Why Stay In The Northern Waterfront And Pacific Heights
The Northern waterfront features everything you’d want to see during your first time visit to San Francisco. Stay here for the glorious views over the San Francisco Bay, the numerous commercial areas, major tourist hotspots, and the San Francisco’s biggest icon: The Golden Gate Bridge.
On the East side of the waterfront is Fisherman’s Wharf, where you’ll regularly hear the gruff call of sea lions and taste the cities absolute best seafood. Don’t miss the San Francisco classic clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl.
Fisherman’s Wharf is arguably the most touristy area in the city, but it’s a must-do on the list of any visitor. It’s also an easy place to base yourself for day trips to Alcatraz, the infamous offshore prison, and the surrounding sights of the Bay Area.
Standing sentry in the Northern Waterfront is Pacific Heights, home to the glamorously wealthy and San Francisco’s old money. Here you’ll find a plethora of luxury hotels surrounding the heights offering outstanding views over the city, though you’ll have to dip deep into your pocket for a room.
You’ll want to stay here to be just 10 minutes walk from the Presidio San Francisco, with its own golf course, walking tails, scenic beaches, fishing spots and incredible views of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Chinatown Budget Friendly Area In Sf
Chinatown along with Union Square and Nob Hill, is the best area to stay in San Francisco without a car. It is located only 10 minutes waking from the Union Square, the transport hub of the city, offering easy access to almost everywhere.
Located immediately to the east of Nob Hill, separated by Powell Street, San Franciscos Chinatown is the oldest and most iconic Chinatown area in the entire United States.
With three other Chinese enclaves located in San Francisco, there is much more of an authentic feel to this community that you will find in many Chinatown areas across the country. Traditional culture, customs, languages, social clubs, and places of worship make it a wonderful place to experience.
Low-priced, great value housing has continued the trend of new immigrants to San Francisco taking up residence in Chinatown, as opposed to the rest of what is generally an expensive city. This is particularly true with those from east Asia, who feel much more at home here.
The Dragons Gate archway at the southern end of the district lets you enter Chinatown in style and gives you a taste of what you are about to experience. Shops, bars, restaurants, and more offer local wares and cuisine, allowing you to immerse yourself in the spirit of the area.
The streets are filled with parades, floats, acrobats, marching bands, school, performances, street dances, martial arts, music performances, and fashion shows.
Best places to stay in SF in Chinatown:
Haight Ashbury The Most Artistic Area In San Francisco
Haight-Ashbury, located on the west of Union Square, is one the most iconic and historic neighborhoods in San Francisco! In fact, its architecture is absolutely gorgeous, and you will notice that from the bright and colorful Victorian homes that line the Haight streets.
This beighborhood is also the artistic heart of San Francisco, home of hippies, hipsters, vintage boutiques, tattoo shops, record stores, and thrift stores.
Nearby the area youll find is Alamo Square, the perfect place to have the best panoramic views of San Francisco, and over Golden Gate Park . While if you love music, you cannot miss Fillmore, just right next to Alamo Square, a cool neighbourhood full of a variety of jazz clubs!
This is more of a local neighborhood there arent so many hotels in the area, so if you want to stay here it might be a good idea to also consider staying in apartments.
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Fishermans Wharf One Of The Best Neighborhoods To Stay In Sf
Fishermans Wharf is perhaps one of the best-known neighborhoods in San Francisco because Pier 39 is here as well as seafood restaurants. When you visit, dont leave without trying Dungeness Crab and clam chowder served in a sourdough bread bowl.
Fishermans Wharf, one of the best neighborhoods to stay in San Francisco
This is a good area to stay in San Francisco and the best place to see sea lions. Moreover, the hotel where we stayed in San Francisco is here.
These are the recommended hotels in Fishermans Wharf:
Here are other accommodations in Fishermans Wharf San Francisco.
North Beach: Best Area With A Car
The buzzing neighborhood often referred to as the Little Italy of California attracts visitors looking for a lively area packed with local history. Any area with a high concentration of Italians is undoubtedly going to have some of the best cuisines in town. Plus, any stroll through Little Italy wont be complete without a cannoli and a scoop of gelato.
North Beach is home to some of the best homemade Italian restaurants with large portions any Italian grandma would be proud of. There are plenty of fun outdoor activities to do in North Beach, like climbing The Greenwich Steps, which is a great hike if you feel like breaking a sweat.
