Amid San Francisco's glittering parade of splendours, the museum of the moment is undoubtedly the Museum of Modern Art. It now spans 10 floors, with more than 30,000 pieces on display to bend your mind.

A new addition is the Fisher Collection, which includes a trove of pop art from Andy Warhol, Alexander Calder and Roy Lichtenstein.

There's lots of wacky sculpture from Jeff Koons and the Pritzker Centre for Photography boasts the largest such space for photography of any US art museum.

Arachnophobes? Test your mettle among the gigantic spider sculptures of Louise Bourgeois.


Graced with a façade inspired by the mist-draped waters of San Francisco Bay, whether you want a quick one hour dip inside, or are happy to devour a whole day, it's a riveting museum.

I also took a wander through the urban wilderness of the Presidio, laced with fabulously undulating trails around the old military sites, en route to the Walt Disney Family Museum.

Established by Walt Disney's eldest daughter, the museum takes you on a riveting journey through his exemplary life, from humble beginnings to starry-eyed heights.

I thought it might be a bit schmaltzy, but the museum is intimate, revealing and enthralling. As you walk through his astonishing life story, not only are you left in awe of his stature as a true entertainment genius, but I drooled over a plethora of behind-the-scenes footage and priceless exhibits, like the original models used to create Disney's most famous productions, including the game-changing Snow White.

All of Walt's glinting Oscars are here, too.

You can try your hand at animation in the Open Studio and savour some cinematic classics in the Fantasia Theatre, but the climactic attraction is the colossal miniature replica model of Disneyland, Anaheim, in the 1960s.

The World Rugby Sevens are heading to San Francisco for the first time in July.

Also mid-year, a glittering new landmark will be officially opened, dwarfing the TransAmerica Pyramid and reframing the skyline. Located on the corner on First and Mission streets, Salesforce Tower soars more than 300m vertically, and the tallest public art installation in the US will sheathe the top of the tower.

Local artist Jim Campbell is putting the finishing touches on his epic electronic sculpture, ablaze in 11,000 lights and giant video screens which will project daily scenes from across the city.

Fancy venturing beyond the Golden Gate? Hire a bike from Fisherman's Wharf and jaunt over the bridge to Sausalito, which is a swanky waterfront village, home to hundreds of high-end houseboats.

Feeling dog-tired after the biking across the Golden Gate, I completed the circuit by catching a ferry back, to the City by the Bay.

The Ferry Building Marketplace is brimming with tempting bargains, including some of my favourites such as deliciously gooey cheeses and lavender and ginger chocolate.
The Ferry Building Marketplace is brimming with tempting bargains, including some of my favourites such as deliciously gooey cheeses and lavender and ginger chocolate.

Ferry hard to resist

The Ferry Building always manages to hook me in, where an emporium of artisanal purveyors await, spanning pastries, coffee, cheeses, juices and chocolate.

Snacking my way through the marketplace, my personal favourites include the delicious gooey cheeses at Cowgirl Creamery, Miette Patisserie and Recchiuti Confections for their lavender and ginger chocolate.

Snap up an assortment of goodies for a decadent picnic and make your way to one of the city's beloved picnic spots.

Being a city big on seafood, whether you're after a cheap clam chowder or something fancier, Swans Oyster Depot in Polk St is a century old institution, elevated to TripAdvisor royalty. It's the holy church of seafood, with just 18 seats set around its counter, meaning there's always a queue outside. But it's worth the wait.

I also enjoyed some sinfully delicious Californian-Indian cuisine at the Taj Campton Place Hotel. With a prime perch on the edge of Union Square, on Stockton St, the century-old building is one of San Francisco's most prominent landmarks.

I enjoyed a sumptuous dinner at the two-Michelin-starred Taj Campton Place Restaurant — a sure-fire hit with gourmands. Chef Srijith's perfectly executed and inventive cuisine, combined with thoughtfully paired wines, creates the ultimate fine-dining experience.

Plump for the nine-course degustation menu. Standouts include the black cod in green strawberry chutney, curry leaf and ghee; and Liberty duck breast dressed in fava greens, morels, rhubarb and cured yolks. A stupendous experience, which like the hotel is special without being stilted.


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