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

Issues are altering quickly – please double examine what’s open earlier than your journey and observe all native pointers to maintain your self and others protected! Additionally, adverts are how we pay our payments and preserve our weblog free so that you can get pleasure from. We additionally use affiliate hyperlinks; should you make a purchase order by them, we might 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 course of that excellent time interval between Tech Increase 1.0 and Tech Increase 2.0. Town I moved to was quirky and reasonably priced: I used to be capable of work as a barista and attend artwork faculty whereas nonetheless with the ability to pay for lease and my school social life.

That looks as if a very long time in the past now – an reasonably priced San Francisco seems 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 once I cross over the Bay Bridge from our present dwelling in Oakland and catch glittering daylight reflecting off skyscrapers within the Monetary District and shining on Coit Tower, or once I’m capable of catch a glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge unobscured by fog.

Necessary 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 that to carry your vaccination card (or a photograph of it) or a digital QR code with you. Alternatively, you may nonetheless eat outdoors. And naturally, masks are required in every single place (most locals put on them each indoors and outdoors). For extra particulars, click here. Get pleasure from 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 pictures of this submit are sunny and heat, however take into account your self duly ready: Karl the Fog is ever current in San Francisco.

Yet one more 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 seems like the longer term – however items of the town will at all times mirror its previous. The Summer time of Love in 1967 might have felt like the subsequent huge factor for younger Individuals on the time, however at this time, Haight-Ashbury feels prefer it’s charmingly frozen in time, a dwelling museum to an period lengthy gone.

That is additionally why it may 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 totally distinct vibe, historical past, surroundings, and even climate. And regardless of San Francisco’s comparatively tiny measurement, it may take hours to get from one facet of the town to a different on public transportation due to ridiculous hills and visitors.

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

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


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

Now that you just’ve acquired your playlist all queued up (and a cup of espresso or tea, maybe – it is a lengthy submit!) let’s get began.

Psst: Planning to go to the Bay Space? We’ve acquired a ton of weblog posts about our dwelling! Listed below are a number of of our favorites that can assist 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 in every single place (sure) and should you’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 finest meals corridor, and it’s a improbable 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 below are a number of fast ideas that you just’ll must know earlier than you begin planning your journey.

  • Don’t rent a car. Don’t do it! You do NOT need the trouble or expense of parking a automobile 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 outdoors of the town may be organized by way of 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 benefit of inflicting everybody close to you to take a number of steps again and internally seethe.
  • Pack good strolling footwear. San Francisco is a metropolis finest explored on foot. Sure, you may take transit to get round, however you’ll miss fairly a little bit of the quirks and attraction that make up San Francisco! Spend no less than a day wandering by the town and stroll as a lot as you may. To assist, we’ve acquired a self-guided San Francisco walking tour – and we’ve additionally acquired solutions for the perfect strolling footwear for journey. Listed below are our favourite journey footwear for men and for women.
  • Convey layers. San Francisco just isn’t a heat metropolis. And it’s particularly not heat in the summertime, which is definitely the coldest season of the 12 months. Convey a jacket, a shawl, and possibly even a hat, and pack all of them with you. It is going to be freezing chilly till 10am, you then’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 undoubtedly be a little bit of a tradition shock. Please needless to say the parents experiencing homelessness are our neighbors, and never a blight or an eyesore. Most of the of us that you will note are additionally battling psychological diseases, and you might even see individuals who seem like speaking to themselves or to skinny air. Though this may be startling, do not forget that these individuals are in much more hazard than you might be, and are unlikely to hurt you in any manner. Homelessness is traumatic, notably for the mentally in poor health, whose circumstances may be exacerbated by the stress of homelessness. Additionally, as a result of there are too few public restrooms in San Francisco, you’ll odor some disagreeable issues throughout your keep. Maintain your breath and bear in mind: you get to go dwelling and use a rest room or take a bathe everytime you need. They don’t. Have compassion. There’s a improbable useful resource for a way to reply to the homeless in San Francisco on SF Gate.
  • You received’t discover many quick time period rental listings. Regardless of Airbnb being headquartered within the metropolis, quick time period leases in San Francisco have traditionally contributed to the housing disaster, which in flip impacts homelessness. Over time, 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 lease in SF, in an effort to be a extra accountable traveler, we suggest that you just select to remain in motels as an alternative.

