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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.
Top 3 Activities In Fishermans Wharf
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A Redwood Treehouse In Santa Cruz California
Some redwood cabins are in or near the redwoods. Other redwood cabins are made from salvaged redwood. This cabin? Its both.
Sitting in and around redwood trees as in, the cabin has been gently built around them and also made from reclaimed fallen redwoods, this gorgeous treehouse in Santa Cruz, California is as close as youre going to get to living in an actual redwood, which is the dream, right?! Full disclosure: were mildly obsessed with redwoods. We got married in them. We want redwood tattoos. Theyre our fave! Dont be surprised if we both run off and live in one at some point.
This was one of our favorite places to stay near San Francisco, and Santa Cruz makes a perfect weekend trip!
- What to Do in Santa Cruz: Get your kitsch on at the funky, quirky Mystery Spot , grab a delicious specialty coffee at Verve, enjoy a delicious bowl of Poke at Pono Hawaiian Grill, take the Roaring Camp Railroad through the redwoods to the famous Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, go tide-pooling at Natural Bridges State Beach, make friends with Santa Cruzs resident neon yellow banana slugs.
- Budget: Under $200 Verdict: Its a cozy little cabin treehouse, but youre not roughing it. Bring a date who thinks the redwoods are totally romantic.
- Distance from the Bay Area: 1.5 hours | Book: VRBO
An Iconic Lighthouse In Pigeon Point California
I know what youre thinking. First you want me to pretend Im a giant bird in a nest, now you want me to sleep in a f***ing lighthouse?! Are you insane?!
First of all, maybe, because both of those sound awesome to me.
Secondly, this lighthouse is the coolest hostel ever. Thats right: this lighthouse is a hostel. And you know how we feel about hostels .
Not only is this hostel in a lighthouse, but theres a cliff-side hot tub looking out over the ocean. Yup, you heard me right. A hot tub. Looking out over the Pacific Ocean. Sunset watching? Check. Falling asleep to the lulling sound of waves and barking seals? Check. Budget-friendly? CHECK!
A bed in a dorm room costs $31, or you can upgrade to a private room for $82.
Travel Tip: Book hella early. Like, many months early. If Pigeon Point is booked, check out this OTHER lighthouse hostel in nearby Montara, California.
- What to do in Pigeon Point: Whale watch, explore the coastal tidepools and beaches, hike the redwoods in Butano State Park, watch majestic elephant seals elegantly flomp around at Año Nuevo State Reserve, sample goat cheese at Harley Farm Goat Dairy, and grab a beer at Highway 1 Brewing Company.
- Cost: $31 for a dorm room, $82 for a private. Verdict: Bring a group of buddies to share the car and, if youre lucky, a whole dorm room with.
- Distance from the Bay Area: 1 hour | Website: Book on Hostelworld
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Great Airbnb Neighborhoods In Sf
- The Mission: By far, one of the best areas to stay in San Francisco. The Missions vibrant streets are like a cross between of your Latino uncle and Sergy Brin. You can find illuminating street art, dinosaur-sized burritos and its home to two of the best bookstores in SF.
- Potrero Hill: A quiet residential neighborhood hipped up with artsy warehouses. Take a tour of the Anchor brewing distillery and then eat local at one of the restaurants on 18th street.
- Castro Valley: Ground zero for being out and proud. You can catch films, fests and drag queens at the Castro theater and explore SF queer history at the GLBT History Museum.
- Noe Valley: Strollers, yoga and coffee fill the 24th street corridor in Noe. The strip has something for everyone including cute book stores, a craft brewery, a dive bar, some cute clothing shops and designer togs for the discerning toddler.
- The Haight/Cole Valley: Its been fifty years since the Summer of Love but the hippie vibe lives on in the Haight. They still sell vinyl at Amoeba records and you can purchase Grateful Dead gear, tie-dyed socks and, err, other paraphernalia.
- North Beach/Chinatown: The AirBnBs in this neighborhood offer all of the benefits of the downtown hotels, but with more hills! You can spend most of your allowance money buying books at the City Lights bookstore and then spend the rest on mysterious vegetables and dried fishes in Chinatown.
