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Best Places To Stay In San Francisco: San Francisco Holiday Guide

     Welcome to the No.1 website for renting vacation homes in San Francisco. Whether you want to spend some time in the outdoors, unwind by the water or enjoy a wide range of superb attractions, San Francisco has it all. To help you plan your trip, we've put together a handy San Francisco travel guide to ensure you leave enough time to pack in all the best things to do and see in this famous city.


     From the top San Francisco attractions to the best restaurants and iconic landmarks, here's your complete San Francisco holiday guide.

     Situated in north California, San Francisco is edged by water on three sides. With the Pacific Ocean on one side and the Bay on the other, whether you want beautiful coastline or a hip marina – San Francisco delivers it all.


     From its infamous cable cars to the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz and its remarkably hilly streets, San Fran is such a memorable city.

All the best,

John Paul Donnelly

     P.S Picture This..Creating Magical Memories with Your Friends and Family Whilst Staying in a Luxury San Francisco Vacation Rental.

     P.P.S If you like this page Please Share on social Because it will help inspire us to keep writing great travel guides for you :-)

Why choose San Francisco?

      Stroll along the waterfront, taking snaps of the Bