San Francisco Best Places To Stay – Whether you’re a foodie, health nut, shopper or just a lover of the classics, we have the perfect hotel for you in San Francisco.
We are always asked the question, “What is the best area to stay when visiting San Francisco?” Our answer: everywhere. However, depending on the type of trip you’re taking and who’s coming along, there may be neighborhoods that better match your plans. This is our attempt to answer in a unique way that burning question that we ask all too often. Whether you’re a foodie, coming for an event like Pride, visiting with family, or for any other reason, you’ll find a different one in every part of town.
San Francisco Best Places To Stay
In the mood for some serious shopping? Then this is the perfect neighborhood to shop top retail brands. You will be sorting through the garbage as most of the city’s hotels reside here. Another great reason to stay in Union Square: it’s a transportation hub, so it’s easy to get everywhere else.
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Popular hotels in the area include: Hilton San Francisco Union Square, San Francisco Marriott Marquis Union Square, Hotel Nikko San Francisco, Grand Hyatt San Francisco, Hotel Axiom, The Westin St. Grand, Hotel Zetta San Francisco and Hotel G San Francisco.
San Francisco’s dining scene is at the top of its game. To maximize delicious food per metric block (it’s a science), look for a hotel room in SoMa. An acronym for South of Market, this neighborhood has seen an influx of new and innovative restaurants open in the past year. There’s also great access to the Mission District, the undisputed king of moderately priced fine dining.
Sometimes you’ll hear people use “Yerba Buena” and “SoMa” interchangeably. In which case, think of Yerba Buena as a neighborhood within a neighborhood—and one that has more arts and cultural institutions per square inch than, well, almost anywhere! Whether you want to explore human history at the Museum of the African Diaspora or the boundary-breaking contemporary art at SFMOMA, Yerba Buena is where you’ll want to be for great museums.
Two of the nation’s top professional sports venues are less than a mile apart and close to some great hotel options. Whether you want to cheer on the San Francisco Giants at Oracle Park or the Golden State Warriors at Chase Center, Mission Bay is the perfect place to unpack your Steph Curry jersey or orange and black hoodie (hey, night games are cold!) .
Best Places To Stay In San Francisco
You’re almost bound to include Fisherman’s Wharf on your San Francisco travel itinerary. This popular tourist attraction puts you right on the water where you can see the fishing fleet, walk along PIER 39 to hear the calls of sea lions, taste the freshest seafood you’ve ever put in your mouth, and explore history marine.
Nearby hotels include: Hotel Zephyr, Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf, Holiday Inn Fisherman’s Wharf, Hotel Argonaut, Hyatt Centric Fisherman’s Wharf San Francisco, Hotel Zoe San Francisco, Hotel Zoe San Francisco, Riot Fisherman’s Wharf 20, Riot Fisherman’s Wharf
Stay like a local at Noe’s Nest Bed and Breakfast, a charming Victorian home centrally located in the heart of Noe Valley. Located right in the middle of San Francisco, this primarily residential area has ample sidewalks and a pedestrian-friendly layout that encourages admiration of San Francisco’s classic townhouses, while its in-town location reduces the amount of rolling fog.
Welcome to Little Italy. Whether you’re in need of pasta, gelato, espresso, or the many other culinary delights introduced by Italian Americans, this area will fill your stomach as soon as you set foot in the neighborhood.
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The Castro is a vibrant LGBTQ neighborhood that offers a new experience every time you visit. Try new restaurants, attend many community events, and chat a walk through this high-energy part of town.
Pass through Chinatown’s Dragon Gate and prepare for 24 blocks of Chinese restaurants, food markets, street food vendors, and locally owned shops.
Richmond is sometimes referred to as China’s second city, as many Chinese-Americans call the area home. Several museums are also close by in the neighborhood.
It’s not about access to the gym, but access to great outdoor spaces that will get your heart rate up. Hotels along the Embarcadero offer this and a great morning view of the Bay Bridge. Wake up to watch the sunrise and work out like a local by jogging along the Embarcadero near the Ferry Building to PIER 39 and back.
