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California

San Francisco Holidays

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San Francisco? Simple.

Vibrant San Francisco is halfway up the Californian coast. It’s surrounded by water on three sides, with the Pacific to the west and San Francisco Bay to the east. Connected to the mainland by the iconic Golden Gate Bridge since 1937, a trip to San Francisco is a must-visit during a West Coast adventure. Or, if you’re looking to stay put in one place, San Francisco has more than enough sights to fill a whole holiday.

Wander across to Pier 33 and you’ll spot sea lions sunbathing on nearby rocks, while Alcatraz looms in the distance. If you fancy exploring the notorious island prison on your San Francisco holiday, take a boat trip from nearby Pier 41 ferry station. Meanwhile, green spaces, great shops and lively bars can be found across the city, so you won’t be short of things to do here.

San Francisco is a coastal city, but its beaches are best for wrapped-up strolls rather than sunbathing due to the cooler climate and the famous San Fran fog. If you love city breaks, though, it’s one of the West Coast’s most exciting destinations. There are plenty of museums to keep families occupied, although the city is better suited to couples and friends who can really make the most of its historic streets, stylish bars and vibrant nightlife. You can explore the streets at your own pace, or hop onto the cable cars to save you from walking up the steep hills.

Stay in Haight-Ashbury if you’re looking for an alternative base, or go for Mission District to avoid the sea fog and be close to bustling Union Square. Choose The Castro District if you want to hit the city’s famous gay bars and immerse yourself in the friendly LGBT+ scene, or base yourself in Richmond District to be close to the tourist trail.

Things to do

Nature

Nightlife

Best time to go

Things to do in San Francisco

While the Golden Gate Bridge is San Francisco’s most famous landmark, the architectural marvel isn’t the only attraction here. The Walt Disney museum offers a look into the life of Mickey’s creator, while Alcatraz Island is a must-visit for fans of true crime and modern history. On the other side of the bridge, 19th-century Battery Spencer is a great place to stop and take in the views.

Curious minds of every age will love the California Academy of Sciences, on the eastern side of the Golden Gate Bridge. Its sprawling rainforest zone, home to thousands of tropical butterflies, is a pretty unforgettable sight. And the de Young Museum, just across the fountains, is an art-lover’s paradise, while the sculpture garden is a quiet place for a relaxing stroll.

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If you’re struggling to cram all of San Francisco’s attractions in, hop on one of the cable cars – a tourist attraction themselves. Then you can explore Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, Chinatown and the Financial District. You should also snap a photo of the famous Painted Ladies – a pretty row of Edwardian houses – and zigzagging Lombard Street.

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Nature in the city

You’ll get the best views across San Francisco from the top of Twin Peaks in the centre of the city. Novice hikers should tackle the east-facing slopes, which tend to be sunnier and more sheltered. At the top, in the unspoilt Twin Peaks Natural Area, you might be lucky enough to spot endangered wildlife, including the mission blue butterfly. And if you want to see some ocean vistas as you hike, there are plenty of trails in the Presidio area that offer views across the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific beyond. Take the Batteries to Bluffs trail along the cliff’s edge, or settle in and enjoy the scenery from Immigrant Point.

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Fancy a more relaxing walk? Stroll through Golden Gate Park, stopping at the Conservatory of Flowers or the Botanical Garden along the way. While you’re there, cross the bridge to hidden gem Strawberry Hill, where you’ll spot a pretty man-made waterfall.

Show More
Show Less

San Francisco nightlife

San Francisco has plenty of places to dine or dance the evening away. Lively Union Square is where many of the city’s coolest eateries are found, sandwiched between designer and high street stores. Looking for something different? Haight-Ashbury, in the centre of the city, is an alternative haven, home to bars bursting with character and eclectic eateries.

Show More
Show Less

Everyone is welcome in San Francisco, and the city is famous as a legendary party spot for the LGBT+ community. The Castro District, in particular, has some of the best gay bars and clubs, as well as the GLBT History Museum, where you can learn more about the community’s fight for acceptance and equality. Dance your way down Market Street to see the city’s best nightlife spots, or make your way through the famous bars on Polk Street.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to visit San Francisco

San Francisco holidays are best planned for spring, when the flowers start to bloom and the weather is lovely. Temperatures reach the low-twenties and you’re likely to have plenty of sunny days, particularly if you’re further staying inland away from the ocean mists. Early autumn is also a great time to visit, as the trees turn golden and rust-coloured, and temperatures climb to the mid-twenties.

