San Francisco vacation rentals
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Your guide to San Francisco
All About San Francisco
Surrounded on three sides by glittering water, punctuated by comically high hills, festooned with verdant public parks, and alternately enshrouded in mysterious fog and blazing sunshine, San Francisco is one of the prettiest places on earth. The city has long attracted iconoclasts and fortune seekers, in the shape of Gold Rush hopefuls, immigrants who fought to build thriving communities, and queer people seeking a home and civil rights. It’s a city of glorious contrasts: storybook Victorians and soaring skyscrapers; the bright, pinging amusements of Fisherman’s Wharf and the austere beauty of Ocean Beach. Like the rest of the Bay Area — which includes Oakland to the east, Marin to the north, and San Jose to the south — San Francisco continues to transform. But its scruffy, proudly independent roots are never far from the surface.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in San Francisco
San Francisco has a legendarily capricious climate — hot, sunny days can turn chilly on a dime, so no matter what time of year it is, pack layers. March through June typically ushers in temperatures in the low-to-mid-60 degrees Fahrenheit. July through October is generally warmer, with temperatures in the high 60s or low 70s. Fall is often considered this city’s summer. November through February is brisk, with temperatures dipping into the 50s. Expect some fog and wind year round.
Top things to do in San Francisco
Golden Gate Park
Opened in 1870, this park’s 1,017 acres are the undisputed jewel of the park system (and that’s saying a lot). Visit close to 2,000 species of rare, tropical, and aquatic plants inside the stately Conservatory of Flowers. Explore an indoor rainforest at the California Academy of Sciences, and surround yourself with world-class art at the de Young Museum. Ride a carousel, paddle a boat around Stow Lake, or stroll through the Japanese Tea Garden. Just don’t expect to do it all in one day.
This tiny island in the bay, now a National Park, has a complicated and fascinating history. Best known as the home of an (almost) inescapable federal prison populated by notorious criminals, Alcatraz is also the site of a historically significant protest led by Native American activists, who occupied the island for nineteen months starting in 1969 to protest the US government's failure to surrender federal land owed to the tribes who once lived there. A trip to Alcatraz to learn about its many lives is well worth it. Tickets go fast, so plan ahead and book your voyage early.
Golden Gate Bridge
Completed in 1937, this gorgeous 1.7-mile-long Art Deco wonder is renowned for its hue — a color so distinct it has its own name: International Orange. Walking, biking, or driving are all wonderful ways to experience this architectural marvel, and on the Marin side you’ll find a rest stop with bathrooms and breathtaking views of the bridge and bay. One thing to note: If you walk or bike, wear layers, as it can get very windy crossing the bridge.