San Francisco Holidays

Lose your heart in this beautiful city

San Francisco Holidays
Expect to find
Historic landmarks

The Golden Gate Bridge and Chinatown are must sees

Freshly caught seafood

The famous Fisherman’s Wharf invites you to savour San Fran’s best

Pleasant parks

San Francisco is home to some of the most stunning parks

Explore San Francisco

San Francisco holidays have a bit of something for everyone. From the vibrant surfing community of the Bay Area and the spectacular sight that is the fabled Golden Gate Bridge to the sounds and flavours of the famous Fisherman’s Wharf and the thriving Asian-inspired town markets.

San Francisco is widely considered to be one of America’s hippest, most diverse and forward-thinking cities. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise that San Fran’s fabled Silicon Valley is home to the HQs of numerous tech giants including Google, Apple, Airbnb, Uber and Twitter.

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San Francisco holidays mean culture & fun. The Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, shopping & dining.

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Holidays in San Francisco

There is so much to discover on your San Francisco holiday. While not many still wear flower crowns, it’s still the hippest city on earth. From the City Lights Bookshop to The Filmore, where Janis Joplin, Led Zeppelin, Jefferson Airplane and The Grateful Dead first played, San Francisco has it all. San Francisco is a city known for its fog and cool winds, steep hills and trams, Chinatown, Victorian houses, and the famous Dungeness crab found in restaurants on Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39.

Things to do in San Francisco

Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39

One of San Francisco’s most popular tourist attractions, Fisherman’s Wharf is home to the famous Pier 39, one of the best-known fishing spots in all of America. However, it is much more than a fishing spot as Pier 39 is essentially a town unto itself. There are all sorts of attractions including an eye-catching two-story carousel, a video game arcade, an aquarium and a fully stocked shopping mall. With so much to see and do at Fisherman’s Wharf, there’s literally a full week’s worth of activities to enjoy, including a welcome greeting from a sea lion or two. So much so that we highly recommend the 7-day pass which includes access to all of the main attractions. For further Fisherman’s Wharf fun, visit the nearby Pier 45 which is home to many unique attractions, such as the magnificent Muée Méchanique, the world’s largest collection of vintage mechanical machinations, and the USS Pampanito submarine which is restored as a boardable maritime museum.

Historic Attractions

Both the Golden Gate Bridge and the Alcatraz prison island (AKA ‘the Rock’) can be seen from Fisherman Wharf’s Pier 39 and cruises operate from the pier to them both on a daily basis. The Golden Gate Bridge is an absolute must while on holiday in San Francisco, after all, it is one of the most recognisable structures in the world. Alcatraz on the other hand, will have history lovers enthralled with the legendary tales of escapes and famous inmates.

Visit Historic Chinatown

Located just northeast of Union Square is San Francisco’s Chinatown, the oldest Chinatown in North America, dating back to 1848, and the single largest Chinese community outside of Asia. A hugely popular tourist attraction, the San Fran Chinatown draws in more visitors per year than the Golden Gate Bridge. The town contains a great many traditionally styled Chinese stores and restaurants, as well as numerous beautiful parks and fascinating places of worship to visit. Make the most of your time by booking a Chinatown Walking Tour.

San Francisco also has a very large Japanese contingent, as well as ties to several other parts of Asia. This rich cultural diversity is celebrated in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco. Housed within a grand library building, the museum welcomes numerous travelling exhibitions every year and typically contains upward of 17,000 pieces of Asian art, dating back through 6,000 years of history, at any one time. Be sure to try the Japantown Food Tour for a true adventure of the senses.

Shopping in Union Square

For those interested in a shopping holiday, San Francisco’s Union Square fits the bill perfectly. This 2.6-acre plaza is a real shoppers’ paradise, containing no less than six full department stores including the famous Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s and Barney’s of New York. Union Square is also home to many luxury retailers, such as Gucci, Tiffany’s Jewellers and Louis Vuitton. While some of the world’s biggest brands have chosen to locate their flagship stores here, including Nike, Apple and Victoria’s Secret.

In addition to its lavish shopping opportunities, the Union Square area has numerous other attractions. The nearby blocks are known as designated dining and theatre districts, with many upmarket restaurants and world class shows to choose from. Heavily discounted theatre tickets can be purchased on performance days. The nearby French Quarter is well worth visiting too, with its vast menagerie of chic open-air restaurants and stylish cafes.

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Explore the Parks

While the very human cultural and historical attractions of San Francisco speak for themselves, visitors shouldn’t overlook the region’s natural beauty, which should be considered an essential element of a San Francisco holiday.

The Muir Woods National Park is home to the iconic Redwood trees, which are some of the tallest and oldest trees found on Earth. The tallest in Muir Wood currently stands at over 250 feet tall. These natural wonders are an awe-inspiring sight and standing near them is a one-of-a-kind experience.

For further San Fran outdoor adventures, a day trip to Yosemite National Park is a must. Here you will experience America’s natural splendour in all its glory. Traverse through the Great Central Valley and into the Sierra foothills, where you will see the beauty of the Merced River, the outstanding Sierra Nevada Mountains and the fantastic Yosemite Falls. Guided tours run daily, while visitors can explore the park at their own pace on foot or by bike.

San Francisco FAQs

  • When is the best time to visit San Francisco?

    The ideal time for a San Francisco holiday depends on your preferences. Summer (June to August) is perfect for heading to the bay, while spring (March to May) is ideal for days in the park. Autumn (September to November) showcases beautiful fall colours, and winter (December to February) is perfect if you want to explore the city.

  • How many days should I spend in San Francisco?

    It depends on what you want to see and do, generally around 5 days gives you enough time to see the sites and get a feel for the city.

  • What is the best way to travel around San Francisco?

    The great thing about travelling around San Francisco is the amount of public transport options. There is a metro, buses, trams, and ferries, making getting in and around the city convenient.

Customer Reviews

  • Diane helped us to arrange the perfect holiday. She took us through different options and made loads of suggestions. She was very knowledgeable and was able to offer first hand advice. We would never have been able to do this ourselves. I can't recommend her enough. We were very impressed with the price as well. Overall a really great experience with American Holidays and Diane in particular.

    Sharon DTrusted Customer
  • I was dealing with Amanda O'Brien on a complicated itinerary involving several flights, hotels, and car hire. She was meticulous in her research and application. She gave me all the time needed and when I left the Office everything had been arranged and booked, to my complete satisfaction. If I was booking another holiday to America I would definitely arrange it through American Holidays and Amanda.

    Thomas FTrusted Customer
  • Paula was amazing to deal with and so helpful. She was super quick at customising our cruise itinerary quotes, very responsive and really understood what we were looking for.

    We finalised the plan and everything was booked straight away. It was so easy and now we just can’t wait for the holiday!

    Trusted Customer
  • Orlagh was amazing. I was back and forth looking for different quotes to figure out where to go on our honeymoon. She gave amazing recommendations and information. We cannot wait to go on our honeymoon.

    Trusted Customer
  • Excellent service from Kristen in American Holidays. Her knowledge, experience and wise advice was very much appreciated. She was extremely patient with changes I requested and instilled confidence in every decision I made

    Trusted Customer

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