In San Francisco, the Chinatown restaurants offer exotic flavors from Canton, Hunan and other Asian cuisines like Thai and Vietnamese.
Chinatown sprouted from the area originally settled as Alta California. A Swiss engineer laid out La Calle de la Fundacion (now Grant Ave.) in 1839 when he plotted the original town (from Sacramento to Pacific and Grant to Montgomery).
Portsmouth Square was the central plaza for this already multi-national population. The small lot size and quirky streets of that era can still be found in the maze of dead-end alleys at the heart of Chinatown.
Hang Ah Tea Room
Image courtesy of Urban Spoon
One of the Chinatown restaurants that is almost obscure in just such a place is the oldest Chinese restaurant in San Francisco, Hang Ah Tea Room. Since 1920 Hang Ah, located at #1 Pagoda Place (about a block from Portsmouth Square), has been handing out flyers on the street and guiding lucky people into this hidden gem.
Here you can enjoy the Dim Sum at your leisure. You can find many items on the menu that are familiar:
- Kung Bow Chicken
- Egg Rolls
- Pot Stickers
And there are equally delightful but more exotic:
- Hum Su Guk
- Su Mi
- Law Bock Gow
Try the usual or stretch your horizons and try the unfamiliar but don't miss the Egg Custard Buns. A take out order of these sweet treats are nice to have while you visit San Francisco.
Hang Ah Team Room location:
#1 Pagoda Place (off Sacramento between Stockton and Grant) SF, CA
Open daily 10am to 10pm
Great Eastern Restaurant
There is no doubt that this is one of the restaurants in San Francisco where your seafood is as fresh as it gets. You're assured of this because dinner is still swimming, in one of the fish-tanks that adorn the dining area, when you arrive.
The menu is very large, with items like:
- Spiced Salted Baked Duck Tongue
- Chinese Herb and Crocodile Soup
But what they excel at is the Cantonese style clay-pot cooking. The meal's ingredients are placed in an unglazed ceramic pot that has been soaking in water. Cooked slowly, with low heat, in the oven so the food stays moist and retains its flavor. Who can resist gustatory delights such as:
- Sea Cucumber and fresh assorted mushrooms in clay pot
- Dried Lily Flower and Cloud mushrooms in clay pot
- Sizzling Fresh Frog in clay pot
Great Eastern Restaurant location:
649 Jackson St. (near Kearny) SF, CA
Open daily 11am to 1am
Yuet Lee Sea Food Restaurant
Image courtesy of Trip Advisor
Yuet Lee is one of those restaurants in San Francisco that you will love.
The food is consistently fresh and delicious with a large menu that features seasonal delights like:
- Live Boston Lobster
- Fresh New Zealand Mussels
- Fresh Frogs (sautéed or steamed with ham)
And if the service is brusque, it is fast and efficient. There are two things to keep in mind about Yuet Lee Seafood restaurant.
Yuet Lee Seafood Restaurant location:
1300 Stockton St.
Open Wednesday through Monday 11am to 3am
Brandy Ho's Hunan Food
This photo of Brandy Ho's Hunan Food is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Chinese style country cooking is what you find at Brandy Ho's. The Hunan cuisine relies heavily on garlic and spices, with an emphasis on smoked meats.
The smoking is done on-site and no MSG is used in any of the food. Fresh ingredients and classic Hunan recipes are used to bring you the authentic taste of central China.
Try the smoked ham that is cooked in a wok with garlic, spring onions and bamboo shoots for a simple meal that delivers the true Hunan style fare. The extensive menu offers some delicious surprises and many familiar favorites.
Brandy Ho's Hunan Food location:
217 Columbus (near Pacific between Grant and Kearny)
Lunch - Monday through Friday - 11:30am to 3pm
The Exotic Flavors of Chinatown Restaurants
The above reviews of Chinatown restaurants are just to give you an idea of the wide variety of ethnic and regional cuisines available.
There are many places to eat within a few blocks of each other, all serving delicious Asian delicacies in many styles. The oldest part of the City by the Bay still contains some of the best restaurants in San Francisco.
