As one of the most unique cities in the country, San Francisco offers incomparable historical, educational and recreational sightseeing opportunities for residents and visitors of all ages. Ride in one of the antique cable cars, admire the Painted Ladies, or take a walk along the piers and enjoy Fisherman’s Wharf. In addition, there are many amazing places which are ready for you to explore:
- San Francisco Zoo
- The California Academy of Sciences
- Bay Cruises
- The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
- The Legion of Honor
- The deYoung Museum
- The Exploratorium Museum
- The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco
- The Museum of the African Diaspora
- The Cable Car Museum
- Japanese Tea Garden
- Palace of Fine Arts
- Conservatory of Flowers
- Lands End
- Fort Funston
- Stow Lake
- Palace of Fine Arts
- Painted Ladies
- Fort Point
San Francisco also boasts the oldest and largest Chinatown outside of mainland China. Visitors from around the world enjoy San Francisco’s vibrant street scene, the Bay Area’s charming towns and scenic roads, and unique attractions like:
Food & Wine
Both visitors and locals in San Francisco have long enjoyed an array of gastronomical delights. San Francisco boasts world renowned gourmands and is a haven for cultures and cuisines from around the globe. With more than 4,000 restaurants and drinking establishments in the City, it rates as #1 for having the highest concentration of restaurants per capita in the country. San Francisco currently has 21 Michelin star- rated restaurants. In 2014, Saveur Magazine named San Francisco as the Readers’ Choice for Best Culinary Destination. San Francisco’s viniculture thrives on award-winning wines from the nearby Napa and Sonoma valleys. Northern California’s wine country has more than 400 wineries across three counties. From charming Italian cafés in North Beach to world famous burritos in the Mission to authentic dim sum in Chinatown, San Francisco offers food and beverages for every walk of life.
The San Francisco Bay Area has some of the finest and most challenging private and public golf courses one can find. Nine courses are conveniently located within City limits and over 50 others are located within a couple of hours drive. Both public and private courses within the City have hosted recent PGA events—including the US Open at the Olympic Club in 1998 and 2012. Meanwhile, TPC Harding Park has hosted the 2005 WGC- American Express Championship, the 2009 Presidents Cup, the 2010 and 2011 Charles Schwab Cup Championship and the 2015 WGC- Cadillac Match Play Championship. In addition, the 2016 U.S women’s Open is coming back to California, specifically the Bay Area, and is scheduled to take place at the CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, California.
Upcoming events at TPC Harding Park include the 2020 PGA Championship and the 2025 Presidents Cup.
Notable Golf Courses in San Francisco:
- Harding Park Golf Course (public) – 27 hole
- The Olympic Club (private) – 45 hole
- Lincoln Park Golf Course (public) – 18 hole
- San Francisco Golf Club (private) – 18 hole
- Lake Merced Golf and Country Club – 18 hole
- Gleneagles Golf Club (public) – 9 hole
- Golden Gate Park Golf Course (public) – 9 hole
- Presidio Golf Course (public) – 18 hole
San Francisco is home to a multitude of athletic clubs, professional associations and country clubs. Some require a stringent application and have long waiting lists—others are easy to join with an application fee. The Golden Gate Yacht Club is one of many yacht clubs and sailing facilities in the Bay Area. The club is seated at the base of Golden Gate with a beautiful view of the bay. Along with being a popular cruise and regatta site, it is also the host club for Oracle Racing, the current holders of the 2010 America’s Cup. The San Francisco Bay also served as home to the 2013 America’s Cup Finals and the Louis Vuitton Cup.
Other Notable Private Clubs in San Francisco:
- City Club
- Italian American Club
- Pacific Athletic Club
- Pacific Union Club
- San Francisco Bay Club
- San Francisco Golf Club
- San Francisco Tennis Club
- South Beach Yacht Club
- St Francis Yacht Club
San Francisco offers some of the best shopping in the world. The grandiose of the Westfield San Francisco Shopping Center and the Union Square shopping district seem to attract the most attention. However, other local shopping areas such as upper Fillmore Street in Pacific Heights, Valencia Street in the Mission, Union Street in Cow Hollow, Sacramento Street in Laurel Heights and Grant Avenue in Chinatown also offer a variety of unique choices.
