This summer, at San Francisco International Airport (www.flysfo.com), the stunning new seismic-proof Air Traffic Control Tower becomes fully operational. Opened this past November, the Terminal 3 East Concourse offers new gate areas, lounge-style seating, art installations, shops and restaurants, plus free Wi-Fi. Also in T3E: the new 6,000-square-foot United Airlines Club (www.united.com), with panoramic views, an historic photo gallery and a large seasonal menu. For overnights, try the recently renovated 397-room Westin San Francisco Airport (www.westin.com/sanfranciscoairport).
In the luxury category, the Fairmont San Francisco (www.fairmont.com), Nob Hill’s grande dame, recently redid its 592 rooms. Reopened after 60 years, The Laurel Court, with three stately domes, is now the elegant main dining room. Also on Nob Hill, The Ritz-Carlton San Francisco (www.ritzcarlton.com), San Francisco’s only AAA five-diamond hotel, completed a multimillion-dollar room renovation. On Union Square, the 1,195-room Westin St. Francis (www.westinstfran
cis.com) reports a $6 million facelift.
Just east of Union Square, The Palace Hotel (www.sfpalace.com), built in 1875, has redone its 556 rooms. In the nearby Financial District, or FiDi, the Loews Regency San Francisco (www.loewshotels.com) has been spruced up, too. In SoMa, W San Francisco (www.wsanfrancisco.com), facing Yerba Buena Gardens, has 404 updated rooms.
Along San Francisco’s family-friendly waterfront, Pier 2620 Hotel Fisherman’s Wharf (www.pier2620hotel.com), three blocks from PIER 39, has emerged from a $17-million renovation. On Beach Street, the 361-room Hotel Zephyr (www.ho
telzephyrsf.com), formerly the Radisson Fisherman’s Wharf, sports blue-and-white nautically themed rooms and a 9,999-square-foot gamers’ Fun Zone. Also renovated nearby: The Tuscan Hotel (www.tuscanhotel.com), a Best Western Plus boutique hotel. Along The Embarcadero, the Hyatt Regency San Francisco’s (www.hyatt.com) renovation included its 42,000-square-foot atrium lobby, the world’s largest.
In Union Square, stylish boutique newcomer Axiom Hotel (www.axiomhotel.com) has seamless online check-in and other high-tech features. Also on Union Square: a new 166-room Courtyard by Marriott (www.marriott.com). In nearby Lower Nob Hill, the recently opened Hotel G (www.hotelgsanfrancisco.com) offers 151 rooms, a cocktail-and-oyster bar, a wine bar and the Three 9 Eight Brasserie.
Steps from Union Square, the renovated 189-room Villa Florence Hotel (www.villaflorence.com) features Kuleta’s Italian Restaurant; Norcini wine bar, and complimentary biscotti and limoncello, while the historic King George Hotel (www.kinggeorge.com) boasts newly renovated rooms. In the nearby Theater District, Hotel The Marker (www.themarkersan
francisco.com), formerly Hotel Monaco, is in a stylish 1910 Beaux-Arts building.
Food & Drink
Fueled by Bay City creativity, a multicultural population and a larder stretching from the Pacific to Wine Country, San Francisco is a foodie’s paradise. In its sixth season, Off the Grid (www.offthegridsf.com) organizes 45 weekly markets, with food and drink trucks, plus live music, at various locales. Eat Drink SF (http://eatdrink-sf.com), the city’s major food, wine and spirits festival, kicks off August 25-28.
On PIER 39, enjoy fresh-caught seafood and the city’s “best slow-roasted prime rib” at newly opened Chart House San Francisco (www.charthouse.com), with locations in other food-loving towns like Atlantic City, Boston and Philly. At The Perennial (www.theperennial.com), Chef Chris Kiyuna, who worked at Copenhagen’s noma, uses hydroponics and other high-tech methods to produce dishes like smoked oyster pappardelle with lamb ragu.
New in the Mission District, Volta (www.voltasf.com), offering Italian, French and Scandinavian fare, is led by Executive Chef Staffan Terje, who grew up on a farm outside Stockholm, and restaurant impresario Umberto Gibin, known for standout restaurants Perbacco and Barbacco.
