Explore San Francisco
San Francisco HotelsThe bright red paintwork of Golden Gate Bridge – emerging from the blanket of fog that covers the bay - is the image that defines San Francisco. This modern, relaxed city is a place where vintage cable cars trundle up steep hills, and the smell of duck sizzling in woks lingers on the streets of the USA’s oldest Chinatown district. With the craggy island of Alcatraz also sitting ominously offshore, San Francisco is a city overflowing with character, culture and history. Things to seeThere’s no arguing that the best way to see San Francisco is by hopping on one of the trademark cable cars. The ornate cars are pulled along the tracks by a thick, moving wire, and are believed to be the last trams in the world to use this system. Hop in one of the carriages and try and spot Alcatraz Island while rolling towards the lively Fisherman’s Wharf area – you’ll know you’re close when you can smell cooking crab and shrimp in the air. If you want a closer look at the fortified prison of Alcatraz, you’re in the right place to hop on a ferry to the island from Pier 33. See the squalid conditions endured by some of the world’s most notorious prisoners, before learning about the many elaborate – but ultimately doomed - escape attempts. When you arrive back at Fisherman’s Wharf, wander over to Pier 39 – taking care to avoid a scare from the area’s ‘World Famous Bushman’ - who makes money jumping out to scare oblivious tourists. Below the pier, you’ll hear excited barking and clapping from its unique residents - a colony of sea lions. You can also take in the views of San Francisco Bay’s islands, and the bridge, before looking around the busy shops or sitting down for a bite to eat at the floating restaurant. Hotels in
San FranciscoThe sound of fizzing champagne glasses, and the sight of artisan chocolates carefully laid out on your pillow, will welcome you to your room in one of the 5 star San Francisco hotels in this city. Take a dip in a stylishly lit swimming pool after working up a sweat in the gym, or to stretch out after receiving a therapeutic massage in a sumptuous spa. San Francisco can also cater for those travelling the East Coast on a budget, with great value hotels and hostels spread right across the city. Go out to experience the pounding night life in the Bay Area, or enjoy a quiet night in your room, hooked up to the hotel’s free WiFi. Where to stayThe sun kissed, Californian landscape surrounding San Francisco is ideal for nurturing plump, chardonnay grapes - and fine wine sampling is available in scenic locations like Mill Valley. Stay here to sit outdoors and sip to the sound of sloshing waterwheels as they churn clear streams. If you’re staying towards the end of October, consider a hotel in the Mission District, so you can be part of a Mexican tradition that’s celebrated passionately in this area of the city. San Francisco’s Day of the Dead festival sees residents remembering loved ones who have passed away by dressing as skeletons, and taking to the streets to parade elaborate floats. How to get to San FranciscoSan Francisco has a beautifully effective public transport service, so car rental isn’t essential if you’re looking to save money. The city is served by 2 large airports, with most international flights landing at San Francisco International. If you’re flying domestically, Oakland International Airport may be more convenient. Getting downtown from either airport is simple thanks to connecting bus services.