SAN FRANCISCO: Where will you leave your heart in San Francisco?
San Francisco seduces its visitors with culinary delights, beautiful scenery and charm aplenty. The iconic Golden Gate Bridge is on everyone's 'to-do list' when they arrive, but the city has much more to its personality to show you.
San Francisco is a bustling, interesting and fun place to visit all year long. Home to some of the best restaurants in California, and shopping at such high end stores as found in Union Square within the San Francisco shopping district. From the moment you view the world famous Golden Gate Bridge, bringing millions of visitors into the city, you know you have arrived somewhere special.
When to Visit Based on Price
The winter months, although usually with mild temperatures, bring the best hotel rates because of the cloudy and rainy days, and offer fewer crowds.
• Low Season: January through March is less busy. Average Daily Rates of:
- 2 Star: $49-$225
- 3 Star: $99-$290
- 4 Star: $146-$549
• High Season: June through September offers the best weather, and destination for families. Average Daily Rates of:
- 2 Star: $59-$230
- 3 Star: $134-$399
- 4 Star: $180-$557
Public transportation within the city is excellent, and traffic usually extremely busy. It really isn’t necessary to rent a car, and probably will reduce anxiety and money spent if you use public transportation.
Sights you mustn’t miss
Take a stroll down the Embarcadero to the famous marketplace within the Ferry Building, and taste your way through its local artisan delights. Spend some time on Fisherman’s Warf, experiencing the sights and sounds of the waterfront. There’s no place better to enjoy a casual seafood lunch or dinner, with such a scenic environment to walk it off afterwards. And what visit to this historic city is complete without taking the historic voyage on the ferry out to Alcatraz Island, and a tour of the prison. You can experience the living quarters and grounds of this historic prison that housed some of the worst criminals of days gone by. The added attraction of viewing the city and Golden Gate Bridge from out on the water is a great photo op.
Fun things to do
Spend a day strolling the shops and restaurants of Pier 39, a 45-acre waterfront shoppers haven. If you happen to get hungry, fear not, there are fourteen restaurants to choose from. Relax along he decks to the sights and sounds of a major clan of sea lions below. Another fun downtown adventure is taking the historic cable car journey to the top of the hill, and down, also a nice photo op. Another fun thing is to take a tour of a fortune cookie manufacturing facility while visiting Chinatown.
Wine and Dine Tips
San Francisco is heavily Asian populated, so take advantage of the restaurants here, especially within Chinatown. Asking your hotel staff for recommendations, or someone you might meet out and about.
The most popular and rewarding day trip from San Diego is a day trip to Napa/Sonoma Wine Country. Just an hour’s drive puts you into a beautiful green countryside, with relaxed casual downtowns, and wineries that not only make you smile, but happy.
It is suggested that you take one of the tours there on a bus, van or Limo Service, because there’s always the chance of too much “happy”?
Where to Stay
If you want to stay in the trendy downtown area, book into The Orchard Hotel, one of the 'greenest' hotels in the city. If you choose to stay at its sister property, The Orchard Garden Hotel, you'll be at the gates of Chinatown where you can buy authentic Asian wares and souvenirs. For a unique experience in the area, take a tour of a working fortune cookie factory.
The Hotel Vitale offers modern and luxurious accommodation to visitors wanting to stay in this prime location. The boutique hotel also provides incredible views of the Bay Bridge from its guestrooms.
After a day of sightseeing, head back to your room in the Palomar Hotel, an eco-friendly hotel close to the busy Market Street and some of the city's best galleries.
Staying in the W Hotel San Francisco will put you in the center of the South Market District where you have easy access to popular tourist stops.
