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View of Alcatraz
Take one perfectly located peninsula, and mix in world-class dining, parks, culture and charm. The result? San Francisco, the City by the Bay. With a laissez-faire vibe dating back to the Gold Rush, this city boasts ethnic enclaves and an eclectic populace drawn to the beauty of the Pacific Coast. Visit hippie history in the Haight, or shop elegant Union Square. Take a cable car up Nob Hill, and swoon over colorful Victorians and Bay views.
Let Orbitz help you plan the perfect San Francisco vacation. With insider tips and top attractions, you'll get the skinny on Golden Gate Park, Chinatown and where to explore and eat on your San Francisco trip.
San Francisco's climate is mild year-round, so forget about packing wool -- or shorts. Daytime temperatures rarely rise above 75 or drop below 55. Summer is notoriously cool, with fog and chilly Pacific breezes, and neighborhood "micro-climates" can mean balmy conditions in the Mission District, but chillier conditions in the Outer Richmond. Summer is also peak tourist season, and late June's LGBT Pride Celebration Parade is one of the biggest in the country.
May, September and October have less fog and, locals contend, the best weather. December, January and February are the coldest and wettest months, while January brings the Chinese New Year's Parade.
Get your green bounty on. Rainbow Grocery really is what it's cracked up to be: an eco/organic/fair-trade heaven.
What looks like a tourist trap is actually a foodie paradise, with oysters (Hog Island), cheese (Cowgirl Creamery), a fantastic farmer's market and more.
A gift to hikers, bikers and diners. Enjoy this former military post's paths, restaurants and views on your way to or from the Golden Gate Bridge.
The Haight's perfect drinking/dining combo defines the term "gastropub": world-class artisan cocktails crafted with love, and a food menu to match.
These concrete sliding tubes re-teach what you knew when you were six: Gravity is fun. Be sure to bring your own cardboard to slide on, though.
The Stanford Court in San Francisco provides its guests with luxurious amenities, such as towel rack warmers, luxurious down bedding and pillows, and fast, free Wi-Fi. These amenities, in combination with the modern, urban furnishings, make the hotel a comfortable and... More
A 46-story building located in the heart of downtown San Francisco, the Hilton San Francisco Union Square hotel is one of the tallest & largest hotels in the entire city. This means many rooms offer breathtaking views of everything from the city skyline to the Oakland... More
This boutique-style hotel is one of the newest in Fisherman's Wharf, and it's also one of the most intimate. From the outside, a brick facade makes the place look like any other wharf building. From the inside, though, an inviting lobby (fireplace and all) and cozy guest... More
Centrally located near Union Square, Hotel Nikko San Francisco is a modern getaway in a historic location. If the weather is a bit misty, you can relax in the fifth-story heated pool in the hotel's glassed-in solarium. Let the stress of the day melt away in comfortable... More
Gorgeous, intimate spaces characterize the Crescent San Francisco hotel, located in a reimagined Victorian building near Union Square. A fresh, clean look is paired with exposed brick, red accents and modern amenities like flat-panel TVs. Look for architectural details,... More
Three on-site restaurants provide a number of options for meals. Bourbon Steak, Michael Mina's newest creation, is a West Coast spin on the traditional steakhouse; the Oak Room offers a more traditional menu. Caruso's is the most casual of the three, offering light snacks... More
Formerly the Monticello Inn, Hotel Abri - Union Square sits in one of the hippest areas in San Francisco off Union Square, surrounded by fashion boutiques, art galleries and theaters. The feel of this boutique hotel is cool and hip, with many gadgets at the... More
The Intercontinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco opened in 1926 at the crest of Nob Hill and has been wowing visitors ever since. Visitors flock from all over the city to experience The Top of the Mark, a restaurant and lounge on the 19th floor of the hotel, which... More
Located a block from bustling Union Square, the 36-story Grand Hyatt San Francisco towers over many of the other hotels in the area. Elegance is the theme here, with an opulent lobby and floor-to-ceiling windows in guestrooms upstairs. Some guest rooms even are... More
Considering its name and the British flag flying out front, it's no surprise that the King George Hotel near San Francisco's Union Square district has a decidedly European flair. Decorative touches are subtle but continue this theme: chess boards in every room, coats of... More
Book a qualifying 4+ night flight + hotel vacation package between July 24, 2015 12:00AM CT and September 30, 2015 11:59PM CT, for $1000 or more for travel between July 24, 2015 and December 31, 2015 via Orbitz and instantly receive $50 off the hotel portion of your booking through the use of the promotion code. Limit one discount per hotel room and one promotion code per booking. Discounts are not redeemable for cash for any reason. Promotion codes cannot be resold. Any attempt at fraud will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Void where prohibited, taxed or restricted. Orbitz reserves the right to change or limit the promotion in its sole discretion. Promo code not valid for Las Vegas, NV bookings.
