February is a good month to be San Francisco. Imagine, for instance, seeing a Golden Dragon slither its way through America's most vibrant Chinatown during the Chinese Day Parade. Or how about taking in a production of Beach Blanket Babylon or Finding Neverland?
In addition to a bevy of wine and food events in the city, there are also some very good day tours that whisk you to the best of the California Wine Country. If you're in the Bay area on Valentine's Day, reward your loved one with a VIP dinner and dance nighttime cruise.
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This day tour takes you to the best of the city. You start the day with a bay cruise to Alcatraz Island to visit the famous prison. Take as much time as you want! In the afternoon you're off on an extensive city tour — Chinatown, the Painted Ladies, and North Beach, Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park and take photos on the tippy top of Twin Peaks.
Step on board to relax and enjoy California hospitality with a casual two-hour cruise of San Francisco Bay. Sample an array of appetizers, crudités, dips, seasonal fruits and dainty miniature desserts as your boat sails past Fisherman's Wharf, the Presidio and the Marina District and Sausalito. The tour is timed so you get unbeatable sunset views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific Ocean. From there, make a champagne toast to the spectacular city view.
This brunch cruise is also very popular. Hop on your bay boat and depart from Pier 39 to sail toward the Golden Gate Bridge — past Fisherman's Wharf, Aquatic Park, the Marina District, and Fort Point. An hour later, under that most-famous bridge, take a moment or two toast to your loved one with the city skyline looming above the bay. On board enjoy a lavish brunch.
In February you have the opportunity to see the Broadway hit, Finding Neverland, at the Orpheum Theatre. Based on the movie, this musical covers the time when Peter Pan became the legendary boy we're all familiar with.
• Orphem Theatre
• Ends February 12
It's the longest-running musical in the US. For more than forty years, audiences have been been captivated, amused, and enraged by the irreverent revue at Club Fugazi in the popular North Beach neighborhood.
This popular city pass is our first choice for San Francisco. Millions have been sold — with 99% of users recommending it. Those kind of figures give us confidence.
The CityPASS gives you free access to five favorite activities, including a 7-day cable car and bus pass. You also get into the California Academy of Sciences, Aquarium of the Bay, the amazing Exploratorium, plus a cruise of the bay that sails beneath the Golden Gate Bridge.
You save money, about 44%, but the best part for us is that you get to skip the ticket lines, saving your valuable vacation time for something more fun!
We know what you're thinking. "Frankenstein?" But you're going to be surprised by this beautiful rendition of Mary Shelley's Gothic classic. Lowell Liebermann wrote the original score that evokes the richness of early 18th-century Geneva. More love story than monster story, the production has received lavish praise from around the globe.
February serves up lively performances with Beethoven's Ode to Joy, Lang Lang, Beethoven and Bronfman, and Michael Tilson Thomas conducting Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet. All performances at the Davies Symphony Hall. Most dates in February.
Thursdays are private cocktail night at the California Academy of Sciences. Arrive to the museum after hours for your express entry to this adults-only event. Enjoy cocktails and meet new people before your behind-the-scenes one-hour tour. Upgrade to the VIP status and have unlimited cocktails before the tour begins. What a great way to spend Valentine's Day. Or any other Thursday, for that matter!
• Thursday Nights
With gourmet lunch! On this small-group tour (small to assure personal attention) you travel from San Francisco by luxury van through the best of California Wine Country, stopping at vineyards for tours, tastings and a gourmet lunch in Sonoma. Wineries include Viansa Winery, Cline Cellars, Larson Family Winery, Homewood Winery and a final stop at Domaine Chandon for a glass of bubbly and the stunning views.
You start the day by being picked up at your San Francisco hotel, giving you the luxury of just laying back and enjoying the day. And what a day — spent exploring the best of the Wine Country. Drive through picturesque California countryside, walk though vineyards, sample fine wines in both Sonoma & Napa Valley. Sample as much as you what — someone else is doing the driving!
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A romantic dinner cruise on San Francisco Bay is a good idea for Valentine's Day, but it's also great fun at any time of year. Take in the lights of the city gliding by, including Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, as you dine on courses prepared by expert chefs right on board your boat. We recommend you opt for the upgrade that gets you champagne and window seating. Dance the night away.
Little Italy and North Beach are the best SF neighborhood destinations for food lovers. On this walking tour that Lonely Planet named one of the "Top 10 Walking tours for Globetrotting Foodies", the neighborhood food vendors pull out all the stops for your visit. You feel like an SF insider as your guide introduces you to local food scene for generous tastings.
Join the Big Parade on February 11. The fun stars on the corner of 2nd and Market Streets. Follow the floats as the 128-foot-long Golden Dragon wends it way through Chinatown ending at Jackson & Kearny St. Instead of standing, there is an option of purchasing bleacher seats.
• January 21 to February 19
See independent, alternative films and meet the filmmakers. Screenings and events are held at the Brava Theatre and the Roxie Theatre.
Head to the Gala at Pier 48 on February 10. Taste the bounty from Northern California craft breweries.
Join the party at the Hotel Whitcomb for salsa, rumba and of course, rueda, the famous Cuban salsa.
If it's your dream to become a professional writer, come to SF to attend this highly regarded annual conference.
It's the 25th annual festival that showcases 150 bands plus films at at iconic venues like the Great American Music Hall.
It's a wine competition, but you also get a chance to sample wines from California.
Taste Zinfandel and meet top producers at three different venues: One Market, Bentley Reserve, and Pier 27.
Inspired by the San Francisco art and literary salons of yesteryear, the Hotel Rex has been transformed with a clever restoration by the creative Joie de Vivre hotelier group. The overall effect is more Jazz Age salon than modern-day SF hotel. There's great service & a great location. We peg Hotel Rex at Highly-Rated in our review.
This delectable hotel and spa, nestled right in the heart of Napa Valley wine country, and surrounded by vineyards, gets our highest rating of Superb-Plus!. As soon as you arrive you'll know why. The setting is beautiful and the rooms are the ultimate in cozy comfort. We've been known to go there just for the California cuisine served in the restaurant. Not to be missed.
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