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If you haven’t visited the glorious City by the Bay in a while, fall is a perfect time! Ironically, autumn typically offers some of the Bay Area’s best weather, with daytime temps averaging in the mid-60s and nighttime lows in the mid-50s. Afternoons are usually clear, perfect for exploring one of the world’s most beautiful cities. California municipalities have enacted protective measures against COVID-19, but many businesses and parks are open — and are welcoming visitors with open arms.

Rely on Our Expertise to Plan Your Stay

Our Equity Estates residence has one of the best locations in the city, conveniently located within walking distance of North Beach restaurants, Fisherman’s Wharf and numerous landmarks. Our Local Host lives in the area and is an expert on where to go and what to do. Business hours, re-openings and transportation schedules are changing daily during the pandemic, so our Local Host can help you plan your stay — meaning you won’t need to worry about what is open and how to get around! We’ve created a sample three-day itinerary to give you some ideas on how to enjoy this fabulous destination during these uncertain times.

Day One: Bike Tour

One of the best ways to explore San Francisco is via bicycle, either under your own pedal power — or if you want to cover more distance without too much exertion, try an electric bike. You have several options for where to go. If you’ve never walked or biked across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, this is a must-do. Book a bike tour with Bay City Bike and choose their “Golden Gate Bridge to Sausalito Tour,” which begins in Fisherman’s Wharf. From there, you’ll ride along the attractive waterfront and enjoy stunning views of Alcatraz Island, cross over the city’s famous landmark bridge, and then roll into picturesque Sausalito. After exploring for a bit, you’ll hop on a ferry for a leisurely trip back to the Wharf.

Another fun option is to tour the city’s fascinating neighborhoods and sights on Bay City Bike’s “Streets of San Francisco Electric Bike Tour.” This four-hour tour takes you through North Beach’s “Little Italy,” around the Giant’s Oracle Ballpark, through the Mission District, past the famous “Painted Ladies” of Alamo Square, the Civic Center and more. Most of the ride is relatively flat, but you’ll appreciate the electric pedal assist that will make getting up steep Bay Area hills a breeze.

These are just a few of the guided tour options Bay City Bikes offers, so you’re sure to find a tour that fits your time allotment and interests. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can rent bikes and head out on a self-guided tour (the shop can provide you with maps and route suggestions). From your residence, you can walk to the bike shop in just 15 minutes.

Where to Refuel

Whichever tour you choose, you will work up an appetite! Since all the bike tours begin and end in Fisherman’s Wharf, you won’t need to walk far to find somewhere to tuck into a delicious meal. Open restaurants are offering outdoor dining (with limited indoor dining, depending on current health orders). Many restaurants on Pier 39, known for its playful, frolicking sea lions, are open with marvelous views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and the Bay. The legendary sourdough baker, Boudin Bakery Cafe, is open (multiple locations), as well as Fog Harbor Fish House, Wipeout Bar & Grill and Pier Market Seafood Restaurant.

Tip: Check websites and call ahead to confirm hours since things change often. Many Bay Area restaurants have recently reopened for limited indoor dining, so it’s best to make a reservation.

Day Two: Explore Muir Woods National Monument

There’s no better way to spend a crisp fall day than exploring the 558-acre Muir Woods National Monument, one of the Bay Area’s last remaining ancient redwood forests. Walk among towering redwoods on boardwalks and paths that meander through the park as Steller’s jays chatter back and forth overhead. The main trail is an easy two-mile walk with minimal elevation change. Since 2018, the Monument requires online reservations to park a vehicle, so plan ahead — or let our Local Host do it for you!

A stress-free way to reach the park is via a shuttle. Operators such as San Francisco Shuttle Tours offers two options: a “Muir Woods with Ferry Cruise” tour that takes you to Muir Woods and then stops in Sausalito for an hour before returning to the city via ferry. The second tour is a full day of sightseeing, with guided walks in Chinatown and Golden Gate Park, plus multiple stops at almost every city landmark for photo ops. (Note: passengers are required to wear facemasks).

