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  • Sea Lions and STRAWS at Pier 39

    July 03, 2018

    Only a short distance from the Calista Organic Hotel, Pier 39 is situated along The Embarcadero at Beach Street. With two levels offering a myriad of dining, entertainment, and shopping, the Pier is one of the most visited attractions by both locals and guests each year. A unique, hand-carved carousel, musicians and street performers, mind-challenging puzzles at “SOLVE IT! Think out of the Box,” and a rollercoaster ride combined with state-of-the-art 3D laser tag at “7D experience” provides a variety of activities and fun for everyone. The Pier is also home to some of San Francisco’s most famous residents: the city’s sea lions. Along with additional sea creatures at the Aquarium of the Bay, the sea lions at the Sea Lion Center are always entertaining and educational. To that end, one of the year’s most interesting and informative short films will be shown every weekend at the Center through September 3. The award-winning documentary “STRAWS” uses bright and amusing straw history animation to inform us about the problems caused by plastic pollution, particularly straws and encourages us to be part of the solution. For more information, click here.

  • Treat Dad to the Clusterfest, a Craft Spirits Carnival, and Great Jazz

    May 28, 2018

    This month is the ideal time to spoil Dad, or the entire family, with tickets to some of San Francisco’s most eagerly-anticipated events. First, for the laughs of a lifetime, join us June 1-3 for Comedy Central's Clusterfest, where the lineup will include such luminaries as Jon Stewart, Amy Schumer, Trevor Noah, John Mulaney. For tickets and details, click here. Next, don’t miss the 36th Annual San Francisco Jazz Festival on June-6-17. The fest will feature almost two weeks of stellar sounds from an array of acclaimed jazz musicians, including Latino and Bossa Nova master Sérgio Mendes, distinguished trumpet virtuoso Arturo Sandoval, and many more. Tribute shows to former bands and musicians include pianist Oscar Peterson and the big band sounds of Benny Goodman. Finally, head over to downtown for the 7th Annual Craft Spirits Carnival on June 6-9. Indulge in two days of sampling hand-crafted premium spirits from up to 100 crafters. Sip and sample as you enjoy your spirits along with art, live music, and a variety of edibles! For more information, click here.

  • One Cool Happening: The Bay Area Maker Faire

    May 07, 2018

    Join us for a spectacular event that began over a decade ago in the Bay Area and created a “maker movement” wave that is sweeping the globe. On May 18-20, some of the coolest things you’ll ever see will be on display at this year’s Bay Area Maker Faire, and you can not only view the works, but also meet their creators. These modern-day makers include students and teachers, artists and crafters, engineers and all-around-techies. Their creativity, resourcefulness, and enthusiasm are as contagious as it is fascinating. See such marvels as the World's Smallest Robotic House: A creation of sheet metal artisans Scott Parenteau and Steve Hawthorne, this tiny house measures only 21” x 21”, yet provides room to stand or sit during the day, and rotates to turn its wall into a bed that sleeps two at night. Next, check out Perkunas Studio’s amazing and moveable 3-D unicorn, panther, and other creatures. Don’t miss Andy Tibbetts’  Clock Ship Tere, which is a masterpiece of mechanical engineering. Andy has honed his maker skills for years, most recently as the head fabricator for “Space Whale,” which was featured at Burning Man 2016. For a complete list of makers, click here.

  • San Francisco International Film Festival Honors Charlize Theron

    April 02, 2018

    A tour-de-force screenplay and direction by Diablo Cody and Jason Reitman, along with a stellar performance by Charlize Theron, makes the trio’s latest collaboration, “Tully,” one of the fastest-rising stars in the cinema firmament. Along with other first-rate offerings, “Tully” will be shown as part of the annual San Francisco International Film Festival. Films will be screened at a variety of venues across the city from April 4-17, and Theron and Reitman themselves will be in attendance for a program and conversation prior to the screening of “Tully” at the Castro Theater on April 8. The SIFF is the longest-running film festival in the Americas, and has dedicated this tribute to Theron for her outstanding performances in such roles as serial killer Aileen Wuornos and a miner in “North Country” along with her dazzling showmanship in “Mad Max: Fury Road,” and in the spy thriller, “Atomic Blonde.” Additional films include “I Am Not a Witch” by Rungano Nyoni, UK/France, “Night Comes On” by Jordana Spiro, USA, “Ravens” by Jens Assur, Sweden, “Scary Mother” by Ana Urushadze, Georgia/Estonia, “The Sower” by Marine Francen, France, and “Suleiman Mountain” by  Elizaveta Stishova, Kyrgyzstan/Russia. For details, click here.

