Planted between mighty palms in Golden Gate Park is the oldest
wood-and-glass conservatory in North America. The gleaming white Victorian structure has survived several boiler explosions, closure during World War II, and more than two decades of renovations. In 1998, it was deemed an endangered building—but it was quickly adopted by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and completely rehabilitated by 2003. This century-old structure is home to the Conservatory of Flowers, a National Historic Landmark that connects visitors year-round with the exotic flora of the world's tropical regions.
The Conservatory houses four main galleries. In the aquatic plants gallery, cascading water gurgles into pools beneath a glass-and-metal sculpture of a six-foot Victoria amazonica water lily. The mist-filled highland gallery mimics the high-altitude forests of tropical mountaintops with clusters of orchids and ferns. Showcasing another side of the tropics, the rainy lowland gallery replicates lush jungles, housing a 100-year-old imperial philodendron and several cycads, which date to the days when most dinosaurs were just tiny salamanders. The potted plants gallery incorporates man-made works such as copper planters from India, ceramic pots from Burkina Faso, and an urn from the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition. Around the fragrant stillness of these halls, the Conservatory hosts special events such as gardening workshops.
Groupon Celebrates Pride Month
Over the last 50 years, the gay-rights movement in America has overcome tremendous obstacles to become a powerful voice for inclusion and diversity. Even as it has grown, the movement—like Groupon—is local at heart, and we applaud the commitment to real change that improves everyday lives.
At Groupon, we are happy to add our voices to those celebrating PRIDE, their achievements as a social movement and a continued march to equality for the LGBT community. Plus, we love a chance to dig that rainbow wig out of storage.
This month—and throughout the year—we salute our merchants and customers who support PRIDE and all efforts that promote dignity, respect, and equal opportunity. We're highlighting these merchants' deals with a special badge to show Groupon's pride in working with people who share our values.
When you stay at Argonaut Hotel, a Kimpton Hotel in San Francisco, you'll be in the historical district and minutes from Winery Collective and Ghirardelli Square. This 4-star hotel is close to Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39.
Make yourself at home in one of the 252 air-conditioned rooms featuring minibars and DVD players. Your room comes with a pillowtop bed. Premium TV channels and video-game consoles are provided for your entertainment, while complimentary high-speed (wired) Internet access keeps you connected. Bathrooms feature shower/tub combinations, makeup/shaving mirrors, and designer toiletries.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Take advantage of recreation opportunities such as a fitness facility, or other amenities including complimentary wireless Internet access and a concierge desk. This hotel also features wedding services and a fireplace in the lobby.
Grab a bite to eat at the hotel's restaurant, which features a bar, or stay in and take advantage of room service (during limited hours). Mingle with other guests at a complimentary daily manager's reception. At the end of the day, relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. Breakfast is available for a fee.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include complimentary high-speed (wired) Internet access, a business center, and limo/town car service. Event facilities at this hotel consist of conference/meeting rooms, small meeting rooms, and a ballroom. Parking (subject to charges) is available onsite, and additional parking (subject to charges) can be found nearby.
Backdropped by Union Street's romantic sights, from Gough to Steiner, and Fillmore Street's illustrious shops, from Union to Lombard, the third annual Union Street Has a Crush on You Valentine Wine Walk fills glasses with vine-ripened flavors from around the state and across the world. Although this event is free to the public, pass holders enjoy free access to wine tastings, saving them the trouble of fumbling with billfolds and retina scanners. Participating wineries include Cresten’s Eden Canyon Vineyards, Rosa d’Oro Vineyards, and Terra Sávia, a champion of organic wine. Myriad merchants complement the wine sipping with opportunities for singles or couples to browse such bountiful commodities as organic food and lingerie. Although parking is available downtown, attendants are encouraged to consider public-transportation options so they can leave their cars, trucks, and saddled walruses at home.
Hot Spud's chef and owner Cemil combines the convenience of fast food with the taste of gourmet cuisine, stuffing piping-hot potatoes to the skin with fresh and organic fillings. Baked to perfection in an imported King Edward convection oven, each 12-ounce potato attains a fluffy interior and evenly browned exterior reminiscent of the Doughboy after spring break. Dungeness crab and lemon beurre blanc sauce tower atop the Wharf—the restaurant's signature spud—while other creations include toppings and sauces such as grilled shrimp, chipotle tartar and alfredo. Cemil creates salads and soups with local and organic products when possible, and–in addition to gluten free items such as brownies and cheesecakes–he incorporates Idaho's state flower, the sweet potato, into desserts. Customers lounge in a sleek, modern dining area with tall picture windows and an interior wall covered in bright, multicolored panels.
Sunrise Deli pleases palates with award-winning Middle Eastern cuisine, concocting falafels lauded by SF Weekly and San Francisco Chronicle. For more than a quarter century, chefs have grilled kebabs, stuffed pita envelopes with love letters, and loaded dishes with hummus, fresh yogurt, and olives. Sunrise Deli acquires its meat from local ranches and picks its vegetables from local farms to ensure fresh, earth-friendly sustenance. Every day, round loaves of sesame bread pop out of the oven alongside piping-hot armenian pizzas and spinach pies. Sunrise Deli also caters platters laden with baba ghanouj and meat kebabs to family gatherings or teddy-bear picnics.
Dontaye Ball started honing his culinary skills at age 8, baking cookies and cakes in his grandmother’s kitchen. Though the inveterate chef has expanded his repertoire over the years, taking time to execute fine Italian cuisine for Delfina and Catalan fare for Contigo, he still champions comforting, simple soul food.
Chef Ball starts with classic comfort-food recipes and enhances them with gourmet flourishes. He adds a handful of fresh thyme to buttermilk fried chicken, for instance, and uses pork belly to make meatloaf. He also caters large events such as birthday parties and corporate roasts with his award-winning slow-smoked and barbecued meats, which he slathers with from-scratch barbecue sauce.