Experience the delicacies of Chinatown when you Visit San Francisco on Mauiva's California Tour Package. Enjoy a night out on the town and stop by some of our favorite restaurants and delight in some of the best Chinatown cuisine you've seen.
Former Mauiva AirCruise travel host and current travel writer, Bettina Gordon reviews her experience visiting Niagara Falls the Mauiva way. Read on for an excerpt from her in-depth reflection of her watery wanderings.
"I decide to let go of the rail and raise my face so the water hits me straight on and makes breathing difficult. I sway, hit the person next to me, try to stand up straight again and get doused with another wave of raindrops. Can’t stop smiling from ear to ear. I want to be part of a most intense natural performance that has been going on for millennia. I want to feel it, smell it, inhale it. Nothing but falling short of going over board will do.
Best 30 seconds I’ve had in a long time."
For the full review, check out more on Bettina's blog.
Once you're done reading, you may just find yourself ready to see the Horseshoe Falls in person! Let us help you plan your next trip!
And now, coming in at 34 feet in diameter and an astounding 209 feet tall, The Grizzly Giant!
Nestled in Mariposa Grove, California of Yosemite National Park, this giant Sequoia is known worldwide and is estimated to be “born” around 700 B.C.E.
The majesty and grandeur of the massive sequoias (or Sequoiadendron giganteum) that sprinkle the Grove are evident, but there are more than just sticks and leaves to these barkin’ old trees.
Image courtesy of U.S. National Park Service
How to See It
Mariposa Road Grove is an often-travelled two-mile path that is open to visitors April through November. In the chillier months, visitors can still access the road, but not by vehicle.
If you prefer a guided excursion, our California tour package has you covered! Let us take you on an unforgettable trek of the iconic park and revel in the natural splendor.
What You Will See
One of the many, and even famous, trees guests will see on their tour is the Fallen Monarch. Popularized by a photograph takes in 1899 of U.S. Cavalry officers sitting on their horses on top of the fallen tree, the tree remains there today.
Next up is the Bachelor and Three Graces. This coniferous tree houses many small cones that have 200 tiny flat seeds within, which allows for germination throughout the famous National Park.
Finally, you will see the Grizzly Giant, which is one of the largest in the Grove. Other sightings will include the California Tunnel Tree, the Faithful Couple, the Clothespin Tree, and the Galen Clark Tree.
Did You Know?
According to travel site AllTrips, Yosemite Mariposa Grove was first discovered by Galen Clark, a homesteader in Wawona, when he happened upon these Giant Sequoias. He named the grove after the California county where the grove is located.
And, that's not all! Mariposa Grove and Yosemite National Park is just one of the many great places Mauiva AirCruise travels on the West Coast. With us, you will experience a multi-city adventure tour all via private plane. Or, if you're interested in selling our tour packages then visit our new b2b travel site to learn about all the opportunities that are available to agents and agencies!
Reach out to us any time! We’re always connected.
With Valentine’s Day upon us, San Francisco is the perfect place to celebrate love! There are a variety of activities for all ages. Some that highlight the amorous holiday and others that let you just relax.
In fact, February 8th through the 17th marks San Francisco Beer Week, which boasts over 325 craft beer events in the Bay Area.
But, you don’t have to put your trip to San Fran on the expressway. If you're looking with something with a little less of a timelime, you can check out Dinosaur Revolution at the San Francsico Zoo now through May 12th.
Or, if you prefer adventures of the floral variety experience Tulipmania February 16-24th on Pier 39.
Like music? Sway to some of San Francisco’s indie music at Noise Pop, which includes performances from Toro Y Moi, Amon Tobin, and Damien Jurado, to name a few.
Let Us Plan it For You
If you like the idea of having a planned tour experience outlined for you then you’re in the right place. With Mauiva's multi-destination vacations, everything is done for you including transportation, hotel stay, and activities.
San Francisco is one of our many stops on the Western Wonder Experience. Start your west coast tours from Los Angeles and then get whisked away to Monterey and Carmel-by-the-Sea via private plane. On Day 2 of your trip, arrive in San Francisco and see iconic destinations as you're chauferred around on our coach buses.
