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San Francisco

National Parks

San Francisco, California - Accommodations

The city of San Francisco is located along the coast of California at the northern end of a headland that separates the great San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean. At the northeastern tip of this headland, the beautiful Golden Gate Bridge stretches across the inlet and connects the city of San Francisco with the rugged hills of the Marin Headland. On the northwestern tip of the headland, the long San Francisco Bay Bridge stretches eastward to the mainland cities of Oakland and Berkeley.

Downtown Financial District of San Francisco © SFCVB
The downtown financial district is located in the northeastern sector of the city near the western end of the Bay Bridge. It is a business-commercial region with tall buildings, stores and shopping centers.

A broad esplanade, called the Embarcadero, stretches along the northern and eastern shorelines of the city. At the center of the headland is a spine of hills with streets climbing straight up from the bay to picturesque heights. Scattered about the slopes and summits of the various hills are the many diverse neighborhoods of San Francisco such as Nob Hill, China Town, Japan Town, the Mission District, Haight Ashbury, the Castro and the Downtown Financial District. There are many accommodations throughout the city with concentrations centered in the Downtown Financial District, along the Embarcadero especially in the vicinity of Fisherman's Wharf, along Lombard Street and throughout some of the other neighborhoods.

San Francisco International Airport is situated approximately 12 miles south of downtown near the district known as South San Francisco. There is a large concentration of accommodations near the airport including many moderate and budget class hotels. A variety of accommodations are also available across the bay in Oakland and Berkeley and in Marin County especially near Sausalito, Mill Valley and Tiburon.

San Francisco Accommodations Map

Downtown Financial District

The downtown financial district is located in the northeastern sector of the city near the western end of the Bay Bridge. It is a business-commercial region with tall buildings, stores and shopping centers. You can find the greatest concentration of hotels in this area with a selection ranging from the finest and most expensive hotels to more moderately priced ones. Business travelers usually favor this locality because of its central position and proximity to many of the corporate business centers.

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Fisherman's Wharf

The areas along the Embarcadero especially in the vicinity of the Fisherman's Wharf and some of the adjacent neighborhoods contain a wide variety of accommodations in various price ranges. Tourists typically prefer lodgings in this area as it offers nice waterfront views and is centrally located near many of the tourist attractions.

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Marina, Pacific Heights, Russian Hill and Nob Hill

The hillside neighborhoods immediately south and west of Fisherman's Wharf are a mixture of residential neighborhoods, small businesses and shops. They offer a wide assortment of hotels including some moderately priced and some budget priced choices. Many of the hotels are located along Lombard Street, Van Ness Avenue and Post or Geary Streets. Some of the areas are more commercial and less picturesque but they are centrally located with easy access to most of the city attractions.

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South San Francisco

The area near San Francisco International Airport is a suburban commercial neighborhood with many hotels, restaurants, shopping centers and businesses. There is a very good assortment of hotels in the area with many nice family-oriented moderately-priced accommodations. If you have a car, it is a thirty-minute commute into the city or a bit longer during rush hours.

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Marin County

The region across the Golden Gate Bridge on the north side of the bay is very picturesque with high mountains and affluent residential areas. Sausalito is a small fishing village that is now famous as an artist's community with a yacht basin and many quaint upscale shops. Mill Valley is an affluent suburban community with quiet neighborhoods, upscale shopping malls and nice restaurants. Tiburon sits on a point of land directly across the bay from San Francisco with beautiful waterfront views. There is a selection of nice reasonably priced hotels scattered throughout these communities. They are about 30-minutes from the city via car or on the ferryboats.

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East Bay

Oakland is a residential and commercial community somewhat less picturesque than San Francisco. Berkeley is a University town. Both are situated on the east side of the bay across the Bay Bridge from downtown San Francisco. There are some modestly priced hotels in the area, but it is less popular with tourists as there are few tourist attractions on this side of the bay.

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Written by: Mike Leco
Top Photo Credit: © Ronnie Allen /
Photo Description: The Market Street cable car carries passengers to Fisherman's Wharf.