We’ve acquired some extra useful – and solely mildly useful – ideas 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 luggage take a look at LuggageHero, a service that helps you discover a protected place to maintain your baggage whilst you’re operating 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 acquired that out of the best way, let’s dive into which areas to remain in San Francisco!

The Finest 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 attraction. There are many good locations to remain right here, however this space isn’t considered one of our high picks. Authentic picture credit score: “Union Square, San Francisco” (CC BY 2.0) by Tony Fischer Photography

Union Sq.

We’ll begin out with one of the well-liked decisions, earlier than supplying you with a bunch of different choices that we extremely encourage you to decide on as an alternative. Union Sq. and the encompassing areas are one of the well-liked vacationer locations in San Francisco. The sq. itself isn’t a lot to get enthusiastic about (besides throughout Christmas, when it turns into a fantastic ice skating rink with an enormous Christmas Tree), however the surrounding streets are full of a number of the finest procuring within the metropolis. Each clothes model you may consider has a storefront right here.

Union Sq. is centrally situated, near transit, and the motels on this space serve up improbable high-rise views. In case you’re visiting for work, Union Sq. is simply shut sufficient to the Monetary District and the Moscone Conference Middle for a brisk morning stroll, and suffers much less from the FiDi’s “every part closes after 6pm” curse.

That mentioned, should you’re not visiting for work, there are much more attention-grabbing locations to remain – Union Sq. doesn’t precisely serve up San Francisco attraction. That doesn’t imply it’s not value a go to, although: you may end up passing by Union Sq. for a trip on our well-known Cable Car, a day of procuring, or an out of doors lunch and an iconic picture in gorgeous Maiden Lane.

  • The place to Keep in Union Sq.: A lot of the motels 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 should you can, trip the glass elevators to the highest of the towers for among the finest views within the metropolis. In case you’d want a extra budget-friendly room, attempt Villa Florence as an alternative.
Giant arrow statue along the Embarcadero south of Market Street in San Francisco, California.
SoMa is a large neighborhood. On the far jap facet 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 avenue within the jap half of the town as SoMa. It’s VERY giant. So giant, in actual fact, that there are sub-districts inside SoMa like East Reduce, South Park, and Rincon Hill. Traditionally, this neighborhood was a warehouse district, however now it’s dwelling to tech corporations and lofts which occupy the roomy outdated warehouse buildings.

SoMa is a improbable place to stick with fairly a bit occurring, however totally different elements of SoMa have totally different vibes. For instance, on the eastern-most tip of SoMa, you’ll discover lovely houses surrounding South Park, a quiet inexperienced London-Type little park sq..

However head west to Folsom Avenue 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. In case you’re visiting San Francisco in September, and also you’re NOT into leather-based, kink, or nudity, don’t stay on this space. Contemplate your self duly ready.

In different elements of SoMa, you’ll discover a number of the finest 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 nicely: the San Francisco MoMA, Yerba Buena Middle, and the Up to date Jewish Museum will scratch your artwork itch.

And naturally, you may’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, but it surely’s nonetheless the most beautiful ballpark in the country. Native’s tip: the fog settles in round 9pm, so carry a rain jacket should you’ll be at a late-night sport. 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 facet of SoMa, is considered one of our favourite locations on this neighborhood. Whether or not you keep right here or not, make sure to catch a Giants sport 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, dwelling of extremely distinctive micro-neighborhoods, that’s fairly uncommon.

SoMa can be not … very fairly. It’s largely quite a lot of lofts, warehouses, and extensive streets with large sidewalks – attraction is certainly missing. Additionally, all downtown freeway exits cross by right here, making visitors an absolute nightmare.

That mentioned, SoMa is dwelling to a number of bus traces, making it pretty transit pleasant even should you’ll have to go as much as Market to catch a BART practice. And since the neighborhood is so HUGE, there are a number of various vibes to fit your journey model.