If you prefer a more customized, personal adventure, check out Bespoke Experiences, which offers private four to eight-hour tours in luxury vehicles. You tell them what you’d like to see, and they will plan a custom itinerary.

Where to Refuel

In addition to the multiple options we noted earlier around Fisherman’s Wharf, several notable Bay Area restaurants are also welcoming diners. Sotto Mare, a family-run, old-school Italian eatery just a six-minute walk from Equity Estate’s residence, has been wowing hungry patrons with its “Best Damn Crab Cioppino in San Francisco” for decades! For a more upscale night out, spend an evening overlooking the Bay and enjoying some of the area’s best seafood at the Waterbar. Another wonderful patio dining experience is Boulevard, which is housed in a historic building on the Embarcadero with sweeping Bay views.

Day Three: Golden Gate Park and Land’s End

No trip to San Francisco is complete without spending some time in these spectacular parks. To create more shared public space where residents and visitors can spend time safely outside, San Francisco has recently implemented a Slow Streets Program — and Golden Gate State Park is included. The program blocks off several streets throughout the city to vehicle traffic, making it easier and more enjoyable for pedestrians and bicyclists to move about.

If you’re not worn-out from your bike tour on Day One, renting a bike is a fabulous way to explore the 1,017-acre park’s lakes and meadows. A fun alternative is to glide around on a Segway tour (check first to see if tours are operating). Or simply pick up a picnic lunch at the Whole Foods near the park’s eastern end and spend the day strolling around, relishing the fresh sea air and appealing surroundings.

For an unparalleled experience, spend some time exploring Land’s End, which is usually less busy than the area’s more well-known parks. Part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Land’s End is on San Francisco’s northwest corner, overlooking the channel that flows under the Golden Gate Bridge. Follow the trails that wind their way around rocky cliffs dotted with wildflowers and under cypress and eucalyptus trees. Prepare to be dazzled as you come around each turn when breathtaking views of the ocean, headlands, bridge and coastline greet you!

Be sure to save time to visit the Sutro Historic District, where six lavish saltwater swimming pools, restaurants, 517 private dressing rooms and arcades enclosed by 100,000 square feet of glass once existed. Now in ruins, the facility was a popular attraction dating back to 1894 and could accommodate thousands of swimmers at a time. You can still see the grand baths’ concrete remains just north of the Cliff House, an iconic restaurant dating back to the 1800s (temporarily closed).

Tip: Many parks are open, but some visitor centers and other indoor spaces are currently closed. For example, outdoor tours are open on Alcatraz Island, but no indoor tours are running. Check the park websites for the most current information.

Where to Refuel

Head back to your elegant Equity Estates residence to relax and order savory takeout from any number of restaurants such as Chong Qing Xiao Mian (just minutes away). If pizza sounds better, order from an award-winning North Beach institution, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana. Enjoy a glass of wine in the apartment’s lovely shared common garden area with a table firepit as you reflect on your wonderful three-day vacation in one of the world’s most beautiful cities!

Your visit to San Francisco with Equity Estates can be anything and everything you’ve dreamed about. If you are an investor with Equity Estates, contact your Personal Travel Concierge to learn more about your Napa Valley vacation.

If you would like more information about investing with Equity Estates, please reach out to our Investor Relations team at 404.445.8501 or tap this link to schedule a call.

With warmer days on the rise, employees are cashing in their vacation time, packing their suitcases, and undoubtedly regretting their passport photos. Items that are not making it into the suitcase? Laptops, tablets, and even cell phones.

Just five years ago a resort could not expect to stay open without Wi-Fi. The opposite is now the case.

According to Forbes, in an age where media constantly surrounds us, travelers are now choosing more secluded spots and retreating to the hidden corners of the globe for some much needed R&R.

Vacation doesn’t just mean getting away from your job, but also the buzz of a text message, those pesky Facebook notifications and yet another voicemail for a wrong number. Better yet, vacation is now seen as a time to block out the digital noise and spend some quality time with mother nature and the people right in front of you– what an antiquated concept!

