Start at the city-center oasis of Yerba Buena gardens, the series of terraced pavilions and squares with outdoor gardens and indoor cultural treasures. Ogle the Contemporary Jewish Museum’s Daniel Libeskind–designed building, a diamond-shaped gallery tacked onto a former power station, which opened last year.
Walk across a glass-covered bridge to access SF MoMA's Rooftop Sculpture Garden, a 14,500-square-foot space added this summer, where works by Ellsworth Kelly, Henry Moore, and Alexander Calder are on display. Follow up with high tea at the Samovar Tea Lounge, where everything from Argentine Mate to Indian Chai is served on an elegant terrace overlooking Yerba Buena itself.
Stroll through Mint Plaza, the 2007 urban-regentrification project that has transformed the former slum into a Euro-style complex of alfresco piazzas anchored around San Francisco's historic 135-year-old Old Mint building. Lounge in dozens of bright-orange chairs by British designer Jasper Morrison and watch the street performers and weekly world-music concerts, or sip an espresso at the newly installed Chez Papa Resto.