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San Francisco/Union Square-Financial District

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Union Square from Powell Street

Union Square-Financial District is an area of Downtown San Francisco, bound by Market Street to the southeast, the San Francisco Bay to the east, Mason Street to the west, and Bush Street (between Mason and Kearny) and Washington Street (between Kearny and the bay) to the north.

Understand[edit]

Union Square[edit]

Surrounded by upscale hotels, Union Square is one of the largest shopping areas in the U.S. and is home to some of the nation's finest department stores, malls and specialty stores. As if that wasn't enough, it also boasts many fine art galleries, some of the best restaurants in the city, and it also serves as San Francisco's main theater district, featuring many Broadway and off-Broadway shows. The city earmarked the area as a park in 1850, and its name was derived from the many lively, pro-Union Civil War demonstrations that were held there. The square itself, a public plaza, which is bordered by Post, Stockton, Geary, and Powell streets, got a major refurbishment in 2002 when most of its grass was paved over with granite stone. Built in 1903, the monument dedicated to the Goddess Victory still remains at the heart of the square. Today, people use the square mostly as a space to relax and soak up a bit of sun, and to wallow in the atmosphere created by the surrounding cable cars, hotels and shoppers.

Financial District[edit]

The Financial District is among the top financial centers in the United States and its many skyscrapers add a very impressive skyline to the city. It is home to the headquarters of the 12th District of the United States Federal Reserve, as well as the iconic Transamerica Pyramid building. It also houses the corporate headquarters of many financial giants such as Visa, Wells Fargo Bank, Mckeeson Corporation and Charles Schwab Corporation. Despite the fact that the area was almost completely destroyed by the 1906 earthquake and fire, many of its original skyscrapers have survived. Today the architecture reflects a mix of both contemporary as well as more historic buildings such as the Merchant and Exchange building, the Bank of America building and the Russ building. There are also plenty of shopping opportunities in the area with centers such as the Embarcadero Center, the Ferry Building, and the Rincon Center. It begins at Montgomery, which was once known as the "Wall Street of the West," and ends at the Embarcadero.

Get in[edit]

Map of Union Square-Financial District

By car[edit]

On-street parking is all but non-existent. Parking garages, while plentiful, can be expensive. Major parking garages for the Union Square area can be found at the NE corner of Sutter and Stockton, between Ellis and O'Farrell between Stockton and Powell, on Sutter between Kearny and Grant, and under Union Square.

By ferry[edit]

Several ferry companies operate service from around the bay to the Ferry Building on the waterfront.

  • Golden Gate Ferry, +1 415 923-2000, [1]. Service to and from Larkspur and Sausalito. $7.85 one-way adults, $3.90 one-way seniors/youth.  edit
  • Blue & Gold Fleet, +1 415 705-5555, [2]. Offering services between the Ferry Building and Angel Island, Oakland/Alameda, Tiburon and Vallejo. One-way fares range from $15 adults, $8.50 children to $6.25 adults, $5.25 children, depending on destination.  edit
  • BayLink Ferry, +1 707 648-4349, [3]. Service to and from Vallejo. $13 one-way adults, $6.50 one-way seniors/children.  edit
  • Alameda Oakland Ferry, +1 415 705-5555, [4]. Service to and from Alameda and Oakland. $6.25 one-way adults, $3.75 one-way seniors, $3.50 one-way children.  edit
  • Harbor Bay Ferry, +1 510 769-5500, [5]. Service to and from Bay Farm Island in Alameda. $6.50 one-way adults, $3.75 one-way seniors, $3.25 one-way children.  edit

By public transit[edit]

Cable car at Powell and Market

Extensive public transit is offered through the neighborhood, provided either by the regional BART [6] system or the city-wide MUNI [7] system, which encompasses the MUNI Metro, buses, cable cars, and the F-Line streetcar.

BART and all of the MUNI Metro lines (J, K, L, M, N and T) run under Market Street with three stations serving this part of downtown: the Embarcadero, Montgomery Street and Powell Street. The Powell Street stop is just a few blocks down Powell from Union Square. The Powell-Hyde and Powell-Mason cable car lines run from Powell and Market past Union Square to Fisherman's Wharf. From the Embarcadero station you can catch the California cable car line.