  • The Best Saint Patrick’s Day Eats

    March 05, 2018

    Saint Patrick’s Day in San Francisco is one epic party, with a huge parade and a variety of entertainment. Add to your enjoyment of the holiday by grabbing a drink and some authentic grub at one of the city’s best Irish pubs, four of which are listed here. First, try the Phoenix Bar & Irish Gathering House on nearby Valencia Street, for their homemade Colcannon, Bangers and Mash, and Shepherd’s Pie. Next, for a real St. Pat’s celebration atmosphere (especially for Happy Hour), check out the outdoor party at Harrington’s Bar and Grill in the Financial District. The Chieftain Irish Pub and Restaurant in the city's SOMA district and Johnny Foley's Irish House near Union Square are also ideal stops for pub food, along with some other fabulous menu items and fun patrons. Foley’s also offers live music most nights of the week. Finally, top off your dining experience with a traditional Irish coffee at the Buena Vista Café in the Fisherman’s Wharf area. The Buena Vista is a bit expensive, but they were the first place in the country to offer these iconic coffees, so you’ll be carrying on a glorious Irish tradition.

  • Treat Your Valentine to a Twilight Cruise

    February 05, 2018

    This Valentine’s Day, surprise and delight your special someone by booking passage on a romantic California Twilight Cruise. The two of you can bask in warmth and comfort while viewing a spectacular display of San Francisco’s lights and historic landmarks from an indoor heated viewing deck. You’ll also enjoy listening to live guitar music as you nosh on a variety of savory or sweet snacks, and sip on your favorite hot or cold beverage. Or, bundle up and make your way to one of the outdoor viewing decks for a closer look at some of San Francisco’s iconic night-lit landmarks, such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, AT&T Park, Alcatraz, the Bay Bridge, and the Ferry Building. Be sure to make plans soon, as this cruise is only available through March 26th, and advance reservations are strongly recommended. To book passage, or for more information, click here.

  • Have a Whale of a Time at Point Reyes

    January 08, 2018

    Veteran whale-watchers and whale-watching newbies will be flocking to Point Reyes National Seashore this season to view the annual migration of the magnificent gray whales. Over 90 percent of these impressive gray mammals will pass close to the tip of this peninsula from December through February. However, January is usually the optimal viewing month, with more than 1,000 gray whales passing by daily. Although Point Reyes does not allow direct access to the tip during the viewing months, it does allow visitors to board shuttles at the parking lot, and get off at various prime viewing areas. Cetacean lovers who relish an up-close-and-personal experience can board a gray whale cruise boat. Cruises run from winter through early spring. Whether you plan to watch by land or by sea, you should wear sturdy shoes and layered clothing for warmth; cruisers will need waterproof shoes. A pair of good binoculars and a digital recorder and/or camera will provide optimal viewing and memory-making, and be sure to stock up on drinking water and nutritious snacks. For cruise details, call San Francisco Whale Tours at (415)706-7364 or click here for more information on Point Reyes.

  • Explore San Francisco by Cable Car

    December 04, 2017

    With its clanging bells and singing cables, the cable car has become the traditional symbol of San Francisco transportation as well as part of its culture. Andrew Hallidie tested the first cable car in 1873 and now, almost 150 years later, the cable cars traverse the city, carrying residents and visitors alike on regularly scheduled routes. These iconic cars are a fun way to tour the city at your leisure, taking whichever line you choose, and hopping on and off where and when you wish. The cable cars travel to San Francisco’s most popular tourist attractions, such as Chinatown, Union Square, North Beach, and Fisherman's Wharf, but also into some of the city’s legendary neighborhoods, such as Pacific Heights and Nob Hill. The routes consist of three lines: the Powell-Hyde Line (blue line), the Powell-Mason Line (green line), and the California Line (red line). You can board at any of the turnarounds, or any of the MUNI Cable Car Stops spaced about two blocks apart along each line. Tickets can be purchased from the car conductor, or via the MUNI app. For more information, click here.

