A Weekend in Wine Country Without the Hangover

Just over an hour away from San Francisco lies one of the world’s wine capitals. Between Napa and Sonoma valleys, there are 600+ wineries to choose from, giving the wine drinker more than enough to do, see and taste during any given visit. But, you might be surprised to learn that wine country has much more to offer than just wine. Here’s how to enjoy the area without the risk of a hangover.

Enjoy Live Music

In addition to hosting annual music festivals like Bottlerock at the end of May, wine country is home to quite a few live music venues. At Uptown Theatre in Napa, you can see acts like Kris Kristofferson & The Strangers, Switchfoot, Matt Kearney and more. Blue Note Napa is welcoming Dennis Quaid & Jamie James, Kenny G and more this fall. You can enjoy everything from jazz to country and beyond throughout the year at many of the area’s restaurants and wineries—among other dedicated music venues.

Eat Your Way Through the Valley

Napa Valley boasts two 3-Michelin starred restaurants, four 1-Michelin starred restaurants and 26 other Michelin-rated restaurants. Only 15 restaurants in the U.S. have earned the honor of three Michelin stars, and two of them are in Napa Valley—including The Restaurant at Meadowood and The French Laundry. That, alone, should make a trip to wine country worth it.

*The French Laundry, photo courtesy of Business Insider

If you have your heart set on scoring a reservation at The French Laundry, make sure to plan a few months in advance. It’s considered among the best restaurants in the world and serves a prix fixe chef’s choice menu by Thomas Keller. The famous chef and proprietor is behind four other Napa Valley eateries that are a little easier to get tables at: Bouchon Bistro, Bouchon Bakery, Ad Hoc + Addendum and La Calenda.

Have a Spa Day

What better way to enjoy a getaway sans alcohol than with a weekend filled with detoxifying self-care activities? If massages, mud baths and dips in natural hot springs are your idea of a good time, we recommend visiting Calistoga. Enjoy this beautiful town via one of its wellness resorts like Calistoga Ranch, which is made up of 50 freestanding guest lodges that let you truly embrace the natural surroundings.

*The Spa at Calistoga Ranch, photo courtesy of Forbes Travel Guide

Get Your Adrenaline Going

Wine country is an adrenaline junkie’s paradise—no matter what level of excitement gets your blood pumping. You can rent a kayak or jet ski to take out on Lake Berryessa, ride through the rolling hills of vineyards on horseback, slide down a zipline through the redwoods in Sonoma or see the valley from way up above on a hot air balloon.

An Insider’s Guide to San Francisco’s Best Beaches

Though it’s surrounded by water on three sides, San Francisco isn’t what most would picture when imagining a beach town. That being said, the city—better known for its man-made glory—is home to some pretty spectacular beaches. From a surfer’s paradise to dog- and family-friendly options, these are the best sandy spots in San Francisco.

Baker Beach

Starting at the southwest end of the Presidio and extending north toward the Golden Gate, Baker Beach is one of the best places to sit and watch the sunset in the city. From the beach, you can enjoy views of Lands End to the south, the Marin Headlands across the bay and San Francisco’s most famous bridge to the north.

Unfortunately, this is not a beach to go to if you want to get in the water (the rip currents and waves can be very dangerous), but it’s a good spot for fishing or exploring the terrain and wildlife along the rocky shoreline.

Baker Beach Tips:

  • It’s not safe to swim here.
  • The northernmost end is clothing optional.
  • Restrooms, grills and picnic tables are available.

Mile Rock Beach

Another beach requiring a trek to get to is Mile Rock Beach, located at the end of the Lands End trail. Unlike Baker Beach, this locale is much better suited for adventuring than a quiet admiration of nature. From the Lands End visitor center, it’s about a mile to get down to the water (the trail includes a 243-stair-step descent).

Once you’re there, it’s a great place for exploring tidepools and the creatures within (if you get there at the right time of day). This spot also offers stunning vistas of the Marin Headlands and the Presidio.

Mile Rock Beach Tips:

  • Pack water and snacks (if you forget food, you can eat before or after your hike at the Lands End Lookout Visitor Center or the nearby Cliff House Restaurant).
  • The beach gets very small at high tide, so check times before you go.
  • Free parking!
  • Dogs are allowed off leash.

Crissy Field – East Beach

Located just east of the Golden Gate, Crissy Field’s East Beach offers the whole “fun in the sun” type of beach experience. It’s safe for swimming, is one of the best places for kitesurfing and easy to get to (no hiking shoes necessary).

East Beach Tips:

  • Picnic tables, grills, and restrooms are available.
  • Check out the nearby Crissy Marsh for birdwatching.
  • Keep in mind: this beach is very popular and may be crowded.

Marshall’s Beach

For starters, this beach is only accessible via the Batteries to Bluffs hiking trail in the Presidio, which makes it a much quieter and more exclusive experience than most of the other beaches—simply because of the effort required to get there.

Don’t worry; the views make all the effort worth it. Both the natural terrain and the proximity to the Golden Gate make for a photographer’s dream. Chances are you’ve seen a picture of the bridge taken from Marshall’s Beach, with rock formations in the foreground.

