Top 5 Things to Do in San Francisco

Famous for its vibrant cultures, cable cars, stunning waterfront, and an iconic golden bridge, San Francisco truly has it all. Whether you are visiting this City by the Bay for business or leisure, one thing you will find is that there is no lack of options for everything – from business hotels, event venues, world-class restaurants, activities to please groups of all sizes. Here’s our list of top 5 things to do and hotel recommendations in San Francisco.


Stroll across the Golden Gate Bridge

Stroll across the Golden Gate Bridge

Situated between San Francisco Bay and Marin County is a modern wonder of the world and a true architectural marvel- the Golden Gate Bridge. The iconic bridge was opened in 1937 and was once the longest suspension bridge ever created.  Take in the unparalleled vista of the bay and the city on the bridge’s 1.7-mile walkway or rent a bike for a ride along it as a morning workout before work begins.


Cruise on SF Bay

See Alcatraz Island up close on a cruise trip
See Alcatraz Island up close on a cruise trip

After a morning of meetings, it’s time to take your group out to get some fresh air, and with San Francisco being a coastal city, that means you’ll get plenty to do at the Bay Area. Grab a scrumptious seafood lunch at one of the many restaurants in Sausalito, then hop on a cruise trip to catch the stunning city skyline and even see the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island up close. 


Hop Aboard a Historic Cable Car

Take a ride on one of San Francisco’s historic cable car
Take a ride on one of San Francisco’s historic cable car

A visit to San Francisco will not be complete without a ride on the iconic cable cars that have been taking passengers up and down San Francisco’s hilly streets since 1873. One of the first things that come to mind when we think about San Francisco, the city’s cable car system is the last of its kind in the entire United States and was named a National Historic Landmark in 1964. Take a ride on these historical gems from downtown to the Fisherman’s Wharf or Ghirardelli Square.


Enjoy San Francisco Treats

Find plenty of unique boutiques, coffee houses, restaurants and bars at the buzzing neighborhood of North Beach
Find plenty of unique boutiques, coffee houses, restaurants and bars at the buzzing neighborhood of North Beach

Visit the various neighborhoods of Chinatown, North Beach and the Mission for authentic Chinese, Italian and Mexican food. San Francisco is an attraction in itself just for its array of eateries. Chefs here excel at combining the freshest local ingredients, authentic international flavors with a touch of creative twist. Find locally-produced artisan goodies at the Ferry Building Marketplace along the Embarcadero waterfront. Chow down a bowl of clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl at Boudin Bakery near Fisherman’s Wharf or fresh cracked Dungeness Crab. Take your group to the Anchor Steam Brewery to get a taste of a unique brew that goes back to 1896. For those looking for a sweet treat do not miss out on a visit to the original Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate shop for a hot fudge sundae.  Fresh handmade hot fudge whipped up daily, and one of the original San Francisco chocolate-makers established in 1852.


Shopping at Union Square

Union Square is a popular shopping, dining and theatre district in San Francisco
Union Square is a popular shopping, dining and theatre district in San Francisco

In need of some retail therapy to destress? Union Square is in San Francisco’s shopping epicenter. You’ll find major department stores including Saks Fifth Avenue, Macy’s and Neiman Marcus, and the most exclusive designer boutiques such as Cartier, Chanel, Gucci, Polo Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton line the streets. The Westfield San Francisco Shopping Centre houses the largest Bloomingdale’s outside of New York, and the second-largest Nordstrom in the U.S. Make sure to also shop at neighborhood boutiques for locally crafted goods.


Where to Stay in San Francisco

1. San Francisco Marriott Marquis

Indulge in handcrafted cocktails and stunning panoramic views at The View Lounge
B55 Craft House & Kitchen is the hotel’s casual downtown restaurant
The SoMa Meeting Room is a sophisticated event space for professional events
SoMa Meeting Room in event lounge setup
Yerba Buena Ballroom offers 39,621 square feet of event space

The distinctive, postmodern high-rise that is San Francisco Marriott Marquis sits in between the vibrant and culturally-rich neighborhood of SoMA and Union Square. Relax and recharge in one of their newly-renovated rooms and suites that feature plush bedding, Smart TVs, mini-refrigerators, workstations, and Wi-Fi access– everything you need, whether for business or pleasure. 