But That’s Not All, Folks
Sure San Francisco is great on it's own, but Mauiva's California tour package doesn’t just stop there. See Sausalito, Muir Woods, Sonoma, Merced, Yosemite Mariposa Grove, Cedar City, Bryce Canyon, Grand Canyon, and Las Vegas. All via private plane.
Imagine all of the time maximized touring and sight-seeing rather than commuting to and from your destinations. Mauiva AirCruise can get you there!
In the San Francisco area already? Wine not spend Valentine’s Day the right way? See what we did there? Here are some of the top picks:
Sip wine and eat chocolate at Dogpatch WineWorks
Enjoy a special 4-course meal at Isa Restaurant
Splurge for a sunset cruise and dinner package
Dance with your sweetie at the Palace Hotel
Bring out your inner philanthropist with Hearts After Dark
Love is in the Air
Mauiva is wishing you and yours a very Happy Valentine’s Day! Be sure to reach out and connect with us.
Are you ready for your next vacation?
About the blogger: Freelance travel blogger and photographer, Anita Mac of TravelDestinationBucketList has slowly been crossing bucket list destinations and adventures off her many bucket lists. The question on her lips: where to next?
The Allure of Niagara on the Lake
With something for everyone in Canada’s Niagara on the Lake, what is not to love? With accolades like the prettiest city in Canada, Top Canadian Food & Wine destination and most recently, named Canada’s 2nd most romantic city by Reader’s Digest, Canada...what could be better than a get-a-way to Niagara on the Lake? Elegant, historic and full of festivals...the quiet and quaint village of Niagara on the Lake is more than worthy of your attention.
Every year, millions of people from around the world come to Niagara on the Lake. Whether you are here to sample the wine and gastronomical delights of the region, soak up the history or enjoy the theatre, Niagara on the Lake’s old world charm, friendly hospitality and breath taking parks and gardens will welcome you.
Wine and Dine in NOTL
Bordered by the Niagara River and Lake Ontario, Niagara on the Lake’s temperate climate lends itself perfectly to the quality wines that are produced here by 28 different wineries. There is always something going on in the wine industry - visit Wineries of Niagara on the Lake for up to date information on their festivals, featured wineries and what makes the region one of Canada’s top Food & Wine destinations.
While you are there, don’t forget to pick up one of the local specialties - Ice Wine. This sweet, sultry dessert wine can quite easily be described as liquid velvet and will tantalize your taste buds, making for the perfect finish to a perfect day.
Interested in a winery tour? You can sign up for a number of winery tours in Niagara on the Lake. If you want to take it to the next level, why not customize your tour with a special lunch or dinner in a private underground wine cellar or spend time with a knowledgeable sommelier discussing the secrets behind their world famous ice wines.
There is no shortage of amazing places to eat in Niagara on the Lake. Many of the restaurants in town have adopted the “eat local” mantra, showcasing the amazing bounty of the region. Choose from dishes steeped in the traditions of the past or eclectic, new age dining where a fresh twist has been added to the classic dishes of the past...the flavours of Niagara will have you coming back for more.
Photo credit: Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake
Niagara on the Lake, made the first capital of Upper Canada in 1792, was a military base and pro-British loyalist haven for those fleeing the volatility after the American Revolution. The region also played a key role in the War of 1812. Notable historical figures from the region include Si Isaac Brock, one of Canada’s greatest military heroes, and Laura Secord, whose quiet contribution to the War of 1812 has become a part of Canadian mythology. Take a guided tour by the Niagara Historical Society that will uncover the history and the beauty of the region. Tours start at the Gazebo in Queen’s Royal Park and end at the museum, lasting approximately one hour.
Running April to November, the Shaw Festival provides a compelling theatre experience that draws crowds year after year. Started in 1962, acclaim for the Shaw Festival grew, with an official opening of a newer and larger theatre in 1973 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
The Shaw Festival Company now operates in four theatres and is internationally renowned. Visit the ShawFest website for the upcoming season’s performances, as well as information on backstage tours and packages.
