Most Popular Hotel Deals in San Francisco:
From $215 per night
A Four-Star Hotel Steps from Union Square
Hotel Nikko San Francisco provides lavish amenities and accommodations in the heart of San Francisco. Located just outside Union Square, the hotel provides access to shops, sporting events, local attractions, the world-famous cable cars, and more. The expansive hotel is home to a fine-dining restaurant, a lounge, a nightclub, a full-service Starbucks®, a ballroom, and 13 additional meeting and event rooms. Hotel Nikko invites guests to relax with high-class hotel amenities such as indoor pool and a health club with steam rooms, dry saunas, and massage services. Hotel Nikko San Francisco is an ideal hotel for a special getaway or business travel.
From $370 per night
Five-Star Golden Gate Bridge Accommodations
An award-winning escape, Cavallo Point is a luxury San Francisco hotel located at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge. From hiking to spa services, there is something to please every guest at this five-star San Francisco hotel. Take a drive along the scenic roads to Napa or Sonoma Valleys, or stay in the city and enjoy shopping, dining, and attractions. With stunning views and spacious accommodations, there is no better choice than Cavallo Point.
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From $185 per night
Luxury Hotel in Premier San Francisco Location
Pier 2620 Hotel Fisherman’s Wharf offers comfortable accommodations for business and leisure travelers visiting San Francisco. The California-sized guestrooms and suites are the largest in the area and feature comfortable decor and furniture allowing guests to truly relax. Guests can choose to eat classic International cuisine items and San Francisco specialties from one of the five dining venues or in the comfort of their rooms with an extensive in-room dining menu. The hotel’s prime location provides guests with easy access to major areas and famous local attractions such as Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Ask the Pier 2620 Hotel Coastal Concierge for help in planning your days in San Francisco.
From $244 per night
Exclusive Hotel in Premier San Francisco Location
Located in the prestigious Nob Hill neighborhood near fine dining and shopping, The Scarlet Huntington is a luxury San Francisco hotel. Regal and elegant, the hotel blends classic grandeur and San Francisco culture with modern elements for a thoroughly unique and relaxing stay. Scarlet Huntington features one-of-a-kind accommodations with high technology and whimsical décor. Delicious meals await you at this five-star San Francisco hotel’s on-site restaurant, Big 4 Restaurant. Treat yourself to the impeccable service of The Scarlet Huntington.
San Francisco, California
San Francisco is a major city in California, the centerpiece of the Bay Area, well-known for its liberal community, hilly terrain, Victorian architecture, scenic beauty, summer fog, and great ethnic and cultural diversity. San Francisco is one of the most visited cities in the world.
Although huge in terms of offerings, San Francisco is physically quite compact. It is located on a seven-by-seven mile (11 x 11km) square of land at the tip of a peninsula between the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific coast. It has a population of 812,000 which represents a small fraction of the entire Bay Area population of 7.1 million. San Francisco is just one of the cities which makes up the entire San Francisco Bay Area. San Francisco’s neighbors -Oakland and Berkeley east of the Bay Bridge, Marin County north of the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Peninsula south of the city are all part of separate counties, each with their own governments and local public transportation systems.
San Francisco prides itself on its openness to diversity in race, gender, sexual orientation and personal style. This trait is widely considered to be one of the defining features of the city, and it draws both visitors and transplants alike.
Smokers beware: as in the rest of California, smoking is illegal in bars, restaurants, and other public places. Bay Area people can be particularly vocal about your personal habits. Be aware of nonsmoking areas, and try to be courteous about smoking in other places. They will probably not bother you about standing and smoking outside a restaurant or bar.
It’s worth mentioning that natives tend to dislike many of the nicknames given to their city. Instead of saying “San Fran” or “Frisco,” most refer to San Francisco by its full name, “SF”, or “The City.”
When using escalators, you are expected to stand on the right and use the left side for walking up or down the stairs. Standing still on the left side might annoy people.
San Francisco International AirportWebsite: http://www.flysfo.com/
San Francisco International Airport (IATA: SFO) is an international airport located 13 miles south of downtown San Francisco, California, near Millbrae and San Bruno in unincorporated San Mateo County. It has flights to points throughout North America and is a major gateway to Europe and Asia.
