San Francisco is known for its cultural charm, foggy weather, and role in the 1960s counterculture movement. It’s one of the most popular holiday destinations in the United States, attracting people from all over the world.
However, there’s a lot more to San Fran than meets the eye. Behind the glitz and glamor lies a city with a deep sense of community and a spanning, rich history. It may not be as sun-soaked as Los Angeles or San Diego, but the charisma of the city is as strong as ever.
Where is San Francisco (CA) Located on a Map?
To find San Fran on a map or a globe, look towards the top part of the state. Another important thing to remember is that the city is next to the Pacific Ocean, and is thus located on the coast.
Quick Facts About San Francisco
We could spend all day writing about the wonders of San Fran, nicknamed the Golden City, but to save time, here are some of the most essential facts you need to know about it.
It’s Known For Its Fog
Despite being called the Golden City, San Francisco’s weather is famously unpredictable. Perhaps the most iconic weather feature is the fog.
This is caused by the city being surrounded by water on three sides and, combined with the warm temperatures of the region, causes a vacuum for the cold sea air thus creating the fog.
If you plan on visiting or living in the Golden City, don’t expect an endless summer.
Its Music Scene is Iconic
The music scene in San Francisco is revered across the world with artists like Jefferson Airplane, Journey, Faith No More, Sly and the Family Stone, Huey Lewis and the News, and Carlos Santana all originating there.
There are hundreds more artists from the Golden City and its music venues continue to thrive in the modern age. If you’re a music buff, you’ll feel right at home in San Francisco.
Best Attractions in San Francisco
There’s never a dull day in San Fran and there’s certainly no shortage of wonderful attractions for you to explore and lose yourself in.
Let’s get into some of them now.
Golden Gate Bridge
Perhaps the most iconic landmark not only in town, but the United States as a whole, is the Golden Gate Bridge. This stunning crossing was completed in the 1930s and is a great location for a cycle ride into neighboring Sausalito.
There are dozens of bike tours in town, so securing a ride across the Golden Gate Bridge won’t be too difficult of a task.
San Fran’s Chinatown is iconic for good reason. The district is full of delicious, authentic restaurants in unique shops that you simply must explore. Prices here aren’t too expensive and it’s always possible to find hidden gems.
Golden City boasts the oldest chinatown outside of the continent of Asia – so make sure you check it out!
The world’s most infamous prison is located adjacent to the Golden Gate Bridge and is easily acceisbly via ferry.
Alcatraz Prison is a hugely popular tourist destination due to its status as the most brutal and unforgiving jail of its era. Walk the long hallways and explore the rooms once inhabited by only the most dangerous prisoners. You’ll also learn the story of Frank Morris and the Anglin Brothers – the only three men to escape the prison, though their overall fate is unknown.
Tours last quite a while, so make sure your daily calendar is free for the day.
Palace of Fine Arts Theater
Immerse yourself in culture by visiting the Palace of Fine Arts Theater. Situated in front of a beautiful man-made lagoon, this Roman-like building is perfect for weddings and photo opportunities.
Since its construction over 100 years ago, the Palace of Fine Arts Theater has become one of the city’s most famous, and beloved, attractions.
Take in a ball game at the 41,000-seat Oracle Park, located in the China Basin district.
This stadium is perfect for a laid-back day watching baseball under, hopefully, a day of pleasant weather.
It’s not just baseball that Oracle Park has to offer, however, as the venue is also used for music gigs, soccer, and the occasional football game.
We round off this list of the best San Francisco attractions with the iconic Pier 39. This pier has everything from shops to food outlets and is one of the city’s most bustling hotspots. You’ll find people from all over the world sampling local delicacies such as shrimp and chowder.
Of course, it’s best if you choose to visit Pier 39 on a sunny day – a rarity given the city’s foggy and mild weather. There are, however, plenty of sunny days in San Fran so you won’t be needing to delay your visit for too long.
Pier 39 is located in the Fisherman’s Wharf district of town, close to the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.
Best Places to Stay in San Francisco
We recommend staying as central as possible. There is an abundance of great hotels in town suiting every budget.
Radisson Hotel Fisherman’s Wharf
This stunning hotel is in a great location and boasts everything you could want out of a top-end hotel.
Palace Hotel San Francisco
This 4-star hotel is slightly more affordable than the above option, but it still offers all the bells and whistles of a luxury hotel including spacious rooms, an on-site gym, and an opulent dining room.
The Palace Hotel is extremely popular, so be sure to book well in advance before your visit.
San Francisco is located in northern California and is a city rich in character, culture, and history. Despite not having the best weather, it makes up for it with its sheer personality.