City Extras: San Francisco



Clued In San Francisco – The Concise and Opinionated Guide to the City



Grab the 2023 ebook soon!


In focus: The San Francisco Ballet – March 2023

  As one of the oldest ballet companies in the US, the SFB is definitely one to keep and eye on. Under their new artistic director, Tamara Rojo, the company will continue to present ballets with both classical and modern chorography and full orchestra.  Right now tickets are on sale for the spring season and include upcoming April performances of Tomasson’s Romeo & Juliet and Wheeldon’s new Cinderella.  Performances of their gorgeous, full-length Giselle ballet are finishing up in the next few days. Whether you already love the ballet or want to experience it for the first time, get yourself to San Francisco.  Tickets can be purchased online but don’t wait long.



In focus: An Italian meal – February 2023

  When other websites are touting where to eat on Valentine’s Day, we’ve decided to do exactly that as well. This is also a general February shout-out to anyone wanting a wonderful Italian dinner right in the city center. Our usual go-to is the decidedly old-school restaurant L’Ottavo, but for some original Italian-Californian cuisine, head over to newcomer, Ciccino on Nob Hill. There you’ll savor original dishes like their bacony Ravioli Carbonara and a herbaceous Caprese salad that will knock your socks off. You’ll be happy at either place but note that Ciccino (pronounced chee-chee-no) does not yet have a website but does take reservations through Resy.  Happy Valentine’s Day!

L’Ottavo is located at Sutter and Taylor Streets / Ciccino is located at California and Hyde Streets (which mean you can watch the cable cars go by.)



Pastry obsession solved – San Francisco – January 2023

   There’s nothing that can fill a cold, empty feeling in the tummy like pastry… really good pastry.  It’s true that our local obsession with it switches around depending on the season, but right now it lies firmly at Hahdough Bakery.  Its two locations represent the only true German bakeries in the city and are worth your time to find them. We usually visit the one at 1221 Fell Street.  Have a slice of their amazing Black Forest cake or try a buttery pretzel roll for an authentic treat. Closed Tuesdays. 



The truth about Christmas Day in San Francisco – December 2022

   If you had the good taste to choose San Francisco for your Christmas holiday then you might be wondering how to spend your time on Sunday, December 25 when almost all of the city’s sights and restaurants will be closed in observance of Christmas Day. While not as severe as the holiday shut-down in European cities, there will be some. San Franciscans love Christmas and are usually home with their loved ones on the big day. The few dining rooms that will be open (inside various upscale hotels) are probably booked up by now. That means you’ll need to plan ahead…

1) If you’re staying in a hotel, buy some tasty sourdough bread sandwiches at Boudin the day before, along with some sweet treats and beverages because there’s a good chance that this will be your holiday meal.  2) If you’re staying in an apartment rental, go to one of the many food markets and wine stores a few days ahead and get ready to prepare an at-home feast of your choosing.  3) On Nob Hill, the gorgeous Grace Cathedral will have a musical service and tickets to reserve a spot can be done by clicking here.  Their general holiday schedule can be found here.  4) The city’s fantastic ice-skating rink at Union Square is also open on Christmas Day and their ninety-minute time slots can be booked ahead by clicking here.  5) The huge grounds of the Botanical Gardens inside Golden Gate Park are open and free to all on Christmas Day; perfect for a stroll among the lush and often unusual vegetation.  6) If you have a rental car, take a drive through forested Marin County or explore the seaside just west of the city.  Either way you’ll revel in having the roads all to yourself.  7) Be out and about in the city after the sunset too; slowly but surely other folks will begin to fill the streets.  Merry Christmas!

