Where to stay in San Francisco (& Where NOT to stay): a local's travel guide.

Issues are altering quickly – please double verify what’s open earlier than your journey and observe all native tips to maintain your self and others protected! Additionally, adverts are how we pay our payments and maintain our weblog free so that you can take pleasure in. We additionally use affiliate hyperlinks; for those who make a purchase order by them, we could obtain a small fee for free of charge to you.

I (Jeremy) first moved to San Francisco in 2009 for school, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and proper in the midst of that excellent time interval between Tech Increase 1.0 and Tech Increase 2.0. Town I moved to was quirky and inexpensive: I used to be capable of work as a barista and attend artwork faculty whereas nonetheless with the ability to pay for hire and my school social life.

That looks as if a very long time in the past now – an inexpensive San Francisco looks like a distant reminiscence. Since then, I’ve modified as a lot as the town has. However a number of issues have remained the identical: I’ll at all times get that butterfly-in-my-stomach feeling of pleasure after I cross over the Bay Bridge from our present residence in Oakland and catch glittering daylight reflecting off skyscrapers within the Monetary District and shining on Coit Tower, or after I’m capable of catch a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge unobscured by fog.

Vital 2021 Journey Replace: Starting August 20, 2021, all indoor companies in San Francisco – together with eating places, bars, golf equipment, and gymnasiums – will likely be requiring proof of vaccination to enter, and plenty of different companies are additionally requiring vaccination proof voluntarily. Be certain to carry your vaccination card (or a photograph of it) or a digital QR code with you. Alternatively, you possibly can nonetheless eat exterior. And naturally, masks are required all over the place (most locals put on them each indoors and outdoors). For extra particulars, click here. Take pleasure in your go to!
Lia enjoying the regularly scheduled 6pm cold/fog.
Lia having fun with the frequently scheduled 6pm chilly/fog. The remainder of the photographs of this submit are sunny and heat, however contemplate your self duly ready: Karl the Fog is ever current in San Francisco.

Yet another factor has stayed the identical: San Francisco will at all times be a metropolis that adjustments. Since San Francisco first started to draw hopeful visionaries within the early days of the Gold Rush, it’s been a lightning rod for no matter’s subsequent, new, and thrilling. San Francisco looks like the long run – however items of the town will at all times replicate its previous. The Summer time of Love in 1967 could have felt like the following large factor for younger Individuals on the time, however at present, Haight-Ashbury feels prefer it’s charmingly frozen in time, a dwelling museum to an period lengthy gone.

That is additionally why it could actually really feel extremely complicated to determine the place to remain in San Francisco. For one factor, there are a TON of various neighborhoods, every with a very distinct vibe, historical past, surroundings, and even climate. And regardless of San Francisco’s comparatively tiny dimension, it could actually take hours to get from one aspect of the town to a different on public transportation because of ridiculous hills and site visitors.

Basing your self in the precise spot can imply the distinction between strolling out your entrance door to discover, and spending an hour and a half in a bus or prepare or automotive simply to see the sights.

We all know the place you keep could make or break your journey expertise, and we would like you to fall in love with San Francisco – and to get that butterfly feeling whenever you take heed to San Francisco songs. Oh, by the way, listed here are a number of of our favorites so that you can play when you’re studying this submit:


The 14 Best Weekend Getaways in Colorado: from Hiking to Hot Springs

Now that you simply’ve received your playlist all queued up (and a cup of espresso or tea, maybe – this can be a lengthy submit!) let’s get began.

Psst: Planning to go to the Bay Space? We’ve received a ton of weblog posts about our residence! Listed below are a number of of our favorites that will help you put together in your journey.

We even have a Podcast episode about San Francisco! Discover out what to eat, the place to drink, & the perfect issues to do, plus solutions to questions you by no means knew you had… like whether or not there’s weed all over the place (sure) and for those who’ll unintentionally see nudity (double sure). We’re additionally spilling the fair-trade, natural, ethically sourced tea on our lesser-known lifetime of crime.

The Ferry Building in San Francisco, California.
The Ferry Constructing is San Francisco’s greatest meals corridor, and it’s a incredible place to get espresso and breakfast earlier than heading out on our self-guided walking tour of San Francisco!

San Francisco Journey Suggestions

Earlier than we dive into our San Francisco neighborhood information, listed here are a number of fast suggestions that you simply’ll must know earlier than you begin planning your journey.

