At first glance Frisco is a city without a clear narrative, swinging from late 19th Century Gold Rush greed to flowers in your hair hippie free love and now home to techpreneurs from Twitter to Instagram. What's the common theme? An over-riding sense of what might be possible when groups of like-minded individuals put their minds to something. It's this vibe that has attracted so many migrants over the years, and what makes this one of the most downright uplifting places in the world. You may well want to overstay your welcome...

DINE

Enjoy some of the best American cooking complimented by THE best American wines from nearby Napa and Sonoma Valleys (definitely worth a day trip) at the Salt House. Add a seductive atmosphere and an extremely good art collection and this is the perfect place to take the other half. Order the melt-in-mouth ribeye steak with a bottle of Oracle cab sauv from Napa.

tram in san francisco

DRINK

So you've sampled the wines of Sonoma, now head to the hippie Haights for another Bay Area beverage of choice - craft beer - at Toronado, where you can pick a pint from around 60 draught beers including cask ales, 10% Strong Belgian Pales and nitro stouts (nope, me neither). The management encourage punters to refuel on delicious merguez sausages with giardiniera, onions and honey mustard from neighbouring Rosamunde's Sausage Grill.

PARTY

EDM or Electronic Dance Music (as the Americans so romantically describe it) continues its irresistible sweep across the US from Miami via Vegas to the west coast, and clubbers can always fulfill their four-to-the-floor fix in Frisco, but we're going with a venue that focuses on live acts. Check the listings at The Chapel for anything from Ethiopian jazz to gospel and good old-fashioned rock and indie.

SEE

We know our very own Banksy visited the Bay because the external wall of the Public Works, an event space in the Mission, features an unmistakable example of his oeuvre. The Public Works works so well because several of the US's finest street artists have since embellished the wall creating a supercool collage.

san francisco

DO

Consider the ultimate hangover cure after all that grape and grain. The Dolphin Club, formed back in the 1877, organises regular - and extremely bracing - swims in the Bay. It's possible to arrange a day pass.

golden gate bridge

AVOID

The millions of other tourists in town. That means either missing out on Alcatraz, the sealions at Pier 39, the Swan Oyster Depot and all the other classics, or being a bit canny about when and how you visit (with our help of course).

colourful street

WHEN IN…

Tell anyone and everyone you recycle. In Frisco, displaying your lack of environmental credentials is tantamount to burning the Stars and Stripes.

WHEN?

Because if Frisco has a chink in the armour it's the weather - come in summer and the fog rolling in off the Bay is a bummer, but in winter it's another excuse to seek out the nearest hipster hangout and enjoy a drink.