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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.
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.
Hotel Zoe San Francisco is 2 blocks from Fisherman's Wharf, Pier 39, and the Alcatraz Island ferry.
This 200-room hotel is 2 miles north of San Francisco International Airport and 10 miles from downtown San Francisco.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.