  • Don’t rent a car. Don’t do it! You do NOT need the effort or expense of parking a automotive throughout your journey to San Francisco. It’s terrible. I NEVER drive in San Francisco if I will help it, and I extremely encourage you to do the identical. Something you need to entry exterior of the town will be organized through tour or at most, a one-day car rental.
  • Don’t name it “San Fran” or “Frisco.” There are 2 acceptable affectionate nicknames for San Francisco: “SF” and “The Metropolis.” That’s it. These are the two. Permitting “San Fran” or “Frisco” to cross your lips is a good way to out your self as an out-of-towner, which has the additional advantage of inflicting everybody close to you to take a number of steps again and internally seethe.
  • Pack good strolling sneakers. San Francisco is a metropolis greatest explored on foot. Sure, you possibly can take transit to get round, however you’ll miss fairly a little bit of the quirks and appeal that make up San Francisco! Spend no less than a day wandering by the town and stroll as a lot as you possibly can. To assist, we’ve received a self-guided San Francisco walking tour – and we’ve additionally received options for the perfect strolling sneakers for journey. Listed below are our favourite journey sneakers for men and for women.
  • Deliver layers. San Francisco isn’t a heat metropolis. And it’s particularly not heat in the summertime, which is definitely the coldest season of the yr. Deliver a jacket, a shawl, and possibly even a hat, and pack all of them with you. Will probably be freezing chilly till 10am, then you definately’ll have a number of superb hours of heat and probably even sunny climate, earlier than 6pm hits and it is going to be instantly freezing once more. Throw your layers in a day bag and also you’ll be good to go!
  • San Francisco has a LOT of homeless residents. This may positively be a little bit of a tradition shock. Please needless to say the oldsters experiencing homelessness are our neighbors, and never a blight or an eyesore. Lots of the people that you will note are additionally scuffling with psychological sicknesses, and you may even see individuals who seem like speaking to themselves or to skinny air. Though this may be startling, keep in mind that these individuals are in way more hazard than you might be, and are unlikely to hurt you in any means. Homelessness is traumatic, notably for the mentally ailing, whose circumstances will be exacerbated by the stress of homelessness. Additionally, as a result of there are too few public restrooms in San Francisco, you’ll scent some disagreeable issues throughout your keep. Maintain your breath and bear in mind: you get to go residence and use a rest room or take a bathe everytime you need. They don’t. Have compassion. There’s a incredible useful resource for the way to answer the homeless in San Francisco on SF Gate.
  • You received’t discover many brief time period rental listings. Regardless of Airbnb being headquartered within the metropolis, brief time period leases in San Francisco have traditionally contributed to the housing disaster, which in flip impacts homelessness. Through the years, strict legal guidelines have been established, limiting the quantity and sort of AirBnBs discovered within the metropolis. When you can nonetheless discover a number of non-public rooms for hire in SF, with a view to be a extra accountable traveler, we advocate that you simply select to remain in lodges as a substitute.

We’ve received some extra useful – and solely mildly useful – suggestions for visiting San Francisco in our information to things nobody tells you about San Francisco!

In case your check-in and check-out instances don’t sync up together with your must roam the streets and also you want a spot to retailer your baggage try LuggageHero, a service that helps you discover a protected place to maintain your baggage when you’re working round! Use the code PRACTICALW for two hours of free baggage storage on us.


San Diego Weekend Getaway: The Perfect 3-day Itinerary

Now that we’ve received that out of the best way, let’s dive into which areas to remain in San Francisco!

The Greatest Areas to Keep in San Francisco

Union Square in San Francisco, California.
Union Sq. in San Francisco is a handy place to remain and wonderful to go to, however the space is missing in a lot of San Francisco’s signature appeal. There are many good locations to remain right here, however this space isn’t one among our high picks. Unique photograph credit score: “Union Square, San Francisco” (CC BY 2.0) by Tony Fischer Photography

Union Sq.

We’ll begin out with one of the vital widespread selections, earlier than providing you with a bunch of different choices that we extremely encourage you to decide on as a substitute. Union Sq. and the encompassing areas are one of the vital widespread vacationer locations in San Francisco. The sq. itself isn’t a lot to get enthusiastic about (besides throughout Christmas, when it turns into an attractive ice skating rink with an enormous Christmas Tree), however the surrounding streets are full of a number of the greatest buying within the metropolis. Each clothes model you possibly can consider has a storefront right here.

Union Sq. is centrally situated, near transit, and the lodges on this space serve up incredible high-rise views. For those who’re visiting for work, Union Sq. is simply shut sufficient to the Monetary District and the Moscone Conference Heart for a brisk morning stroll, and suffers much less from the FiDi’s “all the things closes after 6pm” curse.

That mentioned, for those who’re not visiting for work, there are much more fascinating locations to remain – Union Sq. doesn’t precisely serve up San Francisco appeal. That doesn’t imply it’s not price a go to, although: you would possibly end up passing by Union Sq. for a experience on our well-known Cable Car, a day of buying, or an outside lunch and an iconic photograph in beautiful Maiden Lane.

  • The place to Keep in Union Sq.: A lot of the lodges on this neighborhood are on the upper finish, just like the Westin St. Francis, which borders one finish of Union Sq. – pop in for a surprising foyer show in the course of the Christmas Season and for those who can, experience the glass elevators to the highest of the towers for top-of-the-line views within the metropolis. For those who’d want a extra budget-friendly room, attempt Villa Florence as a substitute.
Giant arrow statue along the Embarcadero south of Market Street in San Francisco, California.
SoMa is a large neighborhood. On the far jap aspect of SoMa, you’ll discover Rincon Hill, the Oracle Park, and this cool large arrow statue.

South of Market, aka SoMa

Locals confer with the sweeping space south of market road within the jap half of the town as SoMa. It’s VERY massive. So massive, in actual fact, that there are sub-districts inside SoMa like East Minimize, South Park, and Rincon Hill. Traditionally, this neighborhood was a warehouse district, however now it’s residence to tech corporations and lofts which occupy the roomy previous warehouse buildings.

SoMa is a incredible place to stick with fairly a bit occurring, however completely different elements of SoMa have completely different vibes. For instance, on the eastern-most tip of SoMa, you’ll discover stunning properties surrounding South Park, a quiet inexperienced London-Model little park sq..

