Historical Hotel next to Union Square
The Mosser has been a staple near San Francisco’s Union Square since it first opened in 1913 as the Keystone Hotel. The modern hotel sits across from the Moscone Center, a massive convention center and exhibition complex, and around the corner from the upscale Westfield San Francisco Centre mall in Union Square. Head southeast on 4th Street and you’ll quickly encounter Yerba Buena Gardens, a two-block park lined with memorials, museums, and a year-round ice-skating rink.
California cuisine—a style that typically includes seasonal, locally sourced ingredients—is the focal point of onsite restaurant Annabelle’s Bar & Bistro. Some menu highlights are the cioppino with housemade sausage and the yukon potato pizza. Pop by during the daily happy hour for discounted food and drinks from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
San Francisco’s South of Market Neighborhood: The Moscone Center and Yerba Buena Gardens
Just north of the Mission District, South of Market is a vast neighborhood with many of the city’s best museums. Yerba Buena Gardens displays a number of outdoor art pieces as well as a Martin Luther King Jr. memorial that sits behind a 50-foot-high waterfall. The public gardens (including a butterfly garden) cover two city blocks. They’re attached on the southeast side by pedestrian bridge to the Moscone Center.
Jump on the Powell Street cable car and head up into North Beach for a taste of San Fran’s Little Italy. North Beach has held to its Italian heritage since fishers from Genoa immigrated to the area more than a century ago. Sandwiched between Chinatown and Fisherman’s Wharf, North Beach centers around Washington Square park, which abuts the Saints Peter and Paul Church. To find the epicenter of the neighborhood’s noticeable beatnik influence, walk about three blocks south to City Lights bookstore. The independent bookstore and publisher has remained a symbol of San Francisco's literary scene and progressive politics since the 1950s, when it was a hangout of Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac.