Golden splendour, a vibrant waterfront and that iconic bridge – San Francisco holidays are near the top of the list when it comes to beautiful American city breaks

There are magical misty mornings in San Francisco. Not the kind of dreary fog you might be used to – more a steamy, enchanting haze that permeates the Golden Gate Bridge all the way down to the Bay. If it’s not this natural Pacific Ocean wonder you come to photograph, make it the dazzling views Twin Peaks edge or the surreal crookedy curves, stately mansions and hairpin turns of Lombard Street.

The ‘City of the Bay’s’ pretty, hilly neighbourhoods are candy-coloured Victorian houses but also Silicon Valley high-tech start-ups. You’ll find the golden era of mid century glamour in oyster bars but then modern glass and steel skyscrapers soaring 46 floors high. San Francisco holidays may be famous for Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, but there’s also the French neoclassical Palace of the Legion Honor, City Hall’s Beaux architecture and the theatrical remains of the Palace of Fine Arts.

Whether you’re walking Postcard Row’s Painted Ladies or climbing Amazonian rainforest inside the greenest museum in the world, beauty filters through the sidewalks on holidays to San Francisco. Sail the Bay under the glow of the Golden Gate Bridge, soar down the hill on those iconic cable cars or get your fix of fuzzy feels visiting the legendary 300 or so Pier 39 sea lions who’ve lounged on the docks for nearly 30 years. The sea lions turn up for the herrings but the locals come for the clam chowder and Bubba Gump shrimp. You’ll soon realise there’s a big food scene in San Francisco experienced through a love of farm-to-table dining and top chef molecular restaurants. And if that’s not enough, you’re only an hour and half drive from Napa Valley Wine Country.

Whether you want beautiful Bay views and regal interiors or a hip hotel in the heart of the city’s shopping district, our Personal Travel Experts are on hand, in store or by phone, to help craft your San Francisco holiday. 

  • This is a great city to explore on foot once you have got used to the hills (or you can take one of the famous cable cars of course)
  • One of the best ways to see the city is by helicopter – it is well worth treating yourself to a flight over the bay and the bridge
  • The former prison island of Alcatraz offers a fascinating insight into the lives of some of America’s most notorious inmates – be sure to book in advance to secure your spot
  • Just a short distance from the city you can find some beautifully rugged and often deserted beaches
  • To the north of the city you will find the famous redwood trees for which the north California coast is famous.

Good to know

Time difference:

GMT -8 hours

Capital:

Washington DC

Currency:

US Dollar ($)

Flying time to destination:

11¼ hours

More facts

When to visit San Francisco

Jan

Recommended

Good time to escape

Feb

Recommended

Good time to escape

Mar

Recommended

Good time to escape

Apr

Recommended

Good time to escape

May

Recommended

Good time to escape

Jun

Highly Recommended

Perfect time to escape

Jul

Highly Recommended

Perfect time to escape

Aug

Highly Recommended

Perfect time to escape

Sep

Highly Recommended

Perfect time to escape

Oct

Highly Recommended

Perfect time to escape

Nov

Recommended

Good time to escape

Dec

Recommended

Good time to escape

Further climate information

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Canada & USA 2018/19

Kuoni Insider

Take a stroll along the Embarcadero from Ferry Plaza to Fisherman's Wharf. Along the way, wander up Pier 7 to chat to the local crab fishermen whilst taking great shots of the Bay Bridge and the Transamerica Pyramid.

Pass Pier 33 where you can head to Alcatraz, play with the seals who hang out at the end of Pier 39, stop off at Sally's on Pier 41 to eat a sublime Fishwich and indulge your inner child on the Whirly Bird at the Musée Mécanique on Fisherman's Wharf.

Alex Johnson