However head west to Folsom Road between seventh and ninth and also you’ll discover the BDSM and leather-based tradition block (as a result of …San Francisco) that homes our infamous Folsom Street Fair each September. For those who’re visiting San Francisco in September, and also you’re NOT into leather-based, kink, or nudity, don’t remain on this space. Contemplate your self duly ready.

In different elements of SoMa, you’ll discover a number of the greatest eating places within the metropolis, like Saison, Bar Agricole, and South Park Cafe. There’s additionally wonderful nightlife at bars and golf equipment like twenty first Modification, Raven, Bloodhound, Want, Butter, DNA Lounge, Home of Shields, Native Version, and Tempest. And there’s loads of tradition as properly: the San Francisco MoMA, Yerba Buena Heart, and the Modern Jewish Museum will scratch your artwork itch.

And naturally, you possibly can’t go to San Francisco throughout baseball season with out stopping at Oracle Park (previously AT&T Park) to observe the SF Giants! Certain, we haven’t been in high type since 2014, however it’s nonetheless the most beautiful ballpark in the country. Native’s tip: the fog settles in round 9pm, so carry a rain jacket for those who’ll be at a late-night recreation. Additionally, order the Garlic Fries.


14 Beautiful Big Sur Campgrounds: The Best Camping in Big Sur, California

Beer at a giants game in San Francisco, California.
Oracle Park, situated on the far east aspect of SoMa, is one among our favourite locations on this neighborhood. Whether or not you keep right here or not, make sure you catch a Giants recreation throughout your journey!

There are a number of drawbacks to staying in SoMa: being so completely huge, the neighborhood lacks any actual id, making every block really feel kind of like its personal factor. In San Francisco, residence of extremely distinctive micro-neighborhoods, that’s fairly uncommon.

SoMa can be not … very fairly. It’s largely a variety of lofts, warehouses, and large streets with huge sidewalks – appeal is unquestionably missing. Additionally, all downtown freeway exits cross by right here, making site visitors an absolute nightmare.

That mentioned, SoMa is residence to a number of bus traces, making it pretty transit pleasant even for those who’ll have to move as much as Market to catch a BART prepare. And since the neighborhood is so HUGE, there are a selection of various vibes to fit your journey type.

  • The place to Keep in SoMa: The attractive and inexpensive BEI Hotel is situated on the westernmost tip of SoMa, near a number of transit choices and bordering a few of San Francisco’s greatest neighborhoods. We’d fortunately keep right here! Far to the east aspect aspect of SoMa, the extra upscale Hotel Griffon gives Bay Bridge views, walkable Monetary District entry, simple transportation to CalTrain for those who’re heading into Silicon Valley for work, and quick access to Oracle Park; this can be a nice choice for enterprise vacationers.
A groovy shop in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood.
Haight-Ashbury is one among our favourite neighborhoods in San Francisco and top-of-the-line areas to remain in, because of its appeal, historical past, central location, and proximity to stunning Golden Gate Park! Unique photograph credit score: “Jammin on Haight” (CC BY 2.0) by M McBey


Haight-Ashbury is one among our absolute favourite neighborhoods, and one of the vital iconic and historic in San Francisco! The Summer time of Love days could also be lengthy gone, however the Haight nonetheless preserves a number of the similar emotions. In reality, I believe a number of the similar individuals from that summer season are nonetheless hanging across the neighborhood…

There are a number of the reason why you won’t need to base your self in Haight-Ashbury. Listed below are a number of that come to thoughts:

  1. You continue to hate hippies… and at present’s equal counterculture folks, which is kind of a gutter-punk crust/grunge mashup
  2. You’re allergic to weed smoke
  3. Tie-Dye stuff makes you see pink

If not one of the above apply, permit us to persuade you to base your self on this space. For starters, it’s freakin’ beautiful and the structure can’t be overwhelmed: there’s nothing extra iconically San Francisco than the colourful, frilly Victorian properties that line the streets of the Haight.

Along with the beautiful historic properties, you’ll discover tons of lovely, distinctive little boutique retailers. In the case of buying in San Francisco, we truly want Haight-Ashbury to  Union Sq.: the retailers right here have that native aptitude and are expertly curated. For those who’re not into stunning upscale retailers, although, you’ll additionally discover a number of the greatest thrift shops within the metropolis, a bunch of groovy retailers promoting tie-dye and weed equipment, and a plethora of really wonderful costume retailers.

Victorian Home ni San Francisco, California.
A few of the most stunning Victorian properties in San Francisco will be discovered within the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, top-of-the-line locations to remain in San Francisco.

Haight-Ashbury can be centrally situated within the metropolis and borders stunning Golden Gate Park (no relation to the Golden Gate Bridge, and no, it’s not close by). By the best way, do you know that Golden Gate Park is greater than Central Park?! And that it’s residence to a herd of bison? And redwoods? And hikes? And a botanical garden? And a flower conservatory? And an art museum? And a science museum? And a Japanese Tea Garden?

Look, we’re simply going to say it: Golden Gate Park is the perfect metropolis park within the nation and NYC can stuff it. Don’t @ us.

Whereas there’s no quick access to BART within the Haight, there’s loads of MUNI traces working out and in of the world, so that you’ll don’t have any bother getting round inside San Francisco. For those who don’t keep right here, no less than pay the neighborhood a go to – and make sure you put on some flowers in your hair. You’d be stunned how small Haight-Ashbury truly is: you possibly can see the entire neighborhood in a day.

  • The place to Keep in Haight-Ashbury: The Stanyan Park Hotel borders Golden Gate Park, with luxurious old-world Victorian appeal and budget-friendly charges. We expect this is without doubt one of the greatest locations to remain in San Francisco!
The famous Painted Ladies on Alamo Square in San Francisco, California.
Hey, it’s us, Lia and Jeremy! Simply bein’ mushy in entrance of the Painted Girls on Alamo Sq..

Hayes Valley

Hayes Valley is without doubt one of the most stunning neighborhoods in San Francisco. We’d LOVE to reside right here, however let’s simply say we … can’t … afford it. However hey, let’s not discuss SF hire – it’s one of many native’s favourite subjects of dialogue, however as a customer, you don’t have to fret about it (you fortunate duck).

Right here is why you must reside out our private San Francisco fantasy and base your self in Hayes Valley: it’s freaking lovely. Suppose tree-lined streets, eating places spilling out onto shaded sidewalk cafes, and plenty of small boutique retailers (together with a few of our favourite moral/sustainable clothes manufacturers, Alternative Apparel, Outdoor Voices, and locally-based fave Marine Layer). We’d relatively buy groceries right here than in Union Sq. any day!

That mentioned, Hayes Valley is extra walkable than transit-able, and like the remainder of San Francisco, having a automotive will carry you nothing however bother.

Additionally, honest warning: for those who occur to be staying in Hayes Valley throughout Bay to Breakers in Might, you’re in for a really bizarre, VERY San Francisco expertise. (Truthfully, we’d extremely advocate it, however put together your self: there will likely be nudity, partying, elaborate costumes, common ridiculousness, and a LOT of enjoyable. Additionally a historic marathon, however that’s really the least interesting bit.)

We positively encourage anybody not staying in Hayes Valley to go to, notably for those who’re close by at Alamo Sq. to snag a Painted Girls photograph for the ‘gram.

  • The place to Keep in Hayes Valley: The Hayes Valley Inn is without doubt one of the most surprisingly high-value lodges in San Francisco. It’s loopy inexpensive for the costliest metropolis within the nation, particularly contemplating it’s situated proper within the coronary heart of one among its most stunning neighborhoods. In trade for these financial savings, although, you’ll must share a rest room with the opposite visitors. Look, there’s at all times a catch. For those who want to bathe within the privateness of your room, keep at The Grove Inn simply off of Alamo Sq. as a substitute.
The Castro Neighborhood in San Francisco, California.
The Castro district is a traditionally LGBTQ+ neighborhood. We positively advocate each visiting and staying right here, however please keep in mind that when you’re there, you’re a visitor within the queer group, so be respectful. Unique photograph credit score: “seeing is believing at sunset : castro,” (CC BY 2.0) by torbakhopper

The Castro

The Castro is without doubt one of the most iconic neighborhoods in San Francisco, and likelihood is you’ve already seen photographs of its rainbow-flag lined streets. Because the 70’s, the Castro has been one of the vital famously LGBTQ+ neighborhoods within the USA. For those who’re a respectful participant in queer tradition or a card-carrying ally, we extremely advocate a go to to the Castro to discover its historic streets and sights, and we’d encourage you to think about staying right here, too. Clearly, for those who’re homophobic, trans-phobic, or simply not snug with queer tradition, you must keep away from the Castro… and probably contemplate not visiting San Francisco in any respect.

There are a ton of the reason why we love the Castro, beginning with the climate. I do know it sounds bizarre, however each neighborhood in San Francisco has completely different climate (they’re known as Micro-Climates). It has one thing to do with completely different constructing layouts and the way they have an effect on solar and wind publicity, however I’m no Brick Tamland. What I do know is the Castro nearly at all times looks as if one of many warmest locations within the metropolis.

We additionally love that the Castro is close to the long-lasting Seward Slides. And also you’ll have quick access to Dolores Park, a should go to whereas within the metropolis. DoLo is the place everybody comes on heat days to put out with associates and social gathering in no matter means they see match. Some people drink and dance, some people drink and nap, some drink and play elaborate video games whereas others watch. Consuming is the official exercise although. There may be additionally some premium canine watching (my favourite), plus some hilariously San Franciscan distributors that stroll round. My private favorites are Michael the Coconut man (he walks round machete-ing coconuts and filling them with rum) and the cereal bars from the girl with the basket and vaguely Swiss maid outfit. Sure, there’s weed in them.

The Castro can be residence to a number of the greatest nightlife within the metropolis – which is nice for those who’re spry and with it, and possibly not so fascinating for those who’re previous at coronary heart and like to go to mattress early.

Earlier than you go to, learn up on LGBTQ+ history and culture in San Francisco so you’ve some context for the place you’re staying. Additionally, keep in mind that when you’re right here, you’re a customer within the queer group, so please be respectful.

  • The place to Keep within the Castro: Parker Guest House is gorgeous, completely situated, extremely rated, and pretty inexpensive – so just about a house run in terms of locations to remain in San Francisco!


36 Amazing Napa Wineries: the Best Wineries in Napa (by a Sommelier)

Along Broadway, Chinatown turns abruptly into Little Italy and the Transamerica Pyramid pops up around every corner. This neighborhood is called North Beach, and it's a great area to stay in San Francisco.
Alongside Broadway, Chinatown turns abruptly into Little Italy and the Transamerica Pyramid pops up round each nook. This neighborhood known as North Seaside, and it’s a fantastic space to remain in San Francisco.