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Most popular hotels in San Francisco
The Westin San Francisco Market StreetProperty Location A stay at The Westin San Francisco Market Street places you in the heart of San Francisco, steps from Museum of the African Diaspora and Academy of Art University. This 4-star hotel is close to Lombard Street and Fisherman's Wharf. Rooms Make yourself at home in one of the 676 air-conditioned rooms featuring miniba......ViewRooms from$369.00
Orchard HotelLocated in central San Francisco, Orchard Hotel is a business-friendly hotel within walking distance of SF Playhouse, Union Square, and St. Mary Square. Additional points of interest include San Francisco Visitor's Center and Moscone Convention Center. Hotel Features. Orchard Hotel features a restaurant and a bar/lounge. Room servic......ViewRooms from$169.00
Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre Boutique HotelHotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre Boutique Hotel is located in San Francisco's Cultural District neighborhood, close to Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, Union Square, and Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. Nearby points of interest also include Academy of Art University and Lombard Street. Hotel Features. Hotel Carlton, a Joie de Vivre Bout......ViewRooms from$95.00
Hotel Union SquareLocated in central San Francisco, Hotel Union Square is within walking distance of Powell and Market Cable Car Turnaround, Union Square, and Westfield San Francisco Center Shopping Mall. Nearby points of interest also include Academy of Art University and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Hotel FeaturesHotel Union Square features ......ViewRooms from$126.00
Handlery Union Square HotelLocated in central San Francisco, Handlery Union Square Hotel is within walking distance of Alcove Theater, Union Square, and Westfield San Francisco Center Shopping Mall. Nearby points of interest also include Academy of Art University and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Hotel FeaturesHandlery Union Square Hotel's restaurant se......ViewRooms from$139.00
Hotel DivaLocated in central San Francisco, Hotel Diva is a business-friendly hotel within walking distance of American Conservatory Theater, San Francisco Visitor's Center, and Union Square. Additional points of interest include Moscone Convention Center and St. Mary Square. Hotel FeaturesDining options at Hotel Diva include a restaurant and......ViewRooms from$117.00
The Opal - San FranciscoThe Opal - San Francisco is located in San Francisco's Cultural District neighborhood, close to Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption, Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, and Louise Davies Symphony Hall. Nearby points of interest also include Union Square and Lombard Street. Hotel FeaturesThe Opal - San Francisco's restaurant ser......ViewRooms from$89.00
Hotel Palomar San Francisco, a Kimpton HotelLocated in central San Francisco, Hotel Palomar San Francisco, a Kimpton Hotel is a business-friendly hotel within walking distance of Museum of Craft and Folk Art, San Francisco Visitor's Center, and Moscone Convention Center. Additional points of interest include Union Square and St. Mary Square. Hotel FeaturesHotel Palomar San Fr......ViewRooms from$220.00
Adante Hotel, a C-Two HotelAdante Hotel, a C-Two Hotel is located in central San Francisco, close to Marrakech Magic Theater, Union Square, and Westfield San Francisco Center Shopping Mall. Nearby points of interest also include Asian Art Museum of San Francisco and Academy of Art University. Hotel FeaturesAdante Hotel, a C-Two Hotel features a coffee shop/ca......ViewRooms from$89.00
CliftProperty Location With a stay at Clift, you'll be centrally located in San Francisco, steps from SHN Curran Theatre and American Conservatory Theater. This 4-star hotel is close to Academy of Art University and Lombard Street. Rooms Make yourself at home in one of the 372 air-conditioned rooms featuring minibars and flat-screen tele......ViewRooms from$228.00
Hotel MajesticProperty Location With a stay at Hotel Majestic in San Francisco (Civic Center), you'll be minutes from Audium and Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption. This family-friendly hotel is close to Lombard Street and Academy of Art University. Rooms Stay in one of 75 guestrooms featuring LCD televisions. Complimentary wireless Intern......ViewRooms from$91.00
Hotel Nikko San FranciscoProperty Location With a stay at Hotel Nikko San Francisco, you'll be centrally located in San Francisco, steps from American Conservatory Theater and SHN Curran Theatre. This 4-star hotel is close to Academy of Art University and Lombard Street. Rooms Make yourself at home in one of the 532 air-conditioned rooms featuring minibars ......ViewRooms from$169.00
Hotel BijouProperty Location With a stay at Hotel Bijou, you'll be centrally located in San Francisco, steps from San Francisco Visitor's Center and Westfield San Francisco Center Shopping Mall. This family-friendly hotel is close to Academy of Art University and Lombard Street. Rooms Make yourself at home in one of the 65 guestrooms. Complime......ViewRooms from$159.00
