San Francisco Travel Guide

San Francisco Travel Guide

Getty Images

San Francisco is changing quickly—blink, and you might miss something. With people from across the globe funneling in for its innovative industries a... Read More

San Francisco is changing quickly—blink, and you might miss something. With people from across the globe funneling in for its innovative industries and stunning scenery, the city seems to be transforming overnight. In its midst is a confluence of times and cultures—nostalgic rows of candy-colored Victorian homes, techies re-wiring the SoMa and Mid-Market neighborhoods for the future, eccentric festivals parading through town, and salt-brined artist workshops along the coast—making now one of the most enchanting times to discover the City by the Bay. T+L’s San Francisco travel guide will help you make the most of this hilly peninsula, from Nob Hill to Golden Gate Park.

It’s obviously abundant in tourist attractions, like the California Academy of Science or the famed de Young museum, but our San Francisco city guide goes a little deeper, recommending spots that are hot among locals now. The Swedish American Hall is one of the city’s newest, and most impressive, performance venues—and packs a killer cocktail list and menu to boot. The restaurant and cocktail scenes continue to impress, redefining neighborhoods like Mid Market and SOMA. Shopping is defined by independent-minded boutiques that sell one-of-a-kind finds as unique as the city itself.

Read Less

Visit San Francisco

Best Time to Visit S.F.

Visit San Francisco in September or October for the most reliably pleasant weather and fewer crowds. Come in July and August for your pick of outdoor festivals and events. Spring is also a great time to visit, but expect the fog to roll in with a cool ocean breeze in the afternoons. During the annual Bay to Breakers footrace, held every May, some 75,000 runners and walkers, many in costume (and a few in their birthday suits), tackle this 7.46-mile course. The event also happens to be the city’s biggest (moving) party.

San Francisco Transportation

The eastern side of San Francisco is packed with walkable neighborhoods, if you don’t mind scaling a few hills. Use the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) subway system to get from downtown to the Mission District, SFO, or even the East Bay quickly and affordably. Regular Muni buses also offer an easy way to get around the city. Taxis, Ubers, and Lyfts are also quite common.

San Francisco Weather

September is on average the hottest month, with an average high of 70°F (21°C). January is the coldest month, with an average high of 57°F (14°C).

Know Before Visiting

This is a city where the weather changes on a whim and microclimates create varying weather patterns across the hilly terrain. Locals know to pack a few extra layers (a scarf and a light jacket should do the trick) before heading out. It might be sunny in the morning, but you never know when the town mascot, Karl the Fog, will crash the party.

Language

English

Electric

Type A (two-prong plug) or Type B (three-prong plug)

Currency

United States Dollar ($)