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Visit one of San Francisco’s seven original hills in the Nob Hill neighborhood. The Fairmont Hotel, Intercontinental Mark Hopkins and Stanford Court are some of the luxury hotels that position this area as one of the richest in the city.
If you’re after the classics, this is the neighborhood. You can hear the San Francisco Symphony, go see the Opera or Ballet (December-May) and go to a jazz session at the SFJAZZ Center. And if you’re looking for more beauty, including gorgeous Beaux Art architecture, head to the Asian Art Museum and see one of the most comprehensive and well-known collections of Asian art in the world. All these are inside the Civic Center.
Do you like old houses, especially Queen Anne and Edwardian? Walking through this neighborhood allows you to appreciate the fine quality that goes into these townhomes. The SF JAZZ Center hosts plenty of shows that get you dancing in your seat, and high-end boutiques cater to every shopping need.
Come to where it all began for the hippie movement and see the influence of the counterculture of the 1960s. Victorian houses are decorated in bright, cheerful colors, and you can find vintage shops, thrift stores and other businesses that harken back to the area’s hippie roots. Stay at the historic Stanyan Park Hotel. Built in 1883, this boutique hotel is one of the oldest hotels on the Golden Gate Park border.
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Honestly, we don’t think you need a car while visiting San Francisco. It’s easy to get around town without one. However, if you have a car, the best area in San Francisco to stay would be in the Marina. Within this neighborhood, hotels with free or low-cost parking line the north side of Van Ness Avenue and Lombard Street. With the Golden Gate Bridge within sight, this is a great neighborhood to start and end your day.
Get world-class views of San Francisco as you wander through Pacific Heights. This is a residential neighborhood that is home to many influential and famous people and filled with wonderful parks.
Fillmore’s diversity is reflected in its range of businesses. Locally owned stores stand alongside well-known chains, countless ethnic cuisines offer a perfect restaurant experience for lovers of variety, and jazz clubs are common throughout the area.
Enjoy the oldest Japanese town in the United States when you come to San Francisco. Stay at the stylish Kabuki Hotel, just steps from the many Japanese shops that call this area home, like the Kinokuniya bookstore. Japan Center is a shopping center that allows you to travel through the great variety here.
Best Area To Stay In San Francisco
Head to the southern end of the Golden Gate Bridge to explore the Presidio. This neighborhood was once a military base but has been turned into the Golden Gate Recreation Area.
Best area to stay if you’re bringing your best friend (aka your dog): Nob Hill and Fisherman’s Wharf
San Francisco is a city for everyone, even the furries in our lives. We know how important they are to you, so if you’re bringing your pets with you on your trip, you’ll want to stay at Nob Hill or Fisherman’s Wharf. These two neighborhoods in the heart of San Francisco give you and your pet a spectacular view and access to the bay breeze.
Popular pet-friendly hotels include: Hotel Zephyr San Francisco, InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco, Hotel Argonaut, Fairmont San Francisco, Hotel Zoe San Francisco, and San Francisco Marriott Fisherman’s Wharf.
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If you’re coming to San Francisco for the beaches, the Sunset District is calling your name. It has the surf culture you want – to the point where it’s called Beachtown by many.
You get a very literal neighborhood name with Bayview. It has a massive artist colony, which allows you to explore the latest in the San Francisco art scene.
This artificial island is located in the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge. Public art and numerous wineries make this neighborhood the perfect place for a leisurely afternoon.
See a living piece of history by visiting the oldest building in San Francisco, Mission Dolores. You get great weather, tons of art galleries, and the trendiest restaurants in town when you head to this corner of SF.
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Dan is Vice President, Global Marketing, at San Francisco Travel. San Francisco has been his home for over a decade (that makes him a local, right?). On weekends, you can find him with a cup of artisanal coffee in hand, a playlist of good vibes, a growing list of books to read, or out at the newest restaurant or bar in town.
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Best area to stay near San Francisco International Airport (SFO) If you want to stay near SFO, there are many options from luxury hotels to motels. Many even offer transportation to and from the airport!