The F Streetcar Line runs along Market Street and up the Embarcadero to Fisherman's Wharf. There are several streetcar stops along Market Street. Numerous MUNI bus lines run through the area as well, such as the 38-Geary which runs past Union Square and the 1-California which runs through the Financial District past the Embarcadero Center. The #10, #30 and #45 lines run north-south through the district, connecting to Chinatown, North Beach, and Fisherman's Wharf to the north.

Please note that along Stocton Street between Geary and Market is temporally closed due to construction of the new T-Line that will head into Chinatown in the future.

On foot[edit]

From Fisherman's Wharf, take a 25 minute walk down the Emabarcadero, which will take you all the way down to the Ferry Building, at the edge of the Financial District.

From west of the area, it is also easily accessible by getting first to Market Street and then walking eastbound.


See[edit][add listing]

Ferry Building
Transamerica Pyramid
  • Embarcadero Center. Consists of many buildings between Sacramento and Clay Streets running from the Embarcadero to Battery Street housing a shopping center, offices, and the Hyatt Regency hotel, which has a wonderful 17 story atrium used in the film Towering Inferno.  edit
  • Ferry Building, One Ferry Building (at the end of Market Street on the bay), +1 415 983-8000, [8]. A historic ferry terminal which survived the 1906 earthquake and fire, and had 100,000 people pass through it every day before the big bridges were built. Ferries across the bay still depart from here, and there are also several restaurants and shops in the building. A large farmers market takes place year-round on Tuesdays and Saturdays and on Thursday evenings in the summer. Together with its surroundings, the Ferry Building is very beautiful by night.  edit
  • Fraenkel Gallery, 49 Geary St., +1 415 981-2661, [9]. Opened in 1979, the gallery has shown over 300 exhibits. The gallery specializes in original Edward Hopper and Diane Arbus photography.  edit
  • Pacific Heritage Museum, 608 Commercial Street (at Montgomery), +1 415 399-1124, [10]. T-Sa 10AM-4PM. Exhibits on the art and culture of the peoples of the Pacific Rim. Free.  edit
  • San Francisco Railway Museum, 77 Steuart Street (at Steuart and Don Chee Way, near the foot of Market), +1 415 974-1948, [11]. Tu-Su 10AM-6PM. Exhibits on the history of transportation in San Francisco, with an emphasis on rail systems.  edit
  • Transamerica Pyramid, Montgomery and Washington, [12]. San Francisco's tallest and most famous skyscraper, controversial when it opened, but now accepted. There used to be an unusual observation deck on the ground floor with 4 big TV monitors, showing live views of the city transmitted from cameras at the top of the building. They now have a happy worker at the bottom that tells you anything and everything you want to know about San Francisco and has some great stories. Then he tells you that they no longer have the 4 big TVs and are building a restaurant where you can view the city from inside.  edit
  • Union Square. The most important site is the square itself, which was revamped in 2002 to provide more space for outdoor events and less space for napping homeless people (an earlier version of the square appeared in the film The Conversation). The square now includes a theater ticket outlet, gift shop, and Emporio Rulli Cafe [13], along with an underground parking garage. For blogging people-watchers, there is free wi-fi provided by the city. Look under the leaves of the greenery in the planters, and you'll find a few power outlets for your laptop.  edit
  • Architecture. Union Square is the bustling name-brand shopping area for the city, where high-end chains put their West Coast flagship stores, or at least a major retail outlet. The neighborhood's visual extravaganzas tend to be stores, including the beautifully restored glass dome and rotunda salvaged from the former City of Paris department store (at the Neiman Marcus store that replaced it 1981, at Geary and Stockton), the interior lavishness of the flagship Williams Sonoma, and Niketown on Post. This area of downtown is also a hotbed of Art Deco and Beaux Arts architecture. For a splendid view of all this architecture, take a ride up the exterior glass elevators of the Westin St. Francis Hotel, on the west side of Union Square.  edit
  • Water Fountains. A quick overview of San Francisco geography is provided by the San Francisco Fountain on the steps of the Grand Hyatt on Stockton just north of Post. This massive wall of sculpture was created by Ruth Asawa, using schoolchildren's bread dough models as a basis for the casting. Another famous water feature is Lotta's Fountain, at the intersection of Geary, Kearney, and Market. Donated by singer Lotta Crabtree in 1875, it is the city's oldest piece of public art. You can also see the controversial Vaillancourt Fountain at Justin Herman Plaza at the foot of Market Street, believed by many to be a parody of the former (and much loathed) Embarcadero Freeway.  edit
  • Wells Fargo History Museum, 420 Montgomery Street, +1 415 396-2619, [14]. M-F 9AM-5PM. This interesting museum has many artifacts associated with the bank company, such as old stagecoaches. Free.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Gourmet Walks, (Tours meet at the plaza at the foot of Market Street), ''+1 415 312-1119, [15]. Offering two gourmet tours of the neighborhood - the Gourmet Chocolate Tour and the Gourmet Chocolate and Wine Tour. Both tours will take you to some of the local businesses where you can sample their delicious fare. $48 for the Gourmet Chocolate Tour and $72 for the Gourmet Chocolate and Wine Tour.  edit
  • Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, +1 415 291-3276, [16]. Tu & Th 10AM-2PM, Sa 8AM-2PM. A large, very popular year-round organic farmers market.  edit