Grace Cathedral (Episcopalian) at Christmastime



Free City Walking Tours – November 2022

    To really delve into the detailed history and lesser known sights of San Francisco, we encourage you to try one of the organized free walking tours sponsored by the the SF Library.  These are great because you can decide at the last minute to take one as there is no pre-booking required.  Just show up at the designated time and place and find your guide.  These locals will fill the tour with great stories and little-known facts. How is it free, you may ask?  They simply ask for a tip/donation at the end of it and then you give what you think it was worth. Unlike other free walking tours, the guide does not keep the money. All proceeds raised will go directly to help fund the SF Library.  Find out more through this handy link:  SF Walking Tours




Enjoy a fall evening at the SF Symphony – October 2022

   When you’re in San Francisco and in the mood for an evening of world-class music, snag tickets to the award-winning San Francisco Symphony at Davies Symphony Hall. Amazing guest conductors present both classical works by famed composers, often alongside some decidedly modern compositions.  Davies Symphony Hall is nothing short of stunning, which only adds to the experience.  The best seats go fast so book yours as soon as you know the dates of your visit.  Bravo!




Take a Dim Sum walking tour of Chinatown – September 2022

   Sounds touristy, right? Maybe. But it’s also super fun and super tasty!  Host Kara knows her way around the most famous Chinatown in the USA and will take the small group tour for tea and delicious Chinese appetizers all while describing the rich history of the place. Cool Destinations hosts this relaxed event and details can be found here. Booking is easy and can be done right on their website. The Chinese were the first to settle San Francisco so this should be seen as a chance for cultural understanding.  Yum!



Book a fun professional photo shoot in San Francisco – August 2022

   Talk about making memories! Nothing can do it better than having professional photos of you and your loved ones that you’ll cherish for the rest of your life. Know this: these photos will be nothing like selfies or casual group shots made with your smart phone.  The resulting pictures from a professional photographer will look amazing, and you’ll look amazing in them.  Check out the LocalGraphers website for details and sample pics. You can determine the locations yourself or ask for their advice.  This is totally worth your time, and its fun!



Where to have a delicious lunch on the cheap – July 2022

   In San Francisco, there’s nowhere to have a cheap lunch other than fast food. Since that won’t do, we’re sending you for the dumpling meal of your life. Located just a stone’s throw from the city’s famed opera house, Dumpling Home is fantastic. Their unassuming dining room gives no hint of the incredible dumplings and dim sum that you’ll be served there.  That’s okay; makes for a bit of a surprise. Just pick and choose to fit your budget and then sit back and enjoy a truly memorable lunch of plump dumplings with thin, translucent skin.  We love the pork bao and spicy dan dan noodles.  Dumpling Home is located at 298 Gough Street.   



Experience creepy arcade machines – October 2019

   This month, all of our City-Extras  will highlight an awesome local sight that you’ve probably never heard of.  (If you have, kudos to you!)  In San Francisco that has to be the Musée Mécanique museum at Pier 45. If you find old-fashioned, coin-operated mechanicals from arcades and carnivals past as strange and wonderful as we do, you won’t want to miss it.  This huge, privately owned collection is super spooky yet somehow fun for the whole family. Find Laffing Sal, or try to win an arm wrestling match with a mechanical man.  All of their coin operated games are working and can be played by visitors.

the musee mecanique



Stay at an actual wooded lodge, right in SF!   – May 2022

     For a different kind of hotel experience in San Francisco (when compared to the ones around Union Square) check out the newly renovated Lodge at the Presidio. It’s located within the forested Presidio National Park and boasts incredible views of the Golden Gate Bridge.  When you stay there you’ll be in the city but definitely won’t feel like you’re in the city. We think it’s the perfect accommodation for those who are into nature, park walks, and cycling. (And if you do crave a bit of city life or just need to get to a particular restaurant, don’t worry… a free shuttle is offered. It’s a fabulous place for sure, and very cool.

lodge at the presidio



Sharing our new spring advertising campaign.

   Yes, you really do deserve one.  Grab a copy of our Clued In San Francisco interactive ebook today. It’s easy when you download the free Amazon Kindle app first so that your ebook “knows” where to go. This app enables you to actually read the book, turn the pages, connect to the live links, and even adjust font sizes to your preferences. It’s so fun!  Note: If you already have this app on your smart phone (or have a Kindle device) then you’re all set.



