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San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf
A City Hub

by Tammie Thompson

San Francisco It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve been to the city by the bay, it’s still a magical explosion of culture, food, and city sights and sounds. This trip we parked it in Fisherman’s Wharf for a weekend of shopping, dining, and exploring new neighborhoods. With Fisherman’s Wharf is close proximity to so much of San Francisco, it was a snap to park the car (check out Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf Park ‘n’ Play package that offers free valet parking), and hit the ground running.

Our first excursion was via the Powell-Mason Cable Car, catching it at the corner of Bay & Taylor avenues, just around the corner from the Hyatt. Early riders can nab the coveted outdoor poles (hang on tight!) for the quintessential photo op. We rode the cable car to Union Square for some festive holiday shopping (and cheer!). During the Christmas holidays, Union Square is ablaze with lights and intriguing window displays. We ducked into some of the high end storefronts for a look-see, but I don’t think Tiffany’s San Francisco blue box will make it under the tree this year. From Union Square we worked our way to Market Street and the Westfield San Francisco Centre. Nordstrom and Bloomingdales, plus every other trendy store imaginable, anchor the multi-level mall. If you time your visit right, you can catch a performance from San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker or the festive lights of “Illuminique Under the Dome”. Dining choices are pretty upscale as well. We thoroughly enjoyed Cupola Pizzeria for a quick bite (and libations).

San Francisco Fun! Back to the wharf, just a quick and inexpensive cab ride away. But there was more in store for the evening with a trip to Ghiradelli Square for a hot fudge sundae, a la San Francisco. With the teens tucked into the Hyatt’s Plush Grand Beds, tuned into pay per view, we could escape for a nightcap at the Hyatt’s Enoteca Musto, a club-like wine bar with comfy seating and edgy furnishings. Perfect.

Day two dawned clear and crisp. We had the valet deliver the car for a quick jaunt to the Haight for a trip down memory lane. From vintage to tie-dye, from music memorabilia to urban hipsters, we all got a kick out of the colorful Haight Ashbury district. Grabbing some sandwiches, we detoured to Golden Gate Park for a picnic and some exploring of this unique urban utopia. Every corner offers up a different experience, from boating on Stow Lake, to exploring the Japanese Tea Garden, to watching some surfing on Ocean Beach.

San Francisco Hyatt! Back to the Hyatt for a short respite in the outdoor heated whirlpool, and then it was on to Union Street for some more window shopping and a sushi fest at Umami. Another quick taxi ride, and it was back to the wharf to rest up for another day.

With the weekend coming to a close, it was time for some exploring on foot. Breakfast at Boudin’s, overlooking the Red & White fleet, got the day off right. Then it was on to Pier 39 for a carousel ride, and some bonding with the sea lions. The sea lions never cease to put a smile on your face, it was hard to leave. More walking towards the Ferry Building, and then back to the wharf for a quick fresh Dungeness crab sandwich before hitting the highway. It was another whirlwind weekend in the City by The Bay…. Stay tuned for next time.

Don’t miss:

  • Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge
  • A bay cruise on the Red and White Fleet (look for the Twilight Cruise for the holidays)
  • North Beach cannollis
  • A walk up to Coit Tower

    San Francisco Fun! Hyatt Fisherman’s Wharf offers several packages including the "Park 'n' Play (free valet parking) and the "Explore San Francisco" (2 cable car pass, boat tour, restaurant discounts). For more see:

    More on San Francisco here.

    ......Tammie Thompson lives to travel. It’s all about the adventure, whether it’s hiking a local mountain, snorkeling a Caribbean reef, or tasting fresh powder snow. Tammie lives in Truckee, CA with her husband, two adventurous children, and Elvis, the mountain mutt.

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