A Perfect Fall Weekend In Hayes Valley, San Francisco

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A Perfect Fall Weekend In Hayes Valley, San Francisco. San Francisco skyline

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Today, a walk around San Francisco’s Hayes Valley is bound to lead to a sidewalk café, a hidden coffee shop, or a buzzing new pop-up restaurant. The neighborhood is beloved by discerning city dwellers who come here to shop and sup, while visitors who make it to Hayes often look like they’ve just stumbled in on a secret.

In the phoenix that is Hayes Valley, atmospheric hangouts and hip boutiques rose from the ashes of the destructive 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. The quake damaged a 40-foot-tall section of the Central Freeway above Hayes Valley, which, at the time, skewed far more seedy than trendy. After the bridge languished amid a city-planning tug-of-war, it was torn down in 2003, freeing up space for redevelopment and paving the way for one of SF’s most beguiling neighborhoods, a centrally located stretch north of the Mission District and west of SoMa that just keeps getting better. Visitors can’t walk a block without encountering a “Now Open” sign beckoning them into a new space.

“Hayes has a small-town feel in the middle of the city,” says Charles Bililies, the restaurateur behind Souvla, a chic, Hayes Valley Greek space with a cult following. “When I was planning Souvla, I looked at many neighborhoods [before choosing Hayes]; I even moved here nine months before Souvla opened in 2014.”

A Perfect Fall Weekend In Hayes Valley, San Francisco.
Cocktails on Hayes Street.

Here’s where to start your exploration of Hayes Valley:

Where to Eat and Drink

For about a six-block stretch, Hayes Valley is a bastion of global culinary ambition, where restaurants (much like residents) live in historic homes and new condo developments clustered on or around Hayes Street, the neighborhood’s main thoroughfare. Dining out is a globe-spinning exercise: Go Greek at Souvla, get your schnitzel fix at the Bavarian Suppenküche, dive into Italian comfort food at recently opened a Mano, dabble with French fare at slick Monsieur Benjamin, or stay local with elevated California prix fixe at Nightbird.

A Perfect Fall Weekend In Hayes Valley, San Francisco. souvla hayes valley
Souvla in Hayes Valley.

A couple of blocks east at Cala, a modern restaurant in a former sound studio with skylights, a fiddle-leaf fig tree, and a wall of kangaroo vines, chef Gabriela Cámara brings the flavors that helped her grow a following in Mexico City to a vast seafood-focused menu. After dinner, trip it to the tropics with a stop at Smuggler’s Cove, a tiki bar tucked behind a nondescript door, where bartenders whip up rum-centric concoctions such as the Millionaire Cocktail (No. 1) – rum, sloe gin, lime, house-made grenadine, and apricot liqueur. If umbrella drinks aren’t your thing, there’s Biergarten, where picnic tables let locals flirt with collective alfresco-drinking fantasies, but the staff doling out blankets acknowledges the reality of San Francisco’s frequent fog and chill.

A Perfect Fall Weekend In Hayes Valley, San Francisco. smuggler's cove hayes valley
Smuggler’s Cove in Hayes Valley.

Where To Shop 

Fiercely protective of its village vibe, Hayes Valley has developed a shopping district that’s practically free of chain stores. Instead, a welcoming array of shops bring a strong eye for style and appealing offerings to the neighborhood. While the selection is wide ranging – from sake boutique True Sake to the Mexican folk-art talismans of Polanco – clothing, home decor, shoes, and sweets are the mainstays here.

Begin your spree at vintage-focused Ver Unica, one of the original Hayes Valley stores, where you’ll likely run into owner Cindy Spade, a muse with Joni Mitchell cheekbones and effortlessly inspiring personal style. Impossibly hip Acrimony stocks cool-girl and -guy pieces, while Welcome Stranger is solely dedicated to the sharp-dressed man. The contemporary design collective Minimal and artisan-focused Maker & Moss are like candy stores for designophiles, but when it’s time to satisfy a literal sweet tooth, head to Miette for cupcakes, cookies, and tarts; and Chantal Guillon for macarons.

A Perfect Fall Weekend In Hayes Valley, San Francisco. maker moss hayes valley
Maker & Moss in Hayes Valley.

See & Do 

San Francisco possesses plenty of landmarks (hello, Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz), but mostly due to its size, Hayes trades monuments for cozy public spaces. At Patricia’s Green park, created after the freeway was torn down, locals commandeer tables for meetups and chess matches, dogs carouse on the lovely lawn, and street fairs and public art make frequent appearances. Adjacent is Proxy, an ever-evolving open-air space that throws alfresco movie nights and block parties, and hosts coffee, ice cream, and beer pop-ups. Just around the corner is the sophisticated SFJazz Center, where, at sleek new restaurant B-Side, charred chive blossoms, hominy posole, and piquant cocktails play like crowd-pleasing openers to the night’s jazz-heavyweight headliner.