Marshall’s Beach Tips:

  • Prepare for a workout (requires a hike there and back).
  • Leave your dog at home (the trail is not dog friendly).
  • No restrooms available.

Ocean Beach

Ocean Beach is considered one of the best surfing spots in San Francisco; unfortunately, this also means the water is off limits for amateurs and casual beachgoers. Despite the dangerous waters, Ocean Beach is a beautiful natural park to visit. Bring your dog, kids, fishing gear, and BBQ supplies to enjoy the sand and the sea. While you’re there, consider checking out the nearby historic Cliff House and Sutro Baths or the Camera Obscura.

Ocean Beach Tips:

  • Avoid the water unless you’re an experienced surfer.
  • Bonfires are allowed in provided fire pits.
  • Dogs are allowed.

Meet Residence 38G: One-Bedroom Set to Twin Peaks & City Vistas

From The Harrison’s remaining available residences comes this one-bedroom floor plan with a well-appointed interior set to unrivaled Twin Peaks and city views. High-end details abound throughout, including diagonal-planked Siberian Oak floors, polished white slab Carrara marble countertops, unlacquered Waterworks brass fixtures and a Bosch washer and dryer—ideally combining luxe finishes with matchless vistas. Set high above the city, yet moments from San Francisco’s most sought-after restaurants, shops and local attractions, this residence realizes an idyllic life marked by five-star amenities, 24/7 concierge service and inimitable details selected by renowned designer Ken Fulk.


Through the foyer is the state-of-the-art kitchen, complete with Studio Becker Ash Molina cabinetry, polished Carrara marble counters and Bertazzoni and Subzero appliances. Neighboring the kitchen are the dining area and living room, sharing an open layout that is ideal for both relaxing and entertaining. Here, floor-to-ceiling windows unveil extensive Twin Peaks views.

Living Room

The master suite delights in expansive views of the city and Twin Peaks beyond floor-to-ceiling windows, affording one a sense of cozy urban seclusion. Its spa-like bath similarly captivates with deluxe details and a soothing neutral aesthetic, brimming with porcelain Herringbone floors, custom unlacquered Waterworks brass fixtures, casted-glass wall sconces and beautiful Carrara marble countertops and subway tiles. This residence is, without a doubt, the embodiment of cosmopolitan tranquility right at home.

Learn more about The Harrison’s residences, explore the neighborhood or inquire about this particular floor plan.

Resident Picks: What We’re Loving in San Francisco This Month

In a city of nearly a million people, there’s always something new to discover, from restaurants to bars, events, art installations, activities and more. One could live here for years and still leave so much untouched. We’ll always have our all-time favorites and most frequented spots, but we are always on the lookout for something new and exciting. Here’s what we’ve recently tried and loved in San Francisco.

Rooftop bar & restaurant 
Virgin Hotel – 250 4th Street

Nearby in SoMa atop the Virgin Hotel is one of our new favorite outdoor drinking spots. Everdene serves seasonal cocktails, beer, and wine—alongside small bites. The décor is a cross between mid-century modern and bohemian; add in the incredible views of the city and you have a perfect, photo-ready moment.

Restaurant + art gallery + shop
816 Folsom Street

Palette combines food, art, and community in its 8,500-square-foot storied space in SoMa.
The restaurant’s menu changes with the seasons, relying on local harvesters for its food offerings and sustainably sourced wines from around the globe. The art gallery showcases various exhibitions throughout the year, which are open to the public. Budding artists or hobbyists may want to keep an eye on the workshop schedule to dabble in ceramics, painting and more. Lastly, the boutique sells local artisan goods like jewelry and home décor.

Che Fico Alimentari
Italian wine bar + grocery + salumeria
834 Divisadero Street – Downstairs

Upscale yet homey, the new addition underneath popular Italian restaurant Che Fico is worth securing a reservation for. Che Fico Alimentari serves casual authentic Italian fare like imported salumi and cheese, pasta, and gelato, in addition to more than 200 Italian wines. The best part? The grocery offerings let you take home a taste of Italy to enjoy at home. Shop Italian staples like olive oil, pasta, salumi, cheese, freshly baked breads and pastries, wine and more.

Beach Blanket Babylon
Long-running satirical comedy show
678 Green Street

For a night of laughter, head to North Beach’s Club Fugazi to see the long-running Beach Blanket Babylon. More than 6.5 million people from around the world have seen the show, keeping it running for nearly 17,000 performances. The premise is such: Snow White journeys around the world looking for her Prince Charming. The pop culture and political figures she meets along the way and the experiences she goes through are known to change from show to show.

Japanese bathhouse + restaurant
466 Eddy Street

The ultimate destination for relaxation and socialization, Onsen is the Tenderloin’s best kept secret. The Japanese bathhouse consists of a 104-degree communal tub, redwood sauna, steam room, custom overhead cold plunge and western-style shower. Depending on the day, the bathhouse is men-only, women-only or coed, so be sure to check the schedule before making a reservation. While you can visit the restaurant separately, we recommend making your visit a double-feature. Chef George Meza serves a seasonal menu of vegetable-focused small plates made with local produce like cabbage & sunchoke gyoza or chicory and silken tofu salad.