Cradle of the hippie, bobo, and hipster movement, San Francisco is a popular tourist destination in Northern California. It is also the place where the biggest multinationals have chosen to settle. For example, you will find Google and Facebook headquarters, and many more.
Opposite in every point to Los Angeles, you will not see an abundance of skyscrapers in San Francisco! Instead, expect steep streets lined with Victorian homes, small grocery stores, and old-fashioned bakeries.
It is often called "the most beautiful city in the world," and it is not without reason!
It results in particular from its beautiful bay that overlooks the Golden Bridge, its various ethnic neighborhoods. Do not forget its flowery streets and its park of more than 400 hectares. It is undeniable that the city is a beautiful place that makes us dream of discovering.
Do you also want to visit San Francisco and discover all the wonders that are hidden there? We have prepared this San Francisco travel guide that gathers all the information to organize your stay better!
Travel & Visit San Francisco
Like all cities, San Francisco has some unmissable places of interest. Many tourists travel thousands of kilometers to see them.
Among those in San Francisco, we can list the Golden Bridge, the famous red-orange iron bridge that overlooks the Golden Gate strait. Everyone knows its appearance! Let's not forget the federal prison of Alcatraz, known to have been the most secure state prison during its thirty years of use. Finally, there is the Golden Gate Park, a green space of more than 413 hectares, even bigger than Central Park in New York.
What are the best things to do in San Francisco, The City by the Bay?
San Francisco is one of the only American cities to have "a soul." It is a very European city that will seduce you very quickly. People smile a lot here. Traffic jams tend to be caused by drivers begging each other to go first. It is a city where people are tolerant, open, and alternative. Even better for you, San Francisco is human-sized, about 10 square kilometers, and the traffic is not as bad as it is in New York or Los Angeles.
It is, therefore, possible to visit San Francisco in just a few days. Without going into details and useful addresses, here are the best things to do in San Francisco, ideal for the first time:
The Golden Gate Bridge is one of California's icons, adorning San Francisco Bay
The Golden Gate National Recreation Area
The island and Alcatraz prison visit
The Fisherman's Wharf is one of the most touristic and well-known places of SF
Get on a Cable Car
The Golden Gate Park
Visit the San Francisco Asian Art Museum
San Francisco's Chinatown is an entirely different Chinatown than in other cities
Lombard Street is known as the "most winding street in the United States
The Exploratorium is a great science museum
The Palace of Fine Arts
Twin Peaks may be the most beautiful views of the city and the bay
The San Francisco Museums of Modern Art (SFMOMA)
The Napa Valley is the largest and most famous wine region in California.
Activities & Events in San Francisco
San Francisco is not as busy as Los Angeles or other California cities, for sure. Nevertheless, you can still find a lot of activities and events to do during your stay.
For example, you can visit Alcatraz Prison, now a natural reserve for many bird species. If you are looking for a quieter activity, you can take a cruise on San Francisco Bay.
Besides, you will have the opportunity to attend various events and parties taking place in San Francisco throughout the year. These include Patriot Day, which takes place on 11 September and Oktoberfest in October. The city is full of exhibitions and temporary festivals. Examples include Folsom Street Fair, Sausalito Art Festival, and the San Francisco Black Film Festival.
Museums in San Francisco
San Francisco is a city of culture and knowledge. It contains a large number of museums that will continue to amaze young and old! You can visit the Cartoon Art Museum if you love comics and want to know more about its history.
There is also the Exploratorium, a museum that comes out of the ordinary, dedicated to science, art, and human perception. You should do it with your family for a pleasant afternoon.
There are many other museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art or the Asian Art Museum. You will also find the Walt Disney Family Museum, dedicated to the history of Walt Disney since its creation, and many more that we present in this section!
Excursions around San Francisco
San Francisco is full of places of interest, that's for sure! But the city is far from being outdone concerning the numerous excursions organized in unusual places. The two most popular tours are probably those of the Napa Valley as well as the Sonoma Valley. These are two agricultural areas known for their vineyards. However, you can also choose other guided tours around San Francisco, both on land and at sea!
There is so much to do in San Francisco and the surrounding area! Are you passionate about the Gold Rush? You will find guided tours and hikes in the Wild West! The car rides on the most famous Californian roads are very renowned. If you do not keep up, San Francisco is the city for you!
Where to stay in San Francisco?
San Francisco is a multicultural city, where many ethnic groups live side by side. Their communion makes it a lively and exciting place to live. But be careful: staying in San Francisco can be a little complex.
Indeed, you will have to choose not only between different types of housing but also between the most popular areas of the city. You can select Mission, the Hispanic and Historic District of the city, or Chinatown, the Chinese corner of San Francisco.
Want luxury? Nob Hill is the wealthy neighborhood of San Francisco! But you can also opt for Downtown, the city's business center.
When to go to San Francisco
Located in California, near Los Angeles, San Francisco has a temperate climate whose temperatures are rather close to the Mediterranean climate. Summers are hot and dry, very dry even, and winters are mild but wet.
You can honestly come to San Francisco all year round. However, the most advisable months are those from May to October. Temperatures are between 20 and 25 °C on average. In winter, the temperatures remain between 10 and 15 °C, but the precipitation is more important.
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