North Seaside (& Chinatown)

Though these two neighborhoods are vastly completely different – in actual fact, the border of the 2 neighborhoods on Kerouac Alley is without doubt one of the greatest examples of the distinct dichotomy between neighborhoods in San Francisco – we’re together with them collectively as a result of they’re so shut that you simply’ll end up weaving out and in of them continuously throughout your keep. Additionally, as a result of there actually aren’t any lodges to talk of in Chinatown, so the closest you possibly can actually get is North Seaside.

We love this space for a number of causes. To start with, the meals. There is no such thing as a scarcity of fine meals right here! Between the biggest Chinatown in America, and San Francisco’s Little Italy, you’ll by no means go hungry.

For Italian meals, we advocate The Italian Selfmade Firm, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, Baonecci Restaurant, or Il Casaro.

For Chinese language, try Hunan’s House, Z & Y Restaurant, Mister Jiu’s, R&G Lounge, Metropolis View, or Sam Wo. Don’t neglect to pop into one among Chinatown’s little bakeries to choose up a scrumptious deal with for dessert, too!

These two neighborhoods are additionally residence to some beautiful San Francisco views. North Seaside is tree-lined and inexperienced, dotted with historic sights just like the Sentinel Building whereas the Transamerica Pyramid pops up round each nook.

However Chinatown transports you to a different nation: in the course of the day, its crowded streets fill with grocers and distributors hawking a wide range of bewildering wares, however round twilight everybody mysteriously vanishes, leaving you to discover quiet streets splashed with colourful road artwork and benefit from the shiny pink lanterns twinkling overhead nearly fully alone.

The neighborhoods are each completely positioned for guests, with shut proximity to lots of San Francisco’s greatest sights. You’re proper subsequent to Coit Tower, Ghiradelli Sq., Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, Telegraph Hill and the Filbert Steps (residence of a well-known flock of parrots), Kerouac Alley, and Washington Sq. Park. Whew. That’s a LOT of vacationer locations in a single very small space! Which, after all, is why our self-guided San Francisco walking tour goes straight by this space *ahem.*

We additionally love the historical past of those two neighborhoods. From escaped slave refugees to immigrants to the nice beat writers of the 1950’s, this small pocket of the town has wealthy tales to inform. We extremely advocate you learn up on the historical past of Chinatown and North Seaside, and contemplate reserving a guided tour within the daytime or evening to actually get to know these two unbelievable neighborhoods.

We do need to provide you with a heads-up, although: whereas these two neighborhoods are a number of the greatest in San Francisco to go to and to remain in, North Seaside can get slightly bizarre at night time. There are like, a bunch of strip golf equipment. With actually shiny neon lights that activate after darkish. And between the strip golf equipment, dance golf equipment, and promoters handing out adverts to them, Broadway can begin to really feel a bit like Las Vegas at night time.

Nevertheless it’s a straightforward repair: simply keep away from that stretch of Broadway and be sure you’re staying far sufficient away to not get neon lights lighting up your resort room at night time.

  • The place to Keep in North Seaside & Chinatown: The Washington Square Inn is a stunning, cozy little Victorian-style inn situated on the completely stunning Washington Sq. park in North Seaside. For those who’re on a good finances, the Hotel North Beach sacrifices a number of comforts (suppose: shared bogs) however gives an insanely good worth, and is situated instantly alongside the border between these two neighborhoods.


San Diego Weekend Getaway: The Perfect 3-day Itinerary

Canine Pleasant Inns in San Francisco

For those who’re like us, touring together with your pup could also be a compulsory requirement. And San Francisco is a uniquely dog-friendly metropolis – in actual fact, there are more dogs here than children! From the dog-friendly beaches to the dog-friendly bars, eating places, and parks, you possibly can just about carry your canine with you all over the place you go. (And we completely do.)

So for those who’ll be bringing your pup with you in your journey, we’ve discovered some superb locations to remain:

  • Hotel Argonaut: Positioned on Fisherman’s Wharf, this deliciously good-looking eco-friendly resort gives stunning views throughout the San Francisco Bay. Watch the boats go by out of your nautical themed room, with its uncovered bricks and ship-themed touches. Take your pup for a stroll by the water; it’s proper there!
  • Hotel Nikko: Positioned in Union Sq., Lodge Nikko goes a step additional in your canine – they provide pet-friendly rooms on the VIP (Very Vital Pet) Ground with canine beds, meals and water bowls, and mats! You may even stroll out on their Pet Terrace, which options an off-leash canine run for play time and metropolis views. Moreover pet choices, they resort is decoarted in fashionable blues and whites and has a glass-enclosed pool.
Notoriously curvy Lombard Street in  San Francisco, California.
Now we have a number of options on areas that aren’t a fantastic place to base your self throughout a go to to San Francisco. However simply because a neighborhood won’t be the perfect place to remain throughout your journey doesn’t imply you shouldn’t go to! Pictured: Lombard Road, San Francisco’s windiest street.

The place To not Keep in San Francisco

Now that we’ve given you our favourite areas to remain in San Francisco, listed here are the neighborhoods we’d advocate you NOT staying in. These are all incredible locations to go to, however not the perfect spots to base your self throughout your go to to San Francisco. Don’t fear, we’ll clarify why!