Have a casual Easter brunch at Brenda’s French Soul Food – April 2022

   The Easter holiday is nearly upon us and that might mean catching up with family and friends who you may not get to see much during the year.  For those lucky enough to be in San Francisco this April, why not have a fun, memorable, and affordable breakfast reunion at one of our favorite restaurants?  The French soul food served up at Brenda’s is simply sublime. There you’ll indulge in (and share) culinary greatness in the form of beignets, omelettes, French toast, and a perfectly crispy pork belly served with an egg atop creamy cheddar grits. If you want their famous fried chicken then you’ll have to go for dinner instead.  Brenda’s is open daily and takes online reservations about a week in advance. 



Have a brewski and relax – February 2022

    Yes, Beer Week is finally returning to San Francisco and the locals could not be more excited.  Join along in a celebration of all things beer as dozens of craft brewers present samples of their work. The official website gives details of the most central events and locations around the city.  For anyone serious about the craft of brewing, head to SF from February 11 -20. Cheers!



Plan ahead for the trip of a lifetime  – January 2022

    You might not think so right now, but travel will be returning in a big way and those who plan now will reap the benefits. As the pandemic fades, try to be one of the first to make a trip to San Francisco and enjoy it in a blissfully uncrowded way. Try making a detailed yet fluid itinerary without precise dates. Pencil in the days of the week only, noting which of your preferred sights are closed on Sundays or Mondays, etc. This will give you a basic framework on which to build your dream journey.  

The more you can plan beforehand, the better it will be. At Clued In Travel Books we are big believers in having reservations at the restaurants we most desire rather than settling for our second or third choices. Dinner reservations are especially likely to fill up if not made in advance. As for the best sights, well, these must be booked ahead (due to the requirements of contactless service.) And with absolutely everyone now booking ahead, these too are more likely to sell out.

Travelers visiting our particular website probably understand this so we won’t beat a dead horse. If you are the type of traveler who likes to go somewhere with no plans or reservations in order to just see where fate takes you, we say, “Good luck and bless your heart.”

So, grab one of our travel books and peruse through it to the end. You’ll be shocked at how a city you knew nothing about is suddenly as familiar as can be.  It’s almost magical.  


Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

    The folks here at Clued In Travel Books wish you and yours a wonderful and safe holiday season filled with lots of love and lots of food. If you avoid conversations about religion, politics, and mask mandates you’ll be just fine! Let’s hope we get back to some normalcy in 2022, especially in regard to travel. It’s what we live for.

All the best to all of you, Dean & Andie

Christmas in San Francisco



Our brand new edition for 2022 is on Amazon now! – December 2021

    Some things have changed in California, but much has stayed the same.  We think it’s still fantastic and are very happy to announce our brand new version of Clued In San Francisco for 2022. Use the link above to see its dedicated product page because it’s super-fun and has some new surprises.  Let’s just call it the best one  we’ve ever written!    


Get out on the water and enjoy! – November 2021

   As you may already know, San Francisco enjoys a backwards-upside-down weather pattern. While August is the coldest month here, daytime temps in November often reach 65 to 70F. It’s positively lovely! That’s why we’re prescribing a sunset boat excursion on the bay, even if you have to take a light jacket just in case. This is one of those relatively affordable things that a visitor to San Francisco can easily book online with the city’s Blue and Gold Fleet. It is simply unforgettable and you deserve it. Anchors away!


Summer Happenings / July 2021

   At last, the beloved San Francisco Symphony is performing once again. No, not outside, but rather in the glorious concert hall that was built just for them. If you act quickly you can still snag a ticket to one of their many musical offerings.  Check out their calendar here and treat yourself to a wonderful evening.




In Focus:  A summer visit to San Francisco – June 2021

   Rumor has it that August is actually the bay city’s coldest month of the year (due to the unusually-shaped land mass and its effect on weather patterns.) Well, we’re not 100% sure on that interesting fact but what we do know is that San Francisco is a popular summer vacation spot. If you don’t plan ahead you could miss out on the best things to do!  Obviously we recommend our Clued In San Francisco ebook because the current info, honest opinions, and live links make planning a breeze.