Performing arts[edit]

Most of the theaters and performance spaces are located just to the west in the Civic Center-Tenderloin area, but there's still a few theaters surrounding Union Square:

  • TIX Bay Area, on the corner of Union Square at Powell & Geary, [17]. Tu-Th 11AM-6PM, F-Sa 11AM-7PM, Su 11AM-3PM. A ticket booth run by Theater Bay Area [18], this booth offers many half-price tickets for local performances if you purchase on the day of the show, and you can sometimes buy full-price tickets in advance here as well.  edit
  • Geary Theater, 405 Geary Street, +1 415 749-2228, [19]. Home to the American Conservatory Theater, a Tony Award–winning institution and the largest theater company in the city, who put on many Broadway shows and original performances at this historic theater.  edit
  • Shelton Theater, 533 Sutter Street. Home to Shelton Studios [20], SF Playhouse [21], and Stage Werx [22].  edit
  • Union Square Theaters, +1 415 771-6900, [23]. - the Marines Memorial Theater at 609 Sutter Street, play host to local, regional, and nationally renowned shows.  edit

Buy[edit][add listing]

Neiman Marcus, one of the many flagship stores in the area

The purpose of Union Square is shopping. Most upscale national chains can be found in the neighborhood, including Macy's western flagship store on the south side of the square, Neiman Marcus on the southeast corner, Saks on the north side, and Nordstrom two blocks south, on Market opposite the cable car turnaround. Other chains include Victoria's Secret, Borders, Harry & David, Sur La Table, a four-level Ross, a four-level Loehmann's, one of the rare H&M stores in the U.S., Forever 21 in a restored bank, Armani, Crate and Barrel, and numerous upscale stores at San Francisco Shopping Center. More interesting are the stores that can't be found in every suburban mall. There are numerous art galleries and a fascinating selection of local or unusual businesses. The Financial District also has some decent shopping centers to choose from.

