Where To Stay In South Of Market And The Tenderloin
The idea of San Francisco as a Victorian-lined utopia holds fast until you wander into the areas to the west and south of Downtown.
Better known as SoMa, South of Market is a sprawling district with wide traffic-filled streets stacked with tall office buildings, condo high-rises, hotels, nightclubs and major museums. The adjoining Civic Center and Tenderloin districts show a different side of the city. The Civic Center has grand government and cultural buildings, and a cluster of visual and expressive arts venues. Tenderloin, meanwhile, is one of the city’s poorest areas. Be aware that it maintains a bad reputation, and most tourists choose to avoid it. If youre on a particularly tight budget, but dont wish to stay in a hostel, these areas are your best option, with some trendier accommodation in South of Market.
Best for film fans: Hotel Vertigo
Famous as the place where Alfred Hitchcock filmed the dramatic stairway scenes in Vertigo, this swanky spot boasts a mix of classic French style and modern urban sophistication.
Best for boutique luxury: Hotel Vitale
Steps from the ferry building, this hotel boasts elegant contemporary rooms . Its on-site spa has rooftop soaking tubs.
Top Things To Do And See In The Mission
- Shoot some pool at Benders Bar and Grill or Shotwells.
- Rock the tunes on the jukebox at The 500.
- Pay a visit to San Franciscos oldest building: Mision San Francisco de Asis, AKA Mission Dolores.
- Hang out on a sunny afternoon in Delores Park. Bring your food and drink!
- Sample delicious latin dishes in one of the best neighborhoods in San Francisco for foodies. You could even opt to take a walking food tour if you have time.
- Pick up some bargains at the many thrift and vintage stores.
- Admire the eye-catching murals and street art.
- View the collections at art galleries like Galeria de la Raza, City Art, and Southern Exposure.
- Catch a film at the Roxie Theatre and its far-out next-door neighbor, the Little Roxie.
- Perfect your swing at Urban Putt, a quirky themed indoor minigolf course housed in a Victorian mortuary.
- Get into the groove and start nights out at Public Works.
- Browse unusual goods and curiosities at Paxton Gate.
Near Golden Gate Bridge/the Presidio
Quite a lot of visitors to San Francisco assume that the Golden Gate Bridge is close to the rest of the city. Its not. Its way out of the way.
The area around the Golden Gate Bridge is called the Presidio, and its actually a giant nature park that used to be a military base. Its absolutely gorgeous and a wonderful place to go hiking or to watch the sun setting at Lands End.
But dont stay there if your goal is to explore San Francisco. Its quite out of the way and takes a long time to access on transit! Wed only recommend basing yourself here if you want peace, quiet, nature, isolation, and easy access to the
That said, there is one big plus to the Presidio: this is one of the few neighborhoods in San Francisco where its not a major disadvantage to have a car.
- Where to Stay Instead: Honestly, anywhere else on our neighborhood list would be a better choice. If youre after Golden Gate Bridge views, you can find them all over the city if you stay in a high-rise building- but expect to pay more for the privilege.
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Best Places To Stay In San Francisco For Families: Nob Hill And Russian Hill
Nob Hill and Russian Hill are home to some of the most iconic views of the city. Here you will also find the most famous “crookedest street,” Lombard Street. Take the iconic cable car from your hotel to Lombard Street or use it to visit other neighborhoods, including Union Square, North Beach and Fisherman’s Wharf.
If you’re visiting San Francisco with your Family, Nob Hill and Russian Hill are classic neighborhood options.
Where To Stay In North Beach And The Hills
Inland North Beach was named when the area sat along San Franciscos original northern waterfront. It is best known as the home of the citys Italian community. In recent years its original blue-collar character has been largely eroded by gentrification. Nevertheless, it retains an easy, worn-in feeling, and its sloping residential streets and vibrant main drags are ideal for aimless wandering.
Primarily residential Telegraph Hill and Russian Hill, meanwhile, boast beautiful old homes. Hidden gardens can be found tucked away down pathways off steep hillside streets. To the south of Russian Hill lies pristine, yet historically snooty Nob Hill.
For a B& B style hotel: Washington Square Inn
Overlooking Washington Square, this hotel has large and airy rooms with a European flavour. Some boast bay windows.
For big budgets: The Fairmont
The most famous of Nob Hills landmark hotels, this showy palace offers fantastic views despite being relatively low-rise for the neighbourhood.
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Cheap Accommodations In San Francisco
The cost of rooms in San Francisco ranges from medium to high. Low-priced accommodations are also available, but the quality is very poor. In the areas farther from downtown, prices drop a bit, however, it is rather difficult to find satisfactory solutions below $120 per night, except for the motels on Lombard Street and some places on the edge of Chinatown.
If you want to stay in downtown San Francisco for a cheap price, the best choice is a hostel. There are excellent hostels and some rooms also have private bathrooms. Two solutions that I recommend you to evaluate are the HI San Francisco Downtown Hostel and Ansonia Hostel San Francisco. Those who are looking for a particular experience can fall back on the Pod Room OFarrell St where you can sleep inside real space capsules. It is located close to Union Square.
