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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

Destination Highlights

  • Visit Alcatraz Island, home to the infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary
  • Wander Golden Gate Park
  • See the sea lions, hit the shops and enjoy a meal at Pier 39, one of San Francisco’s most popular piers
  • Walk across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, with San Francisco Bay on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other

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.

a large tree surrounded by water

San Francisco, Lake Tahoe and Las Vegas Multi Centre

  • 10 Days
  • Guide Price £2,799 PP
For people around the world San Francisco is representative of the perfect city. It is awash with film-sets and folklore....
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USA road trips
Private aircraft over Lake Mead

West Coast America Escorted Tour

  • 15 Days
  • Guide Price £4,399 PP
From the bright lights of Las Vegas, the heights of the Grand Canyon to the awesome Yosemite National Park, you’ll...
View Tour
Escorted tours holidays
Golden Gate Bridge over a body of water

San Francisco And Hawaii Multi Centre Holidays

  • 10 Days
  • Guide Price £3,399 PP
San Francisco is a city full of iconic sights to explore and delicious food to experience. Whether you ride the...
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Luxury holidays
a train is on the side of a mountain

Los Angeles To San Francisco Road Trip

  • 17 Days
  • Guide Price £3,499 PP
Take a huge bite of Western highlights, visit iconic cities and see nature at its most splendid, explore Yosemite, Grand...
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Self drive holidays

Explore San Francisco

Time Zone

GMT -8 hours

Flight Time

Approx. 11 hours; direct flights from the UK are available

Currency

USD - US Dollar

Visa Information

Ensure you have a valid ESTA prior to travel

Language

English

Health Info

No special vaccinations are required for travel to San Francisco

Alcatraz Excursions

Make sure you don’t miss any of the important sights by climbing aboard a Hop On Hop Off bus.  Travel around the city...
Yosemite Valley

Yosemite National Park Excursions

This one day tour is a fantastic way to see Yosemite National Park and the Giant Sequoias during your stay...
  • APPROX. 4 HRS
Golden Gate to Sausalito Cycling tour

Cycle Tour San Francisco

Enjoy beautiful sights along the bay trail, cycle across the Golden Gate Bridge then descend into Sausalito, a Mediterranean style...

Wine Tours Napa Valley And Sonoma

You’ll be picked up from your San Francisco hotel and travel over the Golden Gate Bridge into California’s stunning wine...
  • PRICE: £118 (Prices subject to change)
California Wine Country

San Franciso Wine Tours

Enjoy a full day tour of Napa Valley and Sonoma from San Francisco.  Your knowledgeable guide will take you to...
  • PRICE: £85 per person (prices subject to change)
Alcatraz

Private Alcatraz Tour

Once home to some of the world’s most notorious criminals, Alcatraz is as fascinating as it is eerie, and should...

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

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.

Cycling over the Golden Gate Bridge

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.

Alcatraz

Alcatraz

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.

Yosemite Valley

Yosemite Tours

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.

Napa Valley Wine Train

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. 

  • Best Weather
  • Good Weather
  • Average Weather

Average Weather in January

Destination Destination Avg Temp Avg Temperature Avg Rainfall Avg Monthly Rainfall
San Francisco
11° C
110 mm

Average Weather in February

Destination Destination Avg Temp Avg Temperature Avg Rainfall Avg Monthly Rainfall
San Francisco
12° C
115 mm

Average Weather in March

Destination Destination Avg Temp Avg Temperature Avg Rainfall Avg Monthly Rainfall
San Francisco
13° C
80 mm

Average Weather in April

Destination Destination Avg Temp Avg Temperature Avg Rainfall Avg Monthly Rainfall
San Francisco
13° C
40 mm

Average Weather in May

Destination Destination Avg Temp Avg Temperature Avg Rainfall Avg Monthly Rainfall
San Francisco
14° C
20 mm

Average Weather in June

Destination Destination Avg Temp Avg Temperature Avg Rainfall Avg Monthly Rainfall
San Francisco
15° C
6 mm

Average Weather in July

Average Weather in August

Average Weather in September

Destination Destination Avg Temp Avg Temperature Avg Rainfall Avg Monthly Rainfall
San Francisco
17° C
3 mm
  • Ghirardelli Chocolate Festival

Average Weather in October

Destination Destination Avg Temp Avg Temperature Avg Rainfall Avg Monthly Rainfall
San Francisco
17° C
30 mm

Average Weather in November

Destination Destination Avg Temp Avg Temperature Avg Rainfall Avg Monthly Rainfall
San Francisco
14° C
70 mm

Average Weather in December

Destination Destination Avg Temp Avg Temperature Avg Rainfall Avg Monthly Rainfall
San Francisco
11° C
120 mm
a person posing for the camera

"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."

James
Destination Executive
Emma, Destination Manager

"Alcatraz Island is a really popular attraction in San Francisco, so remember to book your tickets in advance before you travel."

Emma
Destination Manager

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.

Cioppino

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.

Sourdough Bread

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. 

Dungeness Crab

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. 

Clam Chowder

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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