A San Francisco holiday is the perfect invitation to explore a bustling city that’s full of life and full of charm. Sitting on the peninsula between San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean, water is an integral part of city life. The shoreline is teeming with attractions that are fascinating and beautiful in equal measure, while inland the city’s hills wait to be explored.
For a real taste of San Francisco, head to its shores. Meander along the city’s eastern waterfront on the Embarcadero and discover delicious food at San Francisco’s Ferry Building. Once the city’s busiest transportation hub, this commanding building is now a hotspot for sampling food by artisan producers. Wander to the end of Pier 14 and you’ll be in the perfect spot to look out over the water and take in the views of the city, the Bay Bridge and Yerba Buena Island.
The Beauty of San Francisco is in the Everyday
You’ll find yourself getting absorbed into the city’s youthful energy. It’s an eclectic place that celebrates its quirks and differences and it’s hard not to get caught up in the buzz. Head inland to Union Square or jump on and off the cable cars and get to know the city while you absorb the atmosphere, as local San Franciscans go about their daily lives and tourists take in the city’s delights.
Combine your San Francisco city break with a visit to some of California’s other gems on a multi centre holiday. Hire a car and explore the rest of the Golden State, sampling wines in Napa, discovering the Walk of Stars in Palm Springs, and getting a taste of Hollywood in Los Angeles. Or why not hop on a flight to Hawaii and rest and relax on one of the archipelago’s many pristine beaches
Great sample itineraries
Take a look at some of our sample itineraries for some San Francisco holiday inspiration and give our Destination Specialists a call so that we can put together your ideal holiday, tailor made for you.
West Coast America Escorted Tour
San Francisco And Hawaii Multi Centre Holidays
Explore San Francisco
Yosemite National Park Excursions
- APPROX. 4 HRS
Cycle Tour San Francisco
Wine Tours Napa Valley And Sonoma
- PRICE: £118 (Prices subject to change)
San Franciso Wine Tours
- PRICE: £85 per person (prices subject to change)
San Francisco hosts an iconic bridge, the world's last manually operated cable car system and lots of delicious fresh seafood; the 'City by the Bay' has it all. Spend a few days exploring the city then head off on your California adventure. You can also experience other areas on day trips from the city, such as sipping wine in Napa Valley and witnessing the majestic Yosemite National Park.
Fisherman's Wharf and Pier 39
A thriving location filled with shops, boutiques, restaurants and bars on San Francisco's waterfront. Head to Boudin Bakery for some of their famous sour dough rolls filled with clam chowder, take a cruise from here around the bay or listen to the noisey sea lions basking in the sun.
Golden Gate Bridge and Park
Take a cruise around the bay and under the iconic Golden Gate Bridge or cycle across the bridge for a different perspective. Why not cycle a little further to Sausalito, where you can grab lunch or an ice-cream before the 8 mile cycle back to Fisherman's Wharf or if you're a little tired, catch the ferry.
Learn about the history of this legendary prison and the notorious criminals that were housed here during the 1930s and 1960s. You can choose to explore during the day and you will also get great views of the city and the bay while you ride the 20 minute boat out to the island. Tickets sell out fast, so don't miss out and book yours in advance.
If driving is not your thing, then head out to Yosemite National Park on a full day guided tour to witness the Giant Sequoias, waterfalls and incredible landscape of California's most famous National Park. Choose from a full day or overnight tours.
Ride the Napa Valley Wine Train
What better way to experience the fabulous wine region of Napa Valley, but aboard a restored, vintage rail car. Sit back and watch the vineyards pass you by, while enjoying local wines and a delicious meal. Let the Napa Valley Wine train be your designated driver and have you transported up from San Francisco by ferry, so you can truly immerse yourselves into the experience.
Best time to visit San Francisco
The best time to visit San Francisco is between August and October, when average temperatures are between 16 and 17 and rainfall is quite low. That being said, it doesn’t get particularly cold during any time of the year. In the winter months, you can expect temperatures of around 11 to 12 and though rainfall is higher, it’s still relatively low.
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- Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival
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"Riding a cable car in San Francisco is a must do experience. They’re very popular so the queue can get long but it’s really worth sticking it out. If you take the Powell-Hyde Line, the scenic views of Nob Hill are truly worth the wait."
"Alcatraz Island is a really popular attraction in San Francisco, so remember to book your tickets in advance before you travel."
California Artisan Cheese Festival
Every March, just outside of San Francisco, cheese lovers and experts from the world of artisan cheese come together to celebrate the food at the California Artisan Cheese Festival. You can expect demonstrations, tours, seminars and, of course, tastings of the delicious produce.
San Francisco Jazz Fest
San Francisco plays host to the world’s biggest jazz festival each June, with a whole array of concerts from incredibly jazz musicians, old legends and newcomers alike.
San Francisco is famous for Cioppino, a fish pie that originated in the city. It’s an American-Italian dish, made with a mix of seafood in a rich tomato based sauce. You won’t struggle to find restaurants serving this delicacy – it’s definitely something you’ve got to try on a San Francisco trip.
San Francisco is synonymous with Sourdough bread. It was made popular here by gold miners in the mid 1800s and it’s stuck around ever since. Local Sourdough actually does taste even better than that you’ll find elsewhere, because of a particular kind of local bacteria that goes into the bread, so you really do have to try it.
The fact that the city is surrounded by water makes it unsurprising that it gets great seafood, but Dungeness Crab is truly something else. This sweet crab is caught between November and June, so if you’re visiting in winter or spring, you’re in for a treat.
A favourite with visitors and locals alike, this chunky chowder is almost always served in a sourdough bread bowl, making it even more delicious. The chowder itself tend to be thick, creamy and full of fresh seafood.
Types of San Francisco holidays
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