Advice | December 31, 2018 9:00 am

Our 23 Favorite SF Stories of 2018

Consider this a cheat sheet to everything you missed

Well, that’s done.

We hope your 2018 was filled with spectacular sights, delicious meals, big wins and good company.

As for our year? It was a doozy (the good kind!), as evidenced by our 23 favorite stories from the year that was.

From partying at Alcatraz (yep, it’s available to rent) to sleeping under the redwoods to to the go-to meals of eight (count ’em) local Michelin-starred chefs, these recommendations are worth revisiting.

Here’s hoping for all good things in the year to come.


We ate like kings
Is there anywhere better to eat in the world than S.F.? (Nope.) If you’re not convinced, start with these breakfast, lunch and dinner picks from eight Michelin-starred chefs, including David Barzelay, Michael Mina and Dominique Crenn. Want a few more recs from Joshua Skenes, the guy behind Saison and Angler (you know, the restaurant Esquire recently named the year’s best opening)? Here you go. And by the way, our favorite single thing to eat in town? That’d be ice cream at Salt & Straw. Here’s where founder Tyler Malek likes to eat.

August Hall

We partied like princes
We found the absolute no-holds-barred best party venues in the Bay Area, including the site of Bachmanity: yes, you can rent out Alcatraz Island. (And Hearst Castle. And S.F.’s former Federal Reserve building.) We visited the city’s best music venues (RIP, Mission Elbo Room). Does brunch count as partying? It does. So here are our favorites.

Bay Area Ridge Trail by David Baron

We went outside
Is it correlation or causation that the region that built the tech industry offers unparalleled access to the great outdoors? This year, we checked out the Bay’s best wildflower hikes (get ready, it’s nearly time for these again). We glamped our way from Mendocino to Giant Sequoia (gotta love those thread counts). And we woke up sweat-free even at the height of summer/festival season in the Siesta2 tent (find it here).  

Tech Folio

We suited up
Gotta get the right gear to get the job done. We found the best bag for commuters (or maybe it’s this one?). To get our mind right, we checked into the Bay’s best camps for adults. Oh, and you said you still needed a winter jacket? We’ve got plenty. And if you were wondering what kind of gear a woodworker — or cowboy — needs to get the job done, we can tell you those things as well.

Noyo Harbor Inn

We explored our home
We headed north to Fort Bragg, an ideal destination for surf-kayaking and ghost-hunting. We drank wine all over the place, but took special pleasure in it in the new Napa (aka the Santa Cruz Mountains). Speaking of, we also headed to the newest luxe hotel up Highway 29 way, soaking tubs non-optional. We discovered the oceanside architectural mecca of Sea Ranch. We kayaked through Monterey Bay on a mission: whales. And we checked into 18 hotels to dole out awards for everything from the best apres-ski scene in Tahoe to the absolute sexiest hotel experience.

Lars and the Real Girl

We got our acts together
So there are about six weeks left until Valentine’s Day. In February 2018, we ran an interview with a dating coach titled “How Not to Be Single By Next Valentine’s Day.” You still have time. Lock that down if you like — if you’re thinking more backpack and beaches than carpools and kids, get a look at the month’s best airfares. See you in Gstaad, friends.

Main image from Unsplash