Hotel Whitcomb, A Historic Hotel of AmericaProperty Location With a stay at Hotel Whitcomb, A Historic Hotel of America, you'll be centrally located in San Francisco, steps from Orpheum Theater and San Francisco Public Library. This eco-friendly hotel is close to Academy of Art University and Lombard Street. Rooms Make yourself at home in one of the 460 air-conditioned guest......ViewRooms from$149.00
da Vinci VillaProperty Location A stay at da Vinci Villa places you in the heart of San Francisco, walking distance from Feusier Octagon House and Allyne Park. This hotel is close to Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39. Rooms Make yourself at home in one of the 136 guestrooms featuring iPod docking stations and flat-screen televisions. Your pillowtop b......ViewRooms from$121.00
Civic Center InnHotel Information If you are looking for an affordable and comfortable budget option in downtown San Francisco, the Civic Center Inn is a good choice. Each of the 80 rooms is equipped with newly renovated private bathrooms, showers, hair dryers and complimentary toiletries. The friendly multilingual staff on the 24 hour front desk ar......ViewRooms from$59.00
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San Francisco stories
San Francisco's coolest neighborhoods - The Castro
There are plenty of cool neighborhoods in the city - and they're all within access of wherever you're staying because of the compact flavor of the city. It's a great place to spend a few days, and you'll find excellent accommodation in your choice of neighborhood.
What was once a haven of dairy farms and country lanes is now a thriving, vibrant area where the restaurants and bars are full all night long and the all encompassing population welcomes everyone. And the price of real estate...!
One of the big must do's is a movie at the Castro Theater (429 Castro St.). Famous for its mighty Wurlitzer organ playing along to specially chosen movies is as fun an experience as you'll ever have. The stunning art-deco, Moorish and otherwise lavish combination of interior designs makes it a special trip for anyone interested in architecture.
If you've always loved the idea of tea but don't know where to start, check out the rather brilliantly named Samovar Tea Lounge (498 Sanchez St.), where more than 100 whole-leaf teas and herbal infusions from around the globe are offered up for your tea drinking pleasure. The barista (?) can guide your choice and even give you a tasting selection. And don't forget to take home your favorite brew. If you want to beat the crowds, try the breakfast service.
If you're after a fun night on the town without taking it all too seriously, try the Mint - 1942 Market - it's a very welcoming crowd and the best part is the free Karaoke. Not for the faint-hearted of course, but that's what the alcohol's for after all! Go with a group, or just as a couple - you'll have fun and the unpretentious bar will become your second home in the city.
San Francisco bar-hopping
Everyone knows that San Francisco is one of the coolest city's on the planet! But if you're new to town just where does one find the best bars without seeming to try? Let us be your guide for the evening. Find Cheaprooms.com accommodation in San Francisco and enjoy the nightlife in this great city.
If you're staying in central SFO, you have the city at your feet! Find cheap accommodation in San Francisco and look for packages that include breakfast.
The SFO bar experience is a sophisticated, yet understated one. People here don't seem to go after the glamor and glitz of other cities and it's all to the better in our opinion. The Rickhouse in Kearny St is a king amongst bars given its predilection for a single malt whiskey menu and a series of liquor shelves so tall they need a rolling ladder to get to it all. A joy for the boozehound, Rickhouse is seriously good.
If you like a theme for your drinking, try the Wilson & Wilson at 505 Jones Street. The Wilson & Wilson is a detective-agency themed, speakeasy style of bar with a film-noir vibe, nicely turned out in its 1920s-style wallpaper. Choose your poison from the detective cases cocktail menu and then pay at the old cash registers. Best of all are the staff - these people know their booze and it's a pleasure doing business with them.
The Slanted Door is on the water at Ferry Building so your night's drinking is set to the backdrop of the beautiful harbor views. The bar food is Vietnamese and is the perfect complement to a night of liver damage. You'll find beers and cocktails here at reasonable prices.
A walking tour of San Francisco
Every so often you strike a city that deserves to be explored on a much deeper level - a city with a rich history and a cultural diversity that defies explanation and just calls out to be enjoyed for what it is - unique. San Francisco is such a city and we think it's best explored on foot. Go to Cheaprooms.com and secure a cheap hotel in San Francisco and bring your walking shoes and a good day pack.
