Wear some flowers in your hair with this carefree guide to the city’s calmer corners, from yoga studios and wave-lapped beaches to mindful hotels.
San Francisco’s height of hippiedom may be long gone, but the Rainbow City is still one of the best places in the United States to go in search of peace, love and harmony (and, of course, pot, if that’s your style, since recreational cannabis use has been legal since 2016). Want to feel totally groovy, man? Here are some of the most relaxing ways to spend a few days in San Francisco.
There are almost too many ways to practice self-care at this ecofriendly hotel in Sausalito. If you can drag yourself away from your room (most have outstanding views of the Golden Gate Bridge), you can try reiki, herbal healing or acupuncture, as well as the more typical massages and yoga classes. Join a guided hike along the coastal trail, or paint the beautiful bay view at a mindful watercolor class.
Cryotherapy redefines what it means to chill out. The Reboot treatment at this health spa in the Mission District entails spending three minutes in a cryochamber, where you’ll experience temperatures from -165F down to -220F (-74C to -104C). The cold shock is said to boost your metabolism, lower inflammation and stimulate anti-aging properties. Once you’ve warmed up in the infrared sauna and spent a meditative hour in a floatation pod, you’ll feel like a whole new human.
Fancy a foot rub after pounding San Francisco’s oh-so-steep pavements? This hotel is right on the waterfront, meaning you can go from souvenir shopping to a sensual massage in five minutes flat. The petite penthouse spa includes a rooftop bamboo forest, where you can bathe with a glass of prosecco under the open sky. Rooms with excellent bay views include ergonomic chairs – handy if you have to work – but it’s best to heed the embroidered slippers and slow down.
If the mantra “eat good, feel good, do good” resonates with you, save time for a meal at Wildseed on Union Street. Everything on the menu is strictly seasonal, sourced locally and plant-based – with an emphasis on maximizing nutrition in the tastiest way possible. Try the harvest bowl with a turmeric-and-ginger dressing and chia seeds alongside a glass of the best organic wine from the Golden State – $0.10 from every check goes towards planting trees across San Francisco.
Offering time-reversing facials, traditional Thai massage, zesty body scrubs and deep-sleep rituals, the glorious spa at the Huntington Hotel is one of the best in the city. Book a 50-minute treatment and you’ll get all-day access to the eucalyptus steam room, sauna and gym, plus the heated indoor pool and hot tub, which come with panoramic views. Stay for sparkling wine and a light snack – granola or egg-white frittata, perhaps? – served by white-jacketed waiters on the balcony.
Looking for more hotel options in California? Check out our guide to the best hotels in Sausalito, California, bookable on Culture Trip.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.