The Essential San Francisco Travel Guide

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Aly Leia Wein

Feature Image: Ian Schneider

There is no place on earth quite like San Francisco. The city by the bay is filled with rolling hills, looming fog, and a wide assortment of arts, culture, entertainment, and cuisine. Whether your vacay style is more hitting up trendy downtown brunch places, taking in some Northern California nature, or just watching the waves crash beneath the Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco has something for everybody and every budget.


Photo by    USA Today 10Best

If you want classic brunch bites in a nostalgic setting… Sears’ Fine Food, Union Square

If you want an authentic Italian meal… North Beach Restaurant, North Beach

If you want to have the quintessential San Francisco dessert… Ghirardelli Chocolate, Fisherman’s Wharf

If you want the best Hawaiian-Chinese-Indian-Californian fusion dishes around… Liholiho Yacht Club, Nob Hill

If you want no-frills seafood at an institution that has been delighting tastebuds for over 100 years… Swan Oyster Depot, Polk Gulch


Photo by    SFist

Photo by SFist

If you want to kick back in a campy tropical paradise teeming with tiki… Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar, Nob Hill

If you want to relax with the best view of San Francisco as your backdrop… The View Lounge, SoMa

If you want to wine and dine while sitting on stylish tree stumps… Sippin Wine Bar, Mission Terrace

If you want a neighborhood bar with character, cheap pints, and free popcorn… The Little Shamrock, Inner Sunset

If you want killer handcrafted cocktails in a historic speakeasy that dates back to Prohibition… Bourbon & Branch, Tenderloin


Photo by    Rosie De La Cruz

If you want to see San Francisco the way it was meant to be seen… San Francisco Cable Cars

If you want to experience shopping, dining, and entertainment on the waterfront… The Embarcadero

If you want to see a Japanese tea garden, bison paddock, Victorian greenhouse, carousel, and more in one day… Golden Gate Park

If you want to tour one of America’s most notorious (former) prisons… Alcatraz Island

If you want to prove you definitely went to San Francisco… Golden Gate Bridge


If you want to experience a San Francisco classic… The Fairmont, Nob Hill

If you want to be in the bustling heart of the city… The Westin St. Francis, Union Square

If you want to escape to SF’s landmark historic hotel (since 1875)… Palace Hotel, Financial District

If you want to spend the night in one of the most haunted hotels in San Francisco… Queen Anne Hotel, Pacific Heights

If you want to stay in a historic warehouse boutique hotel… The Argonaut, Fisherman’s Wharf

What’s your favorite thing to do in San Francisco?

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