WORKING OUT Outdoors Golden Gate Park www.golden-gate-park.com Golden Gate Park covers over 1,000 acres of downtown area (over 50 city blocks), and ranks as one of the world’s largest man-made spaces. Home to the tranquil Japanese Tea Gardens and the National AIDS Memorial Grove (the first memorial in the U.S.), Golden Gate Park offers outdoor activities for every kind of sports aficionado. Hike up peaceful Strawberry Hill, get your sweat on along the many bike and running paths, perfect your swing at the Municipal Golf Course, or reserve a diamond at Lindley Meadow or Big Rec. There’s also soccer, polo, and archery fields, handball, basketball, and tennis courts, and even horseshoe pits for the Marlboro Man in all of us. After you work up a thirst, head over to the Beach Chalet on the west end of the park for a glimpse of the ocean and some great micro brews. Indoors Gym 24-Hour Fitness www.24hourfitness.com With 10 locations around the city covering Noe Valley, the Marina, and Market Street (7-day free guest pass available online), 24 Hour Fitness is the most convenient way to keep with your routine while you’re in San Fran. With group exercise schedules at all locations, and a wealth of cardio and circuit training options, you no longer have an excuse to skip a day in the gym.
Courtesy of the The Harbor Court Hotel
Hotel Gym The Harbor Court Hotel 165 Steuart Street. 415-882-1300. www.harborcourhotel.com The Harbor Court is the perfect hotel for the fitness crazed. Why, you ask? Because it’s connected to the massive Embarcadero YMCA, and guests can purchase a discounted day pass ($10) for use of the facilities. With views of the Bay Bridge and Treasure Island, perks include an Olympic-sized pool, sauna, rooftop-jogging track, and abundance of fitness machines from Cybex, Precor, and LifeFitness. GOING OUT Eats The Slanted Door 1 Ferry Building. 415-861-8032. http://slanteddoor.com Long after emigrating to San Fran post-Vietnam War, Chef Charlie Phan and his family opened arguably the best Vietnamese restaurant in the country. Grab a seat on the heated patio for breathtaking views, or duck inside for an atmosphere that crackles with electricity. Order up unforgettable dishes like cellophane noodles with Dungeness crab, grapefruit and jicama salad, and chicken wings with jalapenos and chili-lime sauce. Then, make your next reservation. Zuni Café 1658 Market Street. 415-552-2522. www.zunicafe.com A mainstay on the dining scene since 1979, Zuni Café hasn’t lost its luster. Rocking the best lunch in city — a killer Caesar salad and roasted chicken for two — Zuni has claimed a spot in the hearts of San Fran’s food savvy. With a menu that changes depending on available local organic ingredients, you can’t go wrong with any of the dishes that draw flavor from the wood-burning brick oven or smoky mesquite grill.
Courtesy of Michael Mina
Michael Mina 252 California Street. 415-397-9222. www.michaelmina.net From the team behind Bourbon Steak and the sexy RN74, the latest Michael Mina incarnation is equally impressive. Mina takes Japanese ingredients and pairs them with French sensibilities to tease the palate with dishes like Australian Waygu and Foie Gras and a tasting of five (Japanese) fish. The dark walnut bar lends strength to the room, while an eclectic blend of world music soundtracks a superlative meal. NIGHTLIFE The Independent 628 Divisadero Street. 415-771-1421. www.theindependentsf.com Metal? Indie? Rock? All of the above? One of the consistently mentioned hotspots for quality live music, the joint has been a neighborhood standard for decades. Renovated in 2004 as The Independent, this 500-person venue is doing something right; no matter what name is on the door, it’s always packed. The BooM BooM RooM 1601 Fillmore Street (at Geary). 415-673-8000. www.boomboomblues.com Located near San Francisco’s legendary Fillmore, The BooM BooM RooM is a hot little club fueled by cocktails and dancing to the beats of live Blues, Boogie, Groove, and Soul music. Open six nights a week, the spot draws in an eclectic mix of music lovers looking to party. For tickets and upcoming shows visit: www.boomboomtickets.com Press Club 20 Yerba Buena Lane. 415-744-5000. www.pressclubsf.com For a more refined evening, head to Press Club, where the bounty of Northern California’s vineyards are delivered in a city wine bar setting of polished wood and low-lighting. Showcasing eight winery-specific bars, tastings are conducted by the staff of participating labels. Come Thursday night, and an on-site DJ accompanies the pour. It’s a very cool concept that’s guaranteed to win you first-date points. STAY The Clift 495 Geary Street. 415-929-2372. www.clifthotel.com Steps from bustling Union Square, this Morgans Hotel property tops the list for swanky digs. Playful yet elegant, the purple lobby entrance opens onto a common space tricked out with artistic furnishings by Dali, Magritte, and Eames. Evoking a Wonderland-like first impression, it follows that The Clift is also a nightlife destination. The Redwood Room rocks until the wee hours of the morn while the Velvet Room churns out solid breakfast fare to ward off the hangover. Fairmont San Francisco 950 Mason Street. 866-540-4491. www.fairmont.com/sanfrancisco Perched on Nob Hill, the meeting point of San Francisco’s cable cars, the Fairmont is the grand dame of the city’s historic hotels. With an opulent lobby, a fabled ballroom, and stunning views of the entire bay region, the 500+ elegant rooms have been renovated and are outfitted with Frette linens, iPod docking stations, and flat screens. The Mandarin Oriental 222 Sansome Street. 415-276-9888. www.mandarinoriental.com/sanfrancisco Located in the center of the Financial District, in the city’s third highest building, this is the obvious choice for business travelers, especially those on expense accounts. Boasting a view from every room (situated on floors 38-48), and the sexy MO Bar to meet fellow business travelers, San Fran’s Mandarin is an Asian-inspired high-luxury choice matched by impeccable service.