Posts Tagged 'san francisco'

Active travelers – New Books with Best Walks. New York, Paris, London, San Francisco

Traveling friends – I have to share these great new books with you. Everyone who knows me, knows I love to explore a city on foot. Often the walks I take are my best memories.

But I don’t want to waste my time in unattractive or unsafe areas.

Two California travelers have teamed up and written about their favorite walks in San Francisco, Paris, New York, London and Chicago in a series of Power Hiking books. They are organized by neighborhood, with detailed maps and color photos on every page.

For my trip to New York City next week, I’m carrying along their pocket size guide (only 6″ square)to fourteen great walks through the parks, neighborhoods and by iconic buildings of Manhattan.

First walk on my list is: The Highline, on the north side of Greenich Village, where elevated trains used to run, is now a linear greenway high above the city streets. Starting in the Meat Packing District, it extends into Chelsea and along the Hudson River.

If the weather cooperates, my second walk will follow Chapter 13; Uptown through Fort Tryon Park, The Cloisters, Columbia University, Morningside Park, and Uptown Broadway.

The authors, Carolyn Hanson and Cathleen Peck,  have walked every step and documented the history, art, architecture and world-renown restaurants.

How did they do it? Carolyn takes the photos with a digital camera and Cathleen measured the distances with a hand-held GPS.

The walks can be divided into  less strenuous excursions with more time devoted to wandering through museums, parks and historical monuments.

Bravo Carolyn and Cathleen for writing, self-publishing and marketing, in my opinion, FIVE STAR guidebooks.

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Where’s the largest Irish Event west of the Mississippi?

Irish Eyes Are Smiling in San Francisco

San Francisco’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival is the largest Irish event west of the Mississippi, which certainly merits a sip of Irish coffee or a romp through the Oxalis (which is a fancy word for shamrocks).

“Giving Back” is the theme for the 160th annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival. The parade is one of a series of events which commenced on March 4 with the raising of the Irish flat at City Hall and extend through March 25, 2011.

On Saturday, March 12, the St. Patrick’s Day parade will begin at 11:30 a.m. from Second and Market streets; more than 100 floats, Irish dance groups, marching bands and thousands of participants will make their way down Market to the reviewing stand at Civic Center Plaza. For information visit www.sfstpatricksdayparade.com.

They’ll be representing more than one million Irish descendents in the Bay Area and some four million statewide. Grand Marshals Maureen and Mike Moriarty are being honored for their contributions to the Irish community.

 

The festival in Civic Center Plaza on March 12, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., will include Irish cultural and retail booths; a “healthy” selection of Irish food and beverages; Irish dancing; live music; children’s activities such as pony rides, and a number of community enterprises. For information visit www.sresproductions.com.

The eighth annual Crossroads Irish-American Festival, through March 25, will feature literature and oral history. The 21-day festival includes 11 events. Among the highlights are a walking tour illuminating the history of San Francisco’s famed waterfront  with an emphasis on Irish-American workers on March 19, and a concert by Patrick Ball, one of the world’s premiere Celtic harp players and a captivating spoken word artist, at St. Patrick’s Church, 756 Mission St., on March 25. St. Patrick’s Church is celebrating its 160th anniversary in 2011. There will be additional events for the anniversary celebration; for details visit www.spcsf.org. Complete details on all Crossroads events are available at www.irishamericancrossroads.org.

Visitors are encouraged to walk, bike or take public transit to all events. For regional transit information, telephone 510-893-8729, call 511 within the nine San Francisco Bay Area counties or visit www.511.org. For information on public transit within San Francisco, telephone 311 or visit www.sfmta.org.

Looking for some additional green gladness for March? Visit www.sanfrancisco.travel or check out some of these suggestions:

March 12 and 17

Ride the Ducks San Francisco and Classic Cable Car Sightseeing, www.sanfranciscoducks.com or www.classiccablecar.com

Wear green and each of these sightseeing firms will give riders $5 off each ticket purchased; not valid with any other offers.

March 17, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.

Wipeout Bar & Grill

Pier 39, www.wipeoutbarandgrill.com

Wipeout will be offering corned beef sandwiches all day.

March 17, 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m.

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company

390 Capistrano Road, Princeton-by-the-Sea, www.hmbbrewingco.com

An Irish-themed menu offered all day; evening entertainment from 7-10 p.m. features Claddagh with Shana Morrison, Kevin Brennan and Grant Walters.

 

March 17, 11:30 a.m.-12:30 a.m.

