Nob Hill

Nob Hill is so beautiful, it’s hard to believe that people actually live here. But they do…and you can too. Ride the cable cars up and down the hills. Escape the hustle and bustle with your dog in Huntington Park, with its OMG views (or leave the pup at home and bring your laptop – there are outlets available at each tree!) Get there early and watch the tai-chi practitioners do their thing, and the hummingbirds stealing sips from the park’s artful fountain. Then stroll through gorgeous Grace Cathedral (leave time for this; it’s got enough going on that you might want a few hours here.) Magical Nob Hill is a place to reconnect with your childlike sense of wonder.

Eating and drinking options run the gamut here. Olea is a local treasure for Nob Hill residents, a favorite brunch spot that’s somehow managed to remain relatively hype-free. (Challah custard toast topped with cinnamon apples and cranberries, anyone?) Just because you’re in a neighborhood known for swank doesn’t mean you don’t crave the occasional hole-in-the-wall. Cordon Bleu offers up a limited but tasty menu and according to the menu, ‘possibly the best chicken you will have outside of Vietnam.” Happy hour in Nob Hill presents some solid choices, but you’ll swoon over locals’ favorite Zeki’s Bar (no sign – shh, let’s keep it a secret), with its fireplace, jukebox, pool table, and personable bartenders. It’s that rare institution that combines being a dive with keeping it classy.

The strenuous five-minute hike you undertook to get to the top of the hill earned you over an indulgent meal in a gorgeous, exposed-wood interior. At Aliment, feast on fried brussels sprouts, braised short ribs, and yuzu-lime cheesecake. Need a romantic spot for drinks with some of the best views of the city in an atmosphere soaked in old-world elegance? Try out neighborhood classic, Top of the Mark.

Hop on a cable car or MUNI bus to get to the top of Nob Hill. Or you could just skip the gym and hoof it up the steep incline. Chinatown, Financial District, and Union Square are all a few blocks from this lofty locale.