with local goodies and you can even bring your pooch (if your pup made the trip).

    2. Get artsy and spend the afternoon at the Palace of Fine Arts. Known for its welcoming and show-stopping rotunda and collection of fountains surrounding the iconic lagoon, it’s the perfect backdrop for romantic selfies.

    3. Take a page from Shakespeare himself and walk amongst a Garden of Shakespeare’s Flowers.  Get lost with your beloved as you walk along a perfectly-laid path adorned with blooms.

    Book your romantic weekend getaway now.

  • Instagram-able Views

    A picture says a thousand words and we’ve got the top three Instagram-able spots around town. Head out on an adventure to one of these destinations for unparalleled Bay Area views. The only other decision you’ll have to make is which filter to use, but, if you ask us, these views are so stellar that a filter may not even be required.

    Grandview Park – Give your glutes a little work out and head up the steps of 16th Ave. (Yes, the mosaic tiles are amazing!) Check the weather for fog before you go (clear days are best) and you’ll take in a three-for-one deal: the Golden Gate Bridge, the Pacific Ocean and Golden Gate Park.

    Ina Coolbrith Park – The namesake park of the state’s first poet, this under-the-radar spot is home to a variety of florals and provides sweeping views of Coit Tower, “The Pyramid,” and San Fran’s signature skyline.

    Tank Hill –  Go north of the more widely-known Twin Peaks by less than a mile and find yourself in what we call a “boutique” park, offering larger-than-life views for you to admire. You might not even find this one on the map, but just ask our team and we’ll be happy to help point you in the right direction.

  • Explore San Francisco Like a Local

    Get behind the handles to see San Francisco like a local. As part of the Hotel Drisco experience, we encourage you to peddle your way around town. From biking the Golden Gate Bridge to exploring charming areas nearby, we offer bike packages inclusive of all the essentials, think picnic lunches and bike path maps to help you get one degree closer to all-things San Francisco, especially since the city is only 7 miles by 7 miles. Grab a helmet and seek out our top three picks best seen by bike:

    Golden Gate Park – go for it on a Sunday when cars aren’t allowed on the streets, leaving more room for you to bike freely

    Sausalito – head across the Golden Gate Bridge for amazing views and find yourself in Sausalito for day of sightseeing complete with gorgeous views

    The Marina – start at Fisherman’s Wharf and work your way around town to discover hidden beauty with each peddle

    Reserve your bike package HERE!  

  • A Secret Worth Telling

    The key to great improv is to always say yes, and the Secret Improv Society is sure to make its audience members say, “Yes!” San Francisco is chock-full of improv but the not-so-secret Secret Improv Society stands out amongst the rest. World-class improvers transform the space from a theatre into a laugh haven. Housed in the Shelton Theater, the Secret Improv Society brings the funny every Friday and Saturday night at 10 p.m. With an open bar and tickets starting at just $17, the Secret Improv Society is a treat you should tell all your friends about. Come to watch or try your hand at performance. Be the brave soul that steps onto the stage from the audience and ignites the room with laughter. With audience contribution, there’s no such thing as writer's block or actor’s block for that matter. Fill you vacation with laughs at the Secret Comedy Society at the Shelton Theatre. 

    Address: 533 Sutter, San Francisco 94102

  • Healthy Parks, Healthy People

    Getting healthy can be a challenge, and staying active and healthy while on vacation is even harder. However, while you’re on vacation in San Francisco, their National Park Society has got you covered. Healthy Parks, Healthy People is a recurring National Park Society event that takes place the first Saturday of every month from 2pm to 4pm. As you work your way to a healthier lifestyle, there’s no need to put things on hold while on vacation. The program series includes the following programs which will alternate each month: Hiking for Heartbeats, Ecotherapy, Family Fun Fitness, and Family Boot Camp. Healthy Parks Healthy People is a program designed to help you get ready and stay ready for a healthy life even when you're away from home. The recurring event is free for all who want to join in, and it's kid-friendly, just in case you want to make this an outing for the entire family. Meet in front of the Presidio Visitor Center, wear comfortable exercise clothing and shoes, and get ready to sweat!

    Presidio Visitor Center, 210 Lincoln Boulevard, San Francisco, CA

  • Batteries to Bluffs

    Take in beautiful ocean views while hiking at San Francisco’s Batteries to Bluffs Trail. Just a short 10 minute drive from Hotel Drisco, the Batteries to Bluffs Trail wows its hikers with wondrous views of the Pacific. Enjoy the peace of the crashing waves as you climb the stairs of your hike to breathtaking views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Marin headlands. There are a number of off-shoots to the trail, including the romantically quite Marshall Beach, a perfect place to take in the beautiful ocean with your significant other, family or friends. If you’re lucky enough, you may even get to see a dolphin or two. The Batteries to Bluff Trail is sure to woo you and give you a great workout in the process.

  • Stairs to Heaven

    The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps started as a neighborhood project of creating “a sea to stars themed mosaic flowing up a 163-step stairway.” Now, 14 years later, the wonderfully crafted stairs in the Golden Gate Heights neighborhood serves as a free local landmark for all to see. The members of the community definitely accomplished their mission of beautifying Golden Gate Heights with the luminescent walk up in the center of their community. “Stairs to Heaven” perfectly describes the handmade named tiles that lead up to a breath taking view of San Francisco. Whether you’re hiking the steps for a morning workout or sightseeing with your travel buddies the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps are sure to be a wonderful addition to your itinerary. Park at the bottom of the steps, take in the beauty of the carefully crafted stairs, and snap a photo for all your friends to see. Because trust us, they will wish that they were there!

    The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps are located at Moraga Street, between 15th & 16th Ave., San Francisco, 94122

  • The 'Full House' House: A Trip Down Memory Lane

    Did you grow up watching DJ Tanner navigate through life with her insanely cute younger sisters on Full House? Or maybe you’ve binged watched that same DJ Tanner return to her childhood home as a single mother on Fuller House. Whether you’re hip to the Full House Franchise that introduced the world to Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen or an appreciator of San Francisco’s signature Victorian homes, 1709 Broderick Street is the place to visit. The home at 1709 Broderick Street is the very home filmed in the opening sequence of Full House. Take pictures in front of the home; create your very own opening sequence to Jesse Frederick’s “Everywhere you look”, and then head over to Alamo Park for a picnic. Relive your childhood on a nice day adventure to 1709 Broderick Street! Full House is a popular family sitcom that aired on primetime TV from 1987 to 1995. Fuller House, its spinoff, can be found on Netflix.

    The House, 1709 Broderick Street, San Francisco 94115

UPDATE: We will reopen the hotel on October 1st!
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