Destination guide

Explore San Francisco from holiday homes to rent

Founded in 1776 by Spanish colonists and named after St. Francis of Assisi, San Francisco has seen it all, from earthquakes to gold rushes to hippie communes. The result is a city that expects the unexpected and respects your creative side. Whether you prefer to seek inspiration at a modern museum, in a park by the bay, or on a tour through wine country, the city is here to delight you, and San Francisco vacation rentals are the perfect way to get your journey of discovery started.

Things to do

Sightseeing near San Francisco holiday homes

Get a breathtaking view of one of the world's most celebrated landmarks, the soaring Golden Gate Bridge, or hike across its 2.7-kilometre-long span for an equally lovely look at the bay. Back on shore, the Fisherman's Wharf waterfront area is the city's most popular centre of food and fun. You can listen to the sea lions honking off Pier 39, play the vintage arcade games at Musee Mecanique or grab lunch at a waterside crab shack. The wharf is also where you can catch a ferry to Alcatraz Island and its famous former prison.

Activities

What to do near San Francisco holiday rentals

You might find San Francisco vacation rentals with beautiful views of the bay, but don't get too comfortable. There's so much shopping to do! Hop on one of the city's iconic cable cars and head to Union Square for sophisticated designer shops, or try the hipster district SoMa (as in "south of Market") for vintage clothing boutiques and independent bookstores. The Mission District is another hipster haven and a centre of SF's foodie scene. Farm-to-table restaurants and authentic Mexican taquerias are packed at lunchtime with everyone from bohemian health nuts to Silicon Valley execs.

Weather

Climate during your stay in San Francisco holiday rentals

With its warm-summer Mediterranean climate and the influence of the mighty Pacific Ocean to the west, San Francisco has the coolest July and August temperatures of any major American city. Those summer highs can be in the teens, and you'll find warmer temperatures in autumn. Winter lows dip down to 5°C but only rarely fall lower than that. You'll find better rates on San Francisco vacation rentals in autumn and winter. Just remember to bring your rain gear and something to warm you against the city's famous fog, no matter what the time of year.

Natural highlights

The parks make the city go round in San Francisco

Hikers and bikers are guaranteed an excellent workout in SF, where the steep hillsides can make a simple sidewalk feel like a roller coaster. Follow the ups and downs to one of the city's deliciously green parks for a well-earned rest. Golden Gate Park offers a slew of gardens, trees, lakes, birds and other wildlife. The Presidio, a 600-hectare park northeast of Golden Gate, is another major draw for bikers, walkers and families who need a day out. It's complete with mini-forests, miles of trails, a golf course and several scenic overlooks.

How to get there

Transport to and around San Francisco

Fly into Oakland, CA (OAK-Oakland Intl.), the closest airport, located 11.8 mi (19.1 km) from the city centre. If you're unable to find a flight that fits your schedule, you can also fly into San Francisco, CA (SFO-San Francisco Intl.), which is 11.9 mi (19.1 km) away.

If you're travelling by train, San Francisco 4th and King Station, San Francisco 22nd Street Station and San Francisco Bayshore Station are the main stations in the city. It's easy to get around San Francisco by catching a ride on the metro at Powell St. Station, Montgomery St. Station or Civic Center Station.

Family friendly

Family fun near San Francisco holiday homes

Kids will love the attractions of San Francisco. Holiday homes can be found near places like Muir Woods National Monument, a scenic, forested park with giant redwood trees, long hiking trails and a visitor centre, and California Academy of Sciences, a natural history museum with an aquarium, planetarium and scientists conducting research. Kids will also like the Exploratorium, a hands-on science museum with interactive exhibits and activities illustrating scientific principles.

Good for couples

Couple's retreat near San Francisco holiday rentals

San Francisco is filled with romantic spots to explore on a couple’s retreat. Holiday homes are available near places like PIER 39, a scenic bayside pier with sea lion sightings, eateries, shops and entertainment, and Union Square, a vibrant neighbourhood with upscale shops, restaurants and nightlife. You’ll also like the Palace of Fine Arts, a Greco-Roman palace and architectural attraction with performing arts.

Where to stay near San Francisco?

Our 2019 accommodation listings offer a large selection of 1,862 holiday rentals near San Francisco. From 875 Condos/Apartments to 704 Houses, find unique holiday homes for you to enjoy a memorable holiday or a weekend with your family and friends. The best place to stay near San Francisco is on HomeAway.

What is the best area to stay when travelling to San Francisco?

Whether you are travelling solo or with family and friends, here are the areas with the largest selection of holiday rentals for a long holiday or just a weekend break in San Francisco:

  • Ashbury Heights: 158 holiday homes
  • Downtown: 620 holiday homes
  • Fisherman's Wharf: 721 holiday homes
  • Sunset District: 492 holiday homes
  • Union Square: 551 holiday homes

For other neighbourhoods, please use our search bar to access the selection of holiday homes available.

What are the most popular points of interest and landmarks to stay near when travelling to San Francisco?

HomeAway offers a large selection of holiday homes near great places in San Francisco. From HomeAway travellers, the most popular points of interest to stay near are:

  • Painted Ladies: 2,208 holiday rentals
  • Moscone Convention Center: 2,155 holiday rentals
  • Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption: 2,183 holiday rentals
  • San Francisco City Hall: 2,209 holiday rentals
  • San Francisco State University: 2,115 holiday rentals

But there are many other points of interest around San Francisco listed on HomeAway where you can find your place to stay. Please use our search bar to access the selection of holiday rentals available near the point of interest of your choice.

Can I rent Condos/Apartments in San Francisco?

Yes, of course. HomeAway offers 875 Condos/Apartments in San Francisco. Our other popular types of San Francisco holiday rentals include:

  • Houses: 704 holiday houses
  • Cottages: 58 holiday houses
  • Villas: 4 holiday houses

But you can also enjoy a great stay in one of our other holiday rentals including Bungalows and more.

Can I find a holiday accommodation with pool in San Francisco?

Yes, you can select your preferred holiday accommodation with pool among our 161 holiday homes with pool available in San Francisco. Please use our search bar to access the selection of holiday rentals available.

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