Tips for Visiting San Francisco

When to visit San Francisco

I recommend visiting San Francisco during the summertime, so there are more daylight hours. For the most part, the weather in San Francisco is the same year round, except rain in January.

Be aware that lots of companies host large conferences in San Francisco throughout the year, so try to avoid visiting during a conference. Hotel prices are usually higher due to the increased demand. 

Where to stay in San Fransisco

The Hyatt Regency San Francisco is located in the heart of Union Square, so it's perfect if you have Hyatt points or nights to redeem. 

The Ritz-Carlton is another favorite if you have free certificate nights.

Hotels in San Francisco are on the expensive side ($200+), so Airbnb's are a good alternative.

Should you rent a car?

If you can avoid it, do NOT rent a car in San Francisco. The city is notorious for high-crime rates, and your car window has a high chance of getting broken. Yes, I have experienced this first hand. My rental was parked outside a restaurant, and we came back to a smashed window.

Aside from high crime rates, parking is scarce and expensive in the city. Save yourself the headache and take Uber or public transportation instead.

I recommend renting a car if you're planning on driving out of town to places like Napa Valley or Muir Woods, but return your car once you get back into the city. 

If you do decide to rent a car, be sure to use a credit card that has collision waiver. 

How to get around the city

Uber and Lyft are the most popular rideshare services. Muni and Bart are the public transportation options. 

Neighborhoods to avoid

Avoid walking through the Tenderloin neighborhood at night if you don't have a destination in mind. The neighborhood has some of the highest crime rates in the city, so be sure to take an Uber or walk with a group.

 The Tenderloin fine to visit during the daytime, and there are plenty of great food options in the area. 

Where to eat & drink

  • Check out the Seated app for restaurants around your area. Lot's of good choices on the app, and you can earn gift cards for dining.
  • Lazy Bear - If you want a unique communal dining experience with amazing food, check out Lazy Bear. Reservations are required.
  • Local Edition - Cocktail bar with a vintage newspaper theme.
  • Bourbon & Branch - Speakeasy cocktail bar.
  • The View Lounge - Located inside the Marriott, has amazing views of the city. 

Activities

  • Cablecars - unique way to see the city, try to avoid peak hours during the weekends.
  • Walk or bike across the Golden Gate Bridge
  • Sausalito - if you bike across the bridge, keep going and visit Sausalito. You can take the ferry back into the city. 
  • Alcatraz
  • Free food coupons