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San Francisco Travel Guide, California

San Francisco is known as America’s most loved cities. It’s located on the San Francisco Bay and nestles among the hills of Northern California and it is a relatively small city, about 800,000 residents live here.

San Francisco has a breathtaking beauty. There are gorgeous vistas to be seen from its high hills, there are quaint harbors, waterfronts and docks, majestic sailboats to be seen everywhere, parks, fountains, gardens and old buildings make each excursion a pleasure. Ponds, lakes, zoos and aquariums are also easily found.

The neighborhoods of San Francisco retain strong cultural, political, and ethnic identities. Locals know this pluralism is the real life of the city. Experiencing San Francisco means visiting the neighborhoods: the Haight Ashbury district, which in the 1960s was the center of America’s Hippy movement, the colorful Mission District, the gay Castro, countercultural Haight Street, swank Pacific Heights, ever bohemian North Beach and the lively Chinatown, a monument to the contributions the Chinese immigrants of the past and their descendants of today have made to the city.

While wandering through Chinatown's streets and alleys, don't forget to look up. Above street level, many older structures have ornate balconies and cornices. The architecture on the 900 block of Grant Avenue and Waverly Place is particularly noteworthy, though some locals decry it and similar examples as inauthentic adornment meant to make their neighborhood seem "more Chinese."

San Francisco's charms are great and small. You wouldn't want to miss Golden Gate Park, the Palace of Fine Arts, and the Golden Gate Bridge. But a walk down the Filbert Steps or through Macondray Lane or a peaceful hour spent gazing east from Ina Coolbrith Park can be equally inspiring.

Be sure to take day trips to Monterrey Santa Cruz and Big Sur to appreciate the wonders of Northern California. You’ll be charmed by the beautiful Spanish architecture, a reflection of California’s Hispanic heritage. But if you are not in for day trips than just relax and go surfing, sailing and swimming, than eat at some of the world’s best seafood restaurants in San Francisco. And if you want to shop, there are few places where you’ll find a greater variety than here.

You muse ride on San Francisco’s great attraction, the cable cars and drive on its winding streets but touring on foot is the best way to experience this diverse metropolis. You’ll be thrilled with what you see: the city’s magnificent Victorian houses, its museums, buildings, art treasure and its striking architecture.

San Francisco has been a well-known tourist destination for decades. There is an endless array of activities to choose from so whether you're looking to tour the legendary penitentiary of Alcatraz, sample Dungeness crab in a local bistro, drive through a gargantuan Redwood tree, or ride the cable cars for a panoramic view of the city, you can do it all. The options are wide open so go ahead and take it all in, in San Francisco.

 

Read our members' reviews about San Francisco


  • MadSuhShort visit in San Francisco
    review by MadSuh posted more then 30 days ago
    We drove up to San Francisco, which is usually a really boring drive. Driving up the 5 is just terribly slow and the landscape never changes, yikes. We did stop the first time while still on the 101 to pump some gas, and I don't know how, but apparently we never ended up pumping. Probably the...
  • MadSuhWhat to do in San Francisco
    review by MadSuh posted more then 30 days ago
    We stayed in San Francisco for another half day, we drove down towards Fisherman's Wharf and grabbed breakfast at this really nice little place. I can't remember the name, but the coffee was good and they had some really fresh sandwiches. Fisherman's Wharf is nice and give you a little bit...
  • stefCity tour in San Francisco
    review by stef posted more then 30 days ago
    After a long walk from downtown of SF to the North Beach on Fisherman's Wharf, we decided to take a city tour. From the plenty of opportunities we choose the most friendly one: the Mr. Toad's Tour, with an exciting american Vintage touring car (1929 Model). The guide was very nice telling funny...
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Read our members' travel tips about San Francisco


  • MyguytripDolores Park Movie Night
    travel tip by Myguytrip posted more then 30 days ago
    On Thursday night’s throughout the summer, there is a free movie shown in Dolores Park.  Don’t expect your typical quiet theater atmosphere. It’s more like a party at Dolores Park. There are no assigned seats and...
  • zsoldicsaFerry Building
    travel tip by zsoldicsa posted more then 30 days ago
    I think Ferry Building is one of the nicest places in San Francisco, which is a great thing knowing that the whole city is so great! The building was finished in 1903 and it was the center to wager the boats and ferries that crossed...
  • zangazangaCity Beer Store
    travel tip by zangazanga posted more then 30 days ago
    Here is a great news for beer lovers in San Francisco. City Beer Store is a fabulous little place with an extremely wide selection of beers. It is not easy to chose from the more than 300 types of beers, but you can take your time,...
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San Francisco City Ratings

  • Rating89%
    City Rank89
     
  • History & Culture: rated for 93%
  • Night Life & Entertainment: rated for 97%
  • Family & Fun: rated for 80%
  • Outdoors Activities: rated for 70%
  • Food: rated for 97%
  • Sightseeing: rated for 97%
  • Shopping: rated for 95%
  • Public Transportation: rated for 87%
  • Must visit this place: rated for 95%
  
 

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Cheap flights to San Francisco

Recent San Francisco flights found by Travelgrove users

  • $128United Airlines flight United Airlines 
    FromToDepartureTime
    Portland, OR (PDX)San Francisco, CA (SFO)01/17/201504:46 pm
    San Francisco, CA (SFO)Portland, OR (PDX)01/20/201508:45 pm
    faregeek.com check price
  • $175United Airlines flight United Airlines 
    FromToDepartureTime
    Seattle, WA (SEA)San Francisco, CA (SFO)01/17/201506:34 pm
    San Francisco, CA (SFO)Seattle, WA (SEA)01/20/201508:55 am
    flighthub.com check price
  • $289Virgin America flight Virgin America 
    FromToDepartureTime
    Dallas, TX (DAL)San Francisco, CA (SFO)11/26/201407:50 am
    San Francisco, CA (SFO)Dallas, TX (DAL)12/07/201405:30 pm
    cheapoair.com check price
 
 
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