San Francisco, CA

Travel Guide
San Francisco which includes a bay or harbor and a bridge

The city with a beautiful bay, famous red bridge and infamous fog welcomes you to enjoy art, history, shopping and outdoor activities.

San Francisco is simultaneously romantic, exciting, relaxing and intriguing. Rent a bike, walk, ride the trolley or drive to fascinating destinations. Tour San Francisco Bay by boat for unique views from beneath Golden Gate Bridge. Stop at Alcatraz Island; its former inescapable prison became famous in the film Birdman of Alcatraz.

At the bridge’s southern end is the Presidio, a former military base, now a large park with hiking trails, great bridge and shoreline views, Andy Goldsworthy sculptures, Baker Beach, the Walt Disney Family Museum and a life-size Yoda statue.

Entering the Marina District, attend a performance at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre. Travel east to the Fisherman’s Wharf neighborhood for shopping and dining. Enjoy a chocolate sundae at Ghirardelli, a local favorite for over 150 years. Visit the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park to see ships that sailed more than a century ago. Watch sea lions lounging on rafts near Pier 39. Continue on to the Embarcadero District. The Exploratorium at Pier 15 features interactive exhibits intertwining science, art and human perception. See the Giants play football at AT&T Park in South Beach.

Inland, shop at Union Square, drive down the very crooked Lombard Street and photograph the Painted Ladies Victorian row houses. Stand at the Haight-Ashbury corner, in the neighborhood where hippie counterculture developed in the 1960s.

Enter the Golden Gate Park to visit de Young Museum, filled with art, costumes and textiles. Explore botanical gardens, play golf or tennis, photograph the Japanese Tea Garden and wade in the Pacific Ocean.

Travel north to tall redwoods in Muir Woods, wineries in Napa and Sonoma and quaint shops in Sausalito. On a foggy day, stand atop Vista Point in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area at the bridge’s northern end and gaze south across the clouds to see Sutro Tower rising from Twin Peaks, with the rest of the city hidden. When the fog clears, San Francisco’s skyline is a gleaming gem at the end of the golden bridge.

Where to stay in San Francisco

Hyatt Regency San Francisco Downtown SOMA
Hyatt Regency San Francisco Downtown SOMA
4 out of 5
50 3rd St, San Francisco, CA, 94103
Fully refundable
The price is $165 per night from May 30 to May 31
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in San Francisco. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and a 24-hour fitness center. Our guests praise the bar and the helpful ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (1,271 reviews)
"Friendly staff, cleanliness 10/10, overall great stay!"

Reviewed on May 13, 2022

Hyatt Regency San Francisco Downtown SOMA
Hotel Caza Fisherman’s Wharf
Hotel Caza Fisherman’s Wharf
4 out of 5
1300 Columbus Avenue, San Francisco, CA, 94133
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $189 per night from May 30 to May 31
Stay at this 4-star family-friendly hotel in San Francisco. Enjoy breakfast, WiFi, and a 24-hour fitness center. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (1,408 reviews)
"Great hotel and location! Super clean and friendly, helpful staff. Great activities and bar area! Would stay here again and recommend it to others."

Reviewed on May 16, 2022

Hotel Caza Fisherman’s Wharf
The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square
The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square
4.5 out of 5
335 Powell Street, San Francisco, CA, 94102
Fully refundableReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $199 per night from May 30 to May 31
Stay at this 4.5-star luxury hotel in San Francisco. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and room service. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean rooms in ...
4.3/5 Excellent! (2,005 reviews)
"Great location to see San Francisco sights and a very nice hotel."

Reviewed on May 16, 2022

The Westin St. Francis San Francisco on Union Square
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
A beautiful golf ⛳️ course view backyard view +large studio + full bath+kitchen
A beautiful golf ⛳️ course view backyard view +large studio + full bath+kitchen
Daly City, CA
The price is $128 per night from May 25 to May 26
Stay at this golf vacation home in Daly City. Enjoy free WiFi, onsite parking, and a garden. Popular attractions San Francisco Zoo and Twin Peaks are located ...
5/5 Exceptional! (4 reviews)
Wonderful experience
"The room was pretty clean. The bed was comfy, and the view was amazing. Cami is so friendly, I would love to make friends with her, and she took care of everything well. The location was great, there is a grocery store next to it. Overall everything was excellent!"

Reviewed on Apr 26, 2022

A beautiful golf ⛳️ course view backyard view +large studio + full bath+kitchen
Sonesta ES Suites San Francisco - Airport
Sonesta ES Suites San Francisco - Airport
3 out of 5
1350 Huntington Ave, San Bruno, CA, 94066
The price is $159 per night from May 31 to Jun 1
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly aparthotel in San Bruno. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Our guests praise the breakfast and the clean ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (972 reviews)
"The staff here were very welcoming and very accommodating to our every whim. Excellent rooms as well."

Reviewed on May 16, 2022

Sonesta ES Suites San Francisco - Airport
Sonder Hayes Valley
Sonder Hayes Valley
3.5 out of 5
135 Gough Street, San Francisco, CA, 94102
The price is $142 per night from Jun 3 to Jun 4
Stay at this 3.5-star business-friendly aparthotel in San Francisco. Enjoy free WiFi, concierge services, and a flat-screen TV. Popular attractions Oracle Park ...
3.6/5 Good! (16 reviews)
Nice room
"First time using Sonder. Had some kinks with the app and check-in but other than that was very impressed. Wish the room had a fridge. Great location!"

Reviewed on Sep 4, 2021

Sonder Hayes Valley
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around San Francisco

The best way to explore San Francisco’s downtown area is on foot, as it is compact and parking is sparse. Beyond the city center, get around using the Muni transportation network. Buy a daily pass that takes in buses, the light rail and the city’s historic cable cars, as well as the old-fashioned electric trolley cars of the F-line. Taxis are available in busy areas but they do tend to be expensive. Visit the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency website. Browse San Francisco rental cars.

Best time to visit

Perhaps surprisingly, San Francisco’s warmest season is in the fall. Aim to visit in September to enjoy the highest temperatures, with daily averages often being as high 70 F (21 C). Another advantage of visiting at this time of the year is that, as school summer vacations will be at an end, there may be far fewer visitors than in the summer months. That means more accommodations and shorter lines.

Popular places to visit in San Francisco

Top things to do in San Francisco

Read travel guides and advice on visiting San Francisco

Cities near San Francisco