  • Spend the Holidays on Ice

    November 07, 2017

    Of the many iconic sounds and sights of the holidays, there is little that conjures the magic of the season like the clash of metal skates on a smooth sheet of ice. Whether you’re cutting figure eights yourself, or serenely sipping hot chocolate as you watch the skaters glide past, the Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center is the place to be. Presented by Hawaiian Airlines, the Bay Area’s largest indoor ice rink will be open from November 3rd through January 7, 2018 for blissful holiday skating surrounded by a stunning urban cityscape. Skating sessions begin on every even hour beginning at 10:00 a.m. and last 1 ½ hours. Before or après-skate, be sure to check out the many restaurants, shops, and other entertainments the center has to offer. Located just across from the Ferry Building, Embarcadero Center is an ideal place for family-friendly holiday fun. Hours are from 10:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. on Sundays – Thursdays, and 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays. For details, call (415) 837-1931, or email: echolidayrink@gmail.com.

  • Visit Haunted Alcatraz for Halloween

    October 02, 2017

    Famous as one of the most haunted places in America, Alcatraz, commonly referred to as “the Rock” earned its position in the pantheon of the paranormal before it became a federal prison. Alcatraz Island came under the control of the United States military during the mid-1800s, and a fortress was constructed that would become a holding place for military prisoners. These prisoners were made up of rebellious Native Americans, Confederate soldiers and sympathizers, and Spanish prisoners. They lived in poor conditions, and suffered from cold, isolation, and even torture.    Rebuilt in the early 20th century, Alcatraz was operated as a federal prison for the most dangerous criminals from 1934 – 1963. Known as “inescapable” due to the treacherous currents that surround the island, it was true that no inmate ever escaped, despite years of attempts. Since opening to the public in 1973, Alcatraz receives a million visitors annually. Many of these have reported such phenomena as disembodied voices, phantom gunshots, rattling chains, and a foul but indescribable odor. Apparitions of prisoners, soldiers, guards, and Native Americans have all been seen on numerous occasions. For more information about visiting Alcatraz, call (415) 561-4900, or click here.

  • September at the Castro: Bill Nye the Science Guy

    September 05, 2017

    Indulge your inner nerd on Sunday, September 10, when Booksmith presents Bill Nye at the Castro Theater. Celebrating his latest book, “Everything All at Once: How to Unleash Your Inner Nerd, Tap Into Radical Curiosity and Solve Any Problem,” Nye says his goal is for the reader to develop stronger critical thinking skills to create change, and to “examine every detail of the most difficult problems that look unsolvable that is, until you find the solution.” Nye is a popular guest on both entertainment and news programs, and often speaks about climate change, personal success, and societal and political issues. Joining Nye is Kishore Hari, the Bay Area Science Festival director based out of the University of California, San Francisco. A science educator and former chemist, Hari founded an environmental services company specializing in mercury removal and treatment. He serves as the science correspondent for Tested.com, and is the host of “Inquiring Minds,” the weekly Mother Jones science podcast. Showtime is 1:00 p.m. Ticket prices include a copy of Nye’s book and a bow tie – honest! 

  • Movies Under the Stars

    August 07, 2017

    The Monterey Bay Aquarium invites you to join us for Film Night in the Park. One of San Francisco’s most popular events during the summer and early fall, this outdoor film series has been attended by over 100,000 people since its inception in 2003. All films are free of charge and are screened amidst scenic park surroundings at three different venues: Dolores Park at Dolores and 19th Streets, Union Square, and Washington Square Park in the North Beach neighborhood. The parks are easily accessible via BART/MUNI, and attendees are also encouraged to walk or bike to the events. Director Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” will be showing on August 26 at Washington Square Park at 7:45 p.m. This winner of multiple Oscar and Golden Globe awards has been lauded for breathing new life into classic film genres. Next up in September: Mike Nichol’s iconic satire, “The Graduate,” will show on September 9th in Union Square, and “The Breakfast Club,” director John Hughes’ seminal film about adolescent angst will be screened on September 23rd at Dolores Park. Picnicking before the film is also part of the experience, so be sure to bring plenty of snacks, drinks, and blankets.

  • A Fun and Educational Walking Tour

    July 04, 2017

    San Francisco is home to so many famous attractions that it’s often difficult for guests to choose what sites to visit based on the time available to them. For those guests, and for others who want to do more than take a few photos, a SF Library Walking Tour is one of the best ways to learn the history and discover the essence of the city beneath its veneer. Led by knowledgeable and experienced docents, these free tours are scheduled at various dates and times, and the tour selection includes many of the city’s iconic landmarks and neighborhoods. The Russian Hill and the Castro tours will remind visitors of Armistead Maupin’s “Tales of the City,” and “Harvey Milk.” Chinatown, the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Coit Tower Murals, and City Hall and the Civic Center are also popular. Historic Nob Hill and the Beat Generation’s North Beach are two of the most requested tours, along with the Japanese Tea Garden, and many other historic sites. A list of tours, along with their descriptions, dates, and times can be found here: http://www.sfcityguides.org/current_schedule.html.

