How to Spend an Extra Day in San Francisco

Stunning scenery, exceptional restaurants and an abundance of cultural offerings are just a few reasons why San Francisco attracts some of the biggest events in the country. One example is Dreamforce, which returns to the Moscone Center from September 20 to 22. This annual event for the global Salesforce tech community drew 171,000 attendees when it last took place in person in 2019.

San Francisco’s status as a sought-after locale means you should be strategic to make the most of your time. Reserve tables for business dinners at high-wattage restaurants such as Birdsong and Omakase well beforehand, while advance Uber bookings will ensure your daily transportation to and from meetings is available when you need it.

Because San Francisco is among the most visually stunning cities in the U.S., take a moment to enjoy both its man-made and natural beauty, from the Palace of Fine Arts, originally built to exhibit works of art for the Panama-Pacific International Exhibition of 1915, to Golden Gate Park, which totals 1,017 acres and includes such must-see spots as Baker Beach, where the sunset is framed by the Golden Gate Bridge. Fold in Fisherman’s Wharf, the farmers market in the historic Ferry Building, and the famed Painted Ladies, the row of colorful Queen Anne homes near Alamo Square, and you’ll be wishing for a week’s worth of vacation time. For more ideas on what to see and do, turn the page for five terrific options.

1 Hotel San Francisco / Photo: Courtesy of 1 Hotel San Francisco

1 Hotel San Francisco

San Francisco is home to roughly 34,000 hotel rooms, and it’s always exciting when a new choice debuts. Among the latest venues to open is 1 Hotel San Francisco, which launched in June, offering 186 rooms and 14 suites with plenty of city and water views from its prime location on the Embarcadero. Close to landmarks such as Coit Tower and the Ferry Building, the property is part of the Starwood family, which positions 1 Hotels as a brand rooted in luxe natural materials to create urban sanctuaries. Design details here include native greenery in public spaces and reclaimed wood floors in the lobby, while Terrene is an indoor/outdoor café that puts an emphasis on sustainably sourced local ingredients.

Belden Place / Photo: Scott Chernis Photography

Belden Place

San Francisco is among the best restaurant cities in the U.S., equally alluring to chefs and foodies for its abundant local resources from surrounding ranches, oyster farms and wine country. Business dinners could include hard-to-get reservations at Cotogna in the Financial District or Ernest in the Mission, but also take time to check out Belden Place, a tucked-away alley in the Financial District and home to an eclectic selection of restaurants that range from food-court casual to laid-back elegance. Roam the block-long assortment to check out the menus and discover something for everyone, including vegan choices at Vida Cantina, delectable sushi at Akiko’s, or classic Italian at Tiramisu.

“Diego Rivera’s America” at SFMOMA / Photo: Scott Cramer Photography

“Diego Rivera’s America” at SFMOMA

Through January 2, San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art is hosting the most in-depth examination of Diego Rivera’s work in more than two decades, with over 150 paintings, frescoes, film projections and other pieces on exhibition across 10 galleries. One of the 20th century’s most celebrated artists, the Mexican-born painter was known for his Cubist style and his murals, including Pan American Unity, a fresco painted by Rivera in a San Francisco airplane hangar in 1940 and on display on the ground floor of SFMOMA. Measuring 22 by 74 feet and weighing more than 60,000 pounds, Pan American Unity was painted on 10 steel-framed cement panels and, with its theme of celebrating the creative spirit, is a highlight of “Diego Rivera’s America.”

Mission District Murals / Photo: Shelly Rivoli/Alamy Stock Photo

Mission District Murals

To soak up an art scene that feels exceedingly local, head to the Mission District, where artists have been expressing themselves with colorful murals on every available wall and fence since the 1970s. Start at Precita Eyes Muralists on 24th Street. This nonprofit supports local artists with collaborations and offers both maps and tours to visitors, as well as education programs for kids and adults.

Warming Hut at Crissy Field / Photo: Gado Images/Alamy Stock Photo

Warming Hut at Crissy Field

For scenic bay and Golden Gate views or a morning run or bike ride surrounded by nature, you can’t beat Crissy Field, located at the Presidio, a national park site. Formerly a military airfield, Crissy Field has been transformed into a bucolic destination beloved by locals and visitors alike. Stop at the Warming Hut for coffee or hot chocolate, as well as a healthy selection of local souvenirs and gifts.

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