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Omni San Francisco Hotel
500 California Street (at Montgomery)
San Francisco , California 94104

48 Hours in San Francisco

Rising up amongst the other downtown skyscrapers, the elegant Omni San Francisco Hotel makes the perfect starting point for any Bay Area adventure. Located on the edge of the Financial District, our hotel is walking distance from popular spots like Chinatown, North Beach and the Embarcadero. Just down the street is a subway train that runs down Market Street.

In our two-day itinerary, ideal for a weekend retreat, we highlight some of the best activities, attractions and eateries in San Francisco, providing endless inspiration for those looking to explore the hills, coastlines and neighborhoods that make this city so unique.

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Day One

Morning

For a bistro-inspired breakfast, head up the street to Brioche Bakery & Café, where you can enjoy entrees like a spinach and gruyere omelet, an avocado egg scramble or brioche French toast. The sidewalk tables are perfect for some fresh air and people watching while you dine. 

Another option is to start your day with a trip to the Embarcadero, one of the city’s most popular areas. Boulettes Larder & Boulibar is located within the famed Ferry Building, and it offers a more gourmet meal with a communal setting. From hot porridge and organic yogurt to smoked salmon and poached eggs, they have a small but unique menu.

While there, spend your morning wandering the Ferry Building Marketplace. This renovated space is filled with vendors offering artisan breads, honey, books, beauty products, wine, candles, chocolates, cheeses and more. Stop by Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant & Wine Bar for some of the most distinctive and delicious wines from smaller producers around the world; purchase a bottle back with you to enjoy later or stop at the wine bar for a taste and a small bite. After, experience Frog Hollow Farm at the Ferry Building Marketplace, an “urban farm stand” for Frog Hollow Farm in Brentwood. The café sells a variety of fresh-from-the-farm organic seasonal fruits, including the farm’s nationally famous peaches. There is also a farmers market with fresh produce and artisan goods a few days a week. 

Fill the rest of your morning with a trip on a love bus. San Francisco Love Tours take place in old VW buses, decorated to make you feel like you’re in the 1960s or 70s. With bright designs painted on the exteriors and vibrant blue sheets, shag carpeting and beaded curtains inside, it’s a great way to experience San Francisco the way it was back in the Summer of Love. The tour, of course, visits Haight & Ashbury and Dolores Park, but you’ll also see The Castro, Lombard Street, the Painted Ladies and more.

Afternoon

It’s traditional Italian eats all around for lunch, with Acquolina’s owner hailing from Tuscany. Start out with bruschetta or burrata before selecting a soup, salad, panini, pizza or pasta as your main dish. 

While eating, enjoy views of Washington Square Park then when lunch is done wander over to the park. Established back in the 1840s, the space is a historic part of the city and offers views of Saints Peter and Paul Church, which you can enjoy while relaxing on the grass.

An alternative lunch option is Hillstone, a more upscale restaurant that is located across from Pier 33. Make sure to check the dress code before arriving, then sit down and order a craft cocktail or California wine before your meal arrives. Entrée options include emerald kale salad, rosemary focaccia, the house-made veggie burger, barbecue pork ribs and Cajun trout, among others.

Coit Tower is walking distance from Hillstone so spend the rest of your afternoon exploring the 210-foot tower on Telegraph Hill. Inside the white concrete column, guests can visit the observation deck for incredible views of the waterfront, including both of the bridges. There are also various murals inside, painted in the 1930s, that depict local life during the Depression era.

Evening

At dinnertime, the upscale Bob’s Steak & Chop House located in the Omni San Francisco Hotel can’t be beat. Known throughout the country for its prime, corn-fed beef, the restaurant serves up ribeye, filet mignon, porterhouse, strip and T-bone steaks in addition to lamb, salmon, duck, crab cakes and shrimp scampi.

On the other hand, venture back to the Embarcadero for waterfront dining with a view. One option is Waterbar, a seafood restaurant that provides the perfect vista for the nightly light show on the Bay Bridge. Elegant dishes abound, from Dungeness crab deviled duck egg to the pan-roasted lamb porterhouse. 