  • Chocolate and Art Show Benefits "Artists for Trauma"

    June 05, 2017

    This year, forget the ties, the after-shave, and the campy boxers, and give Dad something he'll remember for years to come – a San Francisco getaway. Father’s Day is an ideal time to visit the city, and Dad can play tourist to his heart’s content. San Francisco is also a city of multicultural festivals and events, many of which help to raise funds and awareness for a variety of organizations, such as the one below. This year’s Chocolate and Art Show will be held at the SOMArts Cultural Center on June 22 – 23, from 8:00 p.m. – 2:00 a.m. Featuring live body and face painting, live music, and live portraits, the show will also feature the work of some of the city’s best new artists. There will be free chocolate for all, and a portion of the proceeds will go to “Artists for Trauma.”

  • Mission Murals: Tour the Art Alleys

    May 01, 2017

    For guests of the Calista who enjoy public art and culture, the Mission Mural Tour is a must-see. A vital part of the city’s public art scene, they are a fascinating mélange of Depression-era WPA art, early 20th century Mexican muralists, and graffiti artists whose work demonstrates a heavy influence by graphic comics and/or pop culture. Balmy Alley and Clarion Alley are where most of the murals are located, but there are many other places in the Mission area to view these, including the back side of residences, and there are hundreds of murals by artists of all ages, ethnicities, and levels of experience. Mural themes vary, but social injustice and frustration with inequity is a popular topic due to the city’s rapidly changing demographics. Others range from the fantastic to the more traditional. The murals are best viewed on foot, so wear comfortable shoes and plan on roaming freely. The area is easily accessed via BART, and a map of nearby stops is available. To schedule your own mural art “staycation,” call us at (415) 287-3657, or visit: http://www.calistaorganichotel.com/

  • Best Bars in San Francisco: Food & Wine Picks

    April 03, 2017

    San Francisco is home to a huge variety of trendy boites and bistros known for cutting-edge design and experts in the art of cocktail-crafting. So, how can tourists new to the city select one, two, or even a few during their stay? Food & Wine magazine recently solved this dilemma by searching out the best destination bars in the U.S. Their list of “50 Best Bars in America” includes seven of San Francisco’s own, and the three below are less than 20 minutes away from the Calista Organic Hotel. Rich Table keeps it fresh and local. Try the Tiger Lily cocktail – it’s a dreamy blend of blood oranges, Blanco tequila, Aperol, and Mexican Liqueur. For reservations, call (415) 355-9085. Beretta is popular for its upscale pizza and its impressive cocktails. A base of absinthe and rum mixed with bitters, lime, and maraschino makes the Dolores Park Swizzle an interesting choice. Call (415) 695-1199 for details. With its reputation for excellent modern Vietnamese food, and cocktails that complement the menu, the Slanted Door features such libations as the Pisco Apricot Tropical. Call (415) 861-8032.

  • Book Now for Bargains

    March 06, 2017

    One of the best travel bargains in San Francisco, the Calista Organic Hotel is featuring more savings in March with our special packages listed below.   Shopping Spree Package: From $599 Begin your three-night stay with a bottle of organic wine and concierge services for shopping in Union Square, home to Macy’s, Barneys NY, Bloomingdales, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom's, Saks Fifth Avenue and Westfield SF Centre. Rest and refresh at any of the square’s enormous selection of restaurants, outdoor cafes, and coffee shops. Use rate code "Organic3."   Winter Getaway: From $999 Want to spend more time in our fabulous city? Opt for the six-night package and get the same concierge services for Union Square shopping, along with a bottle of red or white organic wine. Use rate code "Organic6."   Loyalty Program We love our returning guests, and, to show our appreciation for their loyalty, we offer rewards of valuable points with every stay. Each reservation gets you closer to a new reward.   Our Shopping Package and the Winter Getaway are only available until April 1, so make your reservations soon! To make reservations, or for more details, email: reservations@calistasf.com, or call us at (415) 287-3657.

