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San Francisco - The Race is On

2019 San Francisco Marathon Pier -Justin Luau

It’s a time for reinvention. The San Francisco Marathon held annually in July is now rescheduled for November 15th, 2020 with new race day safety measures. One year ago, I was in San Francisco on marathon day. It was a race day to remember, with no running.

Golden Gate Bridge-Oliver Plattner

7/28/19 Sun up, Sunday morning, the streets of San Francisco are quiet. The San Francisco marathon is about to begin- over 27,000 runners will make their way around the city’s iconic landmarks. Sunrise is a perfect time to discover the city, no traffic! We begin our own neighborhood marathon through the streets of San Francisco, by car, with @onlyinsf as our guide. Ready, set, go!

North Beach

First destination, the Coit Tower atop Telegraph Hill. Along the way a drive through Chinatown and the Italian section, North Beach. Last night we discovered a terrific Italian/Japanese restaurant in North Beach, Pesce e Riso. Just passed the landmark bookstore, City Lights and Caffee Trieste, the famous espresso shop, over 50 years old.

City Lights Bookstore

At the Tower, a welcome moment of stillness watching the morning fog over the Golden Gate Bridge. That’s enough stillness… we’re on a race to beat the racers!

Back on the road, Fisherman's Wharf, check! Drive up to Lombard Street and down the legendary hairpin turns of the windiest street, through Pacific Heights, by the Painted Ladies, Nob Hill. Next, The Presidio, an amazing reinvention of an army base, location of the Walt Disney museum. Past The Palace of Fine Arts, so magnificent!

In Haight-Ashbury we have a close encounter with the marathoners as they run past CBD concierge delivery shops and rows of shops celebrating The Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin.

Japanese Tea Garden

Drive through Golden Gate Park, site of the California Academy of Sciences, De Young Museum, Conservatory of Flowers, Japanese Tea Garden, Botanical Gardens, and the National AIDS Memorial Grove, Finally, to the Mission District to see the painted murals.

Murals in the Mission

Post-race, we mix with the marathoners at the Sunday City Brunch at The Palace Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel by Marriott. The Palace is San Francisco’s “Grand Hotel”, built in 1875, destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and reopened in 1909.

The Garden Court- The Palace Hotel

Runners and their families are here to celebrate together in the magnificent Garden Court. This historic landmark opened in 1909, and is a favorite for special occasions, Sunday City Brunch and Saturday Signature Tea. The stained-glass ceiling, Italian marble Ionic columns and Austrian crystal chandeliers are the essence of turn-of-the-century elegance.

Pied Piper Bar & Grill

The historic Pied Piper Bar & Grill is considered to be one of the top bars in the world. Maxfield Parrish’s large-scale painting depicting a scene from the tale is one of the highlights of the hotel.

Thinking of bringing the kids to San Francisco? The Palace welcomes little ones with fanfare and fun. The Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop at the Palace could not be more convenient! The hotel has a sky lit indoor pool that serves popsicles poolside on Fridays and shows Dive In Movies on a big screen Saturdays at 8:00.

The Palace Signature Tea in the Garden Court is a must. Little ones receive a crown and candy scepter at The Prince and Princess Tea. The Palace’s team of Les Clef D’Or Concierges can customize your family outings.

Stay informed with San Francisco Travel’s up-to-date guidelines on what’s open and social distance options.

Photos courtesy of San Francisco Travel Association

By Debbie Silver

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