Where To Stay In Mission District
Inn San Francisco Dating back to 1872, the cute, homely building that houses this hotel is done in a Victorian style. Everything here is decidedly vintage, from the antique furnishings to the classic décor some rooms have claw foot baths, whilst others have four-poster beds. Theres even a charming garden to relax in. This hotel is located very near to a BART station and is not far from all the buzzing bars and eateries that the Mission District has to offer.
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Where To Stay In North Beach
- Best Airbnb in North Beach: Enjoy 180° Bay views in the sunny living room at this hidden oasis in the heart of the city. Listen for foghorns, sea lions, and the clang of nearby cable cars. Sit at the sleek marble dining table and admire the eclectic art featured throughout.
- Best luxury hotel in North BeachWashington Square Inn Boutique hotel in the heart of North Beach, free breakfast, great views.
- Check out Availability and Prices: Tripadvisor or Booking.com
- Best Mid Range Hoel in North BeachHotel Boheme Bohemian-inspired decor from the 50s and 60s, steps away from many cafes and jazz clubs, near Lombard Street.
- Check Availability and Pricing: Tripadvisor or Booking.com
- Best Budget Hotel in North Beach San Remo Hotel Quirky, European-stye hotel, 10 min walk to the beach, pedestal sinks, furnished with Victorian heirlooms.
- Check out Availability & Prices: Tripadvisor or Booking.com
Getting There Take Muni buses 30, 45, or 91 Additionally, you can take the Powell/Mason cable car . For more information check out the San Francisco Muni website for updated costs and schedule.
Where To Find Hotel Deals
Now that you have an idea on the best places to stay in San Francisco, I recommend checking out these two sites for deals. SF hotels can be very expensive, so make sure to shop around for some deals before booking.
VRBO: In addition to hotels, you’ll also find some great places to stay locally through VRBO. Book an apartment or a room and feel more like a local. Find some great places to stay on VRBO here.
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Where To Stay In Russian Hill
Comfort Inn By the Bay Hotel With top sights like Lombard Street and Fishermans Wharf within easy walking distance, this hotel is a good option for anybody who wants to get out and about on their San Francisco trip. The staff are friendly and helpful and serve up free, tasty waffles for breakfast every day. The rooms are decorated in a traditional style and come with dark wood furniture. Plus, theres free coffee provided in the lobby at all times of the day.
Where To Stay In San Francisco: A Locals Complete Guide
We love San Francisco, which is where we met, got married, and lived for almost a decade. Its an incredible conglomeration of neighborhoods, all with their own unique style and vibe. For example, in the Marina youll run into bar-hopping twentysomethings who just moved out of the fraternity, while the Outer Sunset is basically a beach town. There are so many different neighborhoods in San Francisco, its hard to keep track of all of them even as a local. How can someone who is visiting for a long weekend be expected to?
When people ask us where to stay in San Francisco, we have a pretty strong perspective. We lived in San Francisco for years before we took off to travel the world full time, and were here to give you the inside information on the best places to stay in San Francisco for your trip.
Why listen to us? We lived in San Francisco for more than seven years Alysha was there for almost a decade . One of our favorite things to do is to explore the best neighborhoods in San Francisco on foot, looking for new coffee shops, cafes, and interesting things to do and see. Wed say hey, on Saturday, lets do the Castro and head out there to explore. Weve been to all the places listed in this guide, and know the reality of each of the neighborhoods listed below.
DO NOT STAY IN FISHERMANS WHARF. That tip alone is worth the price of admission. Which, of course, is free.
While youre in trip-planning mode, dont miss our other San Francisco travel guides!
Where Not To Stay In San Francisco
Although there are many great places to stay in San Francisco, as we share in more detail below, there are also some areas you should not base yourself during your trip.
Fishermans Wharf: Fishermans Wharf is largely a crowded tourist trap, with little of the unique San Francisco charm. And while there are some highlights like the seals at Pier 39, Musee Mecanique, and Ghirardelli Square, youre better off just visiting and staying elsewhere, like North Beach just next door, or Nob Hill a little further away. Plus the hotels here are very pricey for what you get.
Tenderloin: Like many major cities, theres a relatively large unhoused population in San Francisco. For many of the homeless and transient, mental illness and drug use is a big issue. Nowhere is this more evident than in the Tenderloin , which may make some visitors uncomfortable or even feel unsafe. While there are some points of interest in the Tenderloin, its not an area you want to stay in, and you probably dont want to walk around here alone at night.
SoMa Between 5th and Van Ness: Theres not much charm in the South of Market area, a former industrial and warehouse area that is now a business hub and slowly gentrifying. Some areas are also seedy and slightly dangerous, especially at night, and in particular the stretch between 5th Street and Van Ness Avenue. Theres really not much in the way of attractions here, so theres no reason to come here at all, much less base yourself here for your trip.