Fisherman’s Wharf

Arguably the obvious alternative for the place to remain in San Francisco additionally occurs to be the primary one which I’d inform you to take a tough cross on. Certain, it’s an iconic location, and clam chowder in a bread bowl is at all times close by, in addition to different San Francisco staples like Buena Vista Cafe, Ghirardelli Sq., Musee Mecanique, Boudin Bakery, and the seals at Pier 39.

Nevertheless it’s additionally insanely crowded, filled with vacationers, and lacks any actual essence of San Francisco aside from what you would possibly see on a mug or a magnet. Plus, the lodges listed here are dear.

We positively encourage you to go to – in actual fact, our San Francisco Walking Tour takes you up and down the entire Embarcadero to indicate you ways a lot we love this space – however we don’t advocate that you simply keep right here.

The one exception is for those who’ll be touring with a canine – the Hotel Argonaut is situated proper off Fisherman’s Wharf and is a incredible dog-friendly resort!

  • The place to Keep As a substitute: We’d advocate staying in North Seaside or Chinatown, each of which provide simple, walkable entry to Fisherman’s Wharf. Check out the Washington Square Inn, a stunning, cozy little Victorian-style inn situated on the completely stunning Washington Sq. park.
Lia in front of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California.
The Golden Gate Bridge is nice for photographs, however not so good as a base in your go to! You may snap this shot throughout the bridge in Marin at Battery Spencer.

Close to Golden Gate Bridge/The Presidio

Various guests to San Francisco assume that the Golden Gate Bridge is near the remainder of the town. It’s not. It’s means out of the best way.

The world across the Golden Gate Bridge known as the Presidio, and it’s truly an enormous nature park that was once a navy base. It’s completely beautiful and a beautiful place to go climbing (we advocate the Batteries to Bluffs path) or to observe the solar setting at Land’s Finish.

However don’t keep there in case your purpose is to discover San Francisco. It’s fairly out of the best way and takes a very long time to entry on transit! We’d solely advocate basing your self right here in order for you peace, quiet, nature, isolation, and quick access to the Marin Headlands.

That mentioned, there’s one large plus to the Presidio: this is without doubt one of the few neighborhoods in San Francisco the place it’s not a significant drawback to have a automotive.

  • The place to Keep As a substitute: Truthfully, wherever else on our neighborhood record could be a more sensible choice. For those who’re after Golden Gate Bridge views, you will discover them everywhere in the metropolis for those who keep in a high-rise building- however anticipate to pay extra for the privilege.
Steep hills in San Francisco, California.
One in every of Nob Hill’s well-known ridiculously steep hills. As a substitute of staying right here, simply take a taxi for a go to – much less steep hill climbing 😉

Nob Hill

You need to solely keep in Nob Hill for those who love extremely steep, near-vertical hills and have some huge cash.

Look, we do like Nob Hill – we truly received engaged on the roof of the beautiful Fairmont Lodge and spent our wedding ceremony night time there – however there’s a motive locals name it Snob Hill. Which is that it’s insanely costly. And on an extremely steep hill.

Spend an evening partying on the Tonga Room and having fun with the sweeping views of the plebs metropolis, however don’t keep right here.

  • The place to Keep As a substitute: Chinatown and North Seaside are in the identical space, however on the base of the hills relatively than on high of them.
Valencia Street in the Mission District of San Francisco, California.
Valencia Road within the Mission district is one our favourite locations to go to and stroll round. It’s flat, it’s sunny, it’s fairly, and there’s a lot to see and do! Nevertheless it’s not an space we advocate staying in.

The Mission & the Tenderloin

These are two of San Francisco’s hottest and well-known neighborhoods, even exterior of California locals. And whereas we extremely encourage you to go to, we need to strongly discourage you from basing your self right here. Permit us to elucidate why.

I lived within the Tenderloin for a few years and cherished it. It could be the grittiest neighborhood within the metropolis, however it has a sure appeal. As you stroll from Union Sq. into the Tenderloin, enormous high-end shops filter into tiny mom-and-pop retailers, chain lodges change into seedy motels, gilded bars flip into native dives, sit down eating places flip into taquerias and pizza retailers.

Anybody acquainted with genuine inner-city neighborhoods (suppose Harlem, not Midtown, as a New York equal) shouldn’t be too shocked by the Tenderloin. It’s conveniently positioned and residential to a number of locations I’d advocate visiting.

Nevertheless it’s uh…received a rep.  Right here’s the factor: The TL, because the locals name it, is the neighborhood the place drug rehabilitation, homeless providers, and needle swap clinics are situated. Consequently, there are fairly a number of homeless residents, drug customers, and different down-on-their-luck people who spend most of their time on this space.

Put it this manner: San Francisco has a variety of issues, and also you’re going to see all of them within the Tenderloin. I’ve by no means felt unsafe there, however I’m a straight white man. I can’t assure you’d really feel the identical.

Market Street in San Francisco, California.
The Tenderloin is situated simply north of Market Road (proven right here). And whereas there’s a lot to see and do there, we don’t advocate you keep on this space.

Most individuals you see on the streets of San Francisco are there as a result of the town lacks the infrastructure to assist everybody. Nonetheless, alternative crime is REAL within the Tenderloin. Muggings, cellphone snatches, and automotive break-ins are fairly frequent at night time. For those who’re used to large cities, you’ll know what to anticipate. (For what it’s price, I wouldn’t fear a lot about violent crime within the space – smashed automotive home windows are irritating, however not life-threatening.)