You might also bring your appetite because San Francisco's cultural melting pot has delivered a unique 'foodie' culture to the city - and you'll want to taste every last bit of it. Find cheap accommodation in San Francisco now and fall in love with one of the US's greatest cities.
Your first exploration of something quite different is Japantown, located to the left of the Fisherman's Wharf area. You can browse the streets and poke your head into the tiny shop front restaurants. And when you're done, take a walk down Fillmore St, recently voted one of the country's most interesting new shopping areas.
North Beach by day is a sprawling mass of Italian warmth and a constant feeling of the morning-after-the-night-before given its preponderance of nightclubs, bars and jazz clubs. The area is a haven for the gelato-phile and no walking tour here is complete without a wander down Grant Avenue - a shining beacon to the history of San Francisco, from its notorious Barbary Coast beginnings to the boutique and restaurant saturated city that it is today.
South of Market, or SOMA, as the locals call it is home to fashionable nightclubs and late night bars - this is your evening entertainment slot. This is where the sleek come to play and it shows in the entry prices. That said, there are some of San Francisco's classic restaurants here and of course it's home to the most beautiful ballpark of them all! Walking through here in the daylight hours is a fun way to explore an architecturally interesting part of the city.
The top 5 things to do in San Francisco
The things to do in cosmopolitan, multi-cultural San Francisco would take a book, so unless you have a lifetime, what you do in San Francisco will take a little prioritisation. Serendipitously, we can point you in the direction of 5 magical things to do! First, check Cheaprooms.com for quality hotels to choose from in San Francisco. The discount rooms in San Francisco offer so much, for so little money. There are plenty of gorgeous city escape hotels to choose from..
The mystical Golden Gate Bridge connects Marin County to the city and - did you know - celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2012. You'll find a good deal on Cheap Rooms with plenty of extras and options to make your SFO stay a good one.
One of the great pleasures in San Francisco is the marvellous Golden Gate Park, shaped in a rectangular format much the same as Central Park, it's surprisingly, 20% larger. Perfect for outdoor picnics, and speaking of which, check the weather in San Francisco before you come so you can pack accordingly.
If the weather turns against you, soak up the innovative and exciting exhibitions at the extraordinary California Academy of Sciences in Golden gate Park. You'll be greeted by indoor snow flurries and giant dinosaurs.
Fishermans Wharf is still one of the premiere attractions and there's nothing like a bowl of seafood chowder on a misty day.
If you have time, the 'must see' is still Alcatraz in the middle of the Bay. The ferry boat ride out gives you an excellent back towards the city and the Rock itself is still a astoundingly eerie place to visit.
Just what other magic can you create with a Rubics Cube?
Cheap things to do in San Francisco!
Oh oh... big city means big prices...right? Ain't necessarily so, if you know what and where to shop and do! Check Cheaprooms.com for quality hotels to choose from and pack your walking shoes. The discount rooms in San Francisco always go fast, so be quick.
Staying close to the central business district, or the Embarcadero or close to Union Square will put you close to most of the action, so get agood deal on Cheap Rooms and get ready to enjoy the best and cheapest of San Francisco.
There's something about the Golden Gate Bridge area that draws every tourist. If you want iconic views of San Francisco's most famous drawcard, head down to the Marina's Golden Gate promenade and enjoy the beach views, the picturesque bay and boats and those golden views of the bridge. Hungry? Stop for a snack at the Warming Hut.
Talking of snacks (and, therefore, coffee), head up to the North Beach area in San Francisco and follow your nose. Seattle doesn't hold Aces high on the coffee front any more - San Francisco's North Beach area is fast becoming a mecca for those who love the sense of neighborhood and community. Red light and late night when the sun goes down, the area is home to a vast array of young urban professionals and the cafe culture that has sprung up to feed them has also brought in galleries, bookshops and vintage clothing places - plus restaurants.
Live the high life! Pretend to be a guest at one of the classic hotels - the Palace or the Fairmont for example. Or sip a cocktail 30 floors up at one of the high rise hotels and enjoy the view without the room cost.
Brilliant LG elevator ad...