Pied Piper Bar & Grill

2 New Montgomery St., www.sfpalace.com

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in one of San Francisco’s most famous bars and enjoy a St. Patrick’s Day special —  a delicious corned beef sandwich and a Guinness for $20.

March 17, 6-9:45 p.m. at SFMOMA, cocktails at XYZ Lounge until 1:30 a.m.

How Wine Became Modern Featuring Pop-Up Magazine, www.sfmoma.org and www.wsanfrancisco.com

California Academy of Sciences

55 Music Concourse Dr., Golden Gate Park, www.calacademy.org/events/nightlife/

This St. Patrick’s Day sip on a whiskey cocktail or a dark, frothy Guinness, and take in a bit of Irish culture at the greenest museum on Earth, the California Academy of Sciences.  Cast in an ethereal green light, NightLife will feature Irish step dancing, and performances on the Celtic harp and nyckelharpa, a lyrical instrument with 16 strings and 37 keys that has been around for more than 600 years. Music by DJ Nako.

Thanks to San Francisco Travel

Join the more than 300,000 people who follow SF Travel on Facebook at www.facebook.com/onlyinsf. Follow “OnlyinSF” on Twitter at http://twitter.com/onlyinsf.

 

Top Picks for Romantic Spots in San Francisco

Sand Beach and walking trails at Chrissy Field

From Gogobot with changes and additions by the Gutsy Traveler, Marybeth from her book

50 Best Girlfriends Getaways in North America.

1. Gary Danko

“This place is absolutely amazing in so many grand and subtle ways… As usual, the service was impeccable and cannot be disputed. Everything from the greeting to the entry to the wine pouring was perfect down to the last drop.”

2. Napa Valley

Okay, this isn’t technically in SF, but it’s an “easy drive north of San Francisco, Napa Valley is a perfect weekend getaway! It’s great for couples.”  Visit romantic wineries like the Mondavi Vineyard or Frogs’ Leap, and take a hot air balloon ride over the valley complete with a champagne breakfast.

3. Dosa on Fillmore

“Our dining experience was extremely enjoyable–great service, ambiance, and fancy cocktails. I would HIGHLY recommend Dosa on Fillmore to anyone interested in Indian cuisine. True, although many dishes have been slightly modified from their original state to compliment San Francisco, you will be hard pressed to find a spot that serves such high quality, South Indian inspired cuisine.”

4. Chapeau on Clement

“The place is quiet and the entire experience screamed something cozy, seductive, and most definitely French.”

5. California Academy of Arts & Science

“If you were here to enjoy the night it’s definitely a spectacular experience filled with live music, great DJs, alcohol and cooking demonstrations full of great food and useful learning resources.” Be sure to take your sweetheart to the 2 and 1/2 acres of live plants and flowers blanketing the roof and watch the sunset over Golden Gate Park.

6. Ana Mandara in Ghiradelli Square

Ana Mandara means “beautiful refuge” in a Vietnamese Dialect. Its dramatic interior transports you to an Asian tropical garden accented with potted palms, a koi pond and cozy alcoves defined by dark carved wood. Ana Mandara is my favorite New Vietnamese restaurant (with French accents) restaurant because of its opulent beauty, the gracious service and the fabulous cuisine.

7. Gitane Restaurant and Bar

“Gitane is tres sexy in every way. The ambiance, the staff, the food and the cocktails are all incredibly sexy. It’s the … quintessential date spot in SF.”

8. La Mar Cebicheria Peruana

I discovered La Mar in the Mira Flores district of Lima, Peru and was ashamed to learn that there’s a sister restaurant in San Francisco. Now it’s one of my favorites. If you feel like a gastronomic adventure for the land of the Incas, this is a great choice.

9. Chrissy Field and the Fort Point National Historic Site

Chrissy Field's Location along the Bay

The view here is understatedly indescribable and breathtaking at the very least and grandeur … and amazing as well. Walk on the sandy beach and look across at Alcatraz, the Marin hills and the Golden Gate Bridge. Have a hot chocolate or double latte at The Warming Hut.

10. Golden Gate Park

“This park is very serene and nice in many areas and contains specialty places such as conservatories and museums with a huge … selection of specialty gardens such as the Japanese Tea Garden.”


About Marybeth Bond

Marybeth Bond is the nation’s preeminent expert on women travel. She is the award-winning
author-editor of 11 books.

Marybeth has hiked, cycled, climbed, dived and kayaked her way through more than seventy countries around the world.

She was a featured guest on the Oprah Winfrey Show. Marybeth has appeared on CBS News, CNN, ABC, NBC, National Public Radio and National Geographic Weekend.