San Francisco Travel Guides

Settled in 1776 by Spanish colonists, San Francisco experienced a major building boom when gold was discovered in California in 1849. Today, San Francisco is a bustling metropolitan city with numerous landmarks, including Fisherman's Wharf, Alcatraz and the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. San Francisco is also home to the Transamerica Pyramid and other distinctive architecture, as well as museums, galleries and a growing number of innovative technology companies.

Where to Stay

Hotels in San Francisco range from budget to top-shelf, with historic neighborhoods headlining your choices. If you want to feel the vibes from the Summer of Love, choose a hotel in Haight-Ashbury, where the hippie counterculture originated. Many popular tourist destinations are within walking distance of the hotels near Fisherman's Wharf. Union Square and SoMa are for those who want to be smack dab in the center of the hustle and bustle, and Nob Hill is the place to find high-end luxury hotels.

Airports

Just 13 miles from downtown San Francisco in San Mateo County, San Francisco International Airport serves approximately 50 million visitors to the Bay Area every year. The airport has a host of amenities, including restaurants and shopping, as well as the Kids' Spot interactive children's center and the Louis A. Turpen Aviation Museum and Library. Another option for travelers is Oakland International Airport, which is about 22 miles from San Francisco.

Top Things to Do

Naturally, you'll want to take in the awesome sight that is the Golden Gate Bridge, which spans San Francisco Bay from the beautiful Presidio to Marin County. Other top destinations include Golden Gate Park and Fisherman's Wharf, which has museums, shops and numerous seafood restaurants. If you're an architecture buff, be sure to visit the breathtaking Painted Ladies, the Victorian row houses that are part of San Francisco's beautiful backdrop.

Weather/Seasonal Information

Author and humorist Mark Twain once said, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco," and many would agree that his joke wasn't too far from the truth. Average high temperatures during summer reach only the high 60s. Autumn is a bit warmer, with average highs near 70 in September and October. In December and January, the city sees its most rainfall and has temperatures dipping to the mid-50s. Known as the City by the Bay, San Francisco has a near-constant "marine layer" of fog.

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