Ask anyone who lives in San Francisco about the best time of year to visit, and the answer is, almost always, fall. Less fog in September, October and November brings gloriously warm weather. All the locals who left during the chilly summer return. Niners and Warriors fans welcome the start of a thrilling sports season. And the city comes to life with exciting openings and events.
Here are some new reasons why you should plan your next trip to the beautiful City by the Bay soon.
The Ritz-Carlton, San Francisco, a Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel, is a wonderful place to stay. It’s centrally located between Union Square and Nob Hill, but not on a busy thoroughfare, making it feel safe and peaceful. This fall, you can taste wine at The JCB Lounge by Jean-Charles Boisset in the lobby or come the holidays, grab the kids and bring them to the Teddy Bear Tea. Enjoy food and drink at the new restaurant, The Lounge, until 11 pm. The menu delivers the best of seasonal California cuisine, like crispy cauliflower, charred octopus, oysters on the half shell and a sensational burger.
Fall marks the 100th season of the San Francisco Opera. To celebrate this milestone, the SFO has planned many happenings, including a community open house and The Traviata Encounter, a condensed performance of Verdi’s opera followed by a rollicking afterparty. These two events offer a great introduction for newcomers, however, those already familiar with the wonderful world of opera can look forward to a new version of La Traviata that debuts November 11 and runs through December 3.
In the northern part of the city, a brand-new park opened in the Presidio earlier this year. The former-military-base-turned-sprawling-park has a new destination dubbed Presidio Tunnel Tops. The tunnel tops have temporary art exhibits that celebrate diversity and interconnectedness along with daily-changing pop-up food trucks. Stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge, the sparkling bay and Alcatraz make the park an excellent place to picnic.
A team of Michael Mina alums led by Patric Yumul and chef Alexandre Viriot recently opened La Société, a fantastic new French-inspired brasserie. Located in the newly remodeled Hyatt Regency San Francisco Downtown SOMA, the restaurant serves daily breakfast, happy hour and dinner. Whatever time you come, the superb food does not disappoint. We couldn’t get enough of the Dutch crunch gougère — a delicious mashup of San Francisco (Dutch crunch is a local sweet white bread with a crackly top) and France. Plus, the service is friendly and the atmosphere happening and fun.
One of the city’s most iconic bars, Redwood Room, has reopened with a new look, menu and entertainment. The moody space known for its art deco décor and classic cocktails (the martini with blue cheese olives is to die for) provides a sexy spot for snacks and drinks. Relax in one of the plush sofas and take in live jazz by the Patrick Wolff Quartet or piano bar performances by Josh Gelfand.
The Vault, a luxe steakhouse in downtown San Francisco, hosts the city’s hottest happy hour, complete with a piano. Every day from 4 to 6 p.m., enjoy live music and bites inspired by throwback dishes like shrimp cocktail, potato tots, beef tartare and prime rib sliders. Head bartenders Raymundo Delgado and Drake Schullerts curated a special happy-hour menu of quintessential cocktails — martinis, Manhattans, old fashioneds, French 75s and more — for only $10. You won’t find a better deal anywhere else in San Francisco.
Fans of Villon, San Francisco Proper Hotel’s sophisticated restaurant, should book a dinner at its Gilda’s Salon. The chic Kelly Wearstler-designed private dining room has transformed into a communal table for a chef-driven series of dinners. Available on Friday and Saturday nights, the 11-course menu offers just 10 to 12 seats for each meal. It’s wildly exclusive and wildly delicious. “Our goal with Gilda’s Salon is to provide an intimate dining experience showing off the room,” executive chef Jason Fox said. “[It gives] our chefs the ability to create dishes featuring ingredients that can only be procured in smaller amounts and executed in a smaller setting than what we usually do in Villon.”