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Relaxing at the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

Explore San Francisco’s South Bay

Explore San Francisco’s South Bay
You’ll find lots to love south of the city, including great shopping, culture, food, and lodging

The area south of San Francisco, encompassing Silicon Valley and its surrounding communities, is the center of technological innovation. Home to Apple, Google, Facebook, and countless startups, the region is also full of top restaurants and distinctive experiences, making it an unparalleled destination for travelers. If you’re traveling to the Bay Area for business, consider extending your trip and taking a closer look at what this vibrant area has to offer the discerning traveler. Here’s a closer look at what to do now in the South Bay.

Shopping in Style

The South Bay has some of the most luxurious shopping experiences south of San Francisco. In Palo Alto, the open-air Stanford Shopping Center features such upscale shops as Cartier, Hermés, and Louis Vuitton. Further south, in San Jose, Santana Row is comprised of 70 stylish boutiques and nearly two dozen trendsetting restaurants. This open-air mall is designed to resemble a small-town retail district, complete with courtyards, fountains, and more. After perusing the racks at Tommy Bahama and Kendra Scott, head to the Japanese restaurant Ozumofor sushi and sake.

Variety of Art

Culture abounds in the South Bay, especially for travelers who appreciate fine art. On the Stanford campus in Palo Alto, the Cantor Arts Center has one of the world’s most renowned collections of Rodin bronze sculptures. Many of the sculptures are inside the museum, but a handful are arranged outside in an open-to-the-public garden. In nearby Saratoga, the Montalvo Arts Center specializes in modern and contemporary visual art, but also hosts music concerts and traveling exhibitions throughout the year.

Epic Hotels

Spend the night in style in one of the South Bay’s iconic hotels. The Four Seasons Silicon Valley is located in the heart of Silicon Valley. Regular visitors rave about [esc], the hotel’s new wine bar, as well as the see-and-be-seen rooftop pool. The hotel is a short ride to downtown Palo Alto, where you’ll find a great farmers’ market on weekends. Another option in the area: Rosewood Sand Hill, set in the middle of venture capital country. Out on the coast, the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay offers an entirely different experience: romantic, intimate, and laid-back. The luxury hotel overlooks the Pacific Ocean, making it the perfect spot to watch the sunset as you listen to the sounds of bagpipes.

Amazing Eats

One of the South Bay’s most underappreciated highlights: the dining scene. Without question, the biggest culinary attraction is Manresa, David Kinch’s “New American” eatery that received three Michelin stars in 2018. The concept here is farm-to-table, and the prix fixe menu includes innovative dishes that are delicious, but also high art. Locally grown ingredients shine in the signature “Into the Vegetable Garden" dish, comprised of a custard topped with vegetable veloute and 35 to 40 picked leaves, flowers, and herbs from the restaurant’s culinary garden. Other notable restaurants in the area include Nobu, Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s Palo Alto outpost; and Zareen’s, a Mountain View restaurant serving contemporary Pakistani and Indian cuisine.

Magical Gardens

Filoli, a 20th-century country estate in Woodside, is a world-renowned garden with terraces, hedge rows and hydrangeas as far as the eye can see. The estate boasts a nature preserve with a trail system that allows for about four miles of hiking or horseback riding, depending on the route. It also offers guided hikes, and programs for children. Another spot worth visiting: San Jose’s Municipal Rose Garden, which dates back to 1937. The five-acre parcel sprouts beautiful roses every summer—nearly 200 varieties in all.

In Partnership with Afar.

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Northern California

Discover the San Francisco Bay Area

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November
Average (°C)
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26°
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Dec - Feb
16°
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23°
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June - Aug
27°
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A crimson bridge, cable carriages, a sparkling bay and streets lined with elegant Victorian homes, San Francisco is undeniably one of the world’s great

"I left my heart in San Francisco. High on a hill, it calls to me." - Singer Tony Bennett

cities. Located in Northern California at the state’s distinctive bend in the coast, the region has an alluring magic that stretches beyond the bay to diverse cities with nightlife and trend-setting cuisine. The Bay Area is also home to some of the world’s finest wine country, including Napa Valley and Sonoma, plus waterfront towns, dramatic beaches and the tech-savvy southern end of the Bay known as the Silicon Valley, where lunchtime ideas at Google, Facebook and Apple, turn into the next brilliant innovation.

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Port Chicago Naval Magazine National Memorial

Tour this military memorial that honours soldiers killed on the World War II home front and pays tribute to Concord’s role in civil rights history

California’s smallest national park service outlet covers a mere half-acre in Concord on San Francisco Bay’s east shore—but it tells a very big...

May

Rock rolls into the wine country with this three-day event in Napa that features 2019 headliners Imagine Dragons, Neil Young, and Mumford & Sons. With more than 80 performers in the May 24–26...

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San Francisco has only one drawback - 'tis hard to leave.
Rudyard Kipling
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Kid-friendly fun zones, special kids' menus & amazing wine for the grownups

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July

Get the Spanish spirit at this colourful event. Stroll the grounds of Gloria Ferrer Caves and Vineyards with a glass of bubbly, and take in a whirl of passionate music, flamenco dancing and food....

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World-class accommodations in world-class locations

Head to the heart of California’s cities for luxurious stays at world-class hotels and resorts. From San Francisco’s historic hotels to celebrity hot spots in Hollywood and Beverly Hills,...

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San Francisco itself is art, above all literary art. Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal. That is the whole truth.
William Saroyan
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Farm-fresh produce, culinary adventures

Juicy heirloom tomatoes and just-picked strawberries. Super-sweet peaches shaped like mini UFOs. Artisan cheeses, emerald-green olive oils, local wildflower honey—California’s farmers’ markets are...

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Make memories at some of California's family-favourite beaches

Sand, water, and children-it’s a natural combination for easy family fun. These sandy beaches offer appealing, family friendly features, such as calm water for new swimmers, tide pools for...

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It's simply a very romantic place. Just one look at any of those streets, and you couldn't be anywhere else -- it's so beautiful, and there's that location, and the sense of the free spirit. ... Who couldn't become ravenous in such a place?
Julia Child
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Sample ultra-fresh, hyper-local, and downright amazing

When you come to California, come hungry. This is a state that really knows how to cook. Amazing and innovative chefs sprinkled with Michelin stars work with local farms and artisanal food...

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George's at the Cove
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Old-fashioned fun in the Golden State

Historic oceanfront playgrounds, classic city park charmers and boisterous adventures - smaller theme parks and attractions offer an array of ways to play. These smaller parks offer...

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According to legend, Winchester Mystery House's maze of passages and building oddities were designed to confuse the ghosts of those killed by Winchester rifles.
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Check these amazing experiences off your bucket list

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Golden Gate Bridge

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See one of the world’s most famous landmarks, spanning an elegant bay

With towers soaring 227 metres into the sky, its span arcing across the mouth of San Francisco Bay and all of it painted bright red-orange, the...

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Livermore

Ranches, vineyards, and relaxed appeal east of San Francisco

With warm sun and wide open spaces cradling vineyards, ranches, and wine country estates, the Livermore Valley makes an appealing destination just...

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Sausalito

Explore this quaint town that’s just over the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco

Just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, a steep hillside covered in brushwood and eucalyptus drops from Highway 101 to a flat, sunny shoreline, two...

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Spotlight: Berkeley

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See a stunning museum, shop, and feast in the Bay Area’s most outspoken city

A haven for backyard artists and coffee-shop philosophers, Berkeley has deep roots in the Flower Power movement of the 1960s and ’70s. But...

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