  • Gump's, 135 Post Street (between Kearny and Grant), +1 415 766-7628, [24]. M-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su Noon-5PM. San Francisco's source of luxury housewares, from couches to crystal. Though famous names like Waterford appear on the shelves, the selection emphasizes home furnishings as art, often with an elegant Asian feel. The dominant style is not quite modernist but hardly middle-American traditional. It's difficult to do justice to a native's feelings toward Gump's without sounding like a bad marketing piece. This is the "look" that says one's parents and grandparents went to the right private schools. If your home looks like Gump's, you've not only "arrived" -- you've been here longer than just about anyone else. As well as housewares, Gump's sells jewelry, holiday decor, and the odd bit of upscale soap.  edit
  • Britex, 146 Geary Street (between Grant and Stockton), +1 415 392-2910, [25]. M-Sa 10AM-6PM. Arguably the largest fabric store on the west coast, filling four floors of a narrow building. Don't look for calicos for your quilting project: this is the land of luxury fabrics for faking couture at home. If you've ever wanted to make a cheap sweater look expensive by adding deluxe buttons, head straight for the third floor, where 30,000 styles await your approval (don't even think of touching a button - the clerks do that). Britex is also notable for selling remnants that are big enough for a real project.  edit
  • Williams Sonoma, 340 Post Street (between Stockton and Powell), +1 415 362-9450, [26]. While it is technically a national chain, the Union Square store is the flagship store, and it's a cathedral to the gracious kitchen. Acres of housewares gleam beneath twin spiral stairs that lead to the land of crystal and tablecloths. This isn't your mother's mall-store Williams Sonoma. There are usually pretty good free samples being passed out, too.  edit
  • Thomas Pink, 255 Post Street (between Grant and Stockton), +1 415 421-2022, [27]. M-F 10AM-7PM, Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 11AM-6PM. This place might seem obsessed with its eponymous color, if you judge by the store displays, but the upscale clothier also knows about white, beige, blue, and yellow.  edit
  • Wilkes Bashford, 375 Sutter Street (between Grant and Stockton), +1 415 986-4380, [28]. M-W and F-Sa 10AM-6PM, Th 10AM-8PM. This is just the place to pop in for a $1,000 jacket, a $500 cashmere sweater, or those delicious Jimmy Choo shoes. Every now and again, there is a major sale on the top floor. You don't need to watch for the sales banners -- just notice when the crowds mobbing into the store look suspiciously like the same people who bussed your table the night before.  edit
  • Embarcadero Center, between Sacramento and Clay Streets running from the Embarcadero to Battery Street, +1 415 772-0700, [29]. Daily 10AM-5PM. Spanning five city blocks, this center is one of the largest mixed-use centers in the Western United States. It has over 100 stores and a 5-screen movie complex.  edit
  • Rincon Center, 101 Spear Street (between Mission and Howard near the Embarcadero), +1 415 777-4100. This is mostly for dining but there are also many shops here as well.  edit

Eat[edit][add listing]

Though Union Square appears to be awash in cafes, it's one of the more difficult neighborhoods for good eating. Dining selections are crowded and geared toward the tourist market, though there are a few iconic restaurants that have must-see status just from their fame and age. It's also a center of high-end hotel dining. However, a short side trip west on O'Farrell or Geary to the Tenderloin for bargain Indian or Vietnamese food, a quick walk up Grant to Chinatown or (further) to North Beach may be worthwhile alternatives to fast food, long waits, or $200 a plate meals. In the Financial District there are various restaurants catering to those who work in the surrounding buildings although many close at the end of the business day and offer few dinner choices.

