• Brilliant Red Hanging Lanterns in San Franciscos Chinatown

    Experience the Magic of San Francisco’s Chinatown

    March 05, 2018

    Where can you visit a fortune cookie factory, a Buddhist temple, a medicinal herb shop, and enjoy a fabulous 10-course Dim Sum lunch, all in just a few hours? The answer is San Francisco’s Chinatown – an exciting adventure only minutes away! Feel free to wander around and explore at your leisure, but, if you want the inside scoop from those in the know, it’s best to opt for one of the many guided tours available.

    One good option is the free walking tour offered by the San Francisco Public Library. All the guides are experienced and knowledgeable volunteers, and will lead the way through herb merchants and back alleys, temples and dim sum shops. Along the way, you’ll pick up a few stories and pick up a bit of rich history about the oldest Chinatown in the nation. To get the most from your tour, wear comfortable shoes, layers for warmth in chilly weather, and don’t forget that raincoat or umbrella. Also, be sure you are fit to walk for the duration of the tour. For details about this and other walking tours, click here.

  • ballet dancer on bridge in nature

    Treat Yourself to a Ballet Binge

    February 05, 2018

    For culture aficionados, the theater, the opera, and the ballet are often considered the divine trinity of the performing arts, and there is no more highly-regarded ballet company than the San Francisco Ballet. From their exciting opening night gala, to the beloved annual holiday performance of “Nutcracker,” and the thrilling eight additional performances that make up the remaining Repertory Season, the company is never delivers less than avant-garde 21st-century dance. The 2018 season promises to continue the tradition with performances of “The Sleeping Beauty,” featuring Helgi Tomasson’s brilliant choreography set to Tchaikovsky’s memorable score.

    The Repertory performances also include “Distinctly SF Ballet,” “Robbins: Ballet and Broadway,” The National Ballet of Canada: Nijinsky,” “Bright Fast Cool Blue,” and “Frankenstein,” a breathtaking combination of a masterful score, magnificent sets and costumes, and inspired choreography. This was one of last year’s sellouts! For performance schedules and tickets, call (415) 865 2000, email tickets@sfballet.org, or click here.

  • Three Glasses of Whiskey Over Ice

    A Spirited Day Trip: The Spirit Works Tasting Room

    January 08, 2018

    Vodka and classic gins were well known as specialties of Sonoma County’s only all-female-staffed, grain-to-grass distillery known as Spirit Works. However, since the distillery was founded in 2012, chief distiller Ashby Marshall and her crack team of whiskey aficionados have also been focusing on whiskey production. Their efforts were rewarded in 2015, when an inaugural rye that had been aged for two years in American White Oak Barrels was introduced to the public. The distillery also offers a straight whiskey made exclusively from organic, Hard Red Winter Wheat grown in California. The identical wheat is also used in their vodkas and gins.

    Spirit Works makes and bottles vodka, gin, barrel gin, sloe gin, barrel reserve sloe gin, straight rye whiskey, and straight wheat whiskey. Experience them all for yourself with a visit to the distillery's tasting room in Sebastopol in Sonoma County, less than two hours from San Francisco. Bottle sales, bar ware, and cocktail books are also available. For information about tours, tastings or private events, call (707) 634-4793, or email: tastingroom@spiritworksdistillery.com. Also, check out the distillery online here.

  • Girl with Ice Skates

    Have a Holiday on Ice at the Historic Embarcadero District

    December 04, 2017

    From its humble beginnings as a port named Yerba Buena Cove, the Embarcadero district has long been one of the primary reasons for the prosperity and growth enjoyed by the city and the region, mainly due to shipping and public travel. The district features an eclectic mix of Late Gothic Revival, Mission, Spanish Colonial Revival, Late 19th and 20th Century Revivals, Italian Renaissance, and Beaux-Arts, along with the utilitarian structures of the port areas. Highlights of the district include the Ferry Building, the Exploratorium, Pier 14, Pier 39, and the Embarcadero Center.

    During the holiday season, the Embarcadero Center is an especially popular attraction for tourists and locals alike, both for its fabulous array of shopping and dining attractions, and for being the location of the largest indoor ice rink in the bay area. Presented by Hawaiian Airlines, the Holiday Ice Rink at the Embarcadero Center will be open through January 7, 2018. Whether you’re cutting figure eights yourself, or serenely sipping hot chocolate as you watch the skaters glide past, this is an ideal spot blissful holiday skating surrounded by a stunning urban cityscape. For details, call (415) 837-1931, or email echolidayrink@gmail.com

  • San Francisco Cable Car

    Catch Some History at the Cable Car Museum

    November 08, 2017

    Clanging bells, singing cables, and the thrill of riding outside the car with the wind in your face – the cable car has become the traditional symbol of San Francisco transportation as well as part of its culture. When Andrew Hallidie tested the first cable car in 1873, it’s doubtful he was aware of just how popular his idea for a cable-driven rail system would become. Now, almost 150 years later, these iconic cars cross the city many times a day carrying residents and visitors alike on regularly scheduled routes. For those who would like to learn more about cable cars, a visit to the Cable Car Museum is a must!

    This non-profit educational museum was established in 1974, and is operated by the Friends of the Cable Car Museum. From a deck overlooking the car barn, visitors can see the winding wheels that pull the cables and their enormous engines. Downstairs is a viewing area where the large sheaves and cable lines that enter the building via a channel under the street can be seen. Also on display are three 1870s cable cars, additional mechanical devices, and many historic photos. A gift store offers cable car-related books, clothing, cards, memorabilia, and genuine cable car bells. Admission is free. For more information, call (415) 474-1887, or click here.

  • Castro Theater Sign

    The Best Movie Theaters in San Francisco

    October 02, 2017

    With the increasing popularity of On Demand and streaming sites, many of us are opting out of going out. We like to come back to the room, order a movie or pop in a DVD, and watch in comfort and privacy. This is often just what we need, but it usually means we are trading some picture and sound quality in addition to the “movie theater experience,” as many of the country’s great old movie houses are gone with the wind. Luckily, several of the San Francisco’s most impressive film venues are still operational, and remain some of the best places to catch a film.

    The Castro Theater at 429 Castro Street is not only one of the most beautiful theaters in the U.S., but also hosts some of the world’s most prestigious film festivals. The Landmark Theaters Embarcadero Center is a mall cinema, but their screens, seating, and programming choices are film-school preferred. The Sundance Kabuki in Japantown is known for both art-house flicks and blockbusters, while The Roxie and The Little Roxie are known for cult classics, along with hard-to-find releases. The next time you’re in the city and in the mood for a movie, be sure to visit one of these great theaters.