San Francisco is the ‘smallest big city’ in the world. There’s plenty going on and each district of San Francisco has its own distinct culture. If you’re visiting San Francisco and wondering where to stay, here’s our guide, from guest author Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala, to the different neighbourhoods and boutique hotels in San Francisco that we recommend.
Stay in San Francisco at Fisherman’s Wharf
Fisherman’s Wharf is one of the most popular areas in San Francisco with over 12 million visitors each year. Fisherman’s Wharf is still very much an active fishing area and foodies will enjoy trying out the seafood restaurants. There is nothing quite like the experience of waking up in the morning and seeing the fisherman haul in their daily catch, ready to be sold to the countless restaurants throughout San Francisco.
Pier 39 is the real highlight of Fisherman’s Wharf, with street performers operating throughout the area, offering entertainment that solo travellers, couples, and families alike will enjoy.
With its exposed brick facade, The Argonaut is one of the classiest boutique hotels in the San Francisco area. The decor of the hotel is very much in line with the Fisherman’s Wharf area. Indulge yourself in freshly caught seafood while seated in an area surrounded by ornamental wooden beams – you can’t help but feel reminded of the famous fishing district outside. The hotel offers stunning views over the Fisherman’s Wharf area allowing you to wake up in the morning and take in the sights and sounds.
Stay in San Francisco near Union Square
Union Square is one of the largest shopping districts in the United States. It plays host to the world’s best department stores, boutiques and specialty stores. Those who love artwork can browse through the many art galleries in the district while theatre lovers can enjoy both Broadway and off-Broadway shows throughout the many theatres that are dotted around Union Square.
The Marker Hotel has been standing in Union Square for over a century. Outside, you are greeted with a Beaux Arts style facade. Walking into the hotel, your eyes are treated to an eclectic style unlike any other. The vibrancy of the colors and the chic style of The Marker Hotel really remind you that you are currently in San Francisco, one of the most eclectic cities in the world.
A stay at The Marker Hotel gives you access to the Tratto Restaurant, a rustic-inspired Trattoria. This place is fast becoming one of the places to be in San Francisco. Just two blocks away from Union Square, this hotel provides the perfect hub for exploring the best of what the city offers.
Stay in San Francisco’s Financial District
The Financial District of San Francisco is home to some of the largest banks in the world. Skyscrapers dominate the landscape, many of which survived the earthquake in 1906. Visitors to the Financial District enjoy a blend of contemporary and historic architecture. Located a short hop from Union Square, the Financial District boasts theatre, art galleries and boutique shopping.
The Clift boutique hotel places you in the heart of the Financial District. Just like the rest of the area, this building is a fusion between the old and the new. The exterior facade of the building looks back to the past, while the inside boasts a cross between modern and traditional. This place oozes class. The lobby of the hotel is much more than just a place to relax and get comfortable, it is almost an art gallery. The hotel has managed to source stunning furniture from around the world on which guests can relax after a long day exploring Union Square.
The Redwood Room bar is the highlight of the hotel. Beautiful redwood tree panels line the walls interspersed with a collection of digital art which could only have been produced by the creative residents of San Francisco.
Stay in the Golden Gate Area of San Francisco
Located in the northern part of San Francisco, the Golden Gate bridge area is home to the world-famous bridge of the same name. Visitors to the Golden Gate area are treated to picturesque views of the Golden Gate Bridge as it traverses the San Francisco Peninsula. In the Golden Gate Bridge district you can explore Fillmore and Sacramento Streets, each offering their own charm and hidden treasures. Those who wish to find out more about the history of the area can visit Alta Plaza Park or the Presidio.
Built in 1903, the Hotel Drisco is steeped in Edwardian style. Located in the Pacific Heights neighborhood, views across the surrounding area demand that you pull out your camera and soak in that San Francisco charm. Hotel Drisco is in a quintessentially San Francisco neighborhood. Leave behind the hustle and bustle of the city and indulge in the relaxation that only Pacific Heights can offer. Despite being outside of the main part of the city, you are only a few minutes away from the best sights around.
The minute you step through the golden doors of the hotel you’ll be treated like royalty. The decor is unlike anything you have ever seen before. It is full of grace and laid back charm, almost as if you are staying in an English manor in the early 18th century.
San Francisco may be small, but it is one of the most diverse cities in the world with a range of boutique hotels – check out all the hotel options in San Francisco. A stay here is sure to conjure up memories that you will enjoy for the rest of your life.
Read more about California
About the author: After completing his M.B.A in 2012, Sai Karthik Reddy Mekala was never interested to find a day job at the desk but instead set out to explore the world. Five years later Sai, the wizard behind the travel blog Romancing The Planet, has become one of the top travel bloggers in India and inspired many Indians to get away from their desk jobs. Sai is now visiting the USA’s 50 states and sharing his experiences on the go through his new blog A Billion Hectares.
Photo credits: Some photos used are from Argonaut Hotel, Marker Hotel, Clift Hotel, Hotel Drisco. Fisherman’s wharf by Yu Jen Shih on Flickr
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