Category Archives: San Francisco
Whether you’re the kind of traveler who seeks out the great architecture of every city or a casual traveler seeking inspiration for your own home projects, San Francisco has much to offer when it comes to buildings of historic design interest. And to enjoy them, you don’t even need a tour guide! Enjoy these 4 San Francisco sites on foot and soak in the best the city has to offer.
Outside of the Golden Gate bridge and the cable cars, San Francisco’s Painted Ladies may be the most recognizable architectural highlight. These multi-storey Victorian homes built between 1849 and 1915 feature bright colors and elaborate trimmings. Lined up beside each other, the Painted Ladies have tall front steps, porch lattice, and numerous windows.
No architecture buff wants to miss these beauties, which actually took on their distinctive colors during the 1960s and 70s as part of what became known as the colorist movement. And for those just hoping for insights into what trim their home should feature – well, there’s plenty of inspiration for that too.
From Farm To Fashion
Another famous area of San Francisco is the Cow Hollow neighborhood, formerly a major player in the dairy industry. Today Cow Hollow is a hip neighborhood with a variety of shops and restaurants, but it still features an array of Edwardian, art deco, and Victorian architecture.
Of particular interest in Cow Hollow is the Vedanta temple built in 1905. Utterly unclassifiable, the building is influenced by a combination of Colonial, Hindu, Moorish, and Queen Anne architecture.
The Marina area of San Francisco is right next to Cow Hollow and yet again demonstrates diverse architectural influences. The area was also home to the Panama Pacific International Exhibition in 1915. The only remaining building from this period, however, is the Palace of Fine Arts, an elaborate arched structure sitting beside the water.
The Palace of Fine Arts’ importance to the San Francisco community has stood the test of time. The structure was meant to be demolished like the rest of the structures from the Exhibition but was kept due to its striking beauty. The Palace survived the 1989 earthquake the badly shook the area and stands as proudly as ever.
A Many Sided Landmark
Built in 1861, San Francisco’s Octagon House is now considered a historic landmark and is home to the Colonial and Federal Periods Decorative Arts Museum. Like the Palace of Fine Arts, Octagon House was meant to be razed in the 1950s. Instead, with community support the building remained and in 1953 a time capsule was found in the building, bringing to light much of the history of this former home.
Architectural highlights of the Octagon House include its beautiful spiral staircase, its four chimneys, and flat,slightly dipped roof. It features 29 usable rooms, though some count closets and passageways, giving a total of 57 separate spaces.
There’s plenty to do in San Francisco, so it’s time to lace up your walking shoes and hit the road. Enjoy this walker’s city, grab a ride on a streetcar, and explore the architectural beauty that awaits.
United States of America is the perfect place to pamper oneself. It has the best of luxury and customized services on offer. For making a holiday memorable the sure shot way is to stay stylishly at the top luxury hotels or resorts in the country. Los Angeles in US is the Entertainment Capital of the World and not just the country itself. There are quite a few top rated hotels in the area. Featuring on this list is the Bel Air.
Top Luxury Hotel in Los Angeles – Bel Air
Not just luxurious this boutique hotel is often referred when the most romantic or most beautiful hotels of the World are mentioned. This boutique hotel is owned by the Brunei Investment Agency and operated by the Dorchester Collection. It is strategically located close to the tourist attraction of Los Angeles and the Beverly Hills. This romantic getaway is spread over 12 acres of picturesque settings and has been serving as a tranquil hideaway for many.
The hotel has some 58 guest-rooms, 45 suites of which 7 are specialty suites. The interiors are heavily inspired by the Hollywood and its glamour during the past (read 1930 to 1950s). There is a dash of Southern Californian residential architecture along with Spanish colonial, French Deco and stunning glorious gardens.
Millions of tourists, from within the country and overseas, visit Los Angeles every year. Of course entertainment is often the top choice for those on a holiday. Interestingly the foreign nationals also opt for this destination owing to its popularity. They often need to obtain a valid tourist visa for lawful entry. The Visa Waiver Program allows citizens of few countries to visit temporarily by applying for ESTA visa authorization only.
The soothing and welcoming environs offer the perfect setting for a much awarded Spa service by La Prairie. There are 7 treatment rooms, mosaic steam and relaxation areas besides a fitness studio promoting health and wellness for the guests. No doubt besides the celebs, dignitaries too have chosen Bel Air for their stay. The hotel known for its hospitality, backdrops and facilities is an awesome option for hosting wedding and other celebrations. These outdoor gardens are suitable for intimate as well as large gatherings. Many have chosen it for day or evening wedding. The three resident swans in its lake are famous choices for photo shoot backdrops. A trainer instructor can also be arranged for those wishing to practice yoga in the personal sessions with personal attention.
The food or rather culinary delights here match the ambiance. Wolfgang Puck has catered to the top of the guests and events including the Grammys, Emmy’s and the Oscar Governors Ball. The much awarded restaurant services sumptuous food with smile and flawless service. Using fresh and seasonal vegetables the chefs here serve mouth watering dishes at the garden areas, dining room, alfresco terrace and the bar lounge. Since it is frequent by the celebs, Joseph Martin Hair & Beauty is ready with quality hair and beauty services.
Certainly one of America’s greatest city, San Francisco should be on everyone’s list of places to visit. I had the chance to visit San Francisco a few months ago when I took a vacation, and what can I say? This city is a must-visit. One of the most amazing things about the city is that nature is pretty much everywhere you turn to, a welcome break from the concrete jungle that my partner and I are accustomed to. Located at the tip of the Peninsula, San Fran is home to numerous walking trails, providing the perfect way to keep fit as well as savor nature. My partner loves to cycle, so the numerous cycling trails made the vacation an exhilarating adventure.
The food lovers that we are, we had to create time to visit the numerous restaurants that dot the city. What stands out about many of these establishments of the ‘farm-to-table’ notion, meaning that there is easy access to organic produce. We made sure to visit Chez Panisse to sample this trend; suffice to say we were not disappointed and would actually recommend this. A vacation to San Francisco is incomplete without a trip to the famous Ferry Plaza Farmers’s market for fresh produce. We proceeded to Napa Valley for wine-tasting, the perfect activity for a sunny afternoon.
Away from food, wine and fun, we took some time to tour major attractions within the city, and our first stop was Alcatraz. My fascination with Alcatraz began after watching a number of movies that featured this attraction. Touring the island on which it is located, and listening to the audios on tour can be a tad bit chilling, but certainly worth it. From Alcatraz we proceeded to De Young Museum, situated in Golden Gate Park. The museum is home to contemporary art, and has a strategic look tower that affords visitors majestic views of San Francisco’s skyline.
Cable cars in San Francisco are an amazing way to experience the city’s thrills, and although there’s only 3 lines today, the experience is one I relish! What better way to enjoy the city than by standing atop the running board clinging on to the pole for dear life as the wind rushes past your ears? After the adrenaline of the cable cars, we headed to Muir woods, an interesting attraction because it among the few redwood forested areas remaining. The serenity of Muir woods almost serenades you to spend your life in San Francisco, if only to get up close with nature. We ended the vacation by taking memorable photographs at the iconic Golden Gate Bridge and topping it up with a sunset walk. Spending time in this eclectic city was certainly a highlight this year!