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I left my heart in San Francisco

San Francisco is one of the most beautiful cities on the west coast. Famed for its steep rolling hills, iconic bridges, unique architecture, and its wonderful location on the Pacific Coast Highway. Cosmopolitan and diverse, the stunning Bay Area just gets better with time.

From hippies to hipsters, gold rush to dot coms – San Francisco has had a colourful history. Art, culture and past glories intertwine – such as the vintage cable cars criss-crossing the city, or the counterculture roots of Haight-Ashbury – ‘Frisco’ is a city of constant change. San Francisco’s capacity to embrace social change and subcultures creates an intriguing place. The Victorian splendour of the ‘Painted Ladies’ of Alamo Square contest with the high-rise megaliths of the Financial District. Museums and galleries vie for your attention against sports and shopping. Add to this world-class restaurants, great bars and idyllic parks and you have the makings of a fantastic San Francisco holiday.

What's on in San Francisco over the next few months

The festive period arrives in December, which means parades, concerts and New Year’s Eve parties. The winter arrival of the famous sea lions, comedy and film festivals, and Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebrations, make up January events. February means Chinese New Year displays, parading your love for Valentine’s Day and Indie film and music fun.

December
White christmas.

December

December is a very Christmassy affair in San Fran, starting with the San Francisco Ballet’s version of Tchaikovsky’s classic, The Nutcracker, playing at the War Memorial Opera House between 10 and 29 December. It has been an annual tradition since 1944. Then, at the Golden Gate Theatre, it’s your chance to see Irving Berlin’s classic musical White Christmas between the 14 and 20 December. Made famous by Bing Crosby in the 50s, this lavish new production will get your Christmas spirit soaring. On the 16 December, head down to Fisherman’s Wharf to see The Lighted Boat Parade, which since 1994, has been delighting locals and visitors alike with glittering boats in the bay.

January
ArtSpan Open Studio.

January

Start the month with a few laughs to keep the January blues away. The SF Sketchfest brings some celebrity headliners to the Bay. Taking place between 7 and 24 January at selected venues across the city, it is a great opportunity to see both up-and-coming and big-name acts. Throughout January, it is your chance to see the bellowing sea lions of Pier 39, who have been coming to this spot since the earthquake of 1989. Not to be missed are the celebrations for Martin Luther King Jr. Day between 13 and 16 January at the Yerba Buena Gardens. And finally, bringing the darkness back a bit, the Noir City SF comes to the famous Castro Theatre between 20 and 29 January – showing classic film noirs throughout.

February
Crush On You Valentine Wine Walk

February

The shortest month of the year is also one of the fullest. Chinese New Year celebrations get underway on 4 February with the San Francisco Symphony orchestra’s Lunar New Year Concert at Davies Symphony Hall. Take your date to the charming shopping district on 9 February for the Union Street Has A Crush On You Valentine Wine Walk. Buy a map and an empty glass and wander the wine shops. 2017 is the year of the rooster and San Francisco has the biggest Chinese New Year parade outside of Asia. Don’t miss 100 floats wend their way around the streets on 11 February.

From 16 to 26 February it’s Noisepop Festival. The music promoter showcases exciting artists who go on to become even bigger. There’s always a good line up of film and art, too.

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Union Square
Union Square

The cosmopolitan and chic Union Square is a haven for shopaholics, with its abundant shopping opportunities. They range from well-known department stores, like Macy’s, to exclusive designer boutiques and lesser celebrated emporiums. Union Square is a one-block plaza boasting a 97-foot Corinthian column, with flower stands, palm trees and a great atmosphere. You will also find some great food options, from high-end restaurants to food stands selling hot dogs and pizza – it caters for everyone looking for a bite to eat after shopping.

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