Only 20 Minutes to Niagara Falls
Known the world over, the power and beauty of Niagara Falls is only 20 minutes away along the scenic Niagara River Parkway. Any time of year, the splendor of the falls will dazzle you. In summer, take a journey behind the falls or feel the power of the water from the Maid of the Mist as 168,000 cubic meters (6 million cubic ft) of water crash over the falls every minute during peak daytime tourist hours! In winter, marvel at the crystal beauty as the mist rises from the falls, encasing everything in ice. On a sunny day, it is as if the trees and fences are made of a thousand crystals as the sun light dances on the surface.
Come fly away and visit Niagara Falls on Mauiva's east coast tours! Save 15% now with our Spring Vacation Sale!
Toronto, Canada, just north of the Big Apple is home to some of the most fascinating culture and nightlife. After just one day there, you will be craving a taste of what Canada has to offer, which is plentiful and accessible!
On Mauiva's East Coast Tour Package, you will experience the highlights of this haute culture via private plane. Most notably, you will be able to gaze from 1,815 feet above on the CN Tower tour, the world’s 5th tallest free-standing structure.
And, as the largest city in Canada and provincial capital of Ontario, the transition from New York to the Canadian equivalent of the Big Apple (the Big Maple Leaf, maybe? We kid.) will be seamless.
Image courtesy of Tourism Toronto
TripAdvisor ranks the CN Tower #2 of 30 landmarks in Toronto, and it’s easy to see why! Second only to the Toronto Public Library, the CN Tower reigns high on the list of things to do!
If you want to take to the streets, check out neighboring Scarborough Bluffs, which TripAdvisor users have coined “away from it all” and a “jewel next door to the city.”
You Don’t Have to Entertain Yourself, You’re on Vacation!
Listen to the majestic sounds of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra (ranked #3 in Performances) or, saunter over to Roy Thomson Hall, which is described as “Not [having] a bad seat in the house.” Prefer dancing to the orchestra? Trick question! You don’t have to choose. Experience the National Ballet of Canada and observe the fusion of ballet and music in Canada’s premier dance company.
The Road Not Taken
The famous poet Robert Frost once wrote, “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I, / I took the one less traveled by, / And that has made all the difference.”
Channel your inner poet and adventurer and go off the beaten path to tour Toronto’s more subtle experiences. Explore the beaches of Canada and shore up on the seashore, get educated in the Distillery Historic District or feign royalty at Casa Loma, a historic castle.
Native New Yorker? Compare notes and wander throughout Toronto’s Little Italy, Greektown or Chinatown. Sightsee with the best of 'em and have a multicultural experience after your multi-destination vacation.
The Mauiva Difference
With Mauiva AirCruise, you get the knowledge and comfort of a guided, interactive tour as well as luxury travel at an affordable price.
Tour East Coast USA via one of our private plane and experience the difference of a vacation made simple. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter! We’re always connected.
As if you needed another reason to love wine. Wineries are sprinkled throughout the West Coast with the biggest contenders in Napa Valley and beyond. Sonoma County, however, is no exception.
Taste the difference at Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery and observe winemaking live. With over 300 wineries, there is no shortage of wine to be sipped in Sonoma, but Sebastiani stands out.
The sommeliers of Sebastiani carry on the tradition of over 100 years of wine-making, which dates back to 1895. Making its way through the trying times of the Prohibition, Samuele, the Founder, made sure that the winery not only persevered but enhanced the lives of the people living right in Sonoma County.
Photo courtesy of Sonoma County Tourism
Since Samuele’s death in 1944, the vineyard has been cultivated by the careful hands of his family until their recent pursuits of independent wineries in the Sonoma County region.
Today, Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery is owned by vintner and entrepreneur Bill Foley who shares the original owner’s commitment to producing singular wines harvested from the appellations of Sonoma County.
Although wine makes up most of the allure of Sonoma County, that’s not to say that there aren’t other activities to keep your adventurous spirit flowing.
On Mauiva's west coast tours, stopping in Sonoma to visit, yep, you guessed it, Sebastiani Vineyards & Winery! While you’re there, you might be overwhelmed with the desire to stay (we understand), so here’s what to do on your next trip.
Taste Test Small Bites
Check out The Olive Press Tasting Room and experience authentic Californian extra virgin olive oil. Or, pass up savory for sweet and taste test chocolate at Wine Country Chocolates.
