Arriving in San Francisco underneath the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most impressive city entries you will experience. San Francisco has an extensive waterfront, offering boaters a great getaway and access to fabulous restaurants, stellar local wines and spectacular scenery. Visiting boaters will find several marinas with transient dockage on the north shore, including the San Francisco Marina (415-831-6322, sanfranciscomarina.org) and Pier 39 (415-705-5436, pier39marina.com). Along the east shore is South Beach Harbor (415-495-4911, southbeachharbor.com), located next to AT&T Park, the Giants baseball stadium, and a short walk from the popular South of Market area.
WHAT TO DO Walk the neighborhoods. The best way to get to know San Francisco is to explore it on foot. Stroll from Telegraph Hill to the Coit Tower for amazing views. In North Beach, San Francisco’s Little Italy, feast at one of the many outdoor cafes. Hit the shops along Fillmore, Union and Grant streets, where you will find independent boutiques as well as high- end designer shops. In South of Market, visit the Modern Art Museum and grab a bite at one of the many neighborhood restaurants or bars. Discover Walks (discoverwalks.com) offers free guided tours given by locals.
Ride a cable car. This is not only a unique and fun way to get around the city and experience history (cable cars have run through the city since 1873), but also convenient: More than 17 miles of track are still in use (sfcablecar.com).
Visit Alcatraz Island. Take the boat from Pier 33 on the Embarcadero to this infa- mous prison, located in the middle of San Francisco Bay. (alcatrazcruises.com).
WHERE TO EAT San Francisco has an amazing restaurant scene. Below are just a few of the many choices. For a more complete look at San Francisco’s restaurants, visit insidescoopsf.sfgate.com, or download WeottaGo, a free iPhone app. Also note that many restaurants in San Francisco will allow you to bring your own wine for a small corkage fee.
Nojo is an izikaya-style restaurant that specializes in Japanese yakitori (grilled meats) and small plates. (231 Franklin St., nojosf.com)
One Market, a Michelin-star-rated restaurant, features the freshest farm-to-table food and dishes such as bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin. (1 Market St., onemarket.com)
Public House is a favorite locals’ hangout before Giants games because of its location next to AT&T Park. It has a “secret” entrance into the park and a huge selection of beers (24 on tap, 24 in bottles), burgers and brats. (24 Willie Mays Plaza, publichousesf.com)
Cotogna is a casual venue serving rustic Italian fare by chef Michael Tusk, winner of a 2011 James Beard award. Dishes include spit-roasted and grilled meats and fish, wood-oven pizzas and house-made pastas. (490 Pacific Ave., cotognasf.com)
Greens is a vegetarian restaurant with great views of the Golden Gate Bridge (Fort Mason, greensrestaurant.com). It also hosts a farmers market every Sunday morning, just inside the parking gates of Fort Mason.