  • The place to Keep in SoMa: The gorgeous and reasonably priced BEI Hotel is situated on the westernmost tip of SoMa, near a number of transit choices and bordering a few of San Francisco’s finest neighborhoods. We’d fortunately keep right here! Far to the east facet facet of SoMa, the extra upscale Hotel Griffon gives Bay Bridge views, walkable Monetary District entry, simple transportation to CalTrain should you’re heading into Silicon Valley for work, and quick access to Oracle Park; it is a nice possibility for enterprise vacationers.
A groovy shop in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood.
Haight-Ashbury is considered one of our favourite neighborhoods in San Francisco and among the finest areas to remain in, due to its attraction, historical past, central location, and proximity to lovely Golden Gate Park! Authentic picture credit score: “Jammin on Haight” (CC BY 2.0) by M McBey


Haight-Ashbury is considered one of our absolute favourite neighborhoods, and one of the 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 identical emotions. In truth, I believe a number of the identical folks from that summer season are nonetheless hanging across the neighborhood…

There are a number of the reason why you may not 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 this time’s equal counterculture people, which is kind of a gutter-punk crust/grunge mashup
  2. You’re allergic to weed smoke
  3. Tie-Dye stuff makes you see purple

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 crushed: there’s nothing extra iconically San Francisco than the colourful, frilly Victorian houses that line the streets of the Haight.

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

Victorian Home ni San Francisco, California.
Among the most lovely Victorian houses in San Francisco may be discovered within the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood, among the finest locations to remain in San Francisco.

Haight-Ashbury can be centrally situated within the metropolis and borders lovely 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 dwelling 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 operating out and in of the realm, so that you’ll don’t have any hassle getting round inside San Francisco. In case you don’t keep right here, no less than pay the neighborhood a go to – and make sure to put on some flowers in your hair. You’d be stunned how small Haight-Ashbury really is: you may 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 attraction and budget-friendly charges. We expect this is likely one of the finest 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 likely one of the most lovely 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 speak about SF lease – it’s one of many native’s favourite matters of dialogue, however as a customer, you don’t have to fret about it (you fortunate duck).

Right here is why it’s best to reside out our private San Francisco fantasy and base your self in Hayes Valley: it’s freaking cute. Suppose tree-lined streets, eating places spilling out onto shaded sidewalk cafes, and many small boutique outlets (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 automobile will carry you nothing however hassle.

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

We undoubtedly encourage anybody not staying in Hayes Valley to go to, notably should you’re close by at Alamo Sq. to snag a Painted Girls picture for the ‘gram.

  • The place to Keep in Hayes Valley: The Hayes Valley Inn is likely one of the most surprisingly high-value motels in San Francisco. It’s loopy reasonably priced for the most costly metropolis within the nation, particularly contemplating it’s situated proper within the coronary heart of considered one of its most lovely neighborhoods. In trade for these financial savings, although, you’ll must share a rest room with the opposite company. Look, there’s at all times a catch. In case you want to bathe within the privateness of your room, keep at The Grove Inn simply off of Alamo Sq. as an alternative.
The Castro Neighborhood in San Francisco, California.
The Castro district is a traditionally LGBTQ+ neighborhood. We undoubtedly suggest each visiting and staying right here, however please do not forget that whilst you’re there, you’re a visitor within the queer neighborhood, so be respectful. Authentic picture credit score: “seeing is believing at sunset : castro,” (CC BY 2.0) by torbakhopper

The Castro

The Castro is likely one of the most iconic neighborhoods in San Francisco, and likelihood is you’ve already seen pictures of its rainbow-flag lined streets. Because the 70’s, the Castro has been one of the famously LGBTQ+ neighborhoods within the USA. In case you’re a respectful participant in queer tradition or a card-carrying ally, we extremely suggest 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, should you’re homophobic, trans-phobic, or simply not snug with queer tradition, it’s best to keep away from the Castro… and probably take into account 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 totally different climate (they’re known as Micro-Climates). It has one thing to do with totally 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 buddies and social gathering in no matter manner they see match. Some of us drink and dance, some of us drink and nap, some drink and play elaborate video games whereas others watch. Ingesting 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 lady with the basket and vaguely Swiss maid outfit. Sure, there’s weed in them.

