“You could live in San Francisco a month and ask no greater entertainment than walking through it.” - Inez Haynes Irwin
San Francisco has garnered a reputation for being everybody’s favourite city and with good reason. Like so many big cities in America, it has a number of diverse neighbourhoods, nestled on picturesque hills, which can easily be discovered on foot.
Embrace the charm of San FranciscoThe city offers something a little different; whether it's the romance of cable cars or the awesome expanse of Golden Gate Bridge, San Fran just seems to have that extra ‘je ne sais quoi’.
Perhaps the answer lies in history - and what a history this city has. Founded in 1776 by Spanish colonists, it was the California Gold Rush of 1849 that put the city on the map - making it the largest city on the West Coast at the time.
Seventy-five percent of the city was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, but was quickly rebuilt. During World War II, San Francisco was a major port of embarkation for service members shipping out to the Pacific Theater. In 1945, it was the birthplace of the United Nations.
During the 1960s/70s, the rise of the hippie counterculture grew from opposition to USA's involvement in the Vietnam War. The Summer of Love cemented San Francisco as a centre of liberal activism in the United States. So much of this history is still evident today. The Kimpton Sir Francis Drake hotel, for instance, was taken over during the WW II to house soldiers as they departed and returned from the Pacific. The Haight-Ashbury district, host of the Summer of Love, is still as hippie today as it was then.
Then there's the almost eerie Alcatraz Island off in the distance. It was developed for use as a lighthouse, a military fortification and military prison. From 1934 until 1963, it was used as a federal prison, specifically housing inmates that had been troublesome at other prisons and were notorious for bank robbery and murder - one of the most infamous being Al Capone.
The Bon Voyage team knows this city inside and out, so we can recommend how to make the most of your time here and what best to combine with it. It's an ideal starting point for a California Coast fly-drive or a stop on your way to the Hawaiian Islands.
California's Dream Drive...
The Best of the West
Orlando, Las Vegas and San Francisco
Grand West Tour
USA Rail Holiday - Coast Starlight Seattle to Los Angeles
USA Rail Holiday - The Northern Explorer
USA Rail Holiday -The California Zephyr
The Pacific Coast Explorer
The Hawaiian Islands of Maui, Kauai plus San Francisco
Northern California - The Great Outdoors
Northern California & Awesome Oregon
Wild West Guided Motorcycle Tour II™
Pacific Coast Adventure
California & Arizona - Small & Friendly Hotels
California Coastal Cool
California Magic- An Independent Rail Tour
California Family Fun Adventure - As featured in The Sunday Times Travel Magazine
Yosemite Escape - 3 Day Camping Adventure
Wild West Motorcycle Tour™ - 16 Day Guided Tour
Coastal California & The Wine Country
Western Highlights 1 - Self-Ride Motorcycle Tour
Northern California - Trafalgar Escorted Holiday
San Francisco Self-Ride Motorcycle Tour
California Coast and Heavenly Hawaii
Las Vegas and San Francisco Holidays - Two Centre
California Dreaming - Motorhome Holiday
Pre-Planned Motorhome Holiday to California, Utah and Nevada
Northern California Culinary Delight
Water, Wine & Wilderness!
Pacific Coast Highway Seattle to Los Angeles - 15 Day Guided Motorcycle Tour
Western Discoverer - A Trafalgar Escorted Tour
Coastal California with Yosemite National Park - A Trafalgar Escorted Tour
Nevada, Utah and California - Neon, Nature and National Parks
California Wine Country
Helicopter and Wine Country Tour with lunch
Muir Woods and Wine Country Tour
Wine Country Half Day
Running Tours of San Francisco
Verna Dunshee Trail
California Academy of Sciences
Golden Gate Park
The Waterfront in San Francisco
Nob & Russian Hill
GO San Francisco Card
San Francisco Sightseeing - Downtown Loop Tour
San Francisco Sightseeing - Golden Gate Loop
San Francisco Sightseeing - Night Loop Tour
Bike and Roll- Across The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco
The San Francisco Music Scene
Redwood National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park
Lake Shasta Area
North Lake Tahoe
South Lake Tahoe
Doubler decker open bus tour PLUS Alcatraz
Chinatown and San Francisco Walking Tour by Night
Deluxe City Highlights Tour with Bay Cruise
Double Decker All Loops Tour plus Alcatraz
GoCar Golden Gate Bridge Tour
Helicopter plus Sunset Dinner
Helicopter Ride and Afternoon in Sausalito incl. lunch
Hop Around the City Tour
Monterey and Carmel
Westfield San Francisco Centre
Mr SFs Insider Guide Tour
Muir Woods and Sausalito Tour
San Francisco Full Day GoCar Tour
San Francisco by Night Tour
San Francisco CityPass
Taste of San Francisco
San Francisco Trolley Hop with Bay Cruise
Yosemite National Park Tour
Yosemite Escape 3-Day Camping Tour
Great White Shark Cage Diving Off The Coast Of California
Where you stay is the heart of your holiday. Location reigns supreme but do you prefer resort facilities or unique and boutique? Historic and old world or modern and shiny?
We aim to present choices across the spectrum but there are many hundreds of places to stay and not room to feature them all. Do speak to your Bon Voyage travel consultant and click the video for our take on this important topic.
We would rate the Bellagio as one of the best hotels we have ever stayed in. Fabulous, glitzy, exciting. We loved having breakfast at the poolside café... one of our best experiences ever. If it hadn't been for you we wouldn't have had the suite or cabana and we loved them. We both agreed that the hotel was the best for us and you had suggested that so well done!Leonore & Mike Rumford