Grab the ladies and plan a weekend in San Fran’s Chinatown. (Photo: Alamy)
Need a little R&R with the girls? Whether you’re the group that’s looking to relax at the spa or eat your way through a city, San Francisco has something for your crew. If you’re planning a girls’ getaway in the City by the Bay, you’d better pencil in a day to visit Chinatown. From delicious dim sum to shopping that’ll make you feel like you’re in an actual Asian bazaar, this booming hotspot packs all the best parts of a fun vacation wrapped into one. Get exploring!
Arts & Culture
Looking to learn a little about Buddhism and Chinese culture? Buddha’s Universal Church offers tours of the church grounds, including the main auditorium, the Chapel of the Bamboo Grove and garden areas. In the chapel, there’s an image of Buddha, positioned to represent his desire for humanity to live a life free of turmoil. Depending on your visit, you may be able to catch the bilingual musical play the church puts on in February and March. The plays are put in on celebration of the Chinese New Year and feature colorful costumes, martial arts and homemade food.
After leaving the church, head southeast to Bush St. to visit Shakris Fine Asian Works of Art. The gallery is packed with authentic Asian antiques and pieces of art – including everything from early ceramic pieces and metalwork from the 1st century to historical photographs depicting life in Asia in the early 1900s. Spend an hour or two browsing the gallery – learning a bit of history while taking in the art.
Chinatown Restaurants Worth the Visit
What’s a trip to Chinatown without some dim sum? Considered the Chinese version of Spanish tapas, dim sum is all about sharing with others and is a meal meant to be casual and slow (and served with tea!). Pass around the steamed pork dumplings and the barbecue pork-stuffed steam buns. While chopsticks are preferred, if you’re skills aren’t up to snuff, use a fork to pick up these delicious morsels.
Next stop on the Chinatown restaurant journey with your girls is House of Nanking. Start off with a bowl of the hot and sour soup and then order up the hot, crispy beef served over bok choi or the crispy noodle tower with chicken. Keep in mind that parking is limited around the restaurant, so public transportation may be the best bet for you and your crew.
Shop ’til You Drop
What is a girls’ getaway to San Francisco without a little shopping? Located in the center of Chinatown, the Canton Bazaar is your one-stop-shop for browsing and buying. Sure, it may be a little touristy, but there’s ton of good deals you don’t want to pass up. From musical instruments and traditional costumes to chopsticks and tea sets to take home, this place has it all. Give yourself a few hours to explore, as there are three floors packed with goods.