    What exactly might you miss out on? Well, most importantly you’ll probably miss out on the boat and self-tour visit to Alcatraz Island and its vintage penitentiary. The idea of including this place as part of your vacation may or may not be high on your wish list but remember that it’s our #1 sight to visit. We don’t give that position away easily. YOU MUST EXPERIENCE IT! Even the most lady-like person in your group will love the island with it’s gorgeous flowers, nesting seagulls, and yes- even the prison tour because it is more like a theatrical event. As for seasickness going over there? Non-existent. The boat ride is so fast there’s no time to get sea sick.  Book your boat and tour time weeks in advance on their handy website.  Oh and while your at it, make sure to reserve a table for a glorious dinner and Brenda’s French Soul Food.  Some things are worth a bit of planning even in our post-pandemic world.



We’re back!  May 2021

    Clued In cities all over the place are beginning to come back to life. Because of all the recent positive changes, we have just updated our travel books to be current for summer 2021. We will continue to update them as things change further.  In anticipation of future travel, we welcome you back to San Francisco and to the world!

(Included info could potentially be affected by the pandemic)


Taxi Clues for San Francisco – March 2020 

     Since some travelers are looking to avoid crowds and mass transit this spring, we’re providing at-a-glace info regarding official taxi cabs in the City by the Bay. While certainly not as inexpensive, a taxi will make you feel more confident and get you where you’re going in style. And if your party is more than a single rider, it can be a great value.  We don’t love San Francisco taxis and haven’t found them to be very reliable. If you don’t want to use Uber or Lyft, you might not have a choice though. For that reason we’re offering a few tips below.

  • Official city taxi cabs are yellow.
  • Call 415-333-3333 for a taxi pick up, or simply hail one (with its roof light on) right on the street.
  • Rates are currently $3.50 to start and then 55 cents for each 1/5 mile.
  • Tips are expected but don’t need to be more than a dollar or two (within the city). If you’re taking a taxi to or from the airport, the driver’s tip should be at least 12% to 15% of the total fare, especially if he/she assists with any luggage.
  • A maximum of four people are allowed in a taxi, although a child age 7 or under can legally sit on someone’s lap. Due to space constraints, the fourth person will have to sit in front with the driver.
  • When taking a taxi from one of the area airports, make certain it’s an official taxi at a taxi line. Never accept an unsolicited ride from anyone.
  • There are no fixed rates to and from the SFO Airport and the city center so expect to pay the metered amount. It will run about $45 to $50 which includes an “airport exiting fee.”



Our San Francisco NTK – February 2020

     Every so often, we like to add a Need-to-Know for our favorite cities. With a new year and new decade upon us, it’s time to mention some of the concerns visitors may have about planning a trip to the City by the Bay… Yes, the city is battling a high homeless crisis but it will probably not affect your visit. The main problem is centered in the Tenderloin and North Beach neighborhoods, not in Union Square or Nob Hill.  Sure, you’ll see a few beggars in the streets near Union Square, but no more than you would near Times Square in NYC. How to stay safe? Avoid the seedier areas of town and stay at a hotel in an upscale area. Has this problem affected tourism? Seemingly not. Tourism in San Francisco in 2019 hit a record high.  (As touted in our Clued In San Francisco, Brenda’s French Soul Food remains our favorite restaurant but as it is located on the edge of the Tenderloin, you should take a taxi or car service to get there and back.

union square sf



Taste wines like an expert at Uncorked SF – January 2020

     Wine and Northern California are almost synonymous and there’s no better time to taste them in the city center than late January.  This year, the folks at Uncorked festivals will be holding a wine party in Fort Mason Festival Pavilion where ticketed participants will have the opportunity of trying more than two-hundred vintages of wine and bubbly. There’s a variety of entry levels to choose from but all include musical entertainment and foods to purchase. This is a great event so check it out if you’ll be in San Francisco on January 26th. Their website can be found here.  

sf wine festival



Where to enjoy an amazing holiday dinner – December 2019

     We love having a meal that we can really sink our teeth into, and in San Francisco that means the Brazilian steakhouse, Fogo de Chao. This fun place is perfect for carnivores and is open on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and even New Year’s Eve. If a full Churrasco experience is your idea of a fabulous holiday meal, then book a table soon!