  • Azul Restaurant Bar and Lounge, 1 Tillman Place (on Grant between Post & Sutter St.), +1 415 362-9750, [30]. Wonderful tapas menu.  edit
  • Aqua, 252 California Street (between Front and Battery), +1 415 956-9662, [31]. M-Sa 5:30-10:30PM, Su 5:30-9:30PM. Simply prepared fresh seafood. Also landed a spot on reputed restaurant-critic Michael Bauer’s list of “One Hundred Best Restaurants”, of the San Francisco Chronicle.  edit
  • Bangkok Noodles, 110 Powell St. (near Ellis), +1 415 397-2199. Daily 11AM-1AM. Cash only "hole in the wall" restaurant serving delicious and nicely presented Thai dishes ranging from noodles, stir fried, to BBQ. Attracts a large local following from young Asian Americans. Lunch hour gets crowded in this small popular eatery; alternative is to take out and eat in Union Square. It's great for a good and cheap early or late-night dinner. Most dishes under $10.  edit
  • Boxed Foods Co, 245 Kearny St (between Hardie Pl & Sutter St), +1 415 981-9376, [32]. M-F 8AM-3PM. Healthy and delicious option for the working crowd. The line goes out the door around lunchtime so phone in or order early in order to beat the lunch time rush. The ingredients are fresh and wholesome. The Boxed Chicken Salad comes highly recommended.  edit
  • John's Grill, 63 Ellis Street (between Powell and Stockton), +1 415 986-3274, [33]. M-Sa 11AM-10PM, Su 12PM-10PM. Seafood and steak joint.  edit
  • Krivaar Cafe, 475 Pine Street (between Montgomery and Kearny), +1 415 781-0894. M-F 6:30AM-5PM. A great local deli that serves an assortment of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Armenian and American dishes at good prices. Their hummus is considered the best in San Francisco.  edit
  • Kuleto's Restaurant, 221 Powell Street (at O'Farrell), +1 415 397-7720, [34]. Breakfast M-F 7AM-10:30AM, Sa-Su 8AM-10:30AM, Lunch/Dinner Su-Th 11:30AM-10:30PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-11PM. $10-$25.  edit
  • Little Delhi, 83 Eddy Street (at Mason), +1 415 398-3173, [35]. Daily 11AM-11PM. This is a very good Indian restaurant at very reasonable prices. Decor and ambiance is average, but high on taste and cleanliness.  edit
  • Macy's Cellar food court, 170 O'Farrell Street (between Stockton and Powell, across the street from Union Square), (415) 397-3333. Around the corner from the swanky appliances on Macy's basement level is basically a food court, but better than the usual with Wolfgang Puck, Boudin, a sushi bar, Ben & Jerry's, Tom's Cookies and more. Beware though, it's usually a madhouse.  edit
  • One Market Restaurant, 1 Market Street (between Steuart and Spear, near the Embarcadero), +1 415 777-5577, [36]. Lunch: M-F 11:30AM-2PM, Dinner: M-Sa 5:30PM-9PM. Organic food dishes.  edit
  • Puccini & Pinetti, 129 Ellis Street (between Powell and Cyril Magnin), +1 415 392-5500, [37]. M-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-11PM, Su 11:30AM-10PM. Popular Italian restaurant.  edit
  • Schroeder's, 240 Front St. (http://www.schroederssf.com/), (415) 421-4778, [38]. A traditional German beer hall with schnitzel, sausages and other delights (and, of course, a good selection of German beers).  edit
  • Tadich Grill, 240 California Street (between Battery and Front Streets), +1 415 391-1849. M-F 11AM-9:30PM, Sa 11:30AM-9:30PM. The longest operating restaurant in California, dating back to the Gold Rush. You'll find delicious seafood and a classic atmosphere where groups can sit in their own wood-paneled quarters. Price range is high with most entrees over $20. $20-30..  edit
  • Wexler's, 568 Sacramento St., (415) 983-0102, [39]. Gourmet BBQ: try the New Orleans-style Flounder Po' Boy, BBQ Brisket Banh Mi, and the Bowl O' Red beanless chili made from smoked short ribs, shallots, and creme fraiche.  edit


Drink[edit][add listing]

  • 83 Proof, 83 1st St (between Elim St & Mission St), +1 415 296-8383, [40]. This narrow lounge sits precariously between a Walgreens and a Wachovia. Friendly bartenders will concoct any type of drink you desire, which makes it great for a quick, after-work drink or late-night cocktails. 83 Proof is also well-suited to group outings with its cozy atmosphere and chill vibe. Along with the DJ, weekend nights can get pretty loud sometimes.  edit
  • Cantina, 580 Sutter St (between Mason St & Powell St), +1 415 398-0195, [41]. M-Sa 5PM-2AM. Part of the new wave of "mixologists" that have been sweeping over San Francisco. Classic cocktails are well-made, although more exotic choices can leave something to be desired, and it doesn't present the most affordable of options. Unfortunately, most of the bartenders think far too highly of themselves and expect tips accordingly. Weekend nights are quite busy as well as the after work crowd on weekdays.  edit
  • E&O Trading Company, 314 Sutter St (at Grant), +1 415 693-0303, [42]. M-Th 11:30AM-10PM, F-Sa 11:30AM-11PM, Su 5PM-9:30PM. Decked out in an upscale but not trying decor, EO Trading has the kind of cocktail list that impresses but doesn't overwhelm. The menu of small plates and appetizers of Asian fusion cuisine, satay platters and a selection of naan bread is the perfect partner for their lychee martinis and Anchor Steam beers. Happy hour is from 3 to 6PM.  edit
  • Harrington's Bar & Grill, 245 Front St. (at Sacramento St.), (415) 392-7595, [43]. An Irish pub open since 1935.  edit
  • Harry Denton's Starlight Room, 450 Powell Street (In the Sir Francis Drake Hotel), +1 (415) 395-8595, [44]. Tue-Sat 6 pm - 2 am Sun 11 am - 3:30 pm. Not for a visitor that's light in the wallet, but the view and setting from this lounge are undeniably hard to beat. Opulent is probably the best description. Dress well if going as the crowd that attends is there to be seen.  edit
  • Irish Bank, 10 Mark Lane (alley off Bush St. or Grant Ave.), 415.788.7152, [45]. An old style Irish pub, walls adorned with antiques, with a great selection of whiskey, imports, and microbrewed beer, and good pub food. The Bank has plenty of outdoor sitting, ideal for a warm day.  edit
  • Lefty O'Doul's, 333 Geary Street, (415) 982-8900, [46]. Less than a block from Union Square, just up Geary, this is considered to be a "dive bar" in the area, although for true dives, one needs to continue further up Geary and in to the Tenderloin. Well-known for their Bloody Mary and history, it's a decent place to stop in for a drink, although the crowd will most definitely not be locals.  edit
  • Press Club, 20 Yerba Buena Ln (between Market St & Mission St), +1 415 744-5000, [47]. This bar focuses on wine, with some of the finest from the nearby Wine Country. Sneak a peek at the wine cellar, and don’t be surprised if you’re super critical of the next glass of wine you drain outside the Press Club. Be prepared, however, to put a dent in your credit card or wallet by the end of the night.  edit
  • Royal Exchange, 301 Sacramento St. (at Front St.), 415.956.1710, [48]. A good selection of microbrews and imports on tap in a typical sports bar.  edit
  • Tunnel Top, 601 Bush St (between Burritt St & Stockton St), +1 415 722-6620. This two-floor, cash-only bar is a neighborhood staple, where you’ll find an eclectic mix of locals downing the very excellent mojitos, shots of Fernet-Branca (the unofficial drink of San Francisco), or egging on the bartenders to make up a new drink.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
Budget under $100
Mid-range $100 - 175
Splurge $176 and over