Show More
Show Less

Surprisingly, summer is one of the least popular times to visit San Francisco. While most of California enjoys sunshine and hot temperatures, San Fran is often shrouded in ocean fog – nicknamed ‘Karl’ by locals – and battered by cold winds. If you’re not afraid of chilly or overcast weather, you’ll be treated to plenty of free concerts at Stern’s Grove outdoor amphitheatre. Winter brings the rains, but San Francisco has plenty of museums, bars and eateries where you can stay dry and cosy inside.

Show More
Show Less

Things to do

Things to do in San Francisco

While the Golden Gate Bridge is San Francisco’s most famous landmark, the architectural marvel isn’t the only attraction here. The Walt Disney museum offers a look into the life of Mickey’s creator, while Alcatraz Island is a must-visit for fans of true crime and modern history. On the other side of the bridge, 19th-century Battery Spencer is a great place to stop and take in the views.

Curious minds of every age will love the California Academy of Sciences, on the eastern side of the Golden Gate Bridge. Its sprawling rainforest zone, home to thousands of tropical butterflies, is a pretty unforgettable sight. And the de Young Museum, just across the fountains, is an art-lover’s paradise, while the sculpture garden is a quiet place for a relaxing stroll.

Show More
Show Less

If you’re struggling to cram all of San Francisco’s attractions in, hop on one of the cable cars – a tourist attraction themselves. Then you can explore Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, Chinatown and the Financial District. You should also snap a photo of the famous Painted Ladies – a pretty row of Edwardian houses – and zigzagging Lombard Street.

Show More
Show Less

Nature

Nature in the city

You’ll get the best views across San Francisco from the top of Twin Peaks in the centre of the city. Novice hikers should tackle the east-facing slopes, which tend to be sunnier and more sheltered. At the top, in the unspoilt Twin Peaks Natural Area, you might be lucky enough to spot endangered wildlife, including the mission blue butterfly. And if you want to see some ocean vistas as you hike, there are plenty of trails in the Presidio area that offer views across the Golden Gate Bridge and the Pacific beyond. Take the Batteries to Bluffs trail along the cliff’s edge, or settle in and enjoy the scenery from Immigrant Point.

Show More
Show Less

Fancy a more relaxing walk? Stroll through Golden Gate Park, stopping at the Conservatory of Flowers or the Botanical Garden along the way. While you’re there, cross the bridge to hidden gem Strawberry Hill, where you’ll spot a pretty man-made waterfall.

Show More
Show Less

Nightlife

San Francisco nightlife

San Francisco has plenty of places to dine or dance the evening away. Lively Union Square is where many of the city’s coolest eateries are found, sandwiched between designer and high street stores. Looking for something different? Haight-Ashbury, in the centre of the city, is an alternative haven, home to bars bursting with character and eclectic eateries.

Show More
Show Less

Everyone is welcome in San Francisco, and the city is famous as a legendary party spot for the LGBT+ community. The Castro District, in particular, has some of the best gay bars and clubs, as well as the GLBT History Museum, where you can learn more about the community’s fight for acceptance and equality. Dance your way down Market Street to see the city’s best nightlife spots, or make your way through the famous bars on Polk Street.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to visit San Francisco

San Francisco holidays are best planned for spring, when the flowers start to bloom and the weather is lovely. Temperatures reach the low-twenties and you’re likely to have plenty of sunny days, particularly if you’re further staying inland away from the ocean mists. Early autumn is also a great time to visit, as the trees turn golden and rust-coloured, and temperatures climb to the mid-twenties.

Show More
Show Less

Surprisingly, summer is one of the least popular times to visit San Francisco. While most of California enjoys sunshine and hot temperatures, San Fran is often shrouded in ocean fog – nicknamed ‘Karl’ by locals – and battered by cold winds. If you’re not afraid of chilly or overcast weather, you’ll be treated to plenty of free concerts at Stern’s Grove outdoor amphitheatre. Winter brings the rains, but San Francisco has plenty of museums, bars and eateries where you can stay dry and cosy inside.

Show More
Show Less

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Our tailor-made packages make it easy for you to discover more of the world.

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Whether you're looking for luxury or simplicity, we've got the perfect holiday for you.

Trust

Travelbag is fully protected by ATOL and ABTA, so your booking is completely secure.

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