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What to See, Eat and Do in San Francisco


These days, it looks like the news headlines from San Francisco have been negative, from the town’s homelessness crisis and highly publicized recall elections to the realm’s astronomical cost-of-living and worsening fire seasons.

But San Francisco remains to be San Francisco. The fog still rolls in from the Pacific to blanket the town’s jumbled hills, the sunset still flames crimson behind the Golden Gate Bridge and the smell of salt and eucalyptus still hits the moment you step outside of San Francisco International Airport. All the time a city for lovers of the outside, pandemic restrictions led to the near-universal embrace of an indoor-outdoor city life. And at its core, the town’s spirit, a heady brew of creativity, progressivism and experimentation, stays unbreakable.

San Francisco’s pandemic recovery has been slower than other major metropolitan areas in the US; in response to data from the San Francisco Travel Association, forecasts for 2022 estimate 80 percent of 2019’s visitor volume. While the Downtown and Union Square neighborhoods remain quieter than prepandemic times, the town’s singular neighborhoods, from the Mission to Russian Hill and the Outer Sunset, are vibrant with packed restaurants and bars, and plenty of boast of latest parks and in-person events. San Francisco not imposes a mask mandate, but some businesses would require or request masks; masks are beneficial but not required on MUNI and BART, the town’s public transportation systems. Many indoor events, including concert events and theater productions, require proof of vaccination to enter.

San Francisco’s wealth of green spaces has increased due to a trio of latest parks, including the Presidio Tunnel Tops, 14 acres of latest national park land hugging the town’s north coast that opened this month. Boasting panoramic views of the Bay, the park was designed by the identical group behind Latest York’s High Line and is home to a changing roster of food trucks, art installations and performances. For more views, take a look at Francisco Park in the town’s Russian Hill neighborhood, which opened in April on the positioning of San Francisco’s first reservoir. Within the southeastern Mission Bay neighborhood, largely shielded from the town’s frequent westerly winds, Crane Cove Park has grow to be a warm, sunny destination for stand-up paddle-boarding, kayaking and lounging because it opened in 2020.

Along with latest parks, San Francisco has grow to be more walkable and bikeable with the pandemic-driven development of the Slow Streets program, which limits or prohibits automobile traffic on streets throughout the town. Destination-worthy ones include the Great Highway, which runs alongside Ocean Beach on the town’s western shore (it’s currently closed to automobile traffic on weekends and infrequently, on windy days) and JFK Promenade in Golden Gate Park, which might be made permanently car-free in November. The one-and-a-half-mile stretch of JFK takes you past destinations just like the Conservatory of Flowers and the Rose Garden, plus the Skatin’ Place, where you’ll often discover a rocking roller disco.

Golden Gate Park can also be playing host to quite a lot of major in-person events this 12 months, including Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, a free, three-day music festival being held Sept. 30 to Oct. 2. This 12 months’s lineup will feature Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle and Buddy Miller, with more artists to be announced next week. The Outside Lands Music Festival is happening Aug. 5 to 7 with artists including Green Day, Post Malone and Lil Uzi Vert (single-day tickets from $195; three-day passes from $409). Find much more music within the Sunset District on the Stern Grove Festival, now in its eighty fifth 12 months. The series of free weekly concert events, happening on Sundays through Aug. 14, has acts starting from the San Francisco Symphony to Phil Lesh.

The Portola Music Festival (single-day tickets from $200, two-day passes from $400), a latest music festival is coming to San Francisco from the team behind Coachella, takes place on Sept. 24 to 25 at Pier 80, and can showcase electronic acts including Flume, James Blake, The Avalanches and M.I.A.

With its opening in October, the Institute of Contemporary Art San Francisco goals to offer a fresh approach to the ways during which contemporary art ought to be showcased and shared. Tied to its core tenets of equity and accessibility, ICASF may have free admission and plans to showcase local artists and artists of color in an environment that’s welcoming to all. Opening programming features a solo exhibition from Jeffrey Gibson, a Choctaw-Cherokee painter and sculptor, a gaggle exhibit curated by Tahirah Rasheed and Autumn Breon, Oakland-based members of the collective See Black Womxn, and work from the local artists Liz Hernández and Ryan Whelan.

San Francisco’s restaurants have struggled from pandemic restrictions, but in addition the high operational costs and high costs of living limiting the workforce. Many storefronts remain empty, and quite a lot of legacy businesses closed, including Alioto’s, an Italian seafood restaurant that held court in Fisherman’s Wharf for 97 years, and the Cliff House, an iconic destination hugging the jagged shoreline over the Pacific (a latest restaurant may open there by the top of the 12 months).

While undoubtedly difficult, the past two years have had a silver lining: Outdoor dining and drinking cropped up all over the place, from long-established restaurants like Nopa to brand-new spots like Casements, a contemporary Irish bar within the Mission that opened in January 2020. The bar had originally planned to be a comfy, indoor-only affair, but as an alternative it now serves stellar cocktails (from $12) on among the finest patios in the town, complete with an outside semi-private space, live music, D.J.s and colourful murals of Irish rock musicians including Dolores O’Riordan of the Cranberries and Phil Lynott of Thin Lizzy.

While marquee openings are still a significant a part of the town’s food fabric — recent ones include the opulent Palm Court Restaurant in the brand new RH Gallery and a latest Ghirardelli Chocolate Experience store — a few of the most enjoyable developments center on low-key projects from high-end chefs. Within the Mission, Corey Lee of three Michelin-starred Benu opened San Ho Won, a Korean barbecue spot with classic dishes and riffs on tradition, like a blood-sausage pancake and kimchi pozole (starters from $16, barbecue from $26). Matthew Kirk, a sous chef from Lazy Bear, opened Automat, a day-and-night destination within the Western Addition for baked goods, breakfast sandwiches and burgers (sandwiches from $9 to $16).

Natural wine is nothing latest in San Francisco, but low-intervention bottles — small-batch, often funky wines made utilizing organic ingredients, native yeast and frequently, little to no sulfites — are dominating latest restaurants and bars. Shuggie’s, a pop-art explosion with a energetic bottle list from the West Coast and beyond, features two-dollar wine shots and a “trash pizza” created from repurposed food waste (wines from $15 for a glass or $51 for a bottle; pizzas from $19). Palm City Wines opened within the Outer Sunset in spring of 2020 as a takeaway-only natural wine bottle shop and deli; now, it also serves small plates, wines by the glass, Northern California beers and forearm-sized hoagies (starters from $8, sandwiches from $19). Upping the ante is Bar Part Time within the Mission, a natural wine-fueled disco with a rotating roster of D.J.s and wine producers.

1 Hotel opened in San Francisco in June on the Embarcadero near the Ferry Constructing. The striking space features reclaimed wood and native greenery, recyclable key cards and hangers within the 186 guest rooms and 14 suites (from $500 per night), plus a rooftop spa, chef’s garden and beehives. Terrene, the hotel’s restaurant, includes a farm-to-table inspired menu and a big range of mezcal and tequila.

LUMA, which also opened in June, is the primary hotel development within the Mission Bay neighborhood. With 299 rooms (from $329 per night) and a rooftop lounge opening later this summer, the hotel is near Oracle Park and the Chase Center. And on June 30, the longstanding Sir Francis Drake Hotel in Union Square reopened as Beacon Grand with 418 renovated guest rooms (from $249 per night), a lobby bar and in 2023, will reopen a redesign of the famed top-floor bar, the Starlite Room.

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