Tips from the Marriott Marquis lead concierge.
Q: Do you have any favorite Nob Hill haunts?
A: Having lived in Paris, I’m particularly enamored with Grace Cathedral atop of Nob Hill, a beautiful Episcopal French Gothic church reminiscent of Notre Dame in Paris and welcoming anybody searching for a piece of self reflection and solitude amid the city’s hustle and bustle. Walk one of the two labyrinths and feel the meditative effects, attend one of the live performances partake in an Evensong service.
Q: Where do you send visitors interested in spotting marine life?
A: Venture beyond the Golden Gate on one of the year-round, all-day expeditions to the oceanic wilderness of the Farallon Islands. Known as “Devil’s Teeth” and located just 27 miles offshore, the island offers sightings of a rich diversity of marine and bird life that includes humpback whales, gray whales and orcas, blue whales, great white sharks, dolphins, seals, sea lions, porpoises and the largest pelagic seabird population in the United States. And don’t miss the world-class Steinhart Aquarium at the California Academy of Sciences, which is one of the most biologically diverse and interactive aquariums in the world. (See your concierge for discount coupons!)
Q: Where do you send visitors who are looking to be active?
A: I suggest yoga inside Grace Cathedral, free classes at the Athleta fitness store, open-air communal tai chi and qigong classes in Washington Square Park or at the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park, gorgeous golf courses around the bay or kayaking from Sausalito (guided tours recommended)—whatever your heart desires and fitness level allows. For avid runners, I suggest the Embarcadero (offering unparalleled views of the bay); the Ecology Trail at the Presidio; the many trails in Golden Gate Park; or the Ocean Beach to Fort Funston route. If hiking is for you, don’t miss the iconic Marin Headlands, Muir Woods and Mount Tamalpais across the bay in beautiful Marin County.