Famously known for its Alcatraz history, Golden Gate Bridge, and cable car system, San Francisco, California is a vibrant city filled with eclectic neighborhoods. From the shops in Union Square, sea lions in Fisherman’s Wharf, and reminiscent hippy culture in Haight-Ashbury, the City by the Bay features a little something to spark everyone’s interest.
Union Square is a prime location to find San Francisco hotel deals, as the plaza is a world-renowned shopping district surrounded by countless accommodations. Grand luxury hotels and charming boutique resorts provide a comfortable place to rest after shopping the top names in fashion at the downtown square.
The famous Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood is another great place to stay in town. It features nautical-themed lodging and hotels in San Francisco with sweeping views of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco Bay. It’s in Fisherman’s Wharf where tourists can score an accommodation within walking distance of the shops, restaurants, and sea lions at Pier 39.
It’s possible to walk around the city, but be prepared for a workout because much of the city landscape includes steep and sloping hills. Many vacationers often choose to book a rental car here in advance or ride the public transportation instead.
The San Francisco Municipal Railways, often called the Muni, provide a light rail, buses, streetcars, and the iconic cable cars for convenient transportation throughout the city. For tickets, visitors can pay in cash upon boarding or purchase all- or multi-day passes.
The light rail route presents six metro lines, some of which also transfer to the BART lines. The buses, meanwhile, offer citywide service, but bus delays are common, so schedule in some extra wiggle room if you’re on a deadline.
The historic streetcar provides service from Fisherman’s Wharf through to the Castro District. And as for the cable cars, these feature three different lines with stops at popular places such as Market Street, Powell Street, and Fisherman’s Wharf. Keep in mind; some consider these cable cars more of a tourist attraction than a quick means of transportation.
San Francisco is a traffic congested parking nightmare with meter maids galore. It’s a booby trap filled with confusing one-way streets, seemingly 90 degree-angled hills, and expensive parking fees. Save yourself the trouble of fighting for parking spots and wasting time sitting in traffic, and instead, familiarize yourself with the Muni, BART, and walking shoes.
Dress in layers and expect fog regardless of what time of the year you visit. There’s a reason why locals call it Fog City, as the combination of the ocean and land-sea temperatures can make the visibility close to zero on some days. The fog generally keeps mornings chilly until it burns off throughout the day, but temperatures tend to drop again when the mist rolls back in during the evenings.
This city may be part of California, but don’t go and pack all your tank tops and bikinis. Even in the height of the summer, wind and damp fog join the cooler temperatures, which usually only reach the high 60s F. Visitors enjoy vacationing during the months of September and November, as sometimes temperatures can reach the low 70 F this late in the year. As for the winter, temperatures often hover around the mid-50 F range.
Unpredictable weather and thick fog are simply tell-tale symbols of San Francisco, so don’t let a breezy cold front or a dense layer of fog ruin your city adventures. When it comes to this colorful city, expect the unexpected for an unforgettable sojourn in the Paris of the West. Browse our selection of San Francisco hotel deals, along with our discounts on flights and car rentals to jump start your NorCal getaway.