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Counter Culture and Steep Hills it can only be San Francisco

A city made for love, not walking – San Francisco is known for its great counter-cultural history and incredibly steep hills.

Conjuring up images of peace signs, psychedelic rock music and hippies with flowers in their hair, the San Francisco of today is all that – and now even more.

With such a rich history, the hippy dream is still alive and well in San Francisco but it has been somewhat replaced by the city’s growing reputation as a global technology and innovation powerhouse. Indeed, a tie-dyed shirt would look positively out of place in the city’s financial district! This said, the new San Francisco remains one of America’s most liberal and progressive cities and retains every bit of the laid back Californian atmosphere it’s so well known for.
 
Given the city’s remarkably steep hills, the San Francisco cable car system is a quick, easy and relatively inexpensive way to get about. Of course, it can be very enjoyable to simply walk but it can be surprising just how tiring traversing even a few blocks can become!

San Fran is known for both the distinctive nature of its neighbourhoods and the quality of its tourist destinations. If you’re new to the city, Fisherman’s Wharf is a great place to find your bearings and sample a little of San Francisco’s famously fresh seafood.

The Wharf is also home to several of the city’s most popular attractions such as family friendly Pier 39 with its shops aquarium, as well as the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park. The Wharf even boasts its own wax museum! From there it’s just a short walk toward Union Square to indulge in some serious retail therapy.

Diversity is a very important characteristic for San Francisco, which is why simply exploring the various neighbourhoods can be very rewarding in itself. San Fran is home to the US’ largest Chinatown which can be explored independently or part of a walking tour. Little Italy is also a popular destination for tourists looking for a little something different, something that can also be found in Japan Town.

For a more traditional San Fran experience, the Embarcadero on the eastern seafront offers spectacular views across the bay and countless charming restaurants. If you’d prefer to make something for yourself, the Embarcadero also features an impressive farmer’s market selling the best in fresh local produce.

With so much going on, you may find yourself needing a place to relax. The Golden Gate Park (beside the iconic bridge) features 1,000 acres of delightful green space to wander about in – or for something very different indeed, why not head to Pier 33 and take a tour of the notorious Alcatraz prison island? Thankfully the ferry offers return tickets.


Guide to Exploring San Francisco


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See all 526 Hotels in San Francisco
£113
Hotel Whitcomb

Hotel Whitcomb

1231 Market St, San Francisco
3.1
of 5, from 3,220 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

Located in the San Francisco theater district with a BART and MUNI station at its entrance, this downtown hotel is 6 blocks from Union Square and within a mile of Moscone Center and SFMOMA.

£119
Hotel Zoe San Francisco

Hotel Zoe San Francisco

425 North Point, San Francisco
4.2
of 5, from 2,382 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

Hotel Zoe San Francisco is 2 blocks from Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, and the Alcatraz Island ferry.

£51
Travelodge San Francisco Airport-North

Travelodge San Francisco Airport-North

326 S Airport Blvd, South San Francisco
2.5
of 5, from 2,352 reviews
2.0 out of 5.0

This 200-room hotel is 2 miles north of San Francisco International Airport and 10 miles from downtown San Francisco.

£142
Hotel Nikko San Francisco

Hotel Nikko San Francisco

222 Mason St, San Francisco
4.3
of 5, from 2,784 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

The Asian-inspired Hotel Nikko San Francisco is located downtown, a 4-minute walk from Union Square and the designer shops of Westfield San Francisco Centre. Guests can catch a cable car 2 blocks south, and both Curran Theatre and American Conservatory Theater are right around the corner.

A Secluded Home Just Outside Of San Francisco And Close To Airport & Bart

A Secluded Home Just Outside Of San Francisco And Close To Airport & Bart

250 Thiers St, Daly City
0.0 out of 5.0

Situated in Daly City, this vacation home is 2.4 mi (3.9 km) from City College of San Francisco and 2.5 mi (4 km) from San Francisco State University. University of California San Francisco and Twin Peaks are also within 6 mi (10 km).

£119
Hilton San Francisco Downtown/Financial District

Hilton San Francisco Downtown/Financial District

750 Kearny St, San Francisco
4.0
of 5, from 1,195 reviews
4.0 out of 5.0

This 27-story San Francisco Hilton hotel towers over the city's financial district, North Beach's Italian shops and cafés, Chinatown, and the Embarcadero Center.

£117
Serrano Hotel

Serrano Hotel

405 Taylor St, San Francisco
3.9
of 5, from 1,639 reviews
0.0 out of 5.0

The Serrano Hotel is steps away from Union Square, perfectly positioned in the Theater District of San Francisco, 2 blocks from the Powell Street cable car.

£128
Hotel Zephyr

Hotel Zephyr

250 Beach Street, San Francisco
4.1
of 5, from 916 reviews
3.5 out of 5.0

This family-friendly San Francisco hotel is located on the waterfront, within a 5-minute walk of Wax Museum at Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, and Ripley's Believe It Or Not Museum. Aquarium of the Bay and Ghirardelli Square are also within 15 minutes.

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