For larger-scale sightseeing, head to the neighboring Civic Center, home to the War Memorial Opera House (where the city’s opera and ballet companies split stage time), the San Francisco Symphony, and Herbst Theatre. A 15-minute stroll west leads to Alamo Square Park, bordered on the east by the Painted Ladies (aka Postcard Row), seven pastel-hued sister houses made famous by the opening credits of Full House, now one of the city’s most photographed scenes. Instagram-op scored, return to Hayes Valley to soak in the village scene – a glass of rosé in hand.

Advisor Tip

“Before dinner, grab a glass of wine at Hotel Biron, a secret wine bar tucked away on a dark alley off Market Street – trust me!” – Courtney Regan, Virtuoso advisor, San Francisco

Where To Sleep

Ever since it survived the city’s 1906 earthquake, the Fairmont San Francisco on Nob Hill has been a classic SF institution, with its marble-wrapped lobby and 592 sumptuous guest rooms. Don’t miss a visit to the Tonga Room – the 72-year-old holdover from the tropical-tinged days of Hawaii-mania is one of the country’s original tiki bars, complete with dangerous drinks, pupu platters, and waiters in festive shirts.

The Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel houses one of the city’s most breathtaking spaces, The Garden Court dining room and atrium, where Saturday afternoon tea is a San Francisco rite of passage. Beyond the restaurant, 556 revamped rooms feature 11-foot ceilings and marble baths, and swimmers can log laps beneath a glass dome in the indoor pool.

Downtown’s Four Seasons Hotel San Francisco, a quick walk from Union Square, feels more like an urban residence than a big-city hotel, with 277 modern rooms, coastal fare at MKT Restaurant – Bar, and complimentary guest access to the adjacent Equinox Sports Club.

BY KELLY LACK
PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANGELA DECENZO

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Most Popular US Tourist Cities

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America – a majestic country which annually attracts millions of tourists.

There are so many diverse attractions in the United States that life will seem too short to explore them. From sunny coasts to modern cities, America has it all to attract foreigners. However, once you’ve decided to come here, you should choose the specific destinations that will suit you perfectly

Here is our list of the most popular tourist destinations in USA:

Most Popular US Tourist Cities. Skyline of Miami, Florida, USA at Brickell Key and Miami River.

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MIAMI

When we say Miami, we are talking about Miami Beach – one of the most luxurious resort areas in the world. Here you can see mansions of some of the world’s richest business people and celebrities. Miami is a paradise with 16 kilometers of white-sand coastline, turquoise waters, and rows of palm trees stretching along the ocean.

In Miami, everything is designed for tourists. This place is famous all over the world for its wonderful hotels and resorts with high-end service. Here you can enjoy some of the busiest nightlife in the country; numerous bars, clubs and restaurants will demonstrate their luxury service. Life in Miami seems like an endless festival. Miami has it all to win the hearts of visitors.

Most Popular US Tourist Cities. San Francisco skyline and Bay Bridge at sunset, California

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SAN-FRANCISCO – the most liberal city in the USA

The level of life in San Francisco is high – and so are the prices! The base of the economy here is tourism: the city holds fifth place in the USA for the quantity of international guests coming here every year; it is also considered one of the ten best cities in the world. Remarkably, a little more than 100 years ago, it was almost completely demolished as a result of a devastating earthquake.

San Francisco is different, and this quality is seen in everything: population, cuisine, design, architecture, mentality and even clothing. The streets of San-Francisco are full of diverse people: poor and rich, hippies and minorities of alternative sexual orientations (which represent 15% of the population).

The main attractions are its famous hills (San Francisco has more than 50 overlook sites) and cable cars, Chinatown with its exotic shops, and Golden Gate Park – which is even bigger than Central Park in New York City.

Most Popular US Tourist Cities. Yellow taxi in a Black and White New York

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NEW YORK – the city of possibilities

New York is the unofficial capital of the USA, or its second capital. It is not only one of the biggest cities in the world, but also its economic and cultural center.

The main attractions here are Broadway theaters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, famous Times Square, Central Park (the most visited one in United States), and, of course, the Statue of Liberty. New York is divided into five boroughs (each of which is a separate county of New York State): The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. More than 50 million tourists come to New York EVERY YEAR. Moreover, New York is a fashion capital and a veritable paradise for “fashionistas” and all those who love clothing and famous brands.

Most Popular US Tourist Cities. Los Angeles, California, USA downtown cityscape.

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LOS ANGELES – the entertainment city

Los Angeles, or so-called LA, is a huge center of entertainment. The city is quite young, which is why it doesn’t have world famous architectural monuments, but it has a highly developed cinema industry, and you can easily happen upon famous celebrities on LA’s beaches. Millions of tourists come to LA to see what the “American dream” looks like. Here you should visit beloved Disneyland, get a suntan on Malibu or Long Beach, and see a major attraction – Universal Studios.

 

To Book Your Trip
Contact our Travel Advisors:1.877.999.4768

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