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San Francisco Marriott Fishermans Wharf
San Francisco Marriott Fishermans Wharf
Other hotel options in San Francisco are those of the Marriott chain. The first of them is the San Francisco Marriott Fishermans Wharf, which has the hammock pattern and classic decor. Rooms have king-size beds, cable TV with pay-per-view channels, hairdryer, coffee maker and minibar.
A feature of the hotel is that the concierge speaks Portuguese, perfect for those who are not comfortable with English. In addition, wi-fi and breakfast are not included in the rate, however, there are great options for cafes in the region. one of them is the House Coffee which even has cheese bread, very Brazilian. SEE PRICES
- Rates from US$250
- Overall Guest Rating: 8,1 / 586 reviews
- Offers free cancellation
- Nearby Attractions: San Francisco Duck Tours , Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! and Ghirardelli Square
Comfort and location are excellent Bar and restaurants with great options, very pleasant atmosphere. Silvana no Booking.com – see all reviews
How To Get Around San Francisco
Getting around San Francisco isnt that difficult. Unlike in most US cities in San Francisco, you have a range of options to choose from walking, bikes, taxis, cable cars, and more.
You can rent a car from Discover Cars and use it for day trips. Within the city range, its best to navigate without a car because parking is horrible.
The Hop-On-Hop-Off buses are another great option. With options from 24-hr, 48-hr, or 72-hr tickets and routes running every 15 to 20 minutes, its the perfect way to see all the tourist attractions. Find out more here!
Walking around the city is by far the easiest method of getting around, with many of the hotels close to the attractions. Here are a few good hotels for your stay that are close to the top things to do in San Francisco.
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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.
The 8 Best Areas To Stay In San Francisco Without A Car
We researched the best areas to stay in San Francisco without a car so that you can walk to all the major sights and easily access public transportation.
You really dont need to rent a car when you visit San Francisco if you choose the right neighborhoods to stay in. The citys extensive public transit system can get you to and from the airport as well as around the city with ease.
San Francisco is also not as big as other major cities, so you can actually walk or bike to most places if you choose the right starting base.
In fact, the city is only about 7 miles across at its widest point and is one of the most walkable cities in the US.
But, not every part of town is ideal to stay in without a car as they may be far from popular tourist attractions or not connected to the public transit system.
So, we evaluated all of the neighborhoods in San Francisco and found the ones that were the closest to many points of interest and offer the most transit options.
Be sure to check out San Franciscos official Municipal Transportation Agency website to help plan your trip and see the latest routes and timetables for cable cars, metros, and buses.
Here is our list of the best areas to stay in San Francisco without a car so that you can travel freely and not think about where to park.
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Best Places To Stay In Union Square
Palace Hotel Historic architecture and top quality service await you at this landmark hotel. Dating back to 1909, this place is all about the opulence of a bygone age. The rooms are sophisticated, theres an opulent lounge with a stained glass dome, a posh restaurant, plus a pool and even three ballrooms. Location-wise, its well connected with public transport the nearest Muni bus stop and BART stop are within easy walking distance.
San Francisco Marriott Marquis Union Square When it comes to chic, this 4-star hotel is a great option. Set in a high rise building with glittering views of the San Francisco skyline, it offers a bar, fitness center and spa, as well as a cocktail lounge on the 39th floor. Its less than a five-minute walk to the nearest BART station and Union Square itself is nearby.
Hilton Parc 55 San Francisco Union Square Another one of San Franciscos skyscraper hotels, this 4-star iteration of the Hilton is perfect for any shopaholic or foodie. Restaurants and shops quite literally surround this hotel and the Westfield San Francisco Centre Mall is just a couple of minutes walk away. In addition, Powell Street BART station is practically next door. The rooms are laid back and comfortable, plus you can find an American restaurant, a Thai restaurant, a coffee shop and a gym all on site.
North Beach: Best For Italian Food And Bohemian Vibes
Located in the northeast corner of the city, and bordered by Fishermans Wharf, Chinatown, and Russian Hill, North Beach is a charming and bohemian neighborhood with a rich history.
The traditionally Italian neighborhood serves as San Franciscos Little Italy, full of great restaurants, cafés, bakeries, and barsits the best place in the city for pizza, pasta, cannoli, and espresso.