After dinner, head to south to the Yerba Buena Ice Skating and Bowling Center, where you can stay active for the evening with a few rounds of bowling or trips around the rink. If you prefer something more laidback, the Yerba Buena Gardens are just across the street.

Located just above the gardens lies B Restaurant and Bar, a trendy restaurant that offers a bar on a rooftop terrace overlooking Yerba Buena Gardens below. With trickling fountains and gorgeous views of the park and Saint Patrick's Catholic Church beyond, it’s a great spot to wind down with a cocktail like the gin-filled Feisty Flirt or the tequila-and-grapefruit Devil’s Kiss before heading back to the hotel for the night.

Bob's Steak & Chop House

Day Two

Morning

Because the hotel isn’t far from Union Square, spend your morning exploring that whole part of town. For breakfast, there are plenty of options. Café De La Presse, a 1930s-inspired French café, isn’t far from Union Square and offers breakfast every day, with an array of baked goods, egg dishes, bagels or yogurts to enjoy. Emporio Rulli offers authentic Italian coffee and pastries and artisan coffee lovers must try the nearby Blue Bottle.

While exploring Union Square, make a quintessential San Francisco memory by taking a ride on a cable car. These iconic symbols of the city will whisk you up and down the nearby hills, offering lovely views and fun ride to start your day right.

Afterward, return to Omni San Francisco for the hotel’s complimentary walking tour. Your guide will take you through the local area, discussing the history and architecture of the region. The tours aren’t always the same so you never know which places you’ll get to explore.

Afternoon

Head over to the Golden Gate Park area for a wealth of lunch options. Park Chow is a great choice. While soups and salads are on the menu, it’s starters like spicy potatoes and crispy wontons that stand out. Make sure to try one of the eatery’s malts, milkshakes or floats. Another great option is Pacific Catch, a modern seafood restaurant that focuses on preparation styles and ingredients found throughout the Pacific. Make sure to check out the “chalkboard” for their rotating specials.

After lunch, spend the afternoon exploring Golden Gate Park. With plenty of green lawns to relax on, and cultural sites to enjoy, you probably won’t be able to see everything. Some of the highlights include the Japanese tea garden, the Conservatory of Flowers and the de Young Museum. If you’re adventurous, take a Segway tour and see as much of the massive park as you can. The Electric Tour Company offers narrated tours complete with fun facts and fascinating history of the park.

Evening

In the evening, it’s back toward Union Square for dinner. Le Colonial is an interesting choice, as the French-Vietnamese fusion restaurant offers everything from bo bia chay rolls to a rack of lamb crusted with lemongrass. It also has an upstairs lounge with live music and dancing if you want to keep the night upbeat.  

Another option is Puccini & Pinetti, an Italian eatery offering carpaccio, bruschetta, minestrone, grilled chicken paninis and steak wraps in addition to unique options like the pear pizza and the mushroom risotto. 

After you’ve had dinner, there are a few options for a night of entertainment. Visit the Black Cat for live jazz music. Located in a renovated hotel that was built in the early 1900s, the lounge has a historically gritty vibe mixed with upscale décor. Nosh on popcorn and sip cocktails like the Bee’s Knees or the Vieux Carre while you relax.

The Palace of the Fine Arts Theatre is always a great place to visit as well. While you can see live musicals or dramas, concerts or comedic acts, one of the greatest parts is walking up to the beautiful monument, designed with Roman and Ancient Greek architecture in mind. It’s the perfect ending to a short but sweet trip to San Francisco.

If you have more time...

There is a lot to see within the city, but one of the most popular spots to visit is Alcatraz Island. Though the prison is no longer occupied, there are tours of the property available; they tend to book up far in advance so make sure to plan accordingly.

To escape to nature, head north to the Corte Madera wetlands or over to Treasure Island. Baker Beach is another nearby option for those that want to enjoy the serenity of the ocean.

The Omni San Francisco concierge team contributed to this article.

Alcatraz