The holidays are my absolute favorite time of year in San Francisco. It feels like the city really comes alive, and there’s more people about than usual. Sounds cheesy, but as we were walking through Union Square the other day, I couldn’t help but mention one too many times how festive and fun the city felt. Of course, most places are decked out with lights and trees, but San Francisco is where all those people come to shop, sip, and dine during the holidays. The city is buzzing. San Francisco homes are beautiful and quirky all year round, but I’m loving how people have designed and decorated their homes for the holidays. We’ve been spending the last few weekends at home, preparing for upcoming travel and doing allllll the holiday things – company parties, dinners with family, and cocktails with close friends. My list on what to do in San Francisco over the holidays below! Eats, drinks, activities and must-stops. You still have two more weekends to take advantage!
California Academy of Sciences: We attended a huge company party here, and it was a blast! If you go on a regular day or night, depending on the date, you’ll be able to ice skate in the middle of Golden Gate Park, see a film or live performance, and step into their humongous snowman-shaped theater. Side note – Cha Cha Cha on Haight Street is my go-to dinner spot whenever I go to the museum.
Check out the decked out hotels in Nob Hill, then have dinner at my favorite hole in the wall, Nob Hill Cafe. The Top of The Mark would be a fantastic place to see the city lights, and The Fairmont has themed afternoon tea, a decorated champagne bar, and a LIFE SIZED gingerbread house.
Walk around Union Square or The Embarcadero for people watching, hot cocoa and ice skating. Both locations are dripping with Christmas spirit and decorations, and have ice skating rinks in each. The perfect photo spots, too! Take a
memorable Instagramable picture in front of the famous Union Square tree, or in front of the countless wreaths on Macy’s windows. Protip: The Cheesecake Factory is located right in Union Square, looking down on all of the action. Grab a drink here, and forget I sent you to a chain restaurant 😉
See Beach Blanket Babylon holiday edition. We just went to North Beach with a fun group on Friday, had dinner at Original Joe’s (an institution!), then headed over to the show at 9pm. Best part? They serve champagne to your seat during the show. The best.
We went to Pacific Cocktail Haven last weekend for holiday inspired cocktails. This bar is fantastic any day of the year, but totally deck out the entire bar in Christmas decorations. I mean, even the walls are covered in wallpaper. It’s pretty incredible. The cocktails are all holiday themed, too. Think: eggnog whiskey, and peppermint rum concoctions! Get there early, a line starts to form as soon as the open.
Walk through the Fort Mason farmers market on Sunday, then peruse through The Guardsmen Tree Lot. Best part? You don’t actually have to buy a tree. They have a bunch of local restaurants doing food and wine tastings, AND have a complimentary beverage cart rolling through for anyone’s enjoyment. Win win in my book!