Bonus 3 Where Not To Stay In San Francisco
Its a known fact that there are more homeless people in California than in the rest of the United States and you should be prepared to encounter them in San Francisco as well, especially at the intersection between Turk street and Taylor street.
The city is mostly safe , but its always best to follow some common safety measures such as being mindful of your belongings and surroundings.
That being said, here is my list of areas to avoid when visiting San Francisco:
- The Tenderloin
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Why Avoid South Of Market
Wander into the West and South of Downtown, and the utopian view of San Francisco will fall away to reveal the harsh reality of the cities’ diversity. The neighbourhood has its fair share of dodgy dealings to be wary of and a startling amount of homeless people.
Nevertheless, being so close to Union Square, expect to find some top class hotels in the area as well.
The Best Area To Stay If You Want Fresh Seafood: Fisherman’s Wharf
You’re almost obligated to include Fisherman’s Wharf on your San Francisco travel itinerary. This popular tourist attraction puts you right on the water, where you get to see the fishing fleet, walk along Pier 39 to hear the calls of the sea lions, taste the freshest seafood you’ll ever put in your mouth and explore maritime history.
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The Very Best Neighborhoods To Stay In San Francisco
The Financial District, Union Square and SOMA neighborhoods carry the highest density of hotels in San Francisco. These three neighborhoods are where you should stay in San Francisco if you are prioritizing choice and convenience.
All three are close to many popular sites and are easily accessed by the BART subway or MUNI bus system. If you arent renting a car, heres a helpful article on how to get from SFO airport to downtown San Francisco, from Oakland airport to SF, and how to get from San Jose to SFO.
Best Hotel In San Francisco: The Willows Inn
This cost-effective hotel offers private rooms and shared bathrooms. Located in the Castro neighbourhood, the hotel provides free Wi-Fi and a paid San Francisco airport shuttle service. A delicious and filling breakfast is included in the room price, so you can fuel up so youve got the energy really explore San Francisco to the fullest. Its one of the best San Francisco hotels on a budget.
San Francisco is a bustling city that is split into five main districts: Downtown/Central, Richmond , Sunset , Upper Market, and Bayview. Each district is further subdivided into the numerous San Francisco neighbourhoods. Visiting San Francisco is actually quite a unique experience.
Below Ive listed the best neighbourhoods in San Francisco to visit.
Fishermans Wharf: This iconic pier is a fun area to go with kids, but its a bit of a tourist trap.
Nob Hill: A neighbourhood has more boutique shops and restaurants. Despite its hilarious name, Its charming and a must for anyone who wants to experience San Franciscos glamorous side.
Union Square: This downtown area is where youll find large shopping stores and malls. Its cool to visit during the holidays for the ice skating.
The Mission: An Arty and creative neighbourhood in San Francisco chock full of trendy bars, restaurants and cafes with a more laid back and local vibe than other areas.
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There’s A Place Like Home In San Francisco Ca
While the City by the Bay is known for its fog and rolling hills, San Francisco, CA has events, cultural activities and attractions for everyone. Popular San Francisco bay area attractions include the Aquarium of the Bay, Fisherman’s Wharf and Chinatown. Take a trolly tour across the city or a boat tour to Alcatraz Island and under the citys iconic Golden Gate Bridge. Large tech companies like Uber, Lyft, Visa, Yelp, Twitter and Airbnb call San Francisco home.
Whether youre on a long business trip, family vacation or romantic getaway, youll find affordable accommodations at an Extended Stay America hotel near San Francisco. Each of our hotels feature spacious suites with fully equipped kitchens, free wi-fi and premium cable channels. On-site guest laundry and pet-friendly rooms are available. Make lasting memories, but dont leave your heart at an Extended Stay America hotel near San Francisco, CA.
Why Avoid The Mission And The Castro
In many areas of the city, car break-ins are frequent. Be extra vigilant if choosing to drive in the city, especially in the busier neighbourhoods. Although, we don’t advise that you drive in San Francisco. The public transport is much faster and more reliable. Besides, you’ll want to walk around the city to take it all in.
