By Amanda Park
With the craziness of the holiday season finally behind us (big sigh), I feel the need for some well-deserved rest and relaxation in a fabulous city. Of course I love my adopted hometown of Dallas (which is actually quite fun), but in this instance, I am talking about my beloved birthplace – San Francisco!
I love visiting good old SF. It’s the ultimate city to experience great food, interesting people, and spectacular sites. We have made the trip with kids, no kids, as girls’ weekends, as golf trips….you name it. We have literally done it all in San Francisco and you will not find a more accommodating city.
Here is a peak at our faves. Oh, and bring your wellies, it can be a little rainy and cold this time of year, but you’ll look so chic in your cashmere beanie and wool wrap (see Burberry Bliss/What to Wear), that you won’t care!
Where to Eat
Kids’ meals are served in paper cars. Enough said. This place is actually great food and lots of fun. There are several locations (Geary, Lombard, Mission, Van Ness), so there should be one close to wherever you are staying.
Chevy’s Fresh Mex
Fun, friendly Mexican restaurant on Van Ness Avenue.
Kids can play with sample dough and even make their own pizza.
Located in the Richmond District of San Francisco, very near the Golden Gate Bridge.
This is Tyler Florence’s new restaurant (if you are Food Network obsessed like I am, you know who he is). It is DELISH.
Incanto Restaurant & Wine Bar
A great scene and truly excellent Italian food in fabulous Noe Valley.
An elegant restaurant with excellent seafood, right in the middle of Union Square.
Where to Stay
Four Seasons Hotel
Very accommodating with children. Concierge is really helpful with locating babysitters. Milk and cookies, kiddie robes and the usual children’s toiletries are waiting for you upon check-in. The location (Market Street) is great for shopping and quick activities. Also, the actual facility just lends itself better to children, then some of the other luxury hotels in the city.
This is a lovely, swanky boutique hotel located in the Embarcadero/Waterfront.
Book either a Panoramic Suite or the Landmark Terrace Suite…the views are unreal. There are so many wonderful large hotels in SF, but if you want to try a smaller hotel, this one is awesome.
Where to Play:
Golden Gate Park
A couple of great places in the park to check out are Hang at the Japanese Tea Garden (the kids will love to play here – there is a wooden bridge that every kid loves to run all over) or DeYoung Museum – a personal favorite of mine. There is a giant carousel (from 1912!) and a great playground on the Lincoln Avenue side of the park. You can bring a picnic or walk to 9th and Irving and eat at Park Chow (very kid friendly restaurant and a delicious SF gem).
This is for older kids; this is such an unbelievable tour, but lots of walking…and a long ferry ride. I think this is best for 8 year olds and up, depending on each child.
All age children; tons of souvenir and specialty shops, carousel, street performers, plenty of eating options. Be sure to stop by Ghirardelli Square for an extra special ice cream sundae for the kids.
Zeum: San Francisco Children’s Museum
This is a high-tech museum for kids, unlike any other. This is good for all ages, but 4 and up will get the most out of it.
And Just for You
Have an Irish Coffee at The Cliff House. Historic San Francisco landmark, perched right above the crashing waves of the Pacific. Definitely don’t forget your wellies and winter wrap for that visit…it can be quite chilly along the coast. This is my all time favorite thing to do in the world. Older kids would love this place….the young ones would make me nervous with all the cliffs and the water. My kids are too young, so for now, this one gets to be just for me (happy sigh).
As always, safe and happy travels!
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