San Francisco, California – Cable Cars, Fisherman’s Wharf, Wine Country And More

By Larry Berle

San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf has many unique, interesting and fun attractions that can only be found in the legendary City by the Bay. There is truly something for everyone to enjoy.

The hills of San Francisco are alive with activities to suit every taste, and the Hilton San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf hotel is conveniently located near all the famous San Francisco attractions and areas. The Financial District, China Town, Union Square, Theatre District, AT&T Park, Cable Cars, the Golden Gate Bridge and of course Fisherman’s Wharf/Pier 39 are all short distance from the property. This waterfront property is also near cable cars and streetcars for easy, inexpensive transportation.

The 100% non-smoking boutique Hilton San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf hotel is a great business and leisure destination. The hotel offers some of the largest standard rooms of any hotel at this noted waterfront destination. These rooms feature MP3 player compatible alarm clocks, in-room safes, dual-line phones and high-speed Internet service is available for a small fee.

The beautifully appointed lobby features a fireplace that typifies the relaxed Fisherman’s Wharf atmosphere and leads guests to the relaxing setting of Vintner’s Grill. San Francisco and Northern California are synonymous with “good food.” With access to fresh fruit, vegetables, herbs, fish and meat, their chef and culinary team exceed diner’s expectations with creative entrees and beautiful plate presentations. The restaurant offers a warm and welcoming environment and features creative California Cuisine with an extensive 85 item breakfast buffet each morning-a buffet that will get anyone fueled up for a day of exploring and experiencing all the local sights or playing a round of golf. Complimentary high-speed wireless Internet service is available in the full service restaurant and bar as well.

After a fun-filled day visiting many of San Francisco’s favorite attractions or playing 18 holes on the picturesque golf courses, guests can enjoy sitting in the hotel’s cozy outdoor courtyard with quaint covered tables and chairs.

True, the location of the Hilton San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf Hotel is a plus. But, according to Director of Sales and marketing Jason Beckham, there is added focus at these unique accommodations. “Our passion is guest services,” Beckham says. “We consider it essential to our success. We strive to be constantly attuned to guest needs and put all our awareness, effort and focus on making their stay stress-free.”

San Francisco is home to major pop culture and historical sites like Alcatraz Island and the Haight-Ashbury district. Other popular tourist sites include Union Square, Napa Valley, the Ferry Building, the DeYoung Museum and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Of course, no trip to the area would be complete without a trip to Golden Gate National Parks. And don’t forget to indulge your sweet tooth – visit Ghirardelli Square.

No trip to San Francisco is complete without a plan to visit the nearby Napa & Sonoma Valley wine country. Here are just a few that are worth the trip and should be on your list of “sites to see”.

Madonna Estates – Since 1922 the Bartolucci Family has consistently created a perfect marriage of grapes and wine. In addition to practicing natural farming methods, they also combine traditional and modern winemaking techniques. As the third oldest winemaking family in the Napa Valley, it is important to them that they continue the commitment to farm naturally and preserve the winemaking traditions of past generations. They are well concentrated in Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir and Riesling.

Viansa Winery – From the extensive expertise of artisan winemaker Ron Goss (who often chats with visitors) to the people who greet guests, there is a shared enthusiasm and commitment to making visitors feel comfortable and relaxed in this Sonoma winery. Wine touring and tasting at Viansa Winery is a delight for the palate and food for the mind as their experts freely share their knowledge and commitment. Viansa Winery is known for their Arneis, Primitivo, and Vernaccia wines.

Cline Cellars – This historic property was once the site of a Miwok Village and the first camp of the Sonoma Mission. Their unique tasting room is located in an 1850s farmhouse. While visiting Cline Cellars many enjoy a picnic on their lush green lawns, by one of the six spring-fed ponds, surrounded by the glorious fragrant blossoms of over 5,000 rose bushes, dozens of rustling willow trees and ever-changing gardens. While you’re at Cline you should also plan to visit the California Missions Museum. During their complimentary tasting session make sure you try one of the top 10 Zinfandel wines they are famous for.

