With so many industries and companies making San Francisco their headquarters, this city is a popular destination for business meetings. That's good news for executives who want plenty to do, eat, and see with (or without) clients when work hours are over. Enjoy the relaxed northern California vibe when traveling for business with these insider tips.
Stay in the Heart of the City
San Francisco offers a number of unique, luxurious hotels for business travelers who expect the best amenities and the most convenient locations. Check out some of these top spots in the heart of the city that provide an excellent night's sleep and easy access to the city's most famous attractions.
Fairmont San Francisco
Situated at the top of Nob Hill, the Fairmont San Francisco is one of the top luxury hotels in the city and the nation. With its grand lobby, tastefully historic décor, and close proximity to Union Square and Fisherman's Wharf, the hotel never disappoints.
With fine dining, an expansive health club, and a glass-enclosed pool, Hotel Nikko has everything you need to enjoy the city between meetings. Just steps from Union Square, it offers signature Subarashii Yume pillow-top mattresses, which means "great dreams" in Japanese.
Hotel Zoe Fisherman's Wharf
Thanks to a $16 million renovation, Hotel Zoe Fisherman's Wharf boasts a beautiful, modern design and is only a short walk from some of the most popular tourist destinations in the city. Grab a bite in Little Italy, or take the cable car from this luxury boutique hotel for a night out.
Get Around with Ease
When visiting San Francisco on business, it's smart to rent a car during your stay. The cable cars are fun, but the hills make the trip a little slow. When you have your own vehicle, you can drive anywhere you want, including Lombard Street, the "crookedest" street in America with eight hairpin turns in the span of a block.
Rent a Car
Hertz offers numerous locations for renting a car while staying in San Francisco, making it easy to get around. You can pick up your car at the JW Marriott, the Fairmont San Francisco, Fisherman's Wharf, the Westin St. Francis Hotel, and many other locations.
Ride the Cable Car
For a novel city excursion on an afternoon off, hop on one of the three cable car lines that transverse San Francisco's downtown area. Check a map to see where you're headed, and have small bills ready to pay the conductor.
Say Yes to a Working Lunch
One thing that California is known for is its fresh, healthy, and inspired cuisine, and San Francisco's restaurants certainly don't disappoint. Get to know your clients better over lunch at one of the city's tastiest spots.
It's not easy to get dinner reservations for this upscale, authentic Greek restaurant, so try lunch instead. Kokkari Estiatorio is known for its Greek salads, sweet lamb, grilled octopus, and stuffed calamari, as well as its philosophy of philoxenia, which is the art of making a stranger a friend. Sounds like a good plan for your business too.
Hog Island Oyster Company
Located in the Ferry Building Marketplace, Hog Island Oyster Company is often busy and doesn't take reservations, but the line moves quickly, and it's worth the wait. Try the oysters from their private farm located not far from the city.
Brenda's French Soul Food
For something different, swing by Brenda's French Soul Food for a po'boy, bowl of gumbo, or a muffuletta. The vibe is spicy, easygoing, and fun, which is sure to add a colorful experience your clients won't forget. Be sure to mention the watermelon pickles when you follow up the next day.
Enjoy Fine Dining
Splurge after a day of hard work with some of the finest dining you can find in the nation. San Francisco is a food lover's paradise and a great place to let your hair down after a long day of meetings. Consider these memorable spots:
If you love your entrée cooked over an open wood fire, Saison is the place for you. With no set menu, the only limitation to your meal is your (and the chef's) imagination. Be sure to make reservations in advance, as spots fill up fast.
If money is no object, Benu's tasting menu is worth it for an amazing culinary experience. Plan on spending three hours enjoying a sampling of seafood, vegetables, meats, and sweets, and if you've enjoyed the tasting menu before, don't worry. The restaurant will gladly plan a new menu for you.
Sustainability and health are priorities at Firefly Restaurant, located in the Noe Valley. Vegetarians can enjoy options such as cauliflower flatbread and fried green tomatoes, while meat lovers can indulge in fried chicken or red chili braised beef short ribs.
Find After-Hours Fun
When the meetings finally come to an end, you can find endless things to fill up your days and nights in San Francisco. Whether you love the outdoors or unique shops, you won't be bored.
If you haven't taken a walk through a redwood forest, you're in for a treat with Muir Woods. This old-growth park has been federally protected since 1908, and you can choose between an easy stroll or challenging hike. Be sure to reserve a parking space or shuttle service in advance of your arrival.
Savor the Bay Bridge Lights
Taking a walk along the Embarcadero is a great way to enjoy the beautiful nighttime vista of the Bay Lights of the San Francisco Bay Bridge. You can even climb the Hill's Coit Tower for a bird's eye view.
Experience Alcatraz at Night
Think the island prison is creepy during the day? Imagine hearing the echoes at night. Take a cruise to Alcatraz to tour the old prison after the sun sets. It may help remind you that your office isn't so bad after all.
There's a reason so many business leaders head to San Francisco. Get inspiration to maximize your business trip by visiting our Facebook page today.