Without a doubt, this is the primary hotel district for San Francisco. While most all of the main hotels are technically in the neighboring Tenderloin district (although they'll vehemently deny it) their proximity to Union Square and public transportation is hard to beat. The range varies greatly from large, international chains to smaller boutiques. With any of these hotels, you are always advised to book far in advance for better prices and selection due to their overall desirability for anyone visiting the city.

Budget[edit]

  • Taylor Hotel San Francisco (Budget Hotel San Francisco), 615 Taylor Street (at Post Street), +1 415 775-0780, [49]. checkin: 3 P.M.; checkout: 10 A.M.. Cheap budget hotel with affordable rates near Union Square. Travelers and student discount. Daily, weekly, extended stay rates. Private rooms from $65.  edit
  • Hostelling International-Downtown, 312 Mason Street (at O'Farrell), +1 415 788-5604, [50]. checkin: 2PM; checkout: 11AM. Clean, cheap, safe and fun. Dorms $27-$30, privates $69-$109.  edit
  • Pacific Tradewinds Backpackers, 680 Sacramento Street (between Kearny and Spring), +1 415 433-7970 (), [51]. checkin: 8AM-11:30PM; checkout: 10:30AM. The smallest hostel in San Francisco. On the edge of Chinatown and the Financial District. Friendly, clean, modern and safe. Free internet. $26-29.50/night.  edit
  • San Francisco International Hostel, 140 Mason Street, +1 415 982-5010 (toll free: +1 888 919-0140), [52]. checkin: 11AM dorms, 2PM privates; checkout: 10AM. Can't beat the convenience right in the main hotel district, a block from Powell Station and Union Square. Dorms $29+, privates $45+.  edit
  • USA Hostels San Francisco, 711 Post St (On Post and Jones, a short walk up Post Street from Powell Street), 415-440-5600, [53]. checkin: 11am; checkout: 10am. Rated #7 Large Hostel Worldwide 2013, Most Popular Hostel in San Francisco 2013 and part of the company named the Best Hostel Chain Worldwide 2013 by Hostelworld.com. Also Awarded Top 3 Staff for North America by Hostelbookers.com. Offers Ensuite and shared bath rooms as well as many amenities and activities. Private rooms and dorms. Rates vary with room type, season, and availability.  edit

Mid-range[edit]

