Nobody would argue that San Francisco is a fun town. It has lots of bars and restaurants, a very famous Chinatown, and a reputation for European-style sophistication that not many American cities can match.
The Spanish settled the tip of the peninsula, establishing a fort at the Golden Gate and a mission named for Francis of Assisi but it was the California Gold Rush that propelled the city into one of the largest on the West Coast. San Francisco is now famous for its landmarks, including the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, the cable cars, Coit Tower, its steep rolling hills and its eclectic mix of Victorian and modern architecture.
Compact enough to explore many areas on foot, the city is divided into distinct neighbourhoods and eating out is spectacular in each and every one. See the wharf with resident sea lions and fresh seafood, Chinatown for curiosity shops and authentic Dim Sum, North Beach for the hangouts of the Beat Poets and Italian cuisine, Castro for health food and the gay scene and if in Haight Ashbury, birthplace of the hippy movement, there is always bean burgers.
Hot Events in San Francisco:
San Francisco Gay Pride - In honour of LGBT activist Harvey Milk, the iconic San Fran Pride is among the most celebrated events. Dance and Indie stages, A Soul of Pride African American Village, Tantra underground Dance stages and of course flamboyant parade floats add to a rapturous atmosphere at the foot of the historic City Hall. June 28-29.
Folsom Street Fair - Not for the gay-shy, or in fact, fetish-shy, the largest leather event in the world hosted in the South of Market district, sees artists, live acts, and 400,000 revelers strutting in bondage attire come together for an outrageous San Fran Leather Week. September 21.
Contact our Travel Gurus for inspiration and advice on luxury hotels in San Francisco.
- Philippe Starck has created a contemporary and elegant setting full of glamorous boutique style.
- The Velvet Room, Redwood Room and Living Room are the epitome of San Fran cool.
- In the heart of the SoMa district, opposite the SF Museum of Modern Art.
- The fourth floor is home to the Bliss Spa, a 5000 sq foot haven of tension busting treatments.
- Kick back in the Living Room, the W signature lounge - equally inviting and dramatic.