Explore San Francisco
San Francisco Airport Guide
Things to do in San Francisco, CA
Get Your Bearings in San Francisco
Caution: Hold onto those electronic MUNI transfers. Riding without a receipt can lead to citations and/or heavy fines.
Take It or Leave It: If you plan on exploring the entire Bay Area, invest in a Clipper Card for public transportation.
Hot Tips: The Golden Gate Bridge is all electronic tolls; no cash.
Caution: The Tenderloin neighborhood area has made some dramatic updates, be be cautious.
Hot Tips: Take the glass elevators at the Saint Francis Hotel for an unbelievable view.
Caution: Not every food truck is created equal.
Take It or Leave It: Clement Street is often overlooked but a great spot for foodies.
Hot Tips: Valencia Street in the Mission has a new restaurant almost weekly.
Be Sure to Sample: Dim sum in Chinatown.
- Mission District's Best Restaurants
- Nob Hill's Best Restaurants
- North Beach's Best Restaurants
- Oyster Bars
- Restaurants near AT&T Park
- Restaurants near Levi's Stadium
- Restaurants near The Cow Palace
- Restaurants with Gluten-Free Menus
- Restaurants with Healthy Menus
- Restaurants with Views
- Romantic Dining
- Soma's Best Restaurants
- Take Out
- Waterfront Dining
Avoid: Bars with a cover charge.
Hot Tips: Uber your way around town when it's a late night.
Caution: Keep your shopping bags and valuables in front of you on crowded buses and streetcars.
Take It or Leave It: Goodwill clothing stores in the Bay Area offer an amazing variety for eco-conscious and thrifty shopper
Best Local Souvenir: A bottle of wine from Napa or Sonoma is always a hit.
Things to do in San Francisco
San Francisco is known for...
San Francisco’s Mediterranean climate is mild (the temperature nearly always hovers between 55 – 75 degrees F year-round), but when that pesky fog invades, be prepared for the massive chill down. Most prominent in the summer months of July and August, the natural air-conditioning is both loved and hated by locals. Yes, we crave hot, sunny days and warm nights when the rest of the country enjoys them in excess; however, we’ll haughtily brag when we’re frolicking on the city beaches in March or November. Whether the tidal wave of fog is pouring over Twin Peaks or seeping through the soaring suspension cables of the Golden Gate Bridge, one thing can’t be denied – it’s an uncommonly beautiful sight.
Boasting 47 named hills, these mini-mountains are no joke; you’ll find yourself huffing and puffing up and hanging on for dear life down as the cable car descends. But oh, the views! Stare in awe at the rows of cars parked at 90-degree angles, side by side, like dominos on the brink of toppling over one another. It’s impossible to designate where the best vistas are – Telegraph Hill, Russian Hill, Nob Hill, Twin Peaks, Potrero Hill, Buena Vista Heights, and Pacific Heights are just a few knolls, among many, that showcase unique panoramas of land and sea.
Few places on earth offer the bounty of epicurean delights like San Francisco. The birth of California cuisine, pioneered by Alice Waters of the world famous Chez Panisse, turned the world on to locally-sourced, seasonal ingredients. The large Hispanic and Asian population contributes to the profusion of fantastic ethnic cuisine in every neighborhood; the city has some of the best Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Indian, and sushi you’ll find outside of the respective countries. San Francisco is ground zero for food fads that are imitated worldwide, the latest being made-to-order artisan ice cream produced with liquid nitrogen, and a proliferation of mobile, fancy food trucks. You will not go hungry.
There always seems to be cause for a celebration in this town. From the world’s oldest gay pride parade to the largest Chinese New Year’s festival outside of China; from the dozens of film festivals and annual street fairs to the unruly Bay to Breakers road race; from Stern Grove’s free concerts to the weekend extravaganza of Outside Lands; don’t be shy with the glitz and glitter - San Francisco knows how to party.
The early Gold Rush Days paved the way for the beatniks, dreamers, entrepreneurs, and trendsetters who call San Francisco home. From the 1967 Summer of Love to the legalization of gay marriage (and subsequent prohibition), the city is ever heretical and always accepting. Nixed ideas from the east coast will be revered, funded, and celebrated here. Despite all of the fun to be had, San Franciscans are an industrious bunch. It’s no accident that the city is home to online dynamos Twitter, Zynga, Craigslist, and Yelp, with Google, Facebook, Yahoo, and Paypal just down the road.