North Beach was also the favorite hangout of the Beat generation artists and poets like Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. You can visit some of their old haunts like Vesuvio Café and City Lights Books, and learn more about the whole movement at the Beat Museum. Theres also a vibrant nightlife scene.
Pros and Cons of Staying in North Beach
- Charming neighborhood: Theres a lot of charm, character, and history in this neighborhood.
- Great food: Theres excellent Italian food here.
- Walkable to other areas: Its also easy to get to Fishermans Wharf, Chinatown, Union Square and the Embarcadero from here.
- Noise: It can get rowdy and loud at night, which may not be ideal if youre trying to sleep. Some of the nightlife offerings include strip clubs.
- Difficulties parking: Parking is very limited and difficult here.
- Limited transport: Aside from a few cable cars and buses, transport is not that convenient here, making it difficult to access other parts of the city beyond the nearby walkable neighborhoods.
North Beach Highlights
Places to Stay in North Beach
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Top Things To Do In Haight
- See where the Summer of Love began at the corner of Haight and Ashbury and snap a selfie in front of the street signs.
- Stand outside the home where the band the Grateful Dead lived in the 1960s: 710 Ashbury Street.
- Enjoy delicious pizza and live jazz music at Club Deluxe.
- Add to your vinyl collection at Amoeba Music.
- Unwind in the hill-top Buena Vista Park, the oldest park in San Francisco, and enjoy the great views.
- Pick up a good book at the olde-worlde store, The Booksmith.
- Browse in up-market vintage shops and second-hand stores.
- Experience flower power at the Peace Arts Center.
- Choose from more than 150 beers at Mad Dog in the Fog.
- Admire the Victorian buildings and street art.
- Ride the Magic Bus to travel back in time to the Swinging Sixties.
- Join the Haunted Haight night tour for a spooky sensation.
- Grab a quick lunch on the go at Haight Street Market.
- Try a range of holistic healing and alternative therapies, including yoga, Reiki, and massage, at Sacred Space Healing Center. Feast on vego and vegan-friendly ethnic dishes in various cool restaurants and cafes.
Jw Marriott San Francisco Union Square
Who Will Love It: Business travelers and conference goers who want to be in the center of the action
All-Star Amenities: Fitness center with wood floors meeting space equipped with interactive white boards and sound-absorbing rugs PURE-certified facilities and guest rooms in-room Bose radios
What Not To Miss: The spa-like bathrooms rubbing shoulders with power brokers at the bar in the lobby
Location: Union Square
With over 16,000 square feet of meeting space including a venue for conferences and advanced AV technology, JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square has a reputation for being one of the citys buzziest business hubs, but it doesnt feel too corporate. After entering through the porte-cochere and taking the cylindrical glass elevator to the third floor, guests will find a luxurious high-ceilinged lobby with marble floors and glass chandeliers. Guest rooms, which begin at 360 square feet, all have desks and comfortable chairs for business travelers and marble bathrooms that feel like mini spas with separate showers and tubs. The hotel is within easy walking distance of Union Square, the Financial District and the Embarcadero and theres a BART and Muni stop on nearby Powell Street so getting wherever you need to go for business or pleasure is a breeze.
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Why Avoid North Beach And The Hills
If you’re on a budget, it’s best to stay out of accommodation in The Hills and splash your cash on the cities numerous offerings, like the many celebrated restaurants and galleries. Consider the super steep hills too. Can you walk up and down every single day without a car?
Nob Hill has historically served as a centre for the city’s upper class. Nob Hill is, in fact, among the highest income neighbourhood in the States. And as you can imagine, Nob Hill is also one of the most desirable and expensive locations in the whole country.
Where To Stay In San Francisco With Accessibility
For guests with limited mobility or other types of disabilities, there are some accommodations that offer adapted spaces and amenities for better comfort. Check out some of them below:
- Hilton San Francisco Rates from US$ 202 Note 7,9
- San Francisco Marriott Rates from US$250 Grade 8,1
- Hotel Zoe Daily rates from US$ 224 8,4 grade
- Grand Hyatt San Francisco Rates from US$ 208 Note 8,4
See all hotel options where to stay in San Francisco.
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Top 3 Activities In North Beach