Nestled in Northern California, San Francisco offers a wide variety of activities, history, and charm that appeal to everyone. Because it is one of the major cultural hubs in the United States, there is much to do and see in San Francisco. The great location doesn't hurt either; the city has a huge, beautiful waterfront area offering easy access to San Francisco Bay and beyond. This is a destination that has long appealed to tourists worldwide, and its reputation is well deserved.
San Francisco Accommodation
Because it is such a tourist-friendly city, San Francisco has many hotels and other types of accommodation that suits lone tourists and families equally well. Business travellers are also well catered for with excellent meeting and conference facilities at many hotels. The hotels in this city vary greatly in terms of price, the amenities they offer, and their location. A large number of hotels are centrally located, so that visitors can easily get to the city's most popular tourist attractions. Whether you want to be in close proximity to Fisherman's Wharf, Chinatown, Golden Gate Park, or the city's central business district, San Francisco will have the perfect hotel for you.
If you are in town for business, you will likely make a trip to the Muscone Centre. Home to the area's biggest conferences and trade shows, there are also plenty of San Francisco hotels nearby. But if you're just in town to have a good time, there are plenty of other places to stay. If you want to sleep near a slice of history, check out the San Francisco hotels in Union Square. If you are looking for cheap San Francisco hotels, try the Haight-Ashbury area, near the centre of town.
Top Things to do in San Francisco
Regardless of the time of year you visit, there are many fun things to do in the City by the Bay, and the chances are that you will run out of time in San Francisco before you run out of things to do.
Take a Bus Tour - This is the perfect way to get a complete view of the city. Allowing a professional to guide you around San Francisco will give you the opportunity to see the most famous landmarks, as well as many fascinating places you didn't know existed.
See Chinatown - The largest Chinatown outside of Asia, this is an area full of amazing restaurants, as well as many unique shops selling crafts and souvenirs that can be purchased fairly cheaply.
See Alcatraz - There are several ways for you to go about seeing this famous prison. If you want to get all of your San Francisco photo ops in one place, head to Pier 39. From there, you can see Alcatraz, the famous sea lions, and the Golden Gate and Bay Bridges. As an added benefit, Pier 39 is also a fun place to shop! For a look at Alcatraz from the inside, there are daily tours you can take. After a short ferry ride, you can see what the infamous prison is really like.
Bike across the Golden Gate Bridge - Biking across the Golden Gate Bridge - one of the most iconic attractions in North America - offers spectacular views of the city and the Bay that can be seen from nowhere else. Most bike rentals in the city cost around $10 per hour, and discount coupons are often available at hotels.
Ride one of the City's Cable Cars - No visit to San Francisco would be complete without a ride in one of the city's iconic cable cars; the cable car line that runs between Powell and Hyde streets is the most popular and scenic in the city.
San Francisco offers visitors a varied assortment of nightlife options, and there is much to consider when it comes to finding a club. For example, if you want a club with old time décor but a modern feel, you may want to check out The Parlour. On the other hand, for the hottest national and international rock 'n roll in the city, you should probably check out the Rockit Room, or the Red Devil Lounge.
For the jazz and cocktails vibe, your best bet is to take a ride to Club Deluxe. If you are looking for a club that provides you with the most cutting edge DJs and a great place to dance, you will need to visit Ruby Skye.
Regardless of how you are looking to party the night away, San Francisco has a club that will cater to virtually any taste or lifestyle.
Arts and Entertainment
For those who are not interested in - or at least would like a break from - the club scene, there are many options for enjoyment of culture in the city of San Francisco. For example, the San Francisco Ballet has a repertoire of classics that is constantly changing and audiences are left breathless by the ballet's superb performances. The San Francisco Symphony has been wowing audiences since 1911, and they perform classics by heavyweights such as Beethoven and Mozart, as well as more contemporary works by American composers such as John Adams.
Just across the bay in Oakland, you can get your cultural fix at the Paramount Theatre. The theatre is home to countless symphonies, ballets, and movies. Plus, the building itself is interesting enough to be a conversation piece in its own right!
Those who want to see a little rock 'n roll should check out who is playing at the Fillmore. The Independent is also a popular venue in the city, and it features a wide selection of musical performances. For large-scale musical events, you should check the schedule of concerts at AT&T Park. Many world famous acts play this venue on a regular basis.
Kids and Families
One of the best things about San Francisco is that it is a city where the thriving nightlife and cultural scene will appeal to adults, but there are also many things that families with children can do together. If you want to have some fun outside, head to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Dubbed “Coney Island of the West" by the locals, the boardwalk is home to thrill rides, arcades, mini golf, and, of course, a sandy beach. Your kids will find many fun activities here.
The Exploratorium is an interactive museum that provides both adults and children with the opportunity to get up close and personal with the exhibits.
One of the most popular places for parents to take their kids in San Francisco is California's Great America. This is an amusement park that has a wide variety of rides for the entire family, including roller coasters and thrill rides, as well as a water park (open seasonally) and a variety of live shows and dining options. Parents with younger children can take them to Kidzville inside the park, which has a large assortment of rides and activities for the little ones.
Another activity that may appeal to both adults and children is taking in one of the many sporting events held in and around the city. San Francisco is home to several professional and college sports teams, spanning a variety of sports.
For those interested in baseball, the San Francisco Giants are one of the most successful teams in the game. During the baseball season, tickets to Giants games can be purchased at the gate at AT&T Park, from the team's official website, and from a number of other online ticket retailers.
If you travel to the city during the football season, you can head to Candlestick Park and see the 49ers play. For basketball fans, a short trip to Oakland is all that is needed to see the NBA's Golden State Warriors take the floor at Oracle Arena.
There are also a number of well-known college and university sports teams in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. The University of San Francisco has several successful sports teams, including a football team and a basketball team.
Whether you are interested in culture or nightlife, entertainment or history, San Francisco has something for everyone. No trip to the West Coast of the United States would be complete without a visit to the City by the Bay!