The Golden Gate City, the jewel at the heart of Northern California is famed for its architecture, cable cars and landmarks, including the well-known Golden Gate Bridge. Here's our list of the best shopping, sports, culture, theatres, walking routes and historical places to visit.
SHOPPING AND RESTAURANTS
For high-end shopping, you need go no further than Union Square where you can find classic American department stores such as Barneys NY, Bloomingdale’s and Macy’s to San Francisco’s own famed department store Gump’s and Westfield San Francisco Centre. Going shopping in Union Square is one of the best things to do in San Francisco when it rains,. Union Square is a 5-minute drive or a 15-minute walk from YOTEL San Francisco.
One of the top things to do in San Francisco is to visit the independent coffee stores and shops in the Hayes Valley district. Based on Hayes Street, you can visit Ritual Coffee Roasters and Blue Bottle Coffee. If you are a fan of handmade and vintage jewellery, Ver Unica and Lava 9 offer beautiful pieces to suit everyone. For sports and travel lovers, Marine Layer sells San Francisco-made sportswear, while Flight 001 offers trendy travel items. Hayes Valley is a 5-minute drive or a 17-minute walk from YOTEL
Mission District is San Francisco’s boutique shopping area, offering handmade and crafted items along streets decorated with graffiti art. Valencia Street has a number of independent stores and vintage shops and we'd recommend fashion store Betabrand, nature curiosity shop Paxton Gate, and second-hand bookstore Dog Eared Books. Stop off at La Taqueria, a famed 50-year-old San Francisco eatery that provides all the taco and burrito dishes you could ever want to try. If you are travelling with kids, there is also the Bi-Rite Creamery, a delicious independent ice cream store, to keep them happy. Mission District is a 10-minute drive or a 30-minute walk from YOTEL San Francisco.
SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS BASEBALL
This National League West Division team plays in San Francisco’s AT&T Park regularly. The team has won the World Series Championships three times since 2010. AT&T Park is a 10-minute drive or a 30-minute walk from YOTEL San Francisco.
GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS BASKETBALL
Representing the San Francisco Bay area, the Golden State Warriors basketball team compete in the Western Conference Pacific Division, with their season running October - April . The Oracle Arena is a 24-minute drive from YOTEL San Francisco.
SAN FRANCISCO 49ers FOOTBALL
San Francisco’s National Football League team is the San Francisco 49ers, with their season games taking place August - January. Book tickets now to see these Super Bowl Championship winners play on their home turf at Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara. Levi’s Stadium is a 43-minute drive from YOTEL San Francisco.
SAN JOSE SHARKS HOCKEY
Representing the entirety of the Bay Area in hockey, the San Jose Sharks Hockey team are the only team to compete in the National Hockey League since 1991. See them play at the SAP Centre or the “Shark Tank” during their season October - April. The SAP Centre is a 49-minute drive from YOTEL San Francisco.
MUSEUMS AND ICONIC LANDMARKS
THE SHORELINE WALK
Starting at the San Francisco Maritime National History Museum, you can walk the coastline to visit sites such as Fort Mason, the Palace of Fine Arts and more, up until Fort Point. The area is protected by the National Park Service to preserve the area’s abundant 19th Century history. San Francisco Maritime National History Museum Park is an 11-minute drive from YOTEL San Francisco.
GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE
One of the best free things to do in San Francisco is to walk the nearly two-mile length of the Golden Gate Bridge. Suspended 200 feet above the Bay’s shining waters, you will see remarkable views of the city. Remember to take a jacket, as the winds are fairly fierce. The Golden Gate Bridge is a 15-minute drive from YOTEL San Francisco.
Take a walk through San Francisco's military past at The Presidio, a post that has been in operation over 218 years. See the Letterman Army Hospital, the National Cemetery, the Pet Cemetery, Crissy Field and the Officer's Club. There is also the mile-long Lover's Lane, one of San Francisco’s oldest routes, on which soldiers journeyed to visit their loved ones in the city. The Presidio is a 17-minute drive from YOTEL San Francisco.
This popular tourist attraction covers most of the northern waterfront of San Francisco, spanning Ghirardelli Square to Pier 35. In the 1800s, this area was filled with fishermen selling their wares, and is still home to San Francisco’s fishing fleet. Try the famed fresh seafood at the local restaurants, see the sea lion colony near Pier 39 and see decommissioned submarines and cargo ships. Fisherman’s Wharf is an 11-minute drive from YOTEL San Francisco.
This small island is famed for its now-abandoned prison, which once held notable prisoners such as Al Capone, George "Machine Gun" Kelley and Robert "The Birdman" Stroud. See the oldest operating lighthouse on the west coast as well as the prison itself, which can be visited from the city via boat. Pier 33 for the boat to Alcatraz is a 13-minute drive from YOTEL San Francisco.
This historical fort defended San Francisco Bay during the Californian Gold Rush right the way through to World War II. Located right next the Golden Gate Bridge, this fort is preserved by the National Park Service and hosts Living History Days and guided tours for visitors. Fort Point is a 20-minute drive from YOTEL San Francisco.
DE YOUNG MUSEUM
This famed art museum is based in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, displayed over 27,000 works of art and featuring many amazing pieces of American art from the 17th – 21st Centuries. As well as showing beautiful paintings, photography, textiles and more, the museum’s ninth floor Observation Level of the Hamon Tower gives visitors a unique 360-degree view of San Francisco. The de Young Museum is a 15-minute drive from YOTEL San Francisco.
YERBA BUENA CENTRE FOR THE ARTS
Situated in the beautiful Yerba Buena Gardens, this centre offers visual art, film and video, performances and community programmes that celebrate art in all its forms. It costs $10 for general admission to see the gallery’s exhibitions. The Yerba Buena Centre for the Arts is a 4-minute drive or a 15-minute walk from YOTEL San Francisco.
WALT DISNEY FAMILY MUSEUM
This museum is dedicated to the life and work of Disney’s creator, Walt Disney. The museum has interactive galleries and exhibits narrated by the man himself. View original drawings, cartoons, films and music from the world of Disney. This is one of the best things to do in San Francisco with kids, as Disney classics screen at the museum every day. The Walt Disney Family Museum is a 16-minute drive from YOTEL San Francisco.
SAN FRANCISCO PLAYHOUSE
This theatre is San Francisco’s off-Broadway location, showing award-winning musicals and plays such as La Cage Aux Folles and The Zenith World Premiere. The San Francisco Playhouse is a 5-minute drive or a 14-minute walk from YOTEL San Francisco.
This San Francisco Historical Landmark was built in 1926 to host silent films, vaudeville shows, films, comedy and musicals such as Broadway, Something Rotten, An American in Paris and Disney’s Aladdin. The Orpheum Theatre is a 1-minute drive or a 3-minute walk from YOTEL San Francisco.
WAR MEMORIAL OPERA HOUSE
The War Memorial Opera House is a landmark building in San Francisco, built in the beautiful Beaux-Arts style by architect Arthur Brown Jr. and opening in 1932. The opera house is home to the San Francisco Ballet. The War Memorial Opera House is a 4-minute drive or an 11-minute walk from YOTEL San Francisco.