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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.

Things about San Francisco you may be interested in

 
 
 

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...
  • 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...
  • mohds2Don't miss it while in San Fransisco
    review by mohds2 posted more then 30 days ago
    One of the greatest attractions as regards the San Francisco is you can go to the museum in the morning as well as on the hill during daytime. Artistic things can have with stimulating outdoor tricks. San Francisco is famous for its miscellany - from the hippie irks of the Haight-Ashbury over...
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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...
  • MyguytripStow Lake
    travel tip by Myguytrip posted more then 30 days ago
    Hidden within Golden Gate Park is a lake and a mountainous island. Stow Lake which has deep San Francisco history is a great spot for a picnic or an afternoon stroll.   The lake offers quiet scenery and abundant wildlife.  The...
  • MyguytripSutro Baths
    travel tip by Myguytrip posted more then 30 days ago
    Sutro Baths is at the north west corner of the city next to the Cliff House. The baths, which are now ruins, was a popular swimming pool that opened in the 1800's which burned down in the 1960's. What is left is a beautiful building...
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San Francisco City Ratings

  • Rating89%
    City Rank87
     
  • 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

  • $178Alaska Airlines flight Alaska Airlines 
    FromToDepartureTime
    Seattle, WA (SEA)San Francisco, CA (SFO)05/01/201402:30 pm
    San Francisco, CA (SFO)Seattle, WA (SEA)05/04/201407:00 am
    flighthub.com check price
  • $179Multiple Airlines flight Multiple Airlines 
    FromToDepartureTime
    Portland, OR (PDX)San Francisco, CA (SFO)05/08/201407:05 pm
    San Francisco, CA (SFO)Portland, OR (PDX)05/23/201410:44 pm
    flighthub.com check price
  • $300Multiple Airlines flight Multiple Airlines 
    FromToDepartureTime
    Salt Lake City, UT (SLC)San Francisco, CA (SFO)04/29/201410:05 am
    San Francisco, CA (SFO)Salt Lake City, UT (SLC)05/06/201403:50 pm
    flighthub.com check price
 
 
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