Fogo de Chao



See Hamilton at the Orpheum Theatre – November 2019

     If you think you have to come to New York (and spend a fortune) to see the hit musical, Hamilton, think again! The Broadway production is being performed nightly at San Francisco’s Orpheum Theatre -with full, unobstructed seats going for $75 to $149.  Since we’re focused on sending our readers to great performances during the upcoming holiday season, we can’t think of a better entertainment when visiting the Bay area. Grab your tickets soon for the best selection of dates.  So fun!




It’s the start of the social season in San Francisco – September 2019

    There’s a lot going on in the City by the Bay this month so if you’re planning to visit during the fall season, snag a ticket soon to a concert by the San Francisco Symphony led by the incomparable Michael Tilson Thomas. Whether you’re an fan of orchestral music or not, a performance in this amazing hall is an impressive experience.  As of this posting there are still seats available!

    In addition, the amazing  San Francisco Giants will be playing their final games of the baseball season this month. A game at Oracle Stadium always makes for a thrilling evening, and its gorgeous location right on the bay makes it even better. As of this posting, tickets are still available.  

SF concert hall



In focus: The Ferry Building – July 2019

      The San Francisco Ferry building with its famous clock tower is a veritable icon of the city and the perfect place to visit during the long days of summer. It boasts an incredible food hall with restaurants, shops, and food stalls galore. In addition there are craft and flea markets held on its outdoor plaza making it a popular place in the Embarcadero neighborhood. A Farmers Market is also held there on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 2pm, and on Saturdays from 8am to 2pm.  Now more of a historic landmark than an actual ferry terminal, this structure from 1898 has been beautifully renovated. The Great Nave that was once the baggage handling area is now the shopping mall and you can find everything from the famous (and very delicious) sourdough bread to gourmet ice cream, food artisans, cheesemongers, and freshly made empanadas.  If you have time, enjoy a lip-smacking lunch at The Slanted Door, our favorite Thai restaurant in the city.

ferry building.jpg



Where to enjoy a romantic picnic in San Francisco – June 2019

      Now that summer has arrived you may want to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors rather than be inside a cramped restaurant.  Now, there are a lot of great picnic spots in SF so we’re focusing on one that is decidedly romantic.  We think you just can’t beat enjoying a packed lunch on the grounds of the Shakespeare Garden inside Golden Gate Park. Grab some sandwiches lovingly made on a Dutch Crunch roll (yes it’s famous) at the Arguello Super Market located at 782 Arguello Blvd. at McAllister Street.  They sell wine too but be careful here, you need to choose a beverage in a plastic container because glass bottles are not allowed in Golden Gate Park.  It’s a bummer, we know… Once you have your food, walk south one block and you’re in the park!  By the way, if you prefer to get your picnic food at a café inside the park, you have plenty of options. We love the one at the deYoung Museum and they are happy to pack it “to go” for you.  If you find the Shakespeare Garden is being used for a wedding when arrive, don’t worry… you’ve got another three miles of green park in which to choose another spot.  

shakespeare garden.jpg



Carnaval San Francisco – May 2019

     Visitors to San Francisco at the end of May will have the opportunity to attend the 41st annual Carnaval San Francisco. This two day festival will be held on Saturday, May 25th and Sunday, May 26th on Harrison Street between 16th and 24th Streets and will have an elaborate parade at 9:30am on Sunday which will boast an amazing procession of multicultural floats and performers.  Experience global cuisine, international music, dance, crafts, and other activities on every single street corner. This free event will have the Grammy-winning band Los Tigres del Norte as its headline act performing at 3pm on Saturday in the Mission District’s Calle 24. For more details visit their website.




In Focus: Where to brunch in San Francisco – April 2019

    April and May bring sunshine and moderate temperatures to the bay area so why not make a celebration of it by enjoying a really delicious brunch… for us that means a leisurely couple of hours with friends and loved ones at Brenda’s French Soul Food but since we’re always touting it, we thought we’d feature somewhere else this month… 

     Brunching is a popular thing in San Francisco, almost a local requirement, and that means there are many great places offering up that special weekend meal.  We like Nopa (named for its location north of the SF panhandle) because of its head-turning cocktails and diverse, top-notch menu which literally offers something for everyone. Try their oven-baked eggs or custard French toast and feel that hangover just melt away.  Nopa serves brunch on both Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30pm to 2:30pm; reservations are necessary. 