The Castro can be dwelling to a number of the finest nightlife within the metropolis – which is nice should you’re spry and with it, and possibly not so fascinating should you’re outdated 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 may have some context for the place you’re staying. Additionally, do not forget that whilst you’re right here, you’re a customer within the queer neighborhood, so please be respectful.

  • The place to Keep within the Castro: Parker Guest House is gorgeous, completely situated, extremely rated, and pretty reasonably priced – so just about a house run on the subject 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 Seashore, and it’s an awesome space to remain in San Francisco.

North Seashore (& Chinatown)

Though these two neighborhoods are vastly totally different – in actual fact, the border of the 2 neighborhoods on Kerouac Alley is likely one of the finest 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 just’ll end up weaving out and in of them continuously throughout your keep. Additionally, as a result of there actually aren’t any motels to talk of in Chinatown, so the closest you may actually get is North Seashore.

We love this space for a number of causes. Initially, 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 suggest The Italian Selfmade Firm, Tony’s Pizza Napoletana, Baonecci Restaurant, or Il Casaro.

For Chinese language, take a look at Hunan’s House, Z & Y Restaurant, Mister Jiu’s, R&G Lounge, Metropolis View, or Sam Wo. Don’t overlook to pop into considered one of Chinatown’s little bakeries to select up a scrumptious deal with for dessert, too!

These two neighborhoods are additionally dwelling to some beautiful San Francisco views. North Seashore 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 avenue artwork and benefit from the shiny purple lanterns twinkling overhead nearly fully alone.

The neighborhoods are each completely positioned for guests, with shut proximity to a lot of San Francisco’s finest sights. You’re proper subsequent to Coit Tower, Ghiradelli Sq., Pier 39, Fisherman’s Wharf, Telegraph Hill and the Filbert Steps (dwelling 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 good beat writers of the 1950’s, this small pocket of the town has wealthy tales to inform. We extremely suggest you learn up on the historical past of Chinatown and North Seashore, and take into account reserving a guided tour within the daytime or evening to actually get to know these two unbelievable neighborhoods.

We do need to offer you a heads-up, although: whereas these two neighborhoods are a number of the finest in San Francisco to go to and to remain in, North Seashore can get a bit of bizarre at evening. 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 evening.

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

  • The place to Keep in North Seashore & Chinatown: The Washington Square Inn is a stunning, cozy little Victorian-style inn situated on the completely lovely Washington Sq. park in North Seashore. In case you’re on a decent finances, the Hotel North Beach sacrifices a number of comforts (assume: shared bogs) however gives an insanely good value, and is situated immediately alongside the border between these two neighborhoods.


San Diego Weekend Getaway: The Perfect 3-day Itinerary

Canine Pleasant Lodges in San Francisco

In case you’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 may just about carry your canine with you in every single place you go. (And we completely do.)

So should you’ll be bringing your pup with you in your journey, we’ve discovered some wonderful locations to remain:

  • Hotel Argonaut: Situated on Fisherman’s Wharf, this deliciously good-looking eco-friendly lodge gives lovely 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: Situated in Union Sq., Lodge Nikko goes a step additional in your canine – they provide pet-friendly rooms on the VIP (Very Necessary Pet) Flooring with canine beds, meals and water bowls, and mats! You’ll be able to even stroll out on their Pet Terrace, which options an off-leash canine run for play time and metropolis views. In addition to pet choices, they lodge is decoarted in fashionable blues and whites and has a glass-enclosed pool.
Notoriously curvy Lombard Street in  San Francisco, California.
We’ve a number of solutions on areas that aren’t an awesome place to base your self throughout a go to to San Francisco. However simply because a neighborhood may not be the perfect place to remain throughout your journey doesn’t imply you shouldn’t go to! Pictured: Lombard Avenue, 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 below are the neighborhoods we might suggest you NOT staying in. These are all improbable 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 selection for the place to remain in San Francisco additionally occurs to be the primary one which I might 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, stuffed with vacationers, and lacks any actual essence of San Francisco apart from what you may see on a mug or a magnet. Plus, the motels listed below are dear.

We undoubtedly 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 suggest that you just keep right here.

The one exception is should you’ll be touring with a canine – the Hotel Argonaut is situated proper off Fisherman’s Wharf and is a improbable dog-friendly lodge!

