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Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco

San Francisco

Historic icons amid vibrant streets

San Francisco tailor-made holidays


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.


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Top itineraries in San Francisco

Big Sur, California

California & the Pacific Coast Highway

12-day tailor-made self-drive from £2,225 pp incl. flights

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.

Yosemite National Park, Califiornia

Highlights of Northern California

12-day tailor-made self-drive from £2,575 pp incl. flights

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.


Best of Hawaii & the Californian Coast

14-day tailor-made holiday from £3,885 pp incl. flights

This tailor-made itinerary will see you discover the verdant mountains and powder-white beaches of Hawaii alongside California's laid-back beach cool.

Big Sur, California

Luxury California Fly-drive: San Francisco to Big Sur

9-day tailor-made self-drive from £6,265 pp incl. flights

Explore California’s iconic Pacific Coast Highway on this luxury fly-drive, taking in the icons of San Francisco and Big Sur’s coastal delights

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Top places to stay in San Francisco

Fairmont San Francisco lobby

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.

Suite, Argonaut, San Francisco

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, luxury suite bedroom

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, accommodation

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.

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San Francisco articles

  • Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California

    Trip report: Northern California

    Reporting from the road, former Wexas marketing executive Claire Benktander drove from San Francisco to the wine regions of Napa and Sonoma. Read her review for an insight into this spectacular road trip.

  • Seal basking on rocks in Californian Harbour

    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 best places to spot California's favourite marine life.

  • American road

    Exploring California by car

    Wexas USA specialist George Clissold picks out the ultimate introductory self-drive trip to California, taking in city greats, prestigious wine regions and UNESCO-listed natural wonders.

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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.

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