Nopa brunch.jpg



In Focus:  San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park – March 2019

          This month we’re featuring local sights that are lesser-known but which are a must-see in our very opinionated view.  In San Francisco, that means the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. It’s not off the beaten track or anything… more like hiding in plain sight.  This thirty-four acre park encompasses an actual maritime museum, green space, bay beach, docks, and ships –and all are just a stone’s throw from the famous Fisherman’s Wharf. Literally.  Thousands of visitors to the city by the bay have undoubtedly noticed those historic tall ships docked right there in the water at the end of Hyde Street and never realized that you can board them!  For us, they are the highlight of this extraordinary park.  Board them and explore at your own pace and learn tons about the maritime history of San Francisco.  Details about all the sections of the maritime park can be found in our Clued In San Francisco.


In Focus: Where to shop the sales – January 2019

      Like many cities across the U.S., San Francisco puts its best designer items on sale after the holidays and begins presenting its spring collections. If you’re visiting San Francisco in January and have the urge to do some shopping (or just want to come home with one really special item) now is the time.  The most famous shopping area in San Francisco is Union Square, where Post Street meets Powell Street. This neighborhood offers up the city’s best (and most expensive) boutiques, as well and several large department stores. For those who are unfamiliar with San Francisco, this means that the best shopping can be found right next to the historical city center. This may be helpful to know even if you don’t plan on hitting the boutiques… being aware of this type of location also tells you precisely where a city’s most desirable area is.  That’s usually where you’ll also find some of the best hotels, and some top-notch restaurants too.

union square shopping



In Focus: New Year’s Eve in San Francisco – December 2018

     The city by the bay does New Year’s Eve right, with many restaurants offering up special menus and celebration cocktails all night long. By 11pm, locals are already heading over to the famous, water-side Ferry Building for the free and fabulous fireworks display.   There’s a downhome feel about it all, and once you’ve joined the fun you’ll feel as if you should be part of it every year.  If more of a party is what you’re after, snag a ticket to any of the larger clubs, bars, and discos, especially in the Castro and Union Square neighborhoods.  And be sure to make dinner reservations now because the best places will be high in demand.

san fran new years



In Focus: Chocolate – September 2018  

     The annual Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival is one of San Francisco’s best loved events and will be held this year on September 8th and 9th from noon to 5pm.  If you’re not into sweets, you’ll be happy to know that the festival pays homage to California wines as well. The two-day event features demonstrations by renowned pastry chefs, an ice-cream eating contest, gourmet tastings, Ghirardelli samples, a silent auction, and entertainment. There are tickets offered for this event; one is for the chocolate tasting and all events, and the other is to enter the wine tasting pavilion. Head over to Beach Street to join the fun.

chocolate samplings.jpg



In Focus: The StayPineapple Hotel San Francisco – July 2018

     This summer we’re featuring some of our favorite hotels and in San Fran that means the StayPineapple. Located in a historic building on one of the original streets of the city, this modern design-hotel presents a lovely contrast of the centuries. Comfortable, spotless rooms with European duvets and handy valet parking is just the beginning. They offer complimentary bicycles, WiFi, and pineapple cupcakes– which in our opinion puts this hotel over the top. Located just a block or so from all the great shopping of Union Square, The StayPineapple is also near a major cable car stop. We can’t say enough about it, but we can mention that they have a fitness center and heartily welcome dogs.  Now that’s a friendly hotel!



In Focus: Special Event/ April-May 2018


    San Francisco may not be the first place that comes to mind when thinking about where to celebrate Cinco de Mayo (May 5th, Mexico’s victory day) but it’s actually very festive. In true street-fair fashion, the city will rock the holiday on Valencia Street (between 21st and 24th Streets) in the Mission District from 10am to 6pm.  This family-friendly event will feature  live music, performances, food, and a pop up beer garden!


