Embarcadero-San Francisco

Essentials

in San Francisco

For a city its size, San Francisco packs a big punch.  Some 15.4 million tourists in 2009 certainly agreed—they flocked from all corners of the globe for sightseeing tours, attractions, and to cross its iconic Golden Gate Bridge. But when it comes to things to do in San Francisco and its surrounding area, some of the best finds are the festivals and holidays that define its character beyond the roadmap of tourist landmarks. Let Hyatt help you delve deeper into San Francisco’s continental style. 

Events in San Francisco

Chinese New Year

February

Market and 2nd Streets

San Francisco, CA

While paper dragons stretch for blocks at a time, parade spectators huddle on make-shift bleachers perched on the sidewalks of Chinatown.

San Francisco International Film Festival

April/ May

San Francisco, CA

Since 1957, SFFS has been captivating audiences with its independent spirit. America's oldest film festival is also one of the most accessible, thanks to its multi-screen viewings in all corners of the city.

Bay to Breakers Foot Race

May

San Francisco, CA

At this "World's Largest Foot Race," both the ornate outfits and the 75,000-person competition are equal attractions each May.

Carnaval Festival

May

Harrison Street, between 16th and 23rd Streets

San Francisco, CA

Memorial Day weekend blends lively Latin and Caribbean cultures on one glorious parade route, where confetti and can-can dancers guide the way. 

LGBT Pride Parade

June

Market Street

San Francisco, CA

Glitter, glitz and good times abound at the largest pride parade in the U.S. More than 1 million participate-and the after parties are just as packed.

Haight-Ashbury Street Fair

June

Haight Street, between Stanyan and Ashbury

San Francisco, CA

Sure, vendors sell blown glass, but they also sell a culture of grit and rock n' roll on the streets of the historic Haight.

Stern Grove Music Festival

June/July/August

19th Avenue and Sloat Blvd

San Francisco, CA

The Sunset District's cool evenings are warmed by hot sounds of ethnic, jazz and classic music. Listeners lounge on the lawn, where blankets and jackets are not optional.

People in Plazas

July/August/September

San Francisco, CA

Work days pass quicker when you get to hear free jazz, rock and reggae on your lunch break, July through September.

FallFest

October

Justin Herman Plaza at Embarcadero Center

San Francisco, CA

It's Oktoberfest, reinvented for foodies. Restaurateurs, mixologists, winemakers and culinary artists flaunt their craft, minus the lederhosen. 

Fleet Week

October

San Francisco, CA

During this week-long tribute to naval aviation, the aerial antics of the Blue Angels are much more than tourist attractions-they've got the locals sightseeing the skies too.

Essentials

The city of San Francisco is only 46.7 square miles but is home to an estimated 854,000 residents—making it the second most densely populated city in North America.  But within those compact, hilly streets is a community of natives known for their refined style, appreciation for arts and international flair.  

San Francisco built its prosperity on the Gold Rush in the mid-1800s and hasn’t looked back. Today, those fortunate enough to call San Francisco their home reside within neighborhoods, often called districts.  At the city’s epicenter is a prosperous Financial District, where shopping near Union Square or relaxing at one of the Hyatt hotels in downtown San Francisco all come easy. While trolleys can get you to other corners of the city, locals rarely use them. Assimilate by using the city’s street cars and trek to the picturesque Embarcadero Waterfront or the famous Fisherman’s Wharf. With Hyatt’s San Francisco hotels in both sectors, dining on Dungeness crab with the natives has never been more accessibly delicious.

Deeper inland are ethnic enclaves including North Beach—the city’s Little Italy—Japantown and the famous green-and-red walkways of Chinatown. The Mission District is reserved for artistic sets while Haight-Ashbury’s historic hippie sub-culture has left its Bohemian influence.

In addition, the Bay City also gushes over its parks. Given the city’s coastal beauty, can you blame them? Golden Gate National Recreation Area is one of the most visited national parks in the country, while the thousand acre Golden Gate Park is home to some of the finest museums and elegant Japanese Tea Gardens. For the best beaches on the bay, hit the Presidio—where certain areas will reveal that clothing is optional.  Only in San Francisco? We think so.

Resources

Bay Area Events
This web site will score you discounts on things to do in San Francisco. .

Daily Candy
Unwrap quintessential San Francisco attractions and restaurants.

Explore Magazine
The Golden Gate Bridge may lead you to San Francisco, but Silicon Valley takes you further beyond.

Metromix
San Francisco attractions take top billing here, with a heavy emphasis on night clubs.

San Francisco Magazine
San Francisco’s lifestyle magazine puts a glossy sheen on all things dining, nightlife and more—all while revealing the city’s best kept secrets.

San Francisco Theater
Flash your backstage pass to all things theater in the Bay Area. .

SF Gate Entertainment
San Francisco Chronicle’s entertainment coverage is lengthier than a casting call.  

Getting Around San Francisco

BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit)
Coast stealthily beneath the bay area for a price of $1.45 to $7.35, depending on your travels.

Bus
A municipal mainstay, the bus reaches every city corner from San Francisco to Oakland and back again. The cost: $1.50 per ride.

Cable Cars
Yes, they are San Francisco’s famous tourist attractions. Don’t wait at the turnarounds to ride one; instead, grab a pole and jump on when you find one stopped. Have your $5 ready in case the brakeman asks—but sometimes you get lucky, and they don’t.

Oakland Airport (OAK)
For a cheaper, less congested deal, fly into San Francisco’s neighboring airport, OAK. Take the BART directly into Union Square upon arrival.

Streetcars
Quicker than a walking tour, San Francisco’s six street car lines are all coded by letter and are the best way to travel like a local in the city.

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
San Francisco’s largest airport is a short BART-ride away from the bustle of the bay.

Taxi Services
They’re hardly as plentiful as in other major cities, but they exist. Fares start at about $2.85 for the first mile and .45 cents for every fifth of a mile thereafter.

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