  • Valentine's Day for Wine Lovers

    February 06, 2017

    Whether you’re a couple of hopeful singles on your first date, or a long-married couple celebrating an anniversary, there is nothing more romantic than sipping wine together. Fortunately, the city offers more boites and bistros than you can shake a decanter at, and the three below are only minutes away from the Calista Organic Hotel. Located at 476 Castro Street, Blush! Wine Bar was inspired by European wine bars and offers over 50 wines by the glass. High marks are consistently garnered for service, ambience, and wine selection. Call (415) 558-0893, or visit: http://www.blushwinebar.com/home. The Etcetera Wine Bar at 795 Valencia Street features a large selection of wines by regions, along with knowledgeable servers, and some tasty tapas. Fun, trendy music and a laid-back vibe is ideal for first dates. Call (415) 926-5477 or visit: http://etceterawinebar.com/. Listed in Food & Wine’s “Best New Places to Drink Wine,” Gourmet & More is ideal for those who prefer BYO. Located at 141 Gough Street, their back patio is a great setting for pairing your wine with fine (primarily French) cheeses from their cellar. Call (415) 874-9133 or visit: https://gourmetandmorestore.com/.

  • Get Your Flix Fix at the Castro Theater

    January 09, 2017

    Minutes away from the Calista Organic Hotel, the Castro Theater is a notable city landmark, and a Mecca for cinephiles. This January, the theater will show its regular movie calendar, but will also present NOIR CITY 15 from January 20-29. An annual tradition, NOIR CITY features ten days of the best noir from some of the industry’s most respected directors. This year’s theme is “The Big Knockover,” and portrays the history of the heist from the 1950’s to 2015. The 24-film selection will include such Hollywood heavyweights as “The Asphalt Jungle” and “Criss Cross,” along with British director Basil Dearden’s iconic “The League of Gentlemen.” Also showing will be Argentinian director Fabián Bielinsky’s neo-noir thriller, “El Aura,” which cemented Bielinsky’s name in the industry. Additional films include Takumi Furukawa’s “Cruel Gun Story,” Jules Dassin’s “Rififi,” Mario Monicelli’s “Big Deal on Madonna Street,” and Claude Sautet’s “Classe Tous Risques,” all selections of the prestigious Criterion Collection. The Castro Theater is located at 429 Castro Street. Call (415) 621-6120 for details, or visit: www.castrotheatre.com/p-list.html

  • Close to the Calista: Three Great Breakfast/Brunch Stops Within Walking Distance

    December 05, 2016

    San Francisco has a ton of terrific restaurants, and some of the best places for brunch and breakfast are mere steps away from the hotel. Check out our suggestions below for nearby scrumptious eats. The Pink Elephant Alibi at 142 Minna St. is famous for its Bottomless Mimosa Bar with pour-it-yourself champagne and a huge selection of juices (including jalapeno, watermelon, mango, coconut, and guava), their delicious food (Sassy Bacon, Salmon Eggs Benedict), and their loud, youthful vibe. It's a great choice for a boozy brunch. In the mood to grab n’ go? Stroll over to 100 Van Ness Ave. and pick up some of The Corridor Café’s famous “Cruffins” and one of their distinctive coffees or lattes. For more substantial fare, order their mushroom breakfast burrito – it’s served with green chile crème fraiche, cheddar cheese, and a side of tater tots. For a jazzy, New Orleans-style breakfast, come to Brenda’s French Soul Food at 652 Polk St. They serve up large portions of Catfish Eggs Benedict, Grillades with Grits, fried chicken, and Crawfish Beignets, along with a tasty gumbo made with chicken, sausage, and okra.

  • The Best Bargain for Your San Francisco Staycation

    November 07, 2016

    Swear off the overpriced hotels with all those amenities you'll never use, and check into the Calista Organic Hotel instead. Our modern efficiencies are clean and comfortable, with kitchenettes that include refrigerators, coffee/tea makers, and microwaves. You’ll enjoy daily housekeeping, cable television, and complimentary Wi-Fi too. Best of all, you’re only a few minutes away from Fisherman’s Wharf, Market Street, Union Square, Lombard Street, and Lafayette Park, among many other world famous attractions in the Bay Area and beyond. You’ll find an enormous selection of eateries, clubs, and other entertainment options, most within walking distance. Our friendly staff is happy to assist with everything from restaurant or club suggestions to directions for those unfamiliar with the area. We’re also near local grocers and some of the best takeout in the city, if you’re in the mood for a quieter evening. Next time you travel to San Francisco, be good to yourself and your wallet, and make the Calista Organic Hotel your preferred staycation location.

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