  • The Donatello, 501 Post Street (at Mason), +1 415 441-7100, [54]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12PM. 94 deluxe rooms, the most spacious accommodations in San Francisco. Elegantly decorated with original Italian art, Travertine marble, Venetian glass and European antiques.  edit
  • Hotel Bijou, 111 Mason Street (at Eddy), +1 415 771-1200 (fax: +1 415 346-3196), [55]. Hotel Bijou is inspired by San Francisco's rich cinematic history, adorned with movie palace stylings and Hollywood portraits, and features a mini movie theater in the lobby.  edit
  • Handlery Union Square Hotel, 351 Geary Street (between Powell and Mason), +1 415 781-7800 (fax: +1 415 781-0269), [56]. A family hotel with a European flair, and the feel of upscale boutique accommodations providing warm, personal attention. The cable car is located at the corner and attractions are within walking distance.  edit
  • Hotel Abri, 127 Ellis Street, +1 415 392-8800 (fax: +1 415 398-2650), [57]. Recently renovated hotel that lacks a pool or free breakfast. Rooms are small but has everything you need for a reasonable price. The cable car, MUNI and BART stations are within walking distance.  edit
  • Hotel des Arts, 447 Bush St (between Grant Ave and Kearny St), +1 415 956-4322 (, fax: +1 415 956-0399), [58]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12PM. The hotel displays the work of contemporary local artists. $69-$149.  edit
  • Larkspur Hotel Union Square, 524 Sutter Street, +1 415 421-2865, [59]. Pet friendly, 100% non-smoking and an onsite bar, Bar 1915.  edit

Splurge[edit]

The Westin St. Francis Hotel
  • Hilton San Francisco Union Square, 333 O'Farrell Street (between Taylor and Mason just west of Union Square), +1 415 771-1400 (fax: +1 415 771-6807), [60]. Iconic, AAA 4 Diamond hotel in the heart of downtown San Francisco. Steps from Union Square, Cable Cars, Chinatown, BART station, and Moscone Center.  edit
  • Chancellor Hotel, 433 Powell Street (between Sutter and Post just north of Union Square), +1 415 362-2004 or +1 800 428-4748 (, fax: +1 415 362-1403), [61]. A classic hotel overlooking Powell Street. Offers a menu of pillow options for your sleeping comfort. $90-$200.  edit