In Focus: The Fairmont San Francisco – February 2019  

    There are thousands of hotels in San Francisco but none are as famous and recognizable as  The Fairmont.  This palatial beauty atop Nob Hill began its construction at the glorious turn of the century but suffered many close calls.  As it neared completion in 1906, the infamous San Francisco earthquake and fire struck the whole of the city. Most of the mansions on Nob Hill fell, but the Fairmont miraculously survived the quake.  The great fire that followed 24 hours later, however, did its damage to the Fairmont. The hotel needed to be rebuilt and so it’s owners hired the famous architect Stanford White of New York City; his style and talent were a perfect match for the task at hand. But before White could begin, he was murdered while dining on the rooftop of the old Madison Square Garden.  The Fairmont’s owners finally settled on Julia Morgan, the first woman graduate of the prestigious Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris.   

If the hotel’s exterior looks familiar to you, it could be because it has been featured in many movies and TV shows. We just love it and believe it will provide you a very memorable stay in San Francisco.  It offers 600 guest rooms and luxury suites, including one very famous 6000 sq ft (!) Penthouse Suite. Centrally located, it boasts the only spot where each of the city’s cable car lines meet.  If you don’t end up staying there, pay it a visit and treat yourself to a pineapple cocktail in the hotel’s über-famous Tonga Room in the basement.  As they say at The Fairmont, “Tiki and dine!”


In Focus: Valentine’s Day is just different in SF

pillow fight SF

This is one honest way to spend Valentine’s Day

      Even though Clued In San Francisco is the newest edition in our travel series, it already seems to us that we’re always blogging about some rather unusual events there. It’s true that they do things a bit differently in SF, but really? A huge pillow fight on Valentine’s Day? Wow, now that’s original! If you’re planning a visit there on Cupid’s favorite day then why not check it out. We think it might be the perfect way to spend the evening, especially if you and your loved one have unresolved issues, communication problems, or general hostility that you need to unleash. It’s probably better than going to an expensive romantic dinner and then trying to fake how you’re both so in love… of course, it’s also great for singles who don’t want to sit home without a date.  Whatever the case, it’s free and probably good for a laugh!  Last year’s fight was dubbed “Feathers of Fury.”

2018 info: It’s not official, it’s not sponsored, it’s not city-approved per se, but when 1,000 plus people show up every year for a pillow fight, there’s usually a pillow fight.  Here’s how it goes down–  When the famous clock tower next to Justin Herman Plaza (on the Embarcadero) strikes 6pm, get your pillow in the air and just go for it. Okay, there are a few tips and rules…

No hitting anyone who doesn’t have a pillow/ No hitting people with cameras on/ Bring a mask or bandanna to cover your mouth so you don’t choke on flying feathers/ Synthetic pillows without feathers are okay too/ Bring a garbage bag to help with clean up afterwards/ The event is always tentative; there could be 1,000 people or zero people -or the police could shut it down.  Good luck!


Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from San Francisco, 2017!

     The city by the bay just loves a good holiday celebration and proves it by holding no less than three separate, simultaneous tree-lighting ceremonies. Enjoy the season by going Christmas shopping at Union Square or Pier 39, have an amazing seafood meal at Farallon, and ride a cable car up to Nob Hill for a Christmas cocktail at Top of the Mark. With so much to see and do there, from its unique museums to its elegant concerts, your holiday visit is sure to be extra special!

Christmas San Francisco



Your October NTK (2017)


      October in San Francisco is chock full of fun and three of our favorite fall events don’t even cost a cent for admission!  On the 21st don’t miss the always frenetic Wharf Festival which boasts live music, street performers, craft vendors, food vendors, a chowder contest, kids’ rides, ship tours, and even fireworks over the Embarcadero. It runs from Jefferson to Taylor streets. Click the link for more info! San Francisco’s Wharf Fest 

While the festival is going on, there will also be  the Golden Gate Bridge Swim. Watch swimmers dive into the frigid waters of the bay at Fort Point Beach and cross to the other side in a 3K competition. Brrrrrrr.  Want more info? Click on Golden Gate Bridge Swim.  

On the following weekend, (October 27th , 28th , and Halloween night) who can resist the costumed Halloween Pub Crawl. Enjoy drink specials at multiple bars -okay, the costume is actually optional but where’s the fun in that?  Get details at San Francisco Halloween Pub Crawl.

And that’s your Clued In San Francisco October “Need To Know!”