SFO is the largest airport in the Bay Area and the second busiest in California, after Los Angeles International Airport. In 2013, it was the seventh busiest in the United States and the twenty-second busiest airport in the world by passenger count. It is United Airlines’ fifth largest hub and primary transpacific gateway. It also serves as Virgin America’s principal base of operations. It is the sole maintenance hub of United Airlines, and houses the Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum.Terminals
The airport has four terminals (1, 2, 3, and International) and seven concourses (A through G) arranged in a ring. Terminal 1 (Boarding Areas B and C), Terminal 2 (Boarding Area D), and Terminal 3 (Boarding Areas E and F) handle domestic flights (including precleared flights from Canada). The International Terminal (Boarding Areas A and G) handle international flights and some domestic flights.Terminal 1
Formerly known as the “South Terminal,” Terminal 1 has Boarding Area B (including gates 20-23, 24A-24B, 25-31, 32A-32B-32C, 33-35, 36A-36B, 37-39) and Boarding Area C (gates 40-48). Terminal 2
Terminal 2, formerly known as the “Central Terminal,” opened in 1954 as the main airport terminal. Its only concourse is Boarding Area D that has 14 gates (gates 50, 51A, 51B, 52, 53, 54A, 54B, 55, 56A, 56B, 57, 58A, 58B, 59). Terminal 3
Formerly known as the “North Terminal,” Terminal 3 has Boarding Area E (gates 60–69) and Boarding Area F has 26 gates (gates 71A, 72, 73–73A, 74–76, 77A–77B, 78–86, 87–87A, 88–90). International Terminal
It is the largest international terminal in North America, and is the largest building in the world built on base isolators to protect against earthquakes. Food service focuses on quick service versions of leading Bay Area restaurants, following other SFO terminals. Planners attempted to make the airport a destination in and of itself, not just for travelers who are passing through. The international terminal is a common use facility, with all gates and all ticketing areas shared among the international airlines. All international arrivals and departures are handled here (except flights from cities with customs preclearance). The airport’s BART station is in this terminal, at the garage leading to Boarding Area G. The SFO Medical Clinic is located next to the security screening area of Boarding Area A. All the gates in this terminal have at least two jetway bridges except gates A2 and A10 which have one. Gates A1, A3, and A11 can accommodate two aircraft. Six gates are designed for the Airbus A380, making SFO one of the first airports in the world with such gates when it was built in 2000. Gates A9 (9A,9B,9C) and G101 (101A,101B,101C) have three jetways for boarding. Four other gates have two jetways fitted for the A380.
All SkyTeam, Oneworld and non-aligned international carriers except Aer Lingus operate from Boarding Area A (gates A1–A10, A11–A11A, A12). Asiana Airlines and Air Canada (some flights) are the only Star Alliance carriers that use Boarding Area A.
All international Star Alliance members aside from Air Canada and Asiana Airlines use Boarding Area G (gates G91, G92–G92A, G93–G98, G99–G99A, G100, G101–G101A, G102). Aer Lingus also operates out of Boarding Area G. As of 2010, some United domestic flights also board and deplane at Boarding Area G, as shown in the table below.
Domestic flights on JetBlue Airways, Sun Country Airlines, and Hawaiian Airlines also operate from the International Terminal at boarding area A.
Aer Lingus is the only carrier from Europe to San Francisco that has US Customs and Immigration Pre-Clerance, allowing arriving passengers to skip US customs when they arrive at SFO.
The designation for the International Terminal is “I”. Often times travel itineraries would say T-I, and passengers misinterpret this as terminal one, especially for domestic airlines operated from the international terminal.
Luxury Shopping in San Francisco Bay Area
If you want it, chances are likely you can get it in San Francisco. There are a wide range of small and locally owned businesses throughout the city’s neighborhoods; in fact, San Francisco has for the most part repelled the development of large chain retailers and big box stores that are common across America.
If it’s tourist trinkets you’re looking for, Fisherman’s Wharf has the typical souvenir, T-shirt, and camera shops, along with plenty of specialty stores. However, San Francisco’s most popular shopping area is Union Square, which has all the big national department stores (Macy’s, Saks, Nordstrom, etc.) and plenty of fancy boutique stores, as well as a few shopping centers thrown in.
For small, upscale boutiques, Union Street, Hayes Street around Octavia, Fillmore Street around California street, and Chestnut Street in the Golden Gate area are lined with unique and trendy places, and all these streets are among the best spots in the city to window shop and nash. Nob Hill is also full of specialty places.
