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Cultural Treasures

One of the most eclectic cities in America, San Francisco is filled with neighborhoods that have diverse and rich histories, with much of those histories well-preserved. (Where else can you find cable cars still roaring through streets?) Trace the path of the beatniks, who called North Beach their home, or visit the ruins of the city’s old bathhouse on the water. And don’t miss the many museums that can stand up to those of New York, London and Paris.



  • Ride a Cable Car.

    San Francisco lays claim to the world’s largest manually operated cable car network still in operation. Take one of the iconic cars from Union Square, a short six-minute walk from the hotel, to the Ferry Building stop — and hold on tight as it traverses the hills.

  • Breakfast at the Ferry Building.

    The city’s old ferry terminal now functions as a large food hall. Sample McEvoy olive oils, grab pour-over coffee from Blue Bottle, and pick up a pastry from Marla, an excellent local bakery that makes fluffy English muffins from scratch.

  • Sail to Alcatraz.

    An island off the coast of San Francisco, Alcatraz is the former home to a federal prison, which is open to the public for tours. While on the island, you can also see tide pools and bird colonies. Book your ferry tickets a few weeks in advance as the boats fill up.

  • Wander North Beach.

    In the 1950s, Jack Kerouac and many others from the Beat Generation lived in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood. Trace their steps at the legendary literary landmark City Lights Bookstore and the Vesuvio Cafe.

  • Take Advantage of Little Italy.

    North Beach is also San Francisco’s Little Italy, and the 95-year-old Tosca serves some of the city’s best and most inventive Italian fare. Don’t miss the crispy pig tails or beautiful simple bucatini with chilies.

  • A Night Out at the Ballet.

    The San Francisco Ballet company receives international accolades and is considered by many to be the best in the country. The company performs in San Francisco January through May, tours for the summer and part of fall, and then returns every December for performances of The Nutcracker.



  • An Architectural Landmark.

    The most famous skyscraper in San Francisco, the Transamerica Pyramid building towers over the rest of the city’s Financial District. Crushed white quartz gives it a pure white color.

  • The Big Museum.

    The just-renovated SF MoMA contains 170,000 square feet of art from the 20th century, including an impressive collection of Alexander Calder sculptures and large-scale canvas pieces from abstract painters. Don’t miss the Living Wall, a vertical garden of plants native to the Bay Area.

  • Lunch in the Park.

    Grab delicious California produce and a sandwich from Bi-Rite, a hyperlocal gourmet grocery, and have lunch on Dolores Park, a dreamy green space that faces one of the best views in the city. After, pick up salted caramel ice cream from Bi-Rite’s neighboring creamery.

  • Explore Chinatown.

    The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco is located next door to one of the city’s biggest treasures: the oldest Chinatown in America. Enter through the grand Chinatown Gate flanked by dragons, and wander through antique shops and a fortune cookie factory.

  • Wine in a Garden.

    Arlequin is one of the city’s best wine shops and, most importantly, allows you to drink the California reds, whites and bubbles in the shop’s shaded backyard garden.

  • A Farm-Fresh Dinner.

    Heralded as the restaurant of the future, the Perennial sources its meat and dairy from local North California farms and grows produce in the restaurant’s own hydroponic garden. Don’t miss the cocktails, which incorporate herbs from the garden.



  • Breakfast at The Mill.

    Locals line up daily for the straightforward but addictive breakfast toasts from The Mill, made with flavorful, local Josey Baker breads. Complement your toast with any of the espresso drinks to go from Four Barrel Coffee and take a walk in Golden Gate Park.

  • Japanese Tea Garden.

    The thousand-acre Golden Gate Park is one of the most breathtaking urban parks in the world. Begin at the Japanese Tea Garden, which is filled with ponds and shrines, and then make your way to the Conservatory of Flowers greenhouse.

  • A Museum in the Park.

    Located inside Golden Gate Park, the de Young museum has a copper exterior that will eventually oxidize and turn green to blend in with the scenery. Inside, fine art from the 17th to the 20th centuries, everything from cubist sculptures to high-fashion textiles, is on display.

  • The Top of the City.

    Another fine arts museum awaits at the top of the elevated Lincoln Park: the Legion of Honor, which is contained inside an epic neoclassical building. The collection celebrates European icons with works from Degas, Rodin and Picasso.

  • Bath Time.

    In 1896, the Sutro Baths were built along the Bay as a massive saltwater swimming pool complex. Sadly, a fire destroyed the operation in the ’60s. The ruins left over, which cuddle the shore on a cliff, remain one of San Francisco’s most stunningly gorgeous sites.

  • Dinner at Parallel 37.

    San Francisco has some of the best access in the country to fresh produce, which Chef Michael Rotondo highlights at the hotel’s Parallel 37 restaurant. His menu is built around California fare with global influences, such as risotto with sea urchin and matsutake mushrooms.