Top things to do

Top Choice Cinema in The Mission & Potrero Hill

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

The 1932 landmark New Mission cinema is restored to its Timothy Pfleuger-designed Art Deco glory, with a new mission: to upgrade dinner-and-a-movie dates. Staff deliver microbrews and tasty fare to plush banquette s…
Top Choice Californian in Yountville

French Laundry

The pinnacle of California dining, Thomas Keller’s French Laundry is epic, a high-wattage culinary experience on par with the world’s best. Book one month ahead at 10am sharp, or log onto OpenTable.com precisely at …
Top Choice Historic Site in San Francisco

Alcatraz

Alcatraz: for over 150 years, the name has given the innocent chills and the guilty cold sweats. Over the decades, it’s been the nation’s first military prison, a forbidding maximum-security penitentiary and dispute…
Top Choice Historic Building in San Simeon

Hearst Castle

Hearst Castle is a wondrous, historic, over-the-top homage to material excess, perched high on a hill. The estate sprawls across acres of lushly landscaped gardens, accentuated by shimmering pools and fountains, sta…
Top Choice Aquarium in Monterey

Monterey Bay Aquarium

Monterey’s most mesmerizing experience is its enormous aquarium, built on the former site of the city’s largest sardine cannery. All kinds of aquatic creatures are featured, from kid-tolerant sea stars and slimy sea…
Top Choice National Park in Lassen Volcanic National Park

Lassen Volcanic National Park

Impressive Lassen Volcanic National Park has steaming hydrothermal sulfur pools and cauldrons that can be seen from the boardwalk in Bumpass Hell. At 10,457ft Lassen Peak is one of the world's largest plug-dome volc…
Top Choice Bridge in The Marina, Fisherman’s Wharf & the Piers

Golden Gate Bridge

San Franciscans have passionate perspectives on every subject, especially their signature landmark, though everyone agrees that it's a good thing that the navy didn't get its way over the bridge's design – naval off…
Top Choice Park in Golden Gate Park & the Avenues

Golden Gate Park

When San Franciscans refer to 'the park,' there's only one that gets the definite article: Golden Gate Park. Everything San Franciscans hold dear is here: free spirits, free music, redwoods, Frisbee, protests, fine …
Top Choice Market in Napa

Oxbow Public Market

Graze this gourmet market and plug into the Northern California food scene. Standouts: Hog Island Oyster Co; comfort cooking at celeb-chef Todd Humphries’ Kitchen Door; Venezuelan arepa (corn-cake sandwiches) at Pic…
Top Choice Lighthouse in Big Sur

Point Sur State Historic Park

A little over 6 miles south of Bixby Bridge, Point Sur rises like a velvety green fortress out of the sea. It looks like an island, but is actually connected to land by a sandbar. Atop the volcanic rock sits an 1889…