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Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

San Francisco

Historic icons amid vibrant streets

San Francisco tailor-made holidays

Introduction

San Francisco is truly a city of contrasts – jellybean Victorian houses border historic Italian neighbourhoods dotted with charmingly authentic trattorias, sprawling green parks neighbour gritty districts full of fantastical murals, and one of the world's most infamous prisons lies moments away from a glittering nightlife scene. Pair this with bayside beaches and countless culinary delights, from a vast Chinatown to fine dining alongside exquisite Californian wines, and you're met with one of the USA's most exciting cities.

Architectural gems 

The emblematic Golden Gate Bridge is, of course, San Francisco's most illustrious architectural splendour, wonderfully explored with biking, bus tours and hiking. But just moments away are a whole host of other historic fascinations too, from the infamous Alcatraz Island, to which tours run regularly, to the Art Deco Coit Tower that affords panoramic views of the city. Then there's the vivid 'Painted Ladies' Victorian rowhouses around the corner from Haight-Ashbury's remarkable murals and eclectic eateries, the farmers market-lined Ferry Building, and Lombard Street, claimed to be the 'crookedest street in the world'. A walk through the compact city affords best exploration, and historic cable cars bring visitors through the city across buzzing Union Square, where tourists and locals alike bask in the sun – which, due to the city's bay position, is at its warmest in September and October – and high-end department stores swell with shoppers.

Natural beauty

California is synonymous with the outdoors, and San Francisco doesn't disappoint. Its crowning glory is the Golden Gate Park, an unexpected haven of 1000 acres in the heart of the city, explored with segways, hikes, and pedalos on its many lakes. Head to Fisherman's Wharf where a bustle of fresh seafood eateries, historic boats, museums and sun-basking sealions are the backdrop for infamous Alcatraz prison that looms a mere mile away – be sure to book tours several months in advance. San Francisco is easily explored on foot, the 43 hills of near-impossible gradients offering superb views, and it's surrounded by coast and cityside beaches, whether you're looking for a cliffside stroll or sunbathing. The popular Ocean Beach and Mission Dolores Park offer a wonderful way to while away the hours on a summer's day. 

World-leading cuisine

This is California, home to some of the world's best cuisine, so it's not surprising that San Francisco delivers, too. Union Square and its surrounding areas cover any fine dining needs, while Chinatown's maze of alleys and laneways, one of the USA's oldest, comprise of tiny dim sum eateries juxtaposed with smart cocktail lounges. For classic American fare, Bob's Donut's queues reflect its delectable offerings, while a traditional clam chowder at Fisherman's Wharf showcases the wonderfully fresh seafood that this coast is known for.

Special offers in San Francisco

Pacific Coast Highway Tour

12-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,570 pp incl. flights

Special
offer

Air discount on selected dates – Save up to £460 pp
Book by: 02 February 2019

A truly iconic USA fly-drive, the Pacific Coast Highway brings you between San Francisco and Los Angeles, calling into world-class vineyards, pretty coastal towns and sweeping golden beaches.

Highlights of Northern California

14-day tailor-made self-drive from £2,240 pp incl. flights

Special
offer

– Save up to £575 pp
Book by: 31 January 2019

Northern California is a region of immense nature, world-leading wines and culture-packed cities, showcased in such icons as San Francisco, Sonoma and Yosemite National Park. Take in its headline acts on this fly-drive holiday.

Silversea World Cruise 2019

132-day world-cruise from £53,800 pp incl. flights

Special
cruise offer

2019 World Cruise Fares

See the world in style, taking four months to traverse five continents in the utmost style, enjoying open bars and all-inclusive fine dining throughout. Along the way, you’ll compare Tokyo’s futurism, Sydney’s icons and Europe’s belles to paradise islands, Africa’s wilds and Sri Lanka’s lost cities.

Wondrous West Coast on Seven Seas Mariner

15-day cruise from £6,280 pp incl. flights

Exclusive
cruise offer

Exclusive - Save over £3,700 per suite

Enjoy the stunning scenery of Alaska before sailing down the west coast and visiting the iconic city of San Francisco before arriving at Los Angeles.

See all offers

Top itineraries in San Francisco

Pacific Coast Highway Tour

12-day tailor-made self-drive from £1,570 pp incl. flights

Special
offer

Air discount on selected dates – Save up to £460 pp
Book by: 02 February 2019

A truly iconic USA fly-drive, the Pacific Coast Highway brings you between San Francisco and Los Angeles, calling into world-class vineyards, pretty coastal towns and sweeping golden beaches.

Highlights of Northern California

14-day tailor-made self-drive from £2,240 pp incl. flights

Special
offer

– Save up to £575 pp
Book by: 31 January 2019

Northern California is a region of immense nature, world-leading wines and culture-packed cities, showcased in such icons as San Francisco, Sonoma and Yosemite National Park. Take in its headline acts on this fly-drive holiday.

Luxury California & Las Vegas Self-Drive

12-day tailor-made self-drive from £4,825 pp incl. flights

Drive your way through California to Las Vegas in complete luxury and enjoy activities including Ocean Safari's and city tours, with the option to extend your tour to include Canyon Point. Take in the best of San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Carmel, Los Angeles and Las Vegas on your way.

Silversea World Cruise 2019

132-day world-cruise from £53,800 pp incl. flights

Special
cruise offer

2019 World Cruise Fares

See the world in style, taking four months to traverse five continents in the utmost style, enjoying open bars and all-inclusive fine dining throughout. Along the way, you’ll compare Tokyo’s futurism, Sydney’s icons and Europe’s belles to paradise islands, Africa’s wilds and Sri Lanka’s lost cities.

See all itinerary ideas

Top places to stay in San Francisco

Fairmont San Francisco

Grand & elegant hotel

One of the original luxury landmark hotels to be built atop Nob Hill, the Fairmont San Francisco delivers breathtaking views, superb personal service and oodles of old-world luxury.

The Argonaut, San Francisco

Contemporary hotel

This early 20th century red-brick and wood-beamed fruit cannery warehouse has been skilfully transformed into a boutique, nautically-themed hotel that offers a waterfront location, seafood specialities and complimentary wine tasting every evening at five.

Taj Campton Place, San Francisco

Grand & elegant hotel

Taj Campton Place is a perfectly positioned boutique hotel with a Michelin Star restaurant and a well-earned reputation for outstanding personal service.

Hotel Vitale, San Francisco

Contemporary hotel

A relative newcomer on the San Francisco scene, this boutique hotel offers million-dollar views of the bay or the city from most rooms, as well as flawless service, stylish interiors and a rooftop spa.

See all places

San Francisco articles

Just back from: Northern California

Wexas Travel’s Claire Benktander recently drove from San Francisco to the wine regions of Napa and Sonoma. Read her review for an insight into this spectacular road trip, taking in dramatic coastlines, redwood forests and vineyards, paired with, of course, world-class food and wine.

Where to see Sea Lions & Seals on the Pacific Coast Highway

Arguably one of the most overlooked draws of Highway One, the abundant sea lion and seal population is both fascinating and adorable. If you don't know where to look to find them, follow our guide to the five best places to spot California's favourite marine life.

Meet our San Francisco experts

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Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0636 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

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