Want to learn how to prepare these cultural delights yourself? Sign up for Ramekins Sonoma Valley Culinary School. Classes are year-round and include a variety of cuisines.
Aerial View just for Two
Ride in vintage aircrafts over the scenic vineyards of Sonoma with Vintage Aircraft Company. Flights can be taken Tuesdays through Sundays.
Photo courtesy of Sonoma County Tourism
Perhaps slow-and-steady is more your speed. Take a hot air balloon ride with Up & Away Hot Air Ballooning and float away into serenity.
At the Heart of Art
Prefer the arts? Sonoma is no stranger to the fine arts. Head over to Sebastiani Theater or the Theater at the Center to relive history amidst Italian Renaissance architecture.
Or, skip the live performances for the many art galleries Sonoma has to offer and visit the Artifax International Art Gallery or the Beverly Prevost at Le Haye Art Center.
Spring Vacation Sale
Whatever your travel preferences may be, we’re confident that Mauiva's multi-destination vacations can get you there. Trade the road for the sky and experience the difference with a vacation made simple.
Don’t forget, our Spring Vacation Sale is happening now, so don’t miss your chance to save 15 percent on your next Mauiva AirCruise.
Carmel, California is home to beautiful sights, sandy beaches, and top-notch shopping. Located on the Monterey Peninsula, this small city packs a big punch.
On Mauiva's California tour package, fly from Los Angeles to Carmel and enjoy a day of fine dining, art galleries, and boutique shopping. The West Coasts boasts tons of high-energy activities and fast-paced fun, but when in Carmel, feel free to relax and aim for leisure.
Photo credit: Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau
We’ll bet that you like your stay in Carmel so much that you will want to return and enjoy the city for a bit longer, which would not be surprising since Conde Nast Traveler Magazine placed Carmel in the Top Ten Visitor Destinations. And hey, even Clint Eastwood liked it so much he was mayor of the city in 1986.
Why Top Ten?
Carmel functions as a one-stop shop for all travelers. Are you a wine aficionado? Then check out Carmel’s Wine Walk-by-the-Sea and sip on 9 different wines. Or, if you are up for a nice drive, head to Carmel Valley for wine tasting in the country.
The perfect pairing? Wine and art of course! Carmel offers over 80 art galleries to appeal to all art lovers no matter the medium.
Or, perhaps during your stay you’d like something a little bit more fast-paced. Well, Carmel has that too. Go hiking at Point Lobos State Reserve or Garland Park or, visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Monterey County Convention and Visitors Bureau
Want to earn your sea legs? Catch some waves at Carmel Beach, paddle your way through Adventures by the Sea, or scuba in Monterey Bay!
Don’t Go Hungry
Nor unlike its abundance of culture and activity, Carmel hosts a multitude of fun food. In the mood for French cuisine? Have a bite at Bistro Beaujolais in Carmel Plaza!
Want something more fresh-caught? Try Flagherty’s Seafood Grill and Oyster Bar. Or, take a flavorful journey to Italy at Bistro Giovannu Ristorante Mediterranco.
You can even take it old school and eat out at Carmel’s second oldest restaurant, Em Le’s Old Carmel Restaurant.
Or, if you're interested in selling our tour packages then visit our new b2b travel site to learn about all the opportunities that are available to agents and agencies!
Let Mauiva AirCruise be your resource for travel simplicity and fun. Come for the experience. Stay for the excitement.
Mount Vernon, although not home to an actual mountain, is one of America’s most historical sites. In fact, here lie two of the most influential people in American history, George and Martha Washington!
The mansion where the two resided for more than forty years still stands as well as Washington’s extensive plantations. Rich in culture and history, there is certainly more to Mount Vernon than meets the eye.
On Mauiva's East Coast Tour Package, we take you from Arlington, VA straight to Mount Vernon in Alexandria where you can enjoy an escorted tour with a knowledgeable tour guide. This is the type of city that will keep you coming back for more, so think of us next time you explore.
This photo of Mount Vernon is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Explore Beyond the Tour
Once you’ve consumed enough history, head to George Washington’s Distillery & Gristmill for a seasonal brew.
