A true SF survivor, the Palace opened in 1875 but was gutted during the 1906 earthquake. Opera star Enrico Caruso was jolted from his Palace bed by the quake and fled San Francisco, never to return. The Palace reopened by 1909 and it was here that Woodrow Wilson gave his League of Nations speech 10 years later. Visit by day to see the Garden Court stained-glass ceiling, then peek into the Pied Piper Bar to see Maxfield Parrish's Pied Piper mural.
Recently Palace management removed the Parrish mural with the intention of auctioning it off – but San Franciscans rallied and insisted on the Piper's return to his rightful place. Toast San Franciscan resilience under the mural and, if you're feeling brave, head to the House of Shields for another at the opulent mahogany back bar. This ornate bar was originally intended to frame Parrish's mural, but maybe the woodworker had one too many – it was too small to fit the Pied Piper.