  • The place to Keep As an alternative: We’d suggest staying in North Seashore 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 lovely Washington Sq. park.
Lia in front of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California.
The Golden Gate Bridge is nice for pictures, however not so good as a base in your go to! You’ll be able to 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 manner out of the best way.

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

However don’t keep there in case your aim 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 suggest basing your self right here if you’d like peace, quiet, nature, isolation, and quick access to the Marin Headlands.

That mentioned, there’s one huge plus to the Presidio: this is likely one of the few neighborhoods in San Francisco the place it’s not a serious drawback to have a automobile.

  • The place to Keep As an alternative: Actually, wherever else on our neighborhood checklist can be a more sensible choice. In case you’re after Golden Gate Bridge views, you could find them everywhere in the metropolis should you keep in a high-rise building- however count on to pay extra for the privilege.
Steep hills in San Francisco, California.
Considered one of Nob Hill’s well-known ridiculously steep hills. As an alternative of staying right here, simply take a taxi for a go to – much less steep hill climbing 😉

Nob Hill

It is best to solely keep in Nob Hill should you love extremely steep, near-vertical hills and have some huge cash.

Look, we do like Nob Hill – we really acquired engaged on the roof of the beautiful Fairmont Lodge and spent our marriage ceremony evening there – however there’s a purpose 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 an alternative: Chinatown and North Seashore 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 Avenue 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 suggest staying in.

The Mission & the Tenderloin

These are two of San Francisco’s hottest and well-known neighborhoods, even outdoors 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 might be the grittiest neighborhood within the metropolis, but it surely has a sure attraction. As you stroll from Union Sq. into the Tenderloin, enormous high-end shops filter into tiny mom-and-pop outlets, chain motels turn into seedy motels, gilded bars flip into native dives, sit down eating places flip into taquerias and pizza outlets.

Anybody conversant in genuine inner-city neighborhoods (assume 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 might suggest visiting.

Nevertheless it’s uh…acquired 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. In consequence, there are fairly a number of homeless residents, drug customers, and different down-on-their-luck of us who spend most of their time on this space.

Put it this manner: San Francisco has quite a lot 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 Avenue (proven right here). And whereas there’s a lot to see and do there, we don’t suggest 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. Nevertheless, alternative crime is REAL within the Tenderloin. Muggings, telephone snatches, and automobile break-ins are fairly frequent at evening. In case you’re used to huge cities, you’ll know what to anticipate. (For what it’s value, I wouldn’t fear a lot about violent crime within the space – smashed automobile home windows are irritating, however not life-threatening.)

Now to be honest, there was an try in recent times to revamp the neighborhood … but it surely was fairly problematic. To not get too political, however the late Mayor basically needed to brush out the displaced and mentally in poor health of us who name the neighborhood dwelling to make manner 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 purpose we’d discourage you from staying within the Tenderloin. The extra folks keep right here, the extra change occurs. And certain, that’s good for the CITY, but it surely’s not essentially good for the folks dwelling within the neighborhood who can’t afford the ballooning lease, small enterprise house owners who’re being (fairly actually) muscled out of their leases to make manner for larger corporations or fancy motels, and the displaced and unmedicated on the road.

So please, don’t keep right here, and should you go to, accomplish that mindfully and respectfully – the homeless are our neighbors, and we urge you to be empathetic to their struggles.

Mission Burrito in San Francisco, California.
In case you don’t eat a Mission Burrito, did you even go to San Francisco?! We extremely suggest spending a day exploring the Mission, appreciating its avenue artwork, and consuming its scrumptious burritos!

I like The Mission for a similar purpose I like the TL, but it surely has very related issues. The neighborhood acquired hit arduous within the tech increase, and generations of households dwelling below one roof have been pushed out of the place they’ve often called dwelling their entire lives. And why? One other third wave espresso store? Extra space for AirBNBs? Gentrification a fancy challenge and we aren’t going to sort out 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 an awesome market from a enterprise perspective. However pondering that manner ignores the human component. 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…it’s best to completely VISIT the Tenderloin and the Mission. Each The Mission and Tenderloin are situated on Bart and bus traces, so you may simply cease by.

