The City is Lit This Holiday Season From Thanksgiving through New Year’s Day, San Francisco will be aglow with dozens of eco-friendly, light art installations. The Illuminate SF Festival of Lights, now in its fifth year, brings works from local and world-renowned light artists to San Francisco’s neighborhoods. The installations come to life at dusk and will turn any evening on the town into a magical adventure. The light art can be found along the waterfront, in North Beach, Civic Center, Central Market, the Inner Sunset, SoMa, Potrero, Mission Bay, Bayview, Golden Gate Park, the Mission District and even San Francisco International Airport (SFO). Meanwhile at 781 Beach St... The Cartoon Art Museum has a new location. After closing its doors on Mission Street in 2015, the museum had a series of pop-up exhibits around San Francisco but it’s parking its collection of approximately 7,000 pieces of original artwork—from comic strips, comic books and anime to political cartoons, graphic novels and underground comix—at 781 Beach St. Its new digs provide nearly 8,000 square feet of spacious galleries with a screening area, classrooms, bookstore, library and collections facility. The 1912 brick building is just one block from Aquatic Park, the Maritime Museum, Ghirardelli Square and the Hyde Street cable car turnaround. Bloody Mary Mixes and More Foodie Finds Looking for a tasty souvenir or a great gift? There are some fun options from local spots. You can finally bring the Cliff House home with you! If you've ever enjoyed their flaky popover rolls, the historic restaurant is selling baking mix so you make your own at home. They're also bottling a mix version of its famous Bloody Mary cocktail — a long-time staple of their legendary brunch. (Spectacular ocean views are not included.) Speaking of historic restaurants, the Tadich Grill, the oldest restaurant in California, is selling a bottled version of its signature Bloody Mary mix, which is available at the restaurant and online. To round out a homemade San Francisco brunch, you can recreate the famous Swedish-style pancakes from Sears Fine Foods with their new ready-made mix. They serve more than 11,000 pancakes per day at their Union Square location, so you should be able to serve up a few at your house with ease. Made Only in San Francisco Whether you’re shopping for gifts or want to treat yourself this holiday season, you’re sure to find that perfect something at the SFMade Holiday Gift Fair in December. The annual event features more than 50 local vendors selling everything from artisanal chocolate, fine wine and spirits, handcrafted furniture, custom bicycles, trendy clothing and just about anything else you might want. Even better, everything is made right here in San Francisco. Cheers to Beer Week For 10 days each February, SF Beer Week brings a sudsy array of nearly 600 events to San Francisco including beer dinners, cheese and beer pairing events, special releases, meet the brewer evenings, homebrewing demonstrations, music, films and even a museum exhibition exploring the history of the Bay Area’s brewing heritage. For the mother of all beer events, be sure to attend the opening gala, hosted by The SF Brewers Guild, where you can try limited releases and other crafts from over 100 San Francisco-based breweries. New Places to Stay From SoMa to Fisherman’s Wharf, there's a stylish crop of new hotels popping up around the city. The mega-brand Virgin just opened a 196-suite hotel in SoMa at Fourth and Folsom. It features a rooftop bar and Virgin’s popular The Commons Club. For more stunning views, try Hotel VIA in South Beach, which debuted in June, and overlooks AT&T Park and the bay. San Francisco Proper, a luxury lifestyle hotel, opened this fall in the “Twitterhood.” In Fisherman’s Wharf, the boutique Hotel Zoe opened in March and offers 221 yacht-inspired guest rooms. This December, Yotel San Francisco with its 203 “cabins,” featuring skyline views and super fast Wi-Fi, debuts at 1095 Market. Sports Galore Don’t miss the trifecta of sports happening in the San Francisco area: football, basketball…and rugby?! That’s right. In addition to the 49ers kicking off their season a couple months ago and the Warriors currently playing one of their last seasons in Oakland’s Oracle Arena (before moving to the new Chase Center for the 2019-20 season), San Francisco will be home to the 2018 Rugby Sevens World Cup. Held every four years, the best international rugby players will compete at AT&T Park for the coveted Melrose Cup. Although the Sevens won’t happen until July 20-22, 2018 tickets are limited and you’ll want to buy them soon before they sell out.
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