Or, perhaps architecture is more your speed, you can pay homage to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House. This house, famous for its modesty, is open March through December from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday. Tours are every thirty minutes until 4:30 p.m.
Maybe you want to get in touch with nature and explore the city’s horticulture. Well, if that’s the case, you’re in luck! The headquarters of the American Horticultural Society is located right in Mount Vernon; Visit River Farm’s Estate House and explore 25 acres of gardens and grounds!
This photo of Mount Vernon is courtesy of TripAdvisor
While you still have green fever, be sure to make time to see one of the most famous cherry trees of all time: The Tulip Poplar planted by George Washington himself in 1785.
International Food in Historic America
If hunger strikes you while on the estate grounds, fear not! Food is not far as the Mount Vernon Inn Restaurant is located nearby and offers traditional colonial fare. If you prefer seafood, check out the Village Wharf Restaurant in Alexandria.
Want to deviate from the status quo? East Moon offers Asian cuisine and is located just 5 miles north of Mount Vernon. Alexandria also boasts Mexican grub at El Paso and Greek goodies at Olympians Family Restaurant.
Vacation Starts Now
Whatever your travel ambitions may be, Mauiva AirCruise has got you covered. Let us introduce you to iconic destinations and be your resource on what to do, where to eat, and what to see if you choose to return! Come fly away with us on your next vacation to the East or West Coast.
Reach out and share your story, we’re always connected!
In 2012, you may have been introduced to popular shows such as “Breaking Amish” and Discovery Channel’s “Amish Mafia,” which shed some light on historical Mennonite culture.
On screen or off, one thing is for sure: Amish Country is a must-see and should be experienced first-hand. From the antiquated travel methods to the homegrown goods, Amish-style living is being revived.
Fortunately, on the Mauiva AirCruise, you have the opportunity to visit the largest population of Amish and Mennonite families in North American in Lancaster, PA!
While there, you will be treated to a farm-to-table Smorgasboard Dinner and a screening of the iconic film Jacob’s Choice, which tells the story of an Old Order Amish family dealing with the struggles of contemporary culture.
To be sure, there is more to Lancaster than can be experienced in just one day, and we’ll even bet that you will like it so much that you will want to return. If that’s the case, Mauiva's East Coast Tour Package has you covered!
Eat Family Style in Lancaster
At the recommendation of locals and avid travelers, a few restaurants have come out on top:
Enjoy locally sourced produce and meats at the following local, small businesses:
Made in America
If you’re the type of consumer who checks labels when purchasing goods and products and likes to see “Made in America,” you’re in luck! Kitchen Kettle Village, located in Intercourse, Pa, is just 10 short miles from Lancaster and is home to more than 40 shops selling commodities ranging from candles to leather goods.
Or, if you want to bring back a little taste of Amish Country, purchase Lancaster County jams, syrups, kettle corn or fudge! There is no shortage of culture in Lancaster County, so be sure to take some home with you.
Perhaps the thought of being indoors or shopping in general sends chills down your spine. Fear not! You don’t have to be cooped up like a chicken in Lancaster.
Go beyond the cash register and enjoy the sugary sweetness of locally grown sugar in the Lancaster County Parks Department maple sugaring demonstrations in Central Park.
Or, watch the snow geese migration at Middle Creek Wildlife Management Area from February through early March.
Party like a kid at the Indoor Winter Family Fun Fest or attend the annual Fire and Ice Festival in Lititz
Experience a buggy ride when the weather is right from Aaron & Jessica’s Buggy Rides throughout beautiful Lancaster
See the humble county from an aerial view by taking a hot air balloon ride from the U.S. Hot Air Balloon Team (based in Bird-in-Hand, where you can also enjoy some local eats).
Whatever your travel preference may be, Lancaster, PA has something for you. Let us whet your travel appetite with an east coast trip, where you will also experience New York City, Niagara Falls, Toronto, Canada, Washington, D.C., Harrisburg, PA, Arlington, VA, and Mount Vernon, VA!
Want to see the Mauiva AirCruise in action? Subscribe to our YouTube channel and see what our guests have to say. Or, reach out to us on social. We’re always connected.