Notable San Francisco Shopping Destinations:
Westfield San Francisco Centre Market and Powell, San Francisco CA
For San Francisco visitors and tourists, the Westfield San Francisco Centre mall is the definition of the San Francisco shopping experience. The Centre is home to some of the world’s largest retailers, including Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Abercrombie & Fitch, Victoria’s Secret, Bebe and Club Monaco.
Union Square Shopping Post and Stockton, San Francisco CA
On par with Fifth Avenue in Manhattan and Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Union Square is San Francisco’s designer shoppers’ paradise. In Union Square you can often see live music and art shows featuring dozens of artists. The park is surrounded by Macy’s, Saks, Neiman Marcus, Barneys New York and Levi’s stores along with colorful flower vendors and street performers. Surrounding streets house preferred spots like Marc Jacobs, Gump’s and Britex Fabrics, along with boutiques for Coach, Bulgari, Cartier, Thomas Pink, Louis Vuitton, MaxMara, Emporio Armani, Diesel, Prada, Celine, Ferragamo, Gucci, Guess, Hermes, Agnes B. and Wilkes Bashford.
Chestnut Street Shopping Chestnut and Scott, San Francisco CA
Chestnut Street is lined with a mix of local sophisticated shops, beauty outlets and restaurants alongside brand name retailers. Shoppers and locals can find unique boutiques like Blue Bird, and Books Inc., as well as popular retailers like Gap Body, Williams-Sonoma, Bare Essentials or the BeneFit Cosmetics.
Chinatown Shopping Pacific Ave and Grant Ave., San Francisco CA
Through the Dragon Gates on Grant Avenue lies San Francisco’s Chinatown. Everything you could imagine is available in Chinatown, including carved Buddhas, paper parasols and mahogany furniture. The Fortune Cookie Factory, tucked on Ross Alley, is a tasty and popular find. Chinese food abounds as well—try House of Nanking on Kearny (at Jackson).
Embarcadero Center 1-4 Shopping Sacramento to Clay, San Francisco CA
Embarcadero Center has brand names such as Gap, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Michael Toschi and Barcelino. For sports enthusiasts, it also hosts the Giants Dugout. The upstairs patio area is Fuzio, an Italian restaurant, and coffee drinkers enjoy Prima Cosa Cafe. The shopping mall is also home to the Embarcadero Theater, a movie theater that shows independent films.
Fillmore Street Shopping Fillmore and California, San Francisco CA
Fillmore Street is one of the city’s hip and vibrant shopping streets that exhibits the upscale life of Pacific Heights. There are many one-of-a-kind boutiques as well as some of the more established stores such as Eileen Fisher, Ralph Lauren, and Marc by Marc Jacobs. Fillmore Street is also home to featured furniture and home design stores such as Jonathan Adler and Studio D, and specialty beauty locations like Posh Salon.
Haight Street Shopping Haight and Ashbury, San Francisco CA
The stretch of shops, referred to by locals as the Upper Haight, was the center of ’60s psychedelia. Despite some gentrification and the addition of chain stores like Ben & Jerry’s, it retains its counterculture flavor with a hodgepodge of Victorian houses, bookstores, piercing salons and funky clothing stores. For the adventurous and modern FTC and RVCA sells edgy urban outfitting, and just across the street at X-Generation knock-offs of originals sell for less. For music lovers, Amoeba Records is one the Haight’s biggest attractions and is located across from the most recent addition, a Whole Foods Market.
Hayes Valley Shopping Hayes and Gough, San Francisco CA
Hayes Valley is one of San Francisco’s hippest and newest shopping areas. Residents and visitors alike favor the area’s art galleries, contemporary boutiques, interior design studios, outdoor cafes and wine bars. Located at 465 Grove Street is the Artists Alley—over 30 local artists’ display in this colorful retail space. Some other unique shopping experiences include Azalea, Triple Aught Design and Room Service.