Opened this past August near the Moscone Center, The Keystone (http://thekeystonesf.com), with Texas-born Executive Chef Banks White, offers a shareable all-day menu of American comfort food with a Southern accent and an Asian influence.
Soon opening in Ghirardelli Square is Brezza Emporio and Pizzeria from New York celebrity chef Jonathan Waxman, who worked at Berkeley’s Chez Panisse. Opening this fall in the former Heath Ceramics factory, The Manufactory (www.tartinebakery.com), from Tartine Bakery & Café, combines a restaurant with wood-burning pizza oven, a larder with housemade edibles, a bakery, and Tartine Cookies & Cream with soft-serve ice cream.
Also to come is Mister Jiu’s (www.misterjius.com), in Chinatown, with organic and seasonal foods, and housemade soy sauce and tofu. Kraft & Hitachino (www.hitachinosf.com), in Lower Nob Hill, unites internationally known Chef Noriyuki Sugie and Japan’s Kiuchi Brewery, maker of Hitachino Nest beer.
On tap, as well, is stylish vegan restaurant Citizen Fox (www.citizenfoxsf.com), currently operating at a temporary location on Mission Street. This winter, in the Hayes Valley, southwest of Union Square, Chef Kim Alter opens Nightbird with a four to five-course tasting menu, and a seven-seat cocktail bar, The Linden Room.
For drinks, Whitechapel (http://whitechapel.com) offers 350 gins, a long cocktail list and bar bites. Swanky newcomer The Treasury (www.thetreasurysf.com) serves craft cocktails in an historic FiDi space. This summer, the Tenderloin welcomes Big, replacing Jordan Langer’s original Big bar, closed in mid-2013. South of the Presidio, High Treason (www.hightreasonsf.com) has 30 wines plus creative small plates. At Wine Down (http://winedownsf.com), near Yerba Buena Gardens, expect wines and craft beers at down-to-earth prices.
Arts & Culture
On May 14, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (www.sfmoma.org) reopens with an all-white building addition by Norwegian firm Snøhetta, which designed Oslo’s landmark Opera House. SFMOMA boldly launches with 19 new exhibits, including “California and the West: Photography from the Campaign for Art,” with photographs by photographers like Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange and Edward Weston, and “German Art After 1960: The Fisher Collection,” with works by artists like Georg Baselitz, Anselm Kiefer and Gerhard Richter.
On January 31, the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (http://bampha.org) opened a 35,000-square-foot building with exhibit space, two theaters and a café. Also in January, the San Francisco Arts Commission (www.sfartscommission.org) opened its new 4,400-square-foot main gallery in the War Memorial Veterans Building.
The Asian Art Museum (www.asian
art.org) celebrates its 50th anniversary with “Emperors’ Treasures: Chinese Art from the National Palace Museum, Taipei,” June 17-September 18. Until May 30, the deYoung Museum (http://deyoung.famsf.org) hosts a major retrospective of fashion designer Oscar de la Renta’s works, and from November till February 26, 2017, a Frank Stella retrospective. Until July 5, the Contemporary Jewish Museum (www.thecjm.org) mounts a retrospective on legendary impresario Bill Graham, who launched ‘60s artists like the Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin at the Fillmore Auditorium.
This fall, two one-man shows open. At SFMOMA, October 29-January 22, 2017, see “Bruce Conner: It’s All True,” with works by the man considered San Francisco’s greatest late 20th-century artist. The nearby Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (http://ybca.org) dedicates all its space to artist, Tom Sachs, with “Mission to Europe: Tea Ceremony,” opening September 16-January 2017.
For emerging art, visit CounterPulse (www.counterpulse.org), and the Minnesota Street Project (www.minneso
tastreetproject.com) in the hip Dogpatch neighborhood. Finally, art-loving techies can download new state-of-the-art deYoung Museum and Legion of Honor (http://legionofhonor.famsf.org) museum-tour phone apps from Apple’s