San Francisco, USA

San Francisco, The City by the Bay, is a laid-back, bohemian city, with a wealth of attractions and historical sights to experience.  From interesting neighbourhoods full of laid-back artists and musicians, to fascinating museums and attrractions, San Francisco has plenty to offer for everyone.

 

San Francisco is on the northern Californian coastline, and is a sprawling metropolitan area, that surrounds a large salt-water bay, with a narrow inlet from the sea that is spanned by the Golden Gate Bridge; probably the most well known bridge in the US.

 

Because of its location and geography, the city is surprisingly cool, compared to Los Angeles and even a few miles inland, which can be very hot and dry.  It is famous for the sea fog that drifts over the bay some days, making stuning photo opportunities of the Bridge.  The city temperatures tend to be around the low-mid 20's for the Summer and Autumn seasons, with the Winters cooler and wetter, but very rarely below freezing.  This makes San Francisco a city you can visit all year round and not be uncomfortable with the temperatures.

 

San Francisco is best navigated on foot and by the public transport system.  Roads can get busy at any time of day, one-way streets appear as if by magic and parking is expensive and can be difficult to find.  The city is built on many hills and can be very steep in places.  The famous Lombard Street is so steep, it zig-zags back and forth 8 times to get from top to bottom!  The public transport system is very good and there are historic cable cars, trolley buses and light rail trolley cars, as well as normal buses, trains and the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) subway system, which all make travelling around the city very easy.  Taxis can be found fairly easily in Downtown and near large  hotels.

 

You can walk to many of the sights around the city, including Telegraph Hill and the Coit Tower, with views of the City and the Bay, Golden Gate Park, with gardens, lakes, wildlife and entertainment,  Fort Point, which has great views of the bridge, and the waterfront area which includes Fishermans' Wharf, Pier 39 and Ghirardelli Square.  You can walk across the Golden Gate Bridge, as well, and this is a wonderful excursion with some great photo opportunities.  This is quite a long walk to go all the way across and you need to be fairly fit, but you can just go half way across, if you don't feel up to the whole bridge!  We would suggest you hire a car for travelling to sights and attractions outside the city, and especially to drive across the Golden Gate Bridge on Route 1!

 

Famous sights to visit include Alcatraz Island, with its famous prison (prebooking recommended) and Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39 and Girardelli Square, covering several blocks of shopping and dining on the waterfront, with views over the bay and Alcatraz.  There are also many other worthwhile places to visit, such as museums, galleries and parks.  The coast road, Route 1, runs north and south of the city and has stunning scenery and some secluded beaches to explore.  Most of the coastline north of the city, for nearly 60 miles, is classified as the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and has many historical sites, hiking trails, lovely beaches and numerous spots just to stop and watch the sun set over the Pacific.

 

The neighbourhoods around the City also have their own spirit, and are well worth a visit if you have the time.  The Mission District offers Latin shops and restaurants, North Beach has Italian restaurants, Chinatowns' sights and food, and Pacific Heights, Russian Hill and Nob Hill all have extraordinary mansions from the rich and famous past residents and founders of the City, railroad magnates and gold-rush tycoons, some of which have now been turned into luxury hotels.

 

The California Wine Country is about an hour north of San Francisco. Most of the wineries are in Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley and most of them offer tours, tastings and restaurants. Napa Valley has more wineries and is more touristy, while the Sonoma Valley is lower key with family-run wineries and a relaxed ambience.

 

Overall, San Francisco is a lovely, relaxed city to spend some time in, and well worth including in your itnerary if you can.

 

 


Transpacific's recommended hotel selection
The Handlery, Union Square

The Handlery, Union Square

At The Handlery Union Square Hotel, you are steps away from all that San Francisco has to offer.

View Now

The Argonaut

The Argonaut

A hip, boutique Hotel, The Argonaut in Fisherman's Wharf is an iconic and historic property with great views.

View Now

Westin St Francis

Westin St Francis

An historic 4-star Hotel, right on Union Square, the Westin St Francis offers a luxury retreat.

View Now

 

Your chosen resort not shown?

In addition to our selected hotels/resorts listed here we can provide you with prices and information for any other property in San Francisco, USA that you may be interested in.

Please call our reservations centre on
01342 840555 or contact your preferred travel agent.

Transpacific International Standards Logo's

Copyright Transpacific Holidays 2009. Greenmeads House, Dayseys Hill, Outwood, Surrey. RH1 5QY