  • Hotel Nikko, 222 Mason Street (between O'Farrell and Ellis), +1 415 394-1111 (, fax: +1 415 394-1106), [63]. Swanky large hotel with a boutique feel and very large bathrooms. Rooms are equipped with high-speed Internet, stereos and large flat panel televisions, and you can ask for the few rooms with Japanese style amenities. There is also a indoor fifteen-meter heated pool, whirlpool and a 24h gym. Hotel dining includes restaurant ANZU [64], which serves fresh sushi and excellent steaks. Also located inside the hotel's lobby is the Rrazz Room Theater, with nightly cabaret and R&B [65] and the Imperial Club rooms on the top floors provide some great views of the city. $101-$200/night.  edit
  • Hotel Rex, 562 Sutter Street (between Powell and Mason), +1 415 433-4434 (fax: +1 415 433-3695), [66]. The Hotel Rex was inspired by the San Francisco art and literary salons of the 1920s and 30s. The clubby lobby surrounds guests with distinctive period furnishings, walls of antiquarian books, and a collection of exotic objects, original portraits and murals.  edit
  • Hotel Vitale, 8 Mission Street (at the Embarcadero), +1 415 278-3700 (, fax: +1 415 278-3750), [67]. Great boutique hotel, right on the waterfront, across from the historic Ferry Building. Rooms with city or bay views, rooftop day-spa, and a restaurant and bar with outside terrace seating. $250-$500.  edit
  • Hyatt Regency San Francisco, 5 Embarcadero Center (at the Embarcadero Center, next to the California and Market cable car turnaround), +1 415 788-1234 (fax: +1 415 398-2567), [68]. A very prominent hotel near the waterfront, with many rooms having lovely views of the Bay. Typically of Hyatts, there are plenty of amenities and very nice rooms.  edit
  • JW Marriott San Francisco Union Square, 515 Mason Street (at Mason and Post, one block west of Union Square), 1- 415-771-8600 (fax: +1 415 398-0267), [69]. The luxury JW Marriott San Francisco hotel near Union Square boasts sophisticated dining and deluxe guest rooms with 24-hour butler service available. Our San Francisco luxury hotel is close to Moscone Center and near Nob Hill and Market Street.  edit
  • Le Méridien (formerly the Park Hyatt), 333 Battery Street (between Commercial and Sacramento, next to the Embarcadero Center), +1 415 296-2900 (, fax: +1 415 296-2901), [70]. A luxury hotel that mostly caters to business travelers. Large rooms and very nice furnishings and art work. If you stay at this hotel, make a point not to eat breakfast here, as it is expensive and there are other good options nearby.  edit
  • Mandarin Oriental, 222 Sansome Street (at Pine), +1 415 276-9600 (, fax: +1 415 433-0289), [71]. A 150 room hotel located on the top eleven floors of the First Interstate Center, the third tallest building in the city of San Francisco. The view from the rooms are exceptional, with floor to ceiling windows and great views.  edit
  • Marines' Memorial Club & Hotel, 609 Sutter Street, +1 415 673-6672 (fax: +1 415 441-3649), [72]. A historic hotel with some elegantly appointed rooms and suites. Fine dining at the Leatherneck Steakhouse & Lounge and performances at the historical Marines' Memorial Theatre on the premises.  edit
  • San Francisco Marriott Union Square, 480 Sutter Street, 1-415-398-8900 (fax: +1 415 989-8823), [73]. Discover the San Francisco, California Marriott Union Square Hotel and enjoy luxurious accommodations just steps from the Moscone Center, financial district, Chinatown and AT&T Park.  edit
  • Omni San Francisco Hotel, 500 California Street (at Montgomery), +1 415 677-9494 (fax: +1 415 273-3038), [74]. A luxury hotel with marble floors and wood paneling in the lobby and very nice rooms.  edit
  • The Orchard Hotel, 665 Bush Street (Bush and Powell Street), +1 415 362-8878 (fax: +1 415 362-8088), [75]. A stylish ‘green’ boutique hotel with beautiful rooms and suites, as well as meeting space, a fitness center, and on-site dining - Daffodil Restaurant.  edit
  • The Palace Hotel, 2 New Montgomery Street (at Market), +1 415 512-1111 (fax: +1 415 543-0671), [76]. Established in 1875, The Palace has 552 guest rooms. In 1945, the official banquet honoring the opening session of the United Nations was held in The Garden Court at The Palace.  edit
  • Wyndham Parc 55 Hotel, 55 Cyril Magnin Street (between Ellis and Eddy), +1 800 595-0507, [77]. A highrise hotel with large rooms, lots of amenities, and great views of Downtown.  edit
  • Sir Francis Drake Hotel, 450 Powell Street, +1 415 392-7755 (fax: +1 415 391-8719), [78]. A historic (built in 1928) and rather lavish hotel located right across the street from Union Square.  edit
  • Hotel Triton, 342 Grant Ave (at Bush St), +1 415 394-0500 (fax: +1 415 394-0555), [79]. checkin: 3PM; checkout: 12PM. Located just outside Chinatown, directly across from the south gate. Trendy, modern, and a little pricey. But the rooms are nicely appointed, and they offer a free tasting of local wines every afternoon. $229-$300.  edit
  • Villa Florence, 225 Powell Street, +1 415 397-7700, [80]. Has the feel of an Italian-inspired hotel. Amenities include an onsite bar, Kuleto’s Italian Restaurant, a fitness center and a sundry area.  edit
  • Westin-St Francis Hotel, 335 Powell Street (west side of Union Square, between Post and Geary), +1 415 397-7000, [81]. Now a member of the Westin chain, this is an iconic San Francisco hotel. The lavish lobby and cafe area are used as a meeting place by quite a lot of people who aren't guests there, despite the pricey lattes and ritzy atmosphere. In a peculiar bit of design, the lobby has a side entrance to the Harry & David store, should you need to pop over for a few chocolate-covered cranberries. A ride on the exterior glass elevators offers a splendid view of the skyline, and can be done even if you're not staying. Although the St. Francis has a reputation for being pricy, it runs off-season specials.  edit
  • San Francisco Marriott Marquis, 780 Mission Street, 1-415-896-1600, [82]. The Marriott Marquis hotel recently completed a $90 million renovation in June 2013, offering modern luxury and the convenience of an extraordinary downtown San Francisco hotel.  edit

Contact[edit]

  • Golden Gate Perk Internet Cafe, 401 Bush Street (at Kearny), +1 415 362-3929. M-F 8:30AM-8PM, Sa 11:30AM-5PM. Free wi-fi and computer terminals for rent.  edit
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