Cable car in San Francisco
GETTING TO KNOW THE GOLDEN CITY
Shop, dine and soak in the San Francisco’s unique vibes at Union Square. Remember to BYO Bag when you shop as most outlets will charge you for one. Eat your way through the square with the smorgasbord of eateries available. From steaks to curries, there is a flavour to please every palate. Catch a show or two as well, if that tickles your fancy. Then, take a moment to marvel at the San Francisco Cable Car, the world’s only manually operated system, at the intersection of Powell and Market Streets. The Cars are rotated on the turntable at Powell Street to head back down the hill to Fisherman’s Wharf. Take a breather at the end of the day and wind down at Belden Place for a taste of Europe in San Francisco.
Lombard Street aka the Crooked Street
Left: Lombard Street aka the Crooked Street Right: Alcatraz Island
AN EXPERIENCE TO BE REMEMBERED
Hop on the Powell-Hyde cable car line to Lombard Street, also known as the Crooked Street. Take a peek at some famous homes along this street, like Scottie’s apartment from Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo. For food, fanfare and frivolity, make a stop at the Fisherman’s Wharf where Pier 39 is. A visit there is as much a visual, as it is a gastronomic treat. Soak in the festive atmosphere and expect a big welcome from some friendly sea lions. While you are there, get schooled in the intricacies of sourdough baking at the world famous Boudin Sourdough Bakery & Café. Then, head to Alcatraz Island, home of the infamous Alcatraz Prison, a military prison-turned-federal prison until 1963; book a tour and get set for an adventure like no other.
Hot Air Balloon over Napa Valley
Left: Hot Air Balloon over Napa Valley Right: Wine tasting
WINE AND DINE IN STYLE
Known for its prized Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley is home to over 400 wineries. Beyond spectacular views of endless vineyards, a gastronomic experience awaits you there. For a more intimate encounter, hop on a bike and explore the vineyards before the wine-tasting. You can join a guided biking tour or rent a bike and explore at your own leisure. Be sure to get a map before you head off. Elevate your wine country visit with a ride on Napa Valley’s hot air balloon, offering a visual treat from up above. To wrap up, take your palate on a culinary adventure, and give yourself that much deserved treat at a Michelin-starred restaurant like La Toque or Brix Restaurant and Gardens.
Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park
YOSEMITE, HERE I COME
Three hours by road from San Francisco is the Yosemite National Park, known for its waterfalls. Take in the majesty of Yosemite Falls, the highest that the park has to offer with its almost 300-metre drop. It truly is a breathtaking sight to behold. Dine in style at the Majestic Yosemite Dining Room. This award-winning restaurant caters to every diner, offering vegetarian and vegan dishes on its menu. Make your reservations ahead of time to avoid disappointment. If you travel in spring or early summer, get wet and wild at the Yosemite Merced River with a spot of river rafting, an activity fit for the adrenaline junkie. Then let the sunset at Yosemite Glacier Point take your breath away at the end of your fun-filled day.
Giant redwoods in Muir Woods National Monument
Sunset over vineyards in Sonoma County
Left: Giant redwoods in Muir Woods National Monument Right: Sunset over vineyards in Sonoma County
Indulge the adventurer in you at the Muir Woods National Monument. Put on your hiking gear and take on the 10-kilometre hiking trails in this Redwood Forest, which can take between 30 minutes and over two hours. Be prepared to get off the grid when you are in the woods, so gather all the information you need before setting off. Remember that a reservation is required before you can explore. If Napa Valley has not quite satiated your thirst for wine, make a stop at Sonoma County for even more wine. Join a tasting tour at the Sonoma Valley wine region, home to more than 400 wineries. Savour the heady aroma and flavours of some of the best wines you will ever taste.