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San Francisco Flights & Travel Guide

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Why fly to San Francisco?

The Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf and Alcatraz Island are just a few of the first things most people think of when San Francisco is mentioned. The city has carved a unique place for itself that is part bohemian and part swanky, the combination of which lures people in from around the world.

A morning foray on said Fisherman's Wharf will bring you face to face with the noisy sea lions that call the area home. After taking in their friendly banter step into the cultural scene at one of the city's top museums or galleries or visit the The Fillmore. This treasured stage has launched the careers of many world renowned musicians and bands. It is also home to the War Memorial and Performing Arts Center which stages some of the country's finest productions.

San Francisco is divided by its hills and checking out a few of them is a great way to get a hike in as well as experience San Francisco's various personalities. Telegraph Hill is a fairly quiet area and known for its wild parrot population, a walk through should earn you a look at a few of these gorgeous birds.

Nob Hill, a name which some may call funny and others downright antagonistic depending on where on the hill you stand, is an affluent neighborhood. The Nob Hill moniker was originally coined for high society folk that developed large homes on top of the hill. The name has stuck and so have the fancy homes and hideaways and it is also home to some of the city's glitziest hotels.

Another interesting mound is Russian Hill which you have to traverse, if not for anything else but to see the massive incline that has caused the development of a roadway that looks like an exaggerated zig zag carved all the way down. Make your back to relative flatland and Hyde Street where you will find some great restaurants to re-energize you.

The multicultural mix of the city adds to its eclectic feel with dining options ranging from Chinese to Mexican as well as a great selection of restaurants catering to different food lifestyles like vegan or low carb. By the way if you love avocados, welcome home since this buttery green veggie has found a spot on most restaurant menus in one way or another - try a crab and avocado omelet for breakfast in the Marina district.

The city is home to one of the most beautiful urban parks in the country. Visit Golden Gate Park for its beautiful gardens, lush greenery and maybe for the bison that also have a home on the grounds, it's an especially great little side trip to the Bison Paddock if you are traveling with children. In addition, the Conservatory of Flowers is a symphony of some of the most beautiful species you will see in the country. The Golden Gate Bridge walk is also a must-do if you are in San Francisco, you will never look at a picture of the bridge the same way again.

From parrots to sea lions and hills to wharfs, San Francisco is a city of beauty where life is meant to be enjoyed and once you're there the city vibe will have you feeling quite local - maybe local enough to take in a Giants game and cheer them on like a true San Franciscan.

San Francisco Weather

San Francisco temperatures are pleasant throughout the year although the summers are a little cool compared to the rest of California. Summer temperatures are usually in the mid 20s while winters numbers are in the low teens. The city experiences rainfall throughout the year with the highest amounts in the winter.

When to fly to San Francisco

Peak season

Travellers flood to San Francisco during the summer, which means flight tickets are fairly expensive between June and September.

Off season

Slow season moves in at the end of September which means it is a good time to find some flight deals for visiting San Francisco.

Getting into San Francisco

Travellers will land at San Francisco International Airport, which sits about 25 minutes outside of the city center. Once you land there are a have a variety of options to get into the city. Bay Area Transit runs a bus service from the airport to the city center. You can utilize the airport's shared van service or grab a taxi outside of the terminal.

Getting around San Francisco

Once you get into the city be prepared for some serious hiking as the city is basically a collection of hills. Of course, if you are not feeling particularly athletic there are some public transportation option. The San Francisco Railway provides service throughout the city, this includes both electric cars as well as the historic cable cars. Bus service is also available. You can also rent a bike and take a little adventure trip around the city. And of course, taxis are a viable option as well.

Insider Guide

  • Spend at least one afternoon picnicking in Golden Gate Park. The large urban park provides utter relaxation in the middle of the city and is also a bit of a cultural venue with concerts and performances taking place throughout the year.
  • Take a tour of the Tattoo Museum for a unique look at body art. You may be inspired to get creative and San Francisco has several renowned tattoo shops that can do a great job.
  • The prisoners of Alcatraz could never have imagined that the island would one day be a tranquil place of beautiful gardens, chirping birds and lovely lakes. But that is exactly what it is today so don't forget to book yourself a ticket for a tour.
  • Visit Chinatown for another side of San Francisco. The area is colorful and lively, you can find some of the tastiest Asian restaurants located here as well as little herbal shops that can provide you with a cure for just about anything you can think of.
  • To take in the whole of the city, head to Coit Tower for superb views of San Francisco. Before heading up to the top for a view take some time to check out the terrific murals depicting city life on the ground floor.
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Cheap Flights to San Francisco (SFO)

Historical prices for San Francisco flights.

Departure Airline Prices
Portland Alaska Airlines $225
Seattle Alaska Airlines $168
Washington Dulles AirTran $206
Rapid City Continental $256
Orange County (Santa Ana) Continental $139
Richmond AirTran $200
Des Moines American Airlines $214
Gainesville Delta $300
Missoula Alaska Airlines $297
New York AirTran $201
Salt Lake City Delta $237
Redmond Alaska Airlines $244
Green Bay American Airlines $214
Cedar Rapids American Airlines $365
Syracuse Continental $214
St. Louis Continental $188
Kansas City Continental $218
Indianapolis AirTran $191
Columbus AirTran $206
Arcata Eureka Continental $230
Burlington Continental $245
Albany Continental $307
Toronto Air Canada $376
San Antonio American Airlines $266
Denver Frontier $156

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