Golden Gate Bridge
The world-famous Golden Gate Bridge is a must-see, but doing so is easy, considering the 1.7-mile-long orange behemoth can be viewed from many vantage points. Connecting San Francisco to Marin County, the bridge is the city's only northern exit and is part of U.S. Route 1 and California Route 1. A pedestrian walkway runs the length, and bikes are allowed. (Check posted signs for the appropriate side to ride on; the schedule varies.) Fort Point Overlook offers a primo spot to snap photos.
This landmark square is the largest district of retailers, restaurants, galleries and salons in the Western United States. The recently remodeled site boasts granite plazas, light sculptures designed by artist R.M. Fischer and four grand-entrance corner plazas bordered by palms. Find clothing stores, from Banana Republic and Anthropologie to Prada and Yves Saint Laurent, and an assortment of antique stores, art galleries and beauty and health shops. More than 40 hotels are located nearby, as are a variety of restaurants, bars and clubs for late-night dining and entertainment.
Cable cars have been transporting people around San Francisco since the late 19th century, and they're a great way to get conquer the city's notorious hills while enjoying some of the spectacular views and diverse neighborhoods. At Powell and Market streets, a turntable serves as the starting point for two lines, the Powell-Mason and Powell-Hyde. The Powell-Mason heads to Fisherman's Wharf, while the Powell-Hyde ends near Ghirardelli Square (hello, chocolate!).
Spanning Castro Street, from Market Street to 19th Street, is the world's first, largest, and most famous gay neighborhood. It has been a symbol of gay pride since the sixties and seventies, when figures like Harvey Milk established themselves as business owners and activists. One of the district's most notable sites is the Castro Theatre, a movie palace constructed in 1922 that is still one of the city's best. Other sites of interest include Twin Peaks, the city's first gay bar, and Hartford Street Zen Center, a small Buddhist temple open to the public.
Founded in 1935, SFMOMA was the first museum on the West Coast devoted to modern and contemporary art. Today, it continues that tradition, exhibiting and collecting works by modern masters and less-established artists. Audio guides, docent tours, interactive kiosks and public programs offer visitors diverse learning opportunities. SFMOMA's landmark building, just a short walk from downtown, displays a soaring atrium topped by a turret and oculus skylight. The MuseumStore features art books, design objects, furniture, jewelry and children's products.
One of the largest urban parks in the world, this three-mile stunner is filled not only with natural beauty but also a science museum, art museum, flower conservatory and more. The California Academy of Sciences houses an aquarium, planetarium, natural history museum, and scientific research facility under one roof -- and a living roof, at that. Scale the deYoung Museum's 144-foot-high observation deck. The Japanese Tea Garden creates the perfect backdrop for munching fortune cookies, which were first created here in 1914.
Because of its natural isolation and the bay's cold, strong currents, Alcatraz housed Civil War prisoners, and years later, some of the country's most notorious criminals, including mobster Al Capone, the "Birdman of Alcatraz" and George "Machine Gun" Kelly. The prison closed in the 1960s, but the stories live on. Today, Alcatraz is partially a self-guided experience that you can do at your own pace. Advance reservations are highly recommended.
Constructed for the 1915 Panama-Pacific International Exposition, this beauty reflects the domed and columned temples of ancient Roman and Greek style. Its exhibition hall, which once housed Impressionist paintings, is now home to a state-of-the-art science museum, the Exploratorium. The Palace is also the site of countless weddings and film backdrops, including the Alfred Hitchcock thriller "Vertigo" and "The Rock." A lagoon lined with Australian eucalyptus trees surrounds the area, making a perfect family-photo opportunity.
This golden nugget is the largest Chinatown outside of Asia, plus the oldest in North America. Its entrance, called the "Dragon's Gate," is at Grant Avenue and Bush Street. Inside are 24 blocks of hustle and bustle, most of it taking place along Grant Avenue, the oldest street in San Francisco. This city-within-a-city is best explored on foot: Exotic shops, renowned restaurants, food markets, temples and small museums form its boundaries. Visitors can buy ancient potions from herb shops, enjoy a dim sum lunch or learn how fortune cookies are made.
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