You envision yourself in the heart of a bustling downtown, the vague scent of fresh chocolate lingering in the breeze. You pass a street cart in a yummy part of town: Is that dim sum you see being served to tourists and locals with contented smiles? Yet, as much as you wish for a vacation filled with excitement and the frenetic buzz that can only be found in a major city, you also long for a lung full of sea air and the chance to eat your dinner with a dreamy water view. When someone here tells you to “Go fly a kite,” you take it as a compliment and head straight for Ocean Beach on the west side of the city. You’re in San Francisco, where you’re bound to leave your heart and gain a few shopping bags worth of vintage clothing. Book a room at one of our San Francisco beach hotels, and you’ll have the best of California with scenic coastal views and a thriving metropolis all in one place.
Where are the best beaches by San Francisco?
With a nickname like City by the Bay, you can bet your bottom sand dollar that San Francisco has lots of beachfront worth exploring. Whether you want to surf or sunbathe, San Francisco hotels on the beach give you easy access to some of the best coastal landscape in NorCal.
- East Beach: Also called China Beach, this Pacific Heights stretch of sand has shallow waters perfect for playing and summer lifeguards. It also boasts a splendid view of the Golden Gate Bridge.
- Baker Beach: Come early in the morning and enjoy views of the Marin Headlands and watch sea lions wade off shore. By evening, low tide is the right time to search for starfish or build a sand castle. The north side of the beach is clothing optional.
- Aquatic Park: This beach is in the heart of the city. Grab a bread bowl filled with soup and walk over to the sand, where you can dine with the salty breeze. The sand is soft and the water is calm.
What are the best restaurants in San Francisco with a view of the water?
When the lunch or dinner bell rings but you can’t tear yourself from the water—you don’t have to. Head to the Embarcadero or Fisherman’s Wharf and find a table near the window. At La Mar at Pier 1 ½, Peruvian fare will delight your taste buds. Meanwhile, The Franciscan Crab Restaurant at Pier 43 ½ has flashy neon décor and roasted crab with garlic sauce so good you may shed a tear.
You don’t have to decide between the sweet benefits of a trip to Ghirardelli’s and a quiet walk on the beach at sunset. The best of city and sand unite in San Fran. Let the quirk of Haight-Ashbury call your heart to sing and the vibrancy of Chinatown leave you awe-inspired. Then stay at one of our top San Francisco beachfront hotels, like the Omni San Francisco Hotel or Hotel Diva and live in the lap of luxury for a while.