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. Hotels, for instance, taken over during 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.
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.