Don’t miss The View Lounge– an Art Deco-inspired rooftop restaurant and bar known for the sweeping panoramic views of the city. The causal downtown restaurant offers hearty breakfasts and decadent gastropub dinners made with locally-sourced ingredients, as well as 55 artisanal beers and bourbons. For meetings and events, groups of all sizes can be comfortably accommodated in contemporary venues that make up a total of 135,187 square feet, with 67 event rooms and a capacity of 5,500 in the largest space.


2. Courtyard San Francisco Downtown/Van Ness Ave.

The hotel lobby features beautiful period-inspired artwork, architectural details and communal areas
Historic stairwell design
Communal table at the lobby for guests looking to work and/or to connect with fellow travelers
King Larger guest room
The two-room king suite features a separate sitting room to provide additional space for work or visitors
Richelieu Boardroom is available for small meetings and gatherings
Mel’s Kitchen

The Courtyard By Marriott is a beautifully restored historic structure, originally built in 1908, located in the heart of Downtown San Francisco where you’ll find exquisite detailing with custom marble floors, colorful artwork, and hand-crafted wood accents throughout the property. For breakfast, lunch and dinner, you’ll find classic American dishes at Mel’s Kitchen. The property features a 24-hour fitness center, a beautifully-appointed boardroom for gatherings and meetings, and communal spaces designed for traveling nomads to work and network.


3. AC Hotel San Francisco Airport/Oyster Point Waterfront

The hotel is in close proximity to San Francisco International Airport and sits in the heart of the Oyster Point waterfront
King Bay View Guest Room with a sofa bed and expansive views of the San Francisco Bay
King suite features flat-screen Smart TVs, large workspaces and comfortable seating
AC Waterfront Lounge
AC Fitness Center with an array of cardio equipment, weight machines, free weights and exercise mats
The hotel offers indoor and outdoor spaces ideal for corporate meetings, training sessions and presentations

Located in the Cove at Oyster Point, AC Hotel San Francisco Airport/Oyster Point Waterfront is convenient to everywhere in the city. The hotel is only a 10-minute shuttle ride to the airport, along with its proximity to a hub of biotech companies, makes it ideal for business travelers flying into the San Francisco area. The hotel offers 6,743 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor event spaces, a 24-hour gym fitted with an array of exercise equipment, an indoor swimming pool and two eateries. 


4. Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Francisco

The Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Francisco is a blend of historically beautiful architecture and classically-designed décor
The stunning Garden Court restaurant exudes luxury, with Austrian crystal chandeliers, marbled pillars and gilded accents
Pied Piper - For more than a century, patrons have been drawn to the signature cocktails, excellent service and famous Maxfield Parrish painting at the Pied Piper.
The indoor lap pool is perfect for an invigorating morning swim under ample natural light
Superior Guest Rooms are fitted with large workstation, flat-screen TV and mini-fridge
Living area in the Palace Suite
The hotel boasts 24 event spaces

This aptly named palatial property can easily turn your business trip to an opulent indulgence. The Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel, San Francisco has been a true San Francisco icon since 1875, offering deluxe hotel services and amenities to its guests. From professional concierge assistance to exquisite in-room dining and distinctive restaurants, the Palace Hotel meets the discerning traveler’s needs and priorities. Event planners can make use of the three ornate ballrooms and 44,000 square feet of function space with 23 meeting rooms and 4 executive boardrooms, a self-contained conference area and a full-service business center.


5. W San Francisco

W San Francisco
Pneumatic Dreamer─ sculpture, designed by Michael Stutz, is one of the many renowned local art pieces at the hotel
King Extreme WOW Suite Features a separate bedroom with San Francisco city views
King Mega Cool Corner Guest Room
FIT Gym─ a modern and well-equipped fitness center that lights up during the night
The Industry Room is designed for hip corporate functions or social events, featuring exciting uplighting and flexible seating and tables
Social Terrace in a classroom-style setup

W San Francisco has played host to many screenings, art exhibitions, trade shows and concerts, so look no further if you are planning an event in the city. The hotel offers over 17,000 square feet of cutting-edge event space, crafted menu options and personal events specialists that will spark your vision into life. Within walking distance are the Moscone Center and SFMOMA, W San Francisco is also near Oracle Park, Union Square, Chinatown and the Financial District. Recharge and re-energize in one of the contemporary rooms and suites after a long day of business or shopping, which feature plush bedding on pillow-top mattresses, vibrantly colored nooks, large work desks and Wi-Fi. If you’re looking for ways to unwind, the 24/7 FIT Gym has everything you need for cardio equipment, strength training, Pilates and more.


Hosting your meeting with us?

Get in touch with one of our event planning specialists today and start planning for a truly unique and meaningful meeting experience.