Now to be honest, there was an try in recent times to revamp the neighborhood … however it was fairly problematic. To not get too political, however the late Mayor basically wished to comb out the displaced and mentally ailing people who name the neighborhood residence to make means for shiny new tech places of work paying excessive rents.

Look, let’s simply say it: we’re speaking about gentrification, and it’s the actual motive we’d discourage you from staying within the Tenderloin. The extra individuals keep right here, the extra change occurs. And positive, that’s good for the CITY, however it’s not essentially good for the individuals dwelling within the neighborhood who can’t afford the ballooning hire, small enterprise house owners who’re being (fairly actually) muscled out of their leases to make means for greater corporations or fancy lodges, and the displaced and unmedicated on the road.

So please, don’t keep right here, and for those who go to, achieve this mindfully and respectfully – the homeless are our neighbors, and we urge you to be empathetic to their struggles.

Mission Burrito in San Francisco, California.
For those who don’t eat a Mission Burrito, did you even go to San Francisco?! We extremely advocate spending a day exploring the Mission, appreciating its road artwork, and consuming its scrumptious burritos!

I really like The Mission for a similar motive I really like the TL, however it has very comparable issues. The neighborhood received hit laborious within the tech growth, and generations of households dwelling below one roof have been pushed out of the place they’ve often known as residence their complete lives. And why? One other third wave espresso store? Extra space for AirBNBs? Gentrification a fancy situation and we aren’t going to deal with it right here, however we need to make you conscious that it’s a pervasive and ever-present actuality for San Franciscans.

Sure, the Mission and the Tenderloin are soiled. Sure, there’s alternative crime. Sure, it’s a fantastic market from a enterprise perspective. However considering that means ignores the human factor. It ignores the lifeblood of the town and what makes San Francisco so freakin’ bizarre and funky. And that’s why I say don’t keep there.

Now, all that mentioned…you must completely VISIT the Tenderloin and the Mission. Each The Mission and Tenderloin are situated on Bart and bus traces, so you possibly can simply cease by.

Within the Tenderloin, go to Brenda’s for the perfect brunch within the metropolis (however anticipate a loopy lengthy wait). There’s often a drag and/or comedy present occurring at PianoFight. Bourbon and Department is the native speakeasy you want a password and probably a 1920’s costume to enter – throughout the road, Custom has simply nearly as good drinks however with much less of the strict historic speakeasy vibe. If you would like a banh mi that can change your life, go to Saigon Sandwich.

We positively advocate spending a heat, sunny afternoon (as a result of micro-climates) exploring the street-art splashed streets of the Mission. The very best burrito in San Francisco is commonly contested, however the large contenders all reside within the Mission: Taqueria Cancun (the nineteenth and Mission location is our fave), La Taqueria, and El Farolito. It’s essential for us to notice that thse had been all finalists within the NATIONAL BURRITO CONTEST. (Sidenote, how do I get on that judging board? I’ve the {qualifications}.)

After you’ve skilled the Mission burrito, take pleasure in some highly effective margaritas and dance salsa at Latin America Membership. Play some pool, pet some doggos, and drink some low-cost drinks at Kilowatt. And wander alongside Valencia Road for a combination of thrift buying, bookstores, and high-end boutiques – don’t miss the Pirate Shop, a pirate provide retailer slash literary group (simply belief us).

  • The place to Keep As a substitute: The Castro, Hayes Valley, and SoMa are all wonderful locations to remain close by – we’ve received our picks listed up above within the sections for every of these neighborhoods.
The Richmond neighborhood in San Francisco, California.
The Sundown & Richmond neighborhoods are San Francisco’s suburbs. They’re a incredible place to reside and there are some lovely locations to go to – however we don’t advocate staying right here!

Interior or Outer Sundown

The Sundown – together with the Richmond district – are San Francisco’s suburban areas, and numerous San Francisco residents reside right here.  And loads of unsuspecting vacationers are tempted to remain on this space.

Sure, it’s a reasonably title for a neighborhood. Sure, it’s proper subsequent to San Francisco’s coast and Ocean Seaside. Sure, there’s wonderful meals (particularly Asian delicacies – the dumplings are subsequent degree) and a cute native aptitude and cultural vibe. And sure, you’ll be bordering stunning Golden Gate Park, one among San Francisco’s greatest sights.

However we don’t advocate you keep within the Sundown! Why? As a result of it’s SO. FAR. AWAY.

Look, I do know San Francisco is a teeny tiny metropolis and solely 7×7 sq. miles. However for no matter motive, getting out and in of the Sundown through any type of public transit takes HOURS. It is senseless, however belief us on this one.

Additionally, throughout all however about 2 hours of the day, this complete space is totally coated in a thick, heavy, moist, freezing chilly layer of fog. The locals are used to it; you’re not. For those who don’t need to be soaked to your pores and skin strolling to your lodging after 6pm, keep someplace hotter as a substitute!

  • The place to Keep As a substitute: Haight-Ashbury additionally borders Golden Gate Park, however on the inland aspect, which suggests you’ll escape the freezing chilly fog.
View of San Francisco, California.
Right here is actually all the things you must know in a single brief paragraph. You’re welcome 😉

The place to Keep in San Francisco: Abstract

That was a variety of studying, so we wished to wrap issues up and provide you with a fast at-a-glance model of this submit.