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A Glamorous Riverboat In Sacramento California
Stay on an actual riverboat right next to bustling downtown Sacramento. The Delta King is a real, historical riverboat. From 1927!!
The Delta King used to shuttle passengers from the California capital of Sacramento to bustling San Francisco and back again until the construction of the much more iconic Golden Gate Bridge relegated it to the land of Myspace and Betamax. Now, its a fabulous hotel in a prime location.
Other than staying on an actual freaking riverboat, the best part about the Delta King is that they have MYSTERY DINNER THEATRE. You guys. Fake gunshots. Twiddly mustaches. Suspects. Victims! Its like IRL Clue and the only thing cooler would be if Tim Curry was the host and it was Colonel Mustard in the Billiard Room with the revolver all along.
- What to do in Sacramento: What more could you possibly want than mystery dinner theatre?! But if you insist rent a bike and hit the epic 32-mile bike trail, cool off at Raging Waters or Golfland Sunsplash , hit up apple hill and pretend its real fall, go white water rafting, and check out the hip downtown Sacramento Grid.
- Cost: Rooms from $107 per night. Verdict: I feel like this would make a pretty good third date, but only if your date is into Clue.
- Distance from the Bay Area: 1.5 hours | Book: The Delta King
The Best Area To Stay For Families: Noe Valley
Stay like a local at Noe’s Nest Bed and Breakfast, a charming Victorian house centrally located in the heart of the Noe Valley. Located right in the middle of San Francisco, this primarily residential area has ample sidewalks and a pedestrian-friendly layout that encourage the admiration of classic San Francisco townhomes while its position in town reduces the amount of fog that rolls in.
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Best Airbnb In Nob Hill: Bright & Central Apartment
Want to stay in the heart of the action? Then check out this awesome apartment in Nob Hill! The studio is ideal for couples but can sleep up to four guests, and features a kitchenette and wifi. San Franciscos best places to visit are within easy reach Chinatown, North Beach, and Polk Street are all just a short walk away.
The Best Places To Stay In Sfs Financial District
The Financial District has a cluster of four-star chain hotels catering to the business traveler, but the location is also good for the leisure traveler because of its central location. There are some great bars and restaurants in the neighborhood, especially at the Ferry Building, and its easy to access public transportation to anywhere in the city.
- Pros: Central location and access to public transportation.
- Cons: The hotels are typically pricier and many dont offer much flair. Quieter at night.
3 Fun Things to do in the Financial District
The Garden Court of the Palace Hotel, photo courtesy of the hotel and Jason Dewey Photography
Historic Icon: The Palace Hotel
You will get a taste of what royalty must feel likeThe Palace was built in 1875 as San Franciscos first premier luxury hotel. They have a stunning ballroom and lobby and they offer old-school services such as a signature tea and brunch.
Check reviews and rates at Booking.com.
4 Star chain hotel: Hyatt Regency Embarcadero
Great lobby, great room, spectacular interior designThe Hyatt is notable for its huge vaulted lobby and comfortable bar space. The hotel is attached to the Embarcadero shopping mall and there are quite a few good restaurants within a few blocks.
Check reviews and rates at Booking.com.
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The Castro: For Lgbtq
The Castro District is home to stunning Bay views, locally made goods, and some of the best vibes you will find in San Fran. The Castro has become a center for the LGBT community.
The communitys struggle for equality is nothing less than inspiring, and the district pays respect to the tragic history LGBT people have had to endure.
The local culture is committed to pride for all. The LGBT community is extremely active here, and the Castro is the home base for many events supporting LBGT rights. Pride flags line the streets, and its home the San Francisco historic landmark, The Castro Theatre. People from all over the city come here to catch a flick and enjoy the positive atmosphere.
The locals are some of the most welcoming you will find in SF. Ideals of equality, love, pride, and freedom are found throughout the district. To spread the love on your next San Fran trip, be sure to head over to the Castro.