North Beach Shopping Broadway and Columbus, San Francisco CA
North Beach is San Francisco’s little Italy. It provides the perfect shopping getaway for unique European-inspired boutiques and a wide variety of Italian dining and cafés. Shops like Old Vogue and 101 Music are area favorites.
Mission Street Shopping Valencia St. and 16th St., San Francisco CA
For tourists and San Francisco shoppers with more eclectic tastes, the Mission offers perfect shopping. It has a colorful stretch of blocks with off-the-beaten-path boutiques and ethnic clothing and furniture stores. Around them are the Mission’s predominantly Latino, working-class bakeries and fresh markets. Some notables include Southern Exposure, a showcase for local, cutting-edge artists; Afterlife Boutique with reconstructed antique jewelry and collectible rock-concert T-shirts; and Gravel & Gold, a treasure hunter’s dream. The unique flavor of the Mission can also be appreciated within its flourishing bar and tapas scene, local taquerias and fresh produce stands on every corner.
Polk Street Shopping Polk St. and Broadway, San Francisco CA
Polk Street, like the Mission, is one of the most diverse shopping neighborhoods in San Francisco. It includes a mix of high-end consignment shops, affordable retail outfits, variety shops and clothing stores. Different tastes and budgets are welcomed on Polk Street: try Swan Oyster Depot, Acquerello Italian Restaurant and Cheese Plus. As you move northward on Polk Street the neighborhood and the shopping become more upscale, especially north of California.
Sacramento Street Shopping Sacramento and Presidio, San Francisco CA
Sacramento Street is located in a very prosperous section of San Francisco; the shopping district occupies 12 blocks in one of the county’s most exclusive residential neighborhoods. There are a variety of interior decor shops, clothing boutiques, and eateries. Locals enjoy Poetica Art and Antiques and Henry Beguelin. The deluxe area of Sacramento Street is most well-known for its home furnishings, antiques and trend-setting clothing.
Nearly 16 million travelers visit the San Francisco Bay Area every year—roughly 40% on vacation and 57% for conventions and business. The City plays host to myriad hotels—ranging from large and luxurious to cozy and affordable. Major hotels that cater to business and leisure travelers are mostly situated downtown, in the Union Square area, and South of Market Street near the Moscone Convention Center. Fisherman’s Wharf has a variety of hotels targeted towards vacationers. In addition, smaller motels and bed & breakfast inns are scattered throughout San Francisco’s beautiful neighborhoods.
Some of the Most Famous Hotels in San Francisco:
- Fairmont San Francisco (Nob Hill)
- Grand Hyatt San Francisco (Union Square)
- Hilton San Francisco (Union Square)
- Holiday Inn Fisherman’s Wharf (Fisherman’s Wharf)
- Holiday Inn Golden Gateway (Van Ness Avenue)
- Hotel Nikko San Francisco (Union Square)
- Hyatt Regency San Francisco (Financial District/Embarcadero)
- InterContinental Hotel (SOMA)
- Mandarin Oriental (Financial District)
- Mark Hopkins San Francisco (Nob Hill)
- Palace Hotel (SOMA)
- Ritz-Carlton San Francisco
- San Francisco Marriott Marquis (SOMA)
- San Francisco Marriott Union Square (Union Square)
- Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf (Fisherman’s Wharf)
- Sir Francis Drake Hotel (Union Square)
- St. Regis San Francisco (SOMA)
- The Stanford Court, A Renaissance Hotel (Nob Hill)
- W San Francisco (SOMA)
- Westin St. Francis (Union Square)
- Westin San Francisco Market Street (SOMA)
- Wyndham Parc 55 Hotel (Union Square)
Some of San Francisco’s Most Famous Spas:
- Adiance (Pacific Heights)
- Caramella Skin Couture (Mission)
- The Four Seasons Spa (Yerba Buena Vista)
- The Huntington Hotel Nob Hill Spa (Nob Hill)
- International Orange Spa (Pacific Heights)
- Kabuki Springs & Spa (Japantown)
- Spa~de~Vie-Ritz Carlton (Union Square)
- Spa R Remede Spa-St. Regis (SOMA)
- Therapeia Massage (Financial)
- W Hotel Bliss Spa (SOMA)