What’s more, overtly touristy activities and hot spots have cooled. Today’s traveler no longer wants to be herded on a tour with hundreds of other foreigners—they long to delve into the local scene and walk away with a culturally enriching experience signature to the destination they chose to visit.

Thailand and Costa Rica are just two of the many locations Equity Estates investors escape to to truly leave the tourist grid. Read on for our recommendations and expert tips from our local hosts.

THAILAND: If you’re overworked and overstressed, balance out at this underrated, underdeveloped paradise.

  • Explore the surrounding islands – The Phang Nga Bay island group has 67 islands and is located between the island of Phucket and the mainland of the Malay peninsula of southern Thailand. One of the most famous islands is Khao Phing Kan, which many call the “James Bond Island” because the James Bond movie The Man with the Golden Gun was shot there. Home to the protected Ao Phang Nga National Park, beautiful scenery abounds in every direction. The park also safeguards the largest area of the native mangrove forest in Thailand.
  • Ride through the jungle – Rent a motorbike or a scooter for as little as 200 Baht (that’s just under $6.00) and blaze your own trail! Head to Koh Lanta and stroll down the main roads, or, venture further out for a grand adventure. Since the area is largely underdeveloped, the mountains and forests are free to thrive and provide a challenge for those biking and hiking—but the captivating scenery is worth the burn!
  • PRO TIP from an Equity Estates Local Host – “In the past, some Equity Estates members have really enjoyed the Gibbon sanctuary. Guests get the opportunity to volunteer for the sanctuary where they get to care for rescued gibbons. Additionally, the area is jam-packed with Thailand’s cultural heritage and visitors can explore local temples, village markets, and learn about Buddhist history and philosophy. When finished, feel free to mosey down to the coast for some snorkeling fun over the coral reefs where turtles and sparkling reef fish flourish. Other Equity Estates members have had a blast on John Gray Hong’s starlight sea canoe trip. They saw fantastic limestone scenery, monkeys, mud skippers, hornbills, and – well you’ll just have to see the rest for yourself!”

COSTA RICA: If you need to recharge, consider this your outlet!

  • Explore the Nicoya Peninsula – Costa Rica’s Nicoya Peninsula is one of the world’s Blue Zones. Visitors will find breathtaking beaches, bright sunshine, and residents who live longer and happier lives than the average. The land is rich with unique, nutrient-filled fruits, which may attribute to the fact that the cancer rate is the lowest in the country. The area is not heavily populated and thus remains largely untouched – perfect for exploring! Monkeys, sloths, marine turtles, iguanas, dolphins, and manta rays are just a few of the critters found in this region. The Nicoyan towns are also celebrated among wellness and yoga devotees. They are called “digital detox” spots because the remote location allows people to unplug themselves from their devices and get in touch with their inner selves.
  • Drive to Cabuya Island – While the natives who are most familiar with Cabuya are supposedly dead, their spirits live on in the island. The island is also a cemetery that can only be reached at low tide. Legend says the island is haunted by ghosts and those who are brave enough will light a candle and take a walk along the shore. Want to know more about this local legend and others? Each Equity Estates member has access to a local host wherever they go. They are local, long term residents who can help find hidden gems and off the beaten path activities.
  • PRO TIP from an Equity Estates Local Host – “The hike to the top of the active Rincón de la Vieja volcano is strenuous and challenging, but extremely rewarding. I consider it to be one of the best hikes in Central America. On the way up, you’ll see plenty of classic Costa Rican vegetation and wildlife- monkeys are often very active along this trail and it is marked with several beautiful waterfalls. There’s a ton of geothermic activity here, including boiling mud pots, hot springs and steam vents.”

*Heading into its 10th successful year, Equity Estates is the first and largest equity destination club in the U.S. Equity Estates is a vacation home alternative, offering all of the benefits of home ownership without any of the hassles. Its investors enjoy years of concierge supported travel before they divest. A globetrotter’s dream with more than 60 private luxury homes spanning 25 countries, Equity Estates’ mission is to deliver measurable and memorable returns.