San Francisco Travel’s Guide to Thanksgiving in San Francisco

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The holiday season is a great time to visit San Francisco. Spirits are high, hotel rates are low, and there is plenty for visitors to experience.

Here is everything you need to know to make the most of Thanksgiving weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The holiday season is a great time to visit San Francisco. Spirits are high, hotel rates are low, and there is plenty for visitors to experience.

San Francisco Travel offers a complete guide to San Francisco during “the most wonderful time of the year” at http://www.sftravel.com/holidays.

Here is everything you need to know to make the most of Thanksgiving weekend in the San Francisco Bay Area. This guide is also available at http://www.sftravel.com/article/how-do-thanksgiving-weekend-san-francisco.

WEDNESDAY EVENING DRINKS

The night before Thanksgiving is traditionally a time to reconnect with friends and family outside of the kitchen. San Francisco's many neighborhoods all host a wide variety of great bars, from the elegant to the kitschy to the grungy. Enjoy wine from local vineyards, craft beer, and signature cocktails before the hustle and bustle of the big feast.

  • The San Francisco Brewing Company features self-serve taps. Fill your glass with craft brew that comes directly from the on-site temperature-controlled tanks where it was finished.
  • Step back to the 1920s, when Prohibition was in full swing, at Bourbon & Branch. A century ago, this was the site of a popular speakeasy. Today, much of that ambiance remains intact.
  • San Francisco’s oldest comedy club is a favorite stop for some of the biggest names in stand-up. Spend an evening at the Punch Line Comedy Club for lots of laughs.
  • There is no better way to spend that first evening in the Bay Area than a visit to Top of the Mark. Some of the best cocktails in the city are enhanced by wraparound views of San Francisco.
  • If peace and quiet isn’t the goal, check out Audio Discotech. This venue boasts a one-of-a-kind sound system that is so powerful, music becomes a full-body experience.

THANKSGIVING DINNER

San Francisco is a famed foodie destination, a perfect place to skip the long supermarket lines and huge piles of dishes to try one of the area’s world-class restaurants instead. These locations plan to be open for guests on Thanksgiving Day.

  • The Bay Area is known for amazing seafood, so feel free to break from the Thanksgiving turkey tradition. Try the Franciscan Crab Restaurant, Fog Harbor Fish House, Scoma's, and others along Fisherman's Wharf for the freshest, most succulent dishes.
  • Holidays are made for building memories, and the experience at the Michelin-starred Campton Place Restaurant will do just that. Enjoy the unique flavors of Cal-Indian cuisine in an unforgettable setting.
  • If your party can’t agree on a menu for Thanksgiving dinner, suggest Salito's Crab House & Prime Rib. Located in nearby Sausalito, this dining destination has something for everyone.

BLACK FRIDAY SHOPPING

San Francisco is a shopper's paradise, so do Black Friday right. The city features an extraordinary collection of local makers, as well as luxury flagship retail.

  • For unique, handcrafted gifts, start the day in the Mission District. This neighborhood is chock-full of boutiques and shops featuring small designers and emerging international brands.
  • There are just three Japantowns left in the United States, and the oldest is in San Francisco. One of the most interesting shopping experiences can be found at The Japan Center. Every nook and cranny of this multi-level shopping mall shows off imported merchandise not found anywhere else.
  • The Fillmore neighborhood is known best for its music scene, but its shopping comes a close second. You could spend days looking at everything from clothing and accessories to housewares and gifts.
  • Vintage outlets and novelty shops set Haight Street shopping apart. For example, Wasteland offers a massive selection of pre-owned designer clothing, and Love on Haight features the grooviest styles.
  • Don’t leave the Bay Area without a visit to the Napa Premium Outlets. More than 50 premium brands have storefronts here, selling your favorite items at 25-65 percent off.

SATURDAY AND SUNDAY EXPLORING

There is much to see and do beyond the bridges, beckoning visitors to rent a car and head out of the city.

  • Golfers won’t want to miss an opportunity to visit Monterey County. Pebble Beach attracts enthusiasts from around the globe, and Spyglass Hill may be the most challenging course ever. Spend some time on the gorgeous 17-Mile Drive and be sure to stop for a glass of wine from one of the local vineyards. Plan about two hours to get there by car.
  • Everyone has heard of Napa Valley, and wine lovers will want to make this their first stop. For a truly spectacular experience, reserve a spot on the Napa Valley Wine Train. The drive is about an hour from the city.
  • For a true California beach experience, you have plenty of options. Try Half Moon Bay for an artistic vibe, or Santa Cruz for immersion into surfing culture. Half Moon Bay is about 45 minutes from the city, while the trip to Santa Cruz is closer to an hour and 15 minutes.
  • If it's winter weather you're after, visit Tuolumne County. Three hours from San Francisco, this is where you can let your inner snow bunny loose with skiing, sledding, snowshoeing, and more.

The San Francisco Travel Association is the official destination marketing organization for the City and County of San Francisco. For information on reservations, activities and more, visit http://www.sftravel.com, read The San Francisco Traveler or call 415-391-2000.

San Francisco Travel operates Visitor Information Centers at Hallidie Plaza, 900 Market St. at the corner of Powell and Market streets, and at Macy’s Union Square. San Francisco Travel is also a partner at the California Welcome Center at PIER 39.

For more about San Francisco, follow http://www.facebook.com/onlyinSF, http://www.instagram.com/onlyinsf and https://twitter.com/onlyinsf.

American Express® is the official Card partner of the San Francisco Travel Association.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop service by 41 international carriers serving 47 international cities and connects non-stop with 83 cities in the U.S. on 12 domestic airlines. In 2017, SFO set an all-time record for passenger traffic with 55.8 million travelers using the facility, representing the eighth consecutive year of record-breaking traffic levels at SFO. SFO offers upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit http://www.flysfo.com. Follow SFO on http://www.twitter.com/flysfo and http://www.facebook.com/flysfo.

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Laurie Gossy