Welcome to Northern California’s golden child – San Francisco. From its gold rush beginnings to its hippie middle, and techno-present, this city is known for its cultural revolutions. However, with its iconic bridge, sheltered bay, and outlook to the Pacific, San Fran is also known for its astonishing natural beauty. Discover this city's charms on a luxury holiday to San Francisco.
Start your San Franciscan adventure in Fisherman’s Wharf. Located on the city’s northern waterfront, and offering splendid views of the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf is alive with vibrant restaurants and boutique souvenir shops. Here is also where you’ll find the wonderful Aquarium of the Bay, which houses a staggering 200,000 local sea animals, as well as the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, with its recreation of A-list celebrities. And perhaps most importantly, from Fisherman’s Wharf you can join a tour to the infamous Alcatraz Island.
Head southwest to the renowned hippie neighbourhood of Haight-Ashbury, famed for being the epicentre of the 1960s counterculture movement. Then walk to Upper Haight-Ashbury, where you’ll find vintage boutiques, trendy bookstores and independent coffee shops. As you walk the streets, you can admire the colourful Victorian houses, and even duck into the legendary Grateful Dead House.
Travel north to Presidio, a 1500 acre park and National Historic Landmark District. This expansive green area encompasses some of the city’s best attractions and offers many outdoor activities. You can sunbathe at Baker Beach, ride your bike along Presidio Promenade, or jog along the waterfront at Crissy Park with yet more stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge. If you've got time, visit the Roman inspired Palace of Fine Arts and the family-friendly Walt Disney Museum.
San Francisco is a fantastic luxury holiday destination at any time of year. Temperatures remain relatively mild throughout the year with lows of 13 degrees Celsius in January to highs of 21 degrees Celsius in September.
Warmer temperatures are ideal for swimming in the Pacific while slightly colder temperatures mean that you can hike the city’s many hills without breaking a sweat. San Francisco hosts a number of fantastic events including San Francisco Pride in June, Fillmore Street Jazz Festival in July, and Ghirardelli Square Chocolate Festival in September.
As home to the most restaurants and farmers markets per capita in North America, San Francisco is a foodie paradise and luxury hotels offer some of the best dining experiences in the area. You’ll find restaurants featuring Gold Rush nostalgia and stunning views of The Bay.
Enjoy some of the freshest seafood including steamed mussels, homemade chowders, and Hawaiian mahi mahi. Just northeast of San Francisco is Napa Valley, home to California’s largest wine producing region, with excellent reds, such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Malbec.
British citizens don’t require a visa to enter the USA but you will need to apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation) to enter the country. Find out more information and general travel advice at GOV.UK.