Welcome to San Francisco
San Francisco is seven square miles of fog-shrouded magic. Travelers come for cable-car rides and the Golden Gate Bridge—and stay for edgy neighborhoods, cultural diversity, and beautiful open-air spaces.
Mark Twain famously said the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. In truth, the fog is unpredictable but you can expect a relatively seasonless climate year-round.
Cool summers are perfect for bike rides across the Golden Gate Bridge, or row boat rentals at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park.
Fall brings Indian summers and the warmest weather, ideal for checking out the produce harvest at the Ferry Building Farmer’s Market.
Winter is the heart of whale watching season, and the best time to try Dungeness crab served whole at Fisherman’s Wharf.
With spring come cherry blossoms at the Japanese Tea Garden, and offseason wine country trips—with fewer tourists.
Walking: San Franciscans take pride in walking (or biking) instead of driving, and for good reason: they live in one of the most compact and traffic-congested cities in the US. Thankfully, most neighborhoods are perfect for exploring on foot, with lively street life, public spaces, and restaurants and cafes to explore.
Bus and rail: It’s reasonably easy to get around the city on MUNI buses and streetcars, though many lines run infrequently depending on the time of day and stop after midnight. Cable cars take limited scenic routes, while BART rapid rail is the fastest connection from downtown to the Mission, airport, and surrounding Bay Area.
Rideshare: Uber and Lyft services are most widely used, and will save you the trouble of driving and parking. Taxis can be hard to flag down—but they don’t charge surge pricing during peak travel times. Bike shares are common and growing in popularity, especially downtown and along the waterfront.
San Francisco is known today for being the home of techies rather than hippies; it’s a city in flux, but with time-tested attractions that easily show why it’s a special place. Alcatraz Island, Muir Woods, and Golden Gate Park are worth visiting for their natural beauty alone. Chinatown and North Beach have blissfully held on to their cultural roots, while the Castro, the heart of the city's LGBTQIA+ community, is walkable, sunny, and anchored by the lovely Castro Theater. To see a truly classic side of the city, we recommend visiting the Beach Chalet, Cliff House, and Sutro Baths ruins near Ocean Beach.
A San Francisco native, Gianmaria is a writer making his life between Northern California and Italy.
take a cable car—you’ll ride a mobile National Monument through some of the city’s oldest neighborhoods.
starts with coffee from Cafe Trieste, includes a break for a picnic in front of the Conservatory of Flowers, and finishes with a sunset at Lands End.
the Golden Gate Bridge and its surrounds, including Crissy Field, the Presidio, and Fort Point (where parts of Hitchcock’s Vertigo were shot).
try walking some of the original seven hills, starting with Nob Hill, Russian Hill, or Telegraph Hill.
Twin Peaks is legendary, and the De Young Museum’s Hamon Observation Tower is one of a kind.
is packing for Santa Monica or Malibu. San Francisco is often cold, windy, and foggy during summer.
California’s 4th-largest city, San Francisco is known for its steep hills and photogenic attractions like the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, Chinatown, and Alcatraz Island. The city also has a thriving gourmet food scene and is an urban hub for innovative tech companies....More
Depending on who you ask, the best thing about San Francisco may be its diverse cultural attractions, miles of scenic shoreline, farm-to-table food scene, or walkable neighborhoods. Others love the urban parks and proximity to nature havens like Muir Woods, beaches, and the Marin Headlands....More
Yes. San Francisco is popular with tourists thanks to its scenic location on the San Francisco Bay, array of cultural attractions, and diverse food scene. Its compact size is easy to get around, and visitors can experience museums, beaches, urban hikes, and world-class dining all in one day....More
Pier 39 is the most-visited place in San Francisco. This family-friendly pier on Fisherman’s Wharf features souvenir shops, seafood restaurants, and the Aquarium of the Bay. It’s also a departure point for boat tours to Alcatraz Island and home to a noisy colony of California sea lions....More
Vehicle break-ins and property theft are the most commonly reported crimes in San Francisco, though drug use, traffic accidents, and violent crime are also concerns. Visitors can help keep themselves safe by crossing streets carefully, remaining aware of their surroundings, and never leaving valuables inside a car....More
The most popular things to do in San Francisco include a tour of Alcatraz Island, crossing the Golden Gate Bridge, taking a San Francisco Bay cruise, and exploring the waterfront at Fisherman’s Wharf. Walking around neighborhoods like Chinatown, North Beach, and the Mission is also a great way to explore San Francisco....More