At twilight, fog rolls into the City by the Bay and shrouds you in a veil of possibilities. Will you spend your evening hunched over a craft bourbon cocktail in the Castro District? Or perhaps walk down to Baker Beach to watch lights from Sausalito twinkle across the Golden Gate Bridge? San Francisco has attracted a diverse crowd of inhabitants—from tech industry giants to modern day hippies—due to its unfaltering ability to boast not just the typical urban offerings of a big city, but to supply its residents with enriching experiences spanning from the art world to the baseball diamond. Although those who know the city best reside there permanently, you too can experience some of the California mystique San Francisco has to offer. San Francisco lodging is the perfect solution for a wanderer such as yourself to get in touch with the crown jewel of the Golden State.
Things to Do in San Francisco
Part of the magic of the city is that not only can you do what you want to do, but you can temporarily be whoever you want to be. While you might be as self-confident as they come, it always gets your heart racing to dive into a new city and devour its attractions; casting off your former life and thriving in a new space. As cable cars roll through the city’s hilly landscape with smooth determination, you too can stride through the shops of Union Square, balancing your purchases with new leather loafers and kitschy “I heart SF” shirts for your loved ones. There are so many things to do in San Francisco that you find yourself following your feet through the city—the gray clouds above don’t deter your sauntering, but only make the buildings in San Francisco seem more spectacular.
With a hot cup of coffee in hand, you depart from one of the best places to stay in San Francisco and head to some of the city’s finest museums. Will you spend hours inside the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art gazing upon contemporary works, or shuffle around the de Young Museum, lost deep in thought while you peer at abstract paintings and inspired photographs? The afternoon has passed by pleasantly indoors, but you stroll down to Fisherman’s Wharf to breathe in the fresh air of the Pacific. Beanie-wearing fisherman smile as you pass the dock and head to Pier 39. There, joyful sea lions bark in the sunshine as you eye steaming pots of clam chowder nearby. This coastal walk has certainly helped you work up an appetite, but luckily there’s no shortage of dining to be found in the city.
Eating and Drinking
Much like your evenings could end sitting at a dimly lit jazz club in the Fillmore district or listening to psychedelic impersonators playing guitar on Haight Street, your dining experience in San Francisco could go in several different directions. In North Beach, the city’s Italian quarter, you’ll stumble upon quaint sidewalks lined with outdoor seating options. Locals sip espresso and you can sidle up next to them to ask which establishment boasts the best homemade lasagna—the trick is in nailing the ratio of béchamel to Bolognese sauce.
If your hands are itching to get ahold of a pair of chopsticks, look no further than the city’s captivating Chinatown. As the oldest and largest Chinatown in North America, you’ll need to pay attention as you wander its winding streets trying to locate the restaurant of your choosing. It’s easy to get distracted by the colorful hanging lanterns and intoxicating herb shops as you cruise to your destination. However, once seated, you’ll feast on decadent dim sum and sweetly roasted duck, two offerings that will make your trip there seem like a hazy dream.
Of course, those looking for simpler fare that takes its inspiration from south of the border will revel in the spicy yet sumptuous taquerias that call the Mission district home. Chile rellenos oozing with Monterey Jack cheese and carnitas tacos will have you licking your lips and wondering why you don’t relocate to California permanently…why is it again you haven’t? The answer seems to escape you as you chew through mouthfuls of Mexican food covered in homemade habanero salsa.
But just as some people prefer green chile-based salsa to the red habanero’s, some nomads require time outdoors to better appreciate the contrast of the City by the Bay. Despite its towering buildings downtown, traces of the California of the gold rush days still linger. Seek shady refuge in the Presidio as you stroll through paved paths lined by massive trees. Those who continue to wander will prosper, as the park eventually opens out to Marshall’s Beach. From the sandy Pacific shores, your eyes will catch the most famous rock in America, Alcatraz Island—which once housed some of the most infamous criminals in the nation.
Day trips from San Francisco
If you’ve thoroughly figured out where to stay in San Francisco and are looking to explore outside of the city, there are several destinations that will speak to your wild heart. Napa Valley is the journey’s end for wine aficionados, while Lake Tahoe is the ideal destination for those who love the outdoors and water sports. For an eclectic getaway, traverse 76 miles south to Santa Cruz. Beloved by The Beach Boys and banana slug enthusiasts, the quirky city on the coast houses some of the best surfing spots in the country, organic food feasts, and enough vintage shopping to occupy you for weeks on end—only willing to peel yourself away from San Francisco for a few hours.
After realizing how much the vibrant Californian city has to offer, you feel inclined to stay a few more days to explore all of your options. With Travelocity, you’ll find the perfect accommodation for your stay in the City by the Bay. Whether you yearn for the modern digs near Union Square or the thrill of yesteryear that radiates off Haight Street, we’ll help you find the hotel that will ensure you enjoy your time in the Golden State…so much so that perhaps you’ll find it difficult to leave. You wouldn’t be the first to have this revelation—as Walter Cronkite once famously said, “Leaving San Francisco is like saying goodbye to an old sweetheart. You want to linger as long as possible.”