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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.

San Francisco Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in San Francisco

Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
4 out of 5
2500 Mason St, San Francisco, CA
The price is $118 per night from May 24 to May 24
Located in North Beach, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Aquarium of the Bay, Pier 39, and Ghirardelli Square. Lombard Street and Alcatraz Island are ...
4.1/5Very Good! (2,374 reviews)
"Our favorite part was the sitting area outside of the hotel next to the fire pits. It was a nice way to relax and visit after a busy day of touring."

Reviewed on May 8, 2021

Hotel Riu Plaza Fisherman's Wharf
San Francisco Marriott Marquis
San Francisco Marriott Marquis
4 out of 5
780 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA
The price is $155 per night from May 9 to May 9
Located in Downtown San Francisco, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Moscone Convention Center, Ferry Building, and Oracle Park. Chase Center and Pier 39 are ...
4.3/5Excellent! (2,277 reviews)
"Excellent service"

Reviewed on May 6, 2021

San Francisco Marriott Marquis
Hilton San Francisco Financial District
Hilton San Francisco Financial District
4 out of 5
750 Kearny St, San Francisco, CA
The price is $101 per night from May 13 to May 13
Located in Downtown San Francisco, this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of Ferry Building, Lombard Street, and Pier 39. Oracle Park and Palace of Fine Arts are also ...
3.8/5Good! (2,586 reviews)
"The hotel room walls are very thin, but they DO provide a white noise machine to help with that. Overall most amenities are closed due to COVID, but the location is very prime very close to chinatown and walkable to a lot of great food."

Reviewed on May 7, 2021

Hilton San Francisco Financial District
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.
Sonesta ES Suites San Francisco - Airport
Sonesta ES Suites San Francisco - Airport
3 out of 5
1350 Huntington Ave, San Bruno, CA
The price is $159 per night from May 9 to May 9
Situated near the airport, this aparthotel is 1.6 mi (2.6 km) from South San Francisco Convention Center and within 9 mi (15 km) of San Francisco State University ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (687 reviews)
"It was a great experience fast checking. Suit was perfect clean and loved the fact that each bedroom had its own bathroom."

Reviewed on May 4, 2021

Sonesta ES Suites San Francisco - Airport
HYATT house Belmont/Redwood Shores
HYATT house Belmont/Redwood Shores
3 out of 5
400 Concourse Dr, Belmont, CA
The price is $129 per night from May 9 to May 9
Situated in Belmont, this aparthotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Los Prados Park, Marlin Park, and Hiller Aviation Museum. Laurie Meadows Park and Casanova Park ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (1,085 reviews)
"Room is spacious for family of 7."

Reviewed on Apr 22, 2021

HYATT house Belmont/Redwood Shores
@ Marbella Lane Duplex Redwood City
@ Marbella Lane Duplex Redwood City
3.5 out of 5
119 Redwood Ave, Redwood City, CA
Situated in Redwood City, this vacation home is within 1 mi (2 km) of Woodside Central Shopping Center and Fox Theatre. Menlo College is 2.2 mi (3.6 km) away. ...
5/5Exceptional! (2 reviews)
Unit C was very comfortable.
"It was very clean and organized. Utensils were already provided along with a coffee maker. Netflix and Amazon Prime were free and they had a single burner which allowed for me to cook. Overall, it was very comfortable and at a good location."

Reviewed on Oct 26, 2020

@ Marbella Lane Duplex Redwood City
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

Reviews of San Francisco

4.3

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
5897
5 - Excellent 48.02117263843648%
4 - Good
4594
4 - Good 37.41042345276873%
3 - Okay
1339
3 - Okay 10.903908794788274%
2 - Disappointing
305
2 - Disappointing 2.48371335504886%
1 - Terrible
145
1 - Terrible 1.1807817589576548%

1/5 - Terrible

Verified traveler

Jun 3, 2020

I have lived here for 25 years and it’s become a filthy dirty stinky place to be I can’t wait to move away from San Francisco.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jun 2, 2020

San Francisco has beautiful things

5/5 - Excellent

Mr.NEH

Jun 2, 2020

love the city.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

Jun 2, 2020

Even though we were there during Covid and there weren’t many businesses open, we still had a wonderful stay.

3/5 - Okay

Mojo

May 30, 2020

Getting harder to enjoy. COVID an issue when I was there.

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

May 30, 2020

I love SF !

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