San Francisco has once again, for the 16th year in a row, been voted the #1 city to visit in the United States by both CONDE NAST TRAVELER and TRAVEL AND LEISURE. Whether this is your first trip to San Francisco or you will be returning for another visit, there is always something new to do and see. With so many award winning golf courses in the area to choose from, we thought we might highlight a couple local gems to help you plan your rounds.

ilverado – Enjoy World Class Napa Valley Golf Courses

An excellent way to enjoy Silverado’s natural beauty is to play the two 18-hole Wine Country golf courses in Napa Valley.

The premier Napa Valley resort courses cover 360 acres and offer numerous water features, elevation changes and routing through oak, pine and redwood trees. Their two 18-hole Wine Country golf courses in Napa Valley are each in the distinctive style of their architect, Robert Trent Jones, Jr.

The 6,685 yard South Course challenges golfers with side-hill lies and more than a dozen water crossings, while the North Course stretches 6,900 yards but is occasionally more forgiving. A complete golf pro shop replete with Napa Valley Wine Country gift items is available in the Clubhouse. A staff of top professionals is on hand to assist guests in improving their golf game while at their golf resort in Napa Valley.

Presidio Golf Course – A “Golden” View

The prestigious Presidio golf course opened for public play in 1995 and has quickly gained a reputation as one of the nation’s top public courses. Located just minutes from downtown San Francisco, this 18-hole course plays 6,500 yards of challenging golf winding through beautiful Eucalyptus and Monterey Pine trees in San Francisco’s trademark hills.

Designed with tight fairways and strategically placed bunkers, this 18-hole “hilly” golf course offers a unique challenge for golfers of all abilities. Orginally designed by Robert Wood Johnstone, the course was expanded in 1910 by Johnstone in collaboration with Wiliam McEwan and redesigned and lengthened in by the British firm of Fowler & Simpson in 1921.

Golf is a challenging sport, and like any sport, the better you are the more fun you have. Practice makes perfect and the Presidio Golf Course Practice Center is the most convenient facility in San Francisco. They have a large driving range and are also proud to offer a 6-hole practice putting green and chipping green.

Harding Park Golf Course – One of the Greatest Municipal Courses in the U.S.

Harding Park’s layout follows the original routing as designed by architect Willie Watson in 1925. The course takes advantage of the property’s existing topography, contours and vegetation. The predominant features include the towering Monterey Cypress trees and the nearby presence of Lake Merced. Harding’s strategy and character have been substantially enhanced with the inclusion of several carefully placed bunkers and re-contoured green complexes. The addition of multiple teeing surfaces provides the course the flexibility to offer distinct playing characteristics that will challenge every golfer, from beginner to the most skilled player.

The Harding Park complex includes an outstanding executive nine-hole course known as the Fleming Golf Course. The Fleming nine has been revitalized to the same discerning standards and conditioning as Harding’s re-creation, albeit shorter in length yet full of strategy and interest. Fleming plays to a par of 30, with a total yardage for the nine holes ranging from 1,865 yards from the forward tees to 2,165 yards from the regular tees. The three par fours and six par threes are an excellent alternative to Harding’s championship layout, providing a comfortable setting for the beginning or learning golfer.

While in San Francisco plan to play a round at Harding Park and experience what the Tour Professionals will in the coming weeks. There are only about 6 weeks remaining to earn an automatic spot on either the U.S. or International Teams for the 2009 Presidents Cup to be played Oct. 8-11 at Harding Park GC.

The top 10 U.S. players on the points list will qualify for the team, while the top 10 International players will qualify based upon their standing on the Official World Golf Ranking. The automatic qualifiers will be decided on Aug. 16, following the PGA Championship.

U.S. Team Captain Fred Couples and International Team Captain Greg Norman will each make two Captain’s choices on Sept. 8 to round out the sides for the eighth Presidents Cup.