The Mission: Best For Foodies And Nightlife
The Mission is one of the most vibrant and interesting neighborhoods in the city. Theres incredible street art, with two dedicated alleys devoted to colorful and socially conscious murals.
Theres also great shopping here, particularly of the eclectic, unique, and independent boutique and shop variety. Some of the best restaurants and bars in the city can be found here. You can taste flavors from around the world, but a Mission burrito is a must.
The Mission is also blessed with generally sunny and warm weather, best enjoyed at Dolores Park, next to the citys oldest building.
Sadly, there is a cost to the Mission becoming the hip and happening neighborhood that it is todayincreasing costs from the tech boom means that many primarily Latino families and businesses who historically called the Mission home can no longer afford to live here, and are being pushed out. While areas like Calle 24 have been designated the Latino Cultural District, with the goal of preserving Latino culture from gentrification and other disruptive forces, visitors should be aware of their impact.
Pros and Cons of Staying in the Mission
- Great shops, restaurants, and bars: Theres a great selection of independent and hip shops and boutiques, along with a huge abundance of great restaurants and bars.
- Weather: Its generally warmer and sunnier here than elsewhere in the city, especially at Dolores Park.
- Limited hotels: There are very few hotel options in the Mission.
The Mission Highlights
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Contact Information All Travelers
All air passengers to the United States will also be required to provide contact information to airlines before boarding flights to the United States. This strengthens a travel process already in place to rapidly identify and contact people in the U.S. who may have been exposed to a communicable disease, such as COVID-19. Access to travelers contact information will allow U.S. federal, state, and local health departments, and agencies to share appropriate health and public health information necessary to help keep the public safe.
Pacific Heights: For An Elite Experience
There are no attractions in the strict sense of the word in Pacific Heights, yet visiting it or staying here is not a bad idea. Why? Because Pacific Heights is known as the most exclusive neighborhood in San Francisco. The Victorian mansions, Baroque mansions, Italian-style villas, and lush gardens make Pacific Heights the most opulent and elitist area of the city.
It could be considered as a competitor of Nob Hill. Given the shortage of hotels in both Pacific Heights and in Nob Hill, it is just as difficult and expensive to stay in either neighborhood. If youve decided to spend the night here, take the opportunity to explore the neighborhood a little bit by dining at one of the restaurants on Fillmore Street or by enjoying the view at the top of Lyon Street Steps and from the heights of Alta Plaza Park.
- Laurel Inn: A refined boutique hotel that stands out for its good location. Although it is located on the edge of the neighborhood, you can easily reach downtown San Francisco by bus. There is a bus stop is right in front of the hotel.
- Hotel Drisco: Staying at the luxurious and cozy Drisco is a privilege those who can afford it can enjoy. In addition to the charming location near the best green parks and the most beautiful streets of the neighborhood, I must mention its deluxe services that are well above average in San Francisco.
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Best Private Room In Haight
Make your trip to San Francisco even more memorable by staying in this unique private room in Haight-Ashbury! The room is situated in a 1900 Victorian building and features a four-poster bed, high ceilings, and hand-woven rugs. Location-wise, youll be just 15 minutes from Golden Gate Park and surrounded by cafes and eateries.
Fishermans Wharf: The Entertainment District Of Fishermans Wharf
For those who want to have fun in San Francisco, Fishermans Wharf is the place to be. It is a dock for fishing boats , and those who want to be within walking distance of all kinds of shops, restaurants, and bars should look for accommodations here.
Since it is a very commercial district, it is possible to find the most extravagant and unique shops. Sleeping here allows you to be constantly in touch with the lively and festive side of San Francisco, as you can read in our article designed for those who want to visit Fishermans Wharf.
If you choose to stay in this area, youll be able to spot the many sea lions that rest on the pier, youll be close to where you can board a boat to visit Alcatraz Island, and youll easily find good fresh fish and the best Italian restaurants in North Beach will be in the vicinity.
It is also one of the best spots close to the famous Golden Gate Bridge, and no visit to San Francisco is complete without seeing the bridge.
Any recommendations? Here is a list of hotels:
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Why Avoid Embarcedero And Financial District
Places close early around Embarcedero and the Financial District, so it’s not the best place to find nightlife.
Where to stay in San Francisco Embarcedero and Financial District
Loews Regency San Francisco
Featuring stunning views of downtown San Francisco from each spacious guestroom, Loews Regency San Francisco offers gourmet on-site dining, in-room massage services and easy access to sites such as Chinatown, 7 minutesâ walk away.
Omni San Francisco
Centrally located at the intersection of California Street and Montgomery Street, Omni San Francisco boasts a restaurant and elegant rooms. Offering service to San Francisco International Airport, Montgomery Street BART Station is 6 minutesâ walk from the hotel.
Club Quarters Hotel in San Francisco
Situated in the heart of San Francisco’s business and financial district, Club Quarters Hotel in San Francisco features comfortable hotel in a private club-like atmosphere. Guests enjoy free WiFi throughout the hotel. The Embarcadero and the scenic Ferry Building are 10 minutesâ walk away.