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We can pick you up anywhere within 90 minutes’ drive of San Francisco—at your home, hotel, ship's terminal, or the airport!

LODGING?  Considerations when Choosing Where to Stay in and around San Francisco


FYI: all hotels in the city of San Francisco and many near SFO add to your final bill a Hotel Tax, officially a "transient occupancy tax." If budgeting closely, you may want to ask about this while booking your reservation. Also some visitors planning longer stays have found AirBnB and similar websites offering houses/condos/apartments for rent a satisfying option...but with a rental, when you're looking for help--what's the best time to take a cable car ride? or is Alcatraz really sold out?--you're really on your own.

 

[Neighborhoods, Districts, alternate Cities]

Union Square, The Financial District & Nob Hill

Pros: easy access to all major transit corridors and taxis; amenities associated with historic "grande dame" and boutique hotels; many high-end restaurants and fast-food outlets, and luxury purveyors like Armani and Neiman Marcus; walking distance from the Moscone Convention Center; proximity to the Theater District...and your room if needing to catch a nap during the day or a concert/show after dark

Cons: definitely "downtown" with frequent crowds, usually harmless panhandlers; Nob Hill itself a steep climb from Union Square shopping but offering Grace Cathedral, panoramic vistas

cf. Larkspur, Chancellor, Westin St. Francis, Fairmont, Mark Hopkins, Stanford Court

Northern Waterfront (Fisherman's Wharf, Ghirardelli Square)

Pros: proximity to sea lion colony at Pier 39 and the Exploratorium (world-class science museum), Ferry Building's "farm-to-table" markets; views of Alcatraz & Golden Gate Bridge; information for and starting point of many activities popular with visitors-- rentals of GoCars, bicycles, Segway tours, big-bus tours, etc.; Boudin's Bakery (home of sourdough bread); the unique Musee Mechanique; lots! of souvenir shops; many seafood restaurants

Cons: farther from BART (interurban transit), Golden Gate Park, most residential neighborhoods; very "touristy" and crowded on holidays and during high season...children will often enjoy the un-usual sights (like human "statues"), adults less so

SFO (Airport)

Pros: often less expensive, with most immediate access after a long flight

Cons: if intending to sightsee during the day or enjoy SF nightlife, requires finding taxis, Uber or BART for half-hour-plus ride into, out of downtown SF

on Lombard Street (b/w Van Ness and The Presidio)

Pros: less expensive motels; nice neighborhoods for walks nearby, especially historic Presidio (now a forested park); walking distance to many excellent restaurants on Chestnut & Union Streets

Cons: heavy traffic during rush-hours; parking (unless provided by your lodging) hard to find and expensive; minimal ambience

Neighborhoods away from Downtown (Pacific Heights, Cow Hollow, The Haight, The Castro, Japantown)

Pros: much more contact with locals and neighborhood gems: some hotels (e.g. Drisco) and B&Bs (e.g. Union Street Inn) have unique charm

Cons: will require time to travel on local transit/Lyft et. al. to the more popular attractions

SOMA (South Of Market Area)

Pros: close to Moscone Convention Center, MOMA (Museum of Modern Art), Westfield Mall; 15-minute walk to Giants' stadium

Cons: 1-3 long blocks' walk to Union Square shopping

Oakland, Berkeley & Emeryville (east across the Bay)

Pros: less expensive, quieter (other than Big Game and graduation weekends); flights into OAK may be cheaper than SFO; near some of region's best restaurants; closer access to Napa Valley wineries

Cons: requires using BART (interurban transit) or AC busses to reach San Francisco attractions which can add 40 minutes or more to your travel time both ways

Sausalito (north, directly across the Bay)

Pros: quiet; weekend shuttle to Muir Woods (during high season); panoramic views from some venues; near Cavallo Point (former military base now upscale resort, next to Golden Gate Bridge)

Cons: bus and ferry access to The City may be challenging during busiest weekends for tourism

Silicon Valley (Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, Mountain View, San Jose...30-45 miles south, on The Peninsula)

Pros: if a taxi ride from Caltrain, then easy though distant access to San Francisco...new Levi's Stadium closer (new home of the 49ers)

Cons: if far from Caltrain, requires rental car or long VTA rides to reach most places of interest