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San Francisco

Known for Museums, Theaters and Culture

Streetcars rattle up and down the city famous for steep hills, hippie history and the toughest place to make a jail break.

How do you get to San Francisco?

Once the center of the counter-culture movement of the sixties, San Francisco is now one of the world’s technology powerhouses and a hub for start-up companies. Although you'll no longer find Janis Joplin or the Grateful Dead singing to sold-out crowds, the laid-back liberal atmosphere remains. Fleece jackets and tennis shoes long ago replaced suits and ties in the city’s Financial District.

San Francisco is known for its distinctive neighborhoods and tourist areas. Hitch a ride on cable car as it hauls you over the city’s steep hills to Fisherman’s Wharf. Here you can try fresh seafood or a bowl of creamy clam chowder. Browse bohemian bookshops and soak up some music history in Haight-Ashbury. Stroll through Union Square for some serious shopping, or hang onto your hat as you walk the iconic Golden Gate Bridge.

The attractions here are as diverse as the weather. Experience the city’s multiculturalism in Little Italy or Japan Town. Take a walking tour of North America's largest Chinatown. Along the eastern seafront, stroll the Embarcadero, where you can dine with views over the bay or grab some fresh produce at the farmers’ market. Wander through the 1000 acres (405 hectares) of Golden Gate Park. Board a ferry for a trip to the seaside village of Sausalito. Don't forget your jacket as even on the sunniest day it gets cold out on the water.

For a change of pace, head to Pier 33 and jump on board a tour to Alcatraz Island. Listen to fascinating, personal accounts of life at one of the world’s harshest prisons or stroll the grounds and the old cellblocks. Tours are popular, so it's best to book ahead.

Weather in San Francisco can change by the hour and from one neighborhood to the next. For the best chance of consistent sunshine, visit September through November. Winter means wind and rain, but also the best deals for accommodation. The city is crowded in summer for festivals such as the San Francisco Pride Celebration and Parade in late June. This is one of the biggest celebrations of diversity in the country.

When to go to San Francisco

All prices are shown in USD. Prices are calculated using the average monthly price of all 4-star hotels that were purchased on Expedia in the last 12 months.

Best neighborhoods to visit in San Francisco

Things to do in San Francisco

Cars trundle across it and ships sail under it, but the best way to experience this iconic bridge is on foot. 

This waterfront attraction offers thrilling rides, innovative street performers and colorful souvenir shops, but it’s the sea lions that win the day. 

This beloved park offers relaxation among trees, flowers and wildlife, right in San Francisco’s backyard. 

Trover photo by HullyGulley

Explore the exhibits at San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, a popular museum in San Francisco. Visit the notable monuments and shops in this vibrant area.

Trover photo by Bob Gillatt

Catch an event at AT&T Park during your trip to San Francisco. Visit the shops and notable monuments in this vibrant area.

Trover photo by Shannon Rocc

You can enjoy some retail therapy with a trip to Ghirardelli Square, a favorite shopping spot in San Francisco. Experience the acclaimed theater scene and fascinating museums in this vibrant area.

Trover photo by Inna Blair

Enjoy a trip to San Francisco Zoo, a well-known attraction in San Francisco. Discover the beautiful sunsets and shops in this vibrant area.

Use all your senses as you explore science through dozens of interactive exhibits at San Francisco’s famous museum on Pier 15.

Tickets & Tours

Hilly streets lined with colorful Victorians, eclectic neighborhoods from the piers of Fisherman's Wharf to the sunny streets of the Mission, and picture-perfect landmarks from the Golden Gate to the Haight—San Francisco's a treasure trove of must-see sights.

Tickets & Tours

Get an up-close look at the foreboding island penitentiary of Alcatraz from the waters of the San Francisco Bay. See the borders of this fearsome former prison from every angle and listen to engaging audio commentary about the island’s infamous inmates as you cruise around its formidable shores.

Tickets & Tours

Pop around the City by the Bay with the flexibility of a hop-on hop-off bus pass. Hit iconic stops like Golden Gate Park, Pier 39, and Union Square, enjoy special nighttime routes, and take advantage of included extras like fun-filled walking tours and admission to Alcatraz.

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Step aboard a luxurious boat and sail under two iconic San Francisco landmarks—the Golden Gate Bridge and the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. As you cruise, take in the city skyline and its major landmarks from the waters of the San Francisco Bay.

Tickets & Tours

Cross the Golden Gate Bridge and head into the rolling hills of Northern California's wine country. Gaze out over vineyard vistas on your way to tastings at 3 wineries in the Napa and Sonoma valleys.

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Gaze up at the towering tops of redwoods, stroll down pine needle-covered paths, and hear stories about famed naturalist John Muir on this relaxing excursion in cathedral-like forests. Enjoy a scenic drive through Muir Woods and check out the charming streets of Sausalito with an experienced guide to lead the way.

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