Avoid the Herd: 10 Best Hotels near the Cow Palace

With so many conventions year-round in San Francisco, there's an overwhelming number of hotels to choose from - not to mention "AirBnB" accommodations that the tech crowd have made popular. And with all the money rolling into San Francisco lately, the city's usual slate of tech conventions like Apple and Oracle have made making a reservation in downtown proper not only hard, but expensive.

If you're in the Bay Area for a conference or to see a show at the Cow Palace, don't shortchange this old-school area for the fancier and better-known hotels in downtown San Francisco. If you don't feel the need to be in uber-hip, trendy accommodations, the hotels below are just as comfortable - and even closer to the airport.

And just because you aren't staying smackdab in the middle of downtown doesn't mean reaching downtown is a problem. BART is close to most of these hotels, which will take you directly downtown, as well as across the Bay in case you want to explore Oakland or Berkeley. And although the wine country tours of Sonoma and Napa are farther north, don't overlook the fantastic beaches and overall beauty of the Peninsula, just a short drive south of these fine hotels. 



Airpot Inn promises exactly what its name implies: this is a place to stay near the airport. If you need a fancier accommodation or someplace more plush, check availability of hotels closer to San Francisco. But be prepared to pay for it. But...  Read More

Noe Valley


Of all the hotels in the Cow Palace area, Mission Inn is for those who put budget above all else. This is simple, bare-bones accommodations. (When a hotel showcases that each room comes with an iron board, you know these quarters are spartan, to...  Read More



For those who travel for business or pleasure on a regular basis, the Traveler's Inn model may already be familiar: build a standard hotel and maintain it with integrity. Sounds simple, so it's a wonder why there isn't a larger selection of...  Read More



The Homewood Suites in Brisbane, an up-scale suburb of San Francisco, offers pleasing accommodations with scenic views of the vast San Francisco Bay. Homewood shares the same advantages and amenities that the other hotels strategically located...  Read More



For those who have been to Hampton Inns at other spots in the country, Hampton Inn Daly City offers the same efficient and professional experience as their other locations. Besides the basic amenities, perks include 858 sq. ft. of meeting space...  Read More



Residence Inn is a division of Marriott. If you've stayed at a Marriott before and enjoy the service, you should expect the same standard at this location. a Complimentary evening social adds a nice California touch. Clean and modern rooms,...  Read More



Conveniently located just five miles south of San Francisco, the Bridge Point Inn in Daly City symbolizes what most of the hotels near the Cow Palace have to offer: no-fuss, down-to-earth accommodations for those business and vacation travelers...  Read More



The Radisson Hotel San Francisco Airport Bay Front is a good option for those Cow Palace conventioneers who want a little bit of San Francisco chic and elegance without actually having to stay in downtown San Francisco. The lavish Executive...  Read More



This small but clean Inn is the classic "airport hotel," which means it's mainly about location, location, location. If you're a traveler who doesn't want to worry about a long or complicated commute to the airport that might add unnecessary...  Read More



Self-described to have "the easy elegance of Paris and the eclectic style of San Francisco," this "magical inn" does a good job of redefining what an "airport hotel" can be. This hotel offers all the usual amenities (continental breakfast from...  Read More


Meet Tom Molanphy

The only thing that Tom Molanphy loves more than the food, art, music, and culture of San Francisco is sharing it with others. San Francisco never gets old for Tom.

Tom has lived in the San...  More About Tom