  • The Greatest Areas to Keep in San Francisco: We advocate staying in Haight-Ashbury, Hayes Valley, The Castro, or North Seaside.
  • The Greatest Inns in San Francisco: Our high resort picks are The Stanyan Park Hotel,  The Hayes Valley Inn, and Parker Guest House. Choose any a type of 3 choices and also you’re golden.
  • The Greatest Canine-Pleasant Inns in San Francisco: Hotel Argonaut in Fisherman’s Wharf and Hotel Nikko in Union Sq. are the perfect dog-friendly lodges in San Francisco.
  • Why aren’t recommending any AirBnBs? Sadly, AirBnBs in San Francisco have traditionally contributed to the housing disaster, which in flip impacts homelessness. Through the years, strict laws have been established, limiting the quantity and sort of AirBnBs discovered within the metropolis. So when you can nonetheless discover non-public rooms in SF, with a view to be a extra responsible traveler, we advocate that you simply select to remain in lodges as a substitute.

Wow, I can’t consider we simply managed to condense 5k phrases into one paragraph. Effectively executed, us!


The Perfect Weekend in Nashville, Tennessee: Itinerary & (Massive) Guide

Hey, on the lookout for assist planning your journey to San Francisco? Enroll under and we’ll ship you a printable model of our self-guided strolling tour, plus our favourite suggestions for visiting!

Get the San Francisco Strolling Tour PDF!

Subscribe under and we’ll ship you the FREE San Francisco Strolling Tour printable map. We’ll additionally ship you our favourite suggestions for visiting San Francisco!

Psst: Planning to go to the Bay Space? We’ve received a ton of weblog posts about our residence! Listed below are a number of of our favorites that will help you put together in your journey, or click here to browse all of them.

We even have a Podcast episode about San Francisco! Discover out what to eat, the place to drink, & the perfect issues to do, plus solutions to questions you by no means knew you had… like whether or not there’s weed all over the place (sure) and for those who’ll unintentionally see nudity (double sure). We’re additionally spilling the fair-trade, natural, ethically sourced tea on our lesser-known lifetime of crime.

What questions do you’ve about the place to remain in San Francisco? Drop us a remark under!

xo Lia & Jeremy signature graphic


Where to stay in San Francisco: a local;s comprehensive travel guide to the best neighborhoods, hotels, and things to see in each spot. Plus, where NOT to stay in San Francisco, California!


Where to stay in San Francisco: a local's comprehensive travel guide to the best neighborhoods, hotels, and things to see in each spot. Plus, where NOT to stay in San Francisco, California!

Disclaimer: This submit was created in partnership with Travelocity. All opinions, shade thrown,  and proposals are 100% our personal and completely not their fault.

Get the San Francisco Strolling Tour PDF!

Subscribe under and we’ll ship you the FREE San Francisco Strolling Tour printable map. We’ll additionally ship you our favourite suggestions for visiting San Francisco!

Our Prime Journey Suggestions & Assets

Listed below are our favourite journey suggestions & sources for saving cash and planning journey logistics! For extra suggestions, try our travel tips resource page or our guide to planning a trip.

  • Reserving Flights: To attain flight offers, search on Skyscanner or Kayak. Cash-saving suggestions: fly mid-week or on the weekend; fly carry-on solely on a finances airline; and take red-eyes or early morning flights.
  • Lodging: We often keep in budget-friendly, trip leases, boutique lodges or non-public rooms in hostels. We use Booking.com to e book lodges (we love their versatile cancellation coverage) and Hostelworld to e book hostels (low deposit, simple change/cancellation, and wonderful opinions). For trip leases, we want to e book utilizing VRBO (they have decrease charges and higher assist than Airbnb, and we’re not followers of Airbnb’s unethical monitor report.) You can too e book trip leases on Expedia and Hotels.com. We have additionally used TrustedHousesitters as each hosts (for our residence and our fur-child) and vacationers!
  • Journey Insurance coverage: We at all times, at all times, ALWAYS purchase journey insurance coverage for worldwide journeys, and we STRONGLY counsel it – go to our Travel Insurance Guide to search out out why. We advocate both World Nomads or SafetyWing for worldwide journey insurance coverage. SafetyWing is without doubt one of the few insurance policies that covers Covid-19, they usually have wonderful month-to-month insurance policies which might be excellent for Digital Nomads and long run vacationers!
  • Vaccines & Meds: We use the journey guides on the CDC website to analysis really helpful medicines and vaccines for worldwide journeys. We at all times advocate getting each vaccine really helpful by the CDC! You may get them at your main care physician’s workplace or a walk-in pharmacy.
  • Excursions: We love reserving guided excursions, particularly meals excursions and strolling excursions, to get an area’s perspective and a historical past lesson whereas sight-seeing! We e book our excursions utilizing Viator and GetYourGuide.
  • Transportation: We use Rome2Rio to determine the best way to get from place to put utilizing public transit, and e book native transportation on-line utilizing Bookaway wherever we will. Once we e book a rental automotive, we use Kayak to match rental corporations and discover the perfect deal.
  • Baggage Storage: Each time we’re trying out early or benefiting from an extended layover, we use Stasher or LuggageHero to soundly retailer our baggage whereas we’re working round. On Stasher, you should utilize the code PW10 for 10% off!
  • What to Pack: Here are the travel essentials that we carry on each journey. We even have packing lists for hot weather, cold weather, and plenty of extra. Check out all of our packing guides!


Source link

Translate »