Within the Tenderloin, go to Brenda’s for the perfect brunch within the metropolis (however count on a loopy lengthy wait). There’s normally 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’d like a banh mi that can change your life, go to Saigon Sandwich.

We undoubtedly suggest spending a heat, sunny afternoon (as a result of micro-climates) exploring the street-art splashed streets of the Mission. The most effective burrito in San Francisco is usually contested, however the huge 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 have 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, get pleasure from 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 Avenue for a combination of thrift procuring, bookstores, and high-end boutiques – don’t miss the Pirate Shop, a pirate provide retailer slash literary neighborhood (simply belief us).

  • The place to Keep As an alternative: The Castro, Hayes Valley, and SoMa are all wonderful locations to remain close by – we’ve acquired 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 improbable place to reside and there are some cute locations to go to – however we don’t suggest staying right here!

Internal or Outer Sundown

The Sundown – together with the Richmond district – are San Francisco’s suburban areas, and various 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 Seashore. 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 lovely Golden Gate Park, considered one of San Francisco’s finest sights.

However we don’t suggest 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 purpose, getting out and in of the Sundown by way of any type of public transit takes HOURS. It is unnecessary, however belief us on this one.

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

  • The place to Keep As an alternative: Haight-Ashbury additionally borders Golden Gate Park, however on the inland facet, which implies you’ll escape the freezing chilly fog.
View of San Francisco, California.
Right here is actually every part you could know in a single quick paragraph. You’re welcome 😉

The place to Keep in San Francisco: Abstract

That was quite a lot of studying, so we needed to wrap issues up and offer you a fast at-a-glance model of this submit.

  • The Finest Areas to Keep in San Francisco: We suggest staying in Haight-Ashbury, Hayes Valley, The Castro, or North Seashore.
  • The Finest Lodges in San Francisco: Our high lodge picks are The Stanyan Park Hotel,  The Hayes Valley Inn, and Parker Guest House. Decide any a kind of 3 choices and also you’re golden.
  • The Finest Canine-Pleasant Lodges in San Francisco: Hotel Argonaut in Fisherman’s Wharf and Hotel Nikko in Union Sq. are the perfect dog-friendly motels 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. Over time, strict laws have been established, limiting the quantity and sort of AirBnBs discovered within the metropolis. So whilst you can nonetheless discover non-public rooms in SF, in an effort to be a extra responsible traveler, we suggest that you just select to remain in motels as an alternative.

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


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

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

Psst: Planning to go to the Bay Space? We’ve acquired a ton of weblog posts about our dwelling! Listed below are a number of of our favorites that can assist 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 in every single place (sure) and should you’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 may have 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 suggestions 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 ideas for visiting San Francisco!

Our Prime Journey Suggestions & Sources

Listed below are our favourite journey ideas & assets for saving cash and planning journey logistics! For extra ideas, take a look at 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 ideas: 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 normally keep in budget-friendly, trip leases, boutique motels or non-public rooms in hostels. We use Booking.com to ebook motels (we love their versatile cancellation coverage) and Hostelworld to ebook hostels (low deposit, simple change/cancellation, and wonderful evaluations). For trip leases, we want to ebook utilizing VRBO (they have decrease charges and higher assist than Airbnb, and we’re not followers of Airbnb’s unethical monitor document.) You may also ebook trip leases on Expedia and Hotels.com. We have additionally used TrustedHousesitters as each hosts (for our dwelling 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 recommend it – go to our Travel Insurance Guide to search out out why. We suggest both World Nomads or SafetyWing for worldwide journey insurance coverage. SafetyWing is likely one of the few insurance policies that covers Covid-19, and so they have wonderful month-to-month insurance policies which can be excellent for Digital Nomads and long run vacationers!
  • Vaccines & Meds: We use the journey guides on the CDC website to analysis beneficial medicines and vaccines for worldwide journeys. We at all times suggest getting each vaccine beneficial 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 ebook 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 ebook native transportation on-line utilizing Bookaway wherever we will. After we ebook a rental automobile, we use Kayak to check rental corporations and discover the perfect deal.
  • Baggage Storage: Every time we’re trying out early or profiting from a protracted layover, we use Stasher or LuggageHero to securely retailer our baggage whereas we’re operating round. On Stasher, you should use 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