Don’t bother with a cab―plenty of the city’s new favorites are a stroll from the hotel. Just inside the Presidio, the Presidio Social Club ($$; 563 Ruger St.; 415/885-1888) is a swank retro diner where ordering a Pisco punch with a brunch of biscuits and gravy can make a funny sort of sense. On sunny days, soak up the scene on the front patio at Nettie’s Crab Shack ($$; 2032 Union St.; 415/409- 0300), an instant hit with its bright cottage charm and killer lobster roll. Over by Fillmore, the second outpost of Mission icon Pizzeria Delfina ($$; 2406 California St.; 415/440-1189) has opened, and locals line up into the night for blistered pizzas with a judicious toss of, say, prosciutto, arugula, and fresh mozzarella.
Not much beats a vacation―except for maybe a vacation from your vacation. To hide out for a while, duck into the Presidio’s SenSpa (1161 Gorgas Ave.; senspa.com or 415/441-1777), a sophisticated retreat that’s all curved bamboo walls and trickling water walls. After hiking up and down the city’s hills, your tingling legs will be ready for a serious deep-tissue massage (from $70).