But if you don’t have a luxury dollar to spend and still want to walk away with something unique, there are plenty of shops in Chinatown for you, selling Oriental handicrafts of all descriptions, and no chain stores in sight. Japantown also offers plenty of great shops selling authentic souvenirs, including the excellent Kinokuniya Stationery/Bookstore. The Haight is full of excellent independent record and book stores, with Amoeba Music dominating the scene.
For basic supplies, try the ubiquitous 7-Eleven convenience stores and Walgreens pharmacies. If you need groceries, Safeway is the dominant supermarket chain in the city. There are Safeway stores in SoMa, near Fisherman’s Wharf, and near the Financial District, but not near Union Square. The closest supermarket to Union Square is the upscale Bristol Farms supermarket at Westfield San Francisco Shopping Centre.
Dining in San Francisco
San Francisco is a sensual, epicurean city with a vast array of restaurants. In fact, San Francisco has more restaurants per capita than any major city in North America, with 1 restaurant for every 250 residents (in comparison, New York City has 1 restaurant for every 940 residents). The price range is huge, and you can spend anywhere from a small fortune to a couple bucks for every type of cuisine. Vegetarians and vegans will find SF a paradise, however contrary to popular belief the city has one of the lowest rates of vegetarian consumers in the nation. Sushi is a local obsession, and though you can find a sushi bar on almost every street corner, the Richmond district has more than its fair share of excellent sushi chefs.
San Francisco is also one of the best places in the nation for Asian cuisine: Korean, Thai, Indian, Japanese and, of course, Chinese. With the largest Chinatown in North America as well as one of the largest Chinese communities in the West, there are many exceptional restaurants serving dim sum and other Chinese delicacies found throughout the city. This localized Chinese cuisine has its feet in Hong Kong and America, and is different from what many visitors are accustomed to — it is common to hear complaints from Chinese visitors that Chinese food here is not like the food back home. There are several main types of Chinese restaurants in San Francisco: those primarily serving immigrants from Hong Kong (“Hong Kong style”) which commonly have signs on the wall in Chinese characters, live fish and shellfish tanks and some exotic main ingredients, such as pig’s blood or sea cucumber; those primarily serving San Franciscans who are not Asian immigrants (“California Chinese”) which commonly have Westernized table service, low fat content and more emphasis on fresh vegetables; those primarily serving tourists or other people accustomed to Chinese food as it is commonly served in the United States (“Americanized Chinese”); and those primarily serving immigrants from other areas or a particular dietary need or interest (regional cuisines, vegetarian, Muslim). There may be some mixing between these various classifications and each category may influence the others, for instance, the Americanized dish known as Chop Suey is often not served even at Americanized Chinese restaurants in San Francisco, while Chinese vegetables such as bok choy and pea sprouts may turn up on your plate at California Cuisine style restaurants.
Fisherman’s Wharf serves fresh seafood, especially clam chowder and crabs cooked to order. North Beach is the place to go for Italian food, and the Mission (birth place of the mission style burrito) for Mexican and Latin American cuisine of all sorts. San Francisco restaurants are also very corkage friendly. Average corkage fee appears to be in the $15 range, with some of the more pricey places charging $25-35.
San Francisco Events
Taxi in San Francisco
Taxis in San Francisco are, for a large city, surprisingly inefficient and expensive, starting at $3.50 just for getting in the cab and $0.55 per fifth of a mile and per minute of waiting.
San Francisco is home to several startups which are trying to provide a better ride-for-hire service, including UberCab, Lyft, and Sidecar, which are generally cheaper and more reliable than a taxi. Download the free app for any company to view cars in your area, and request a ride.
Except for taxi stations at or near downtown business hotels, or cruising just a few major arteries, taxis can be hard to find and hail — and calling for a cab can mean a 30-45 minute wait, if the cab shows up at all. Now, if you’re anywhere near Union Square and are holding shopping bags, just by standing on the curb and hailing passing cabs will usually get you one quite quickly. It is significantly easier to catch a taxi on weekdays, not including Friday night.
If you are heading to the airport, your best bet is to call ahead with a specific pickup time to one of the many taxi companies. You will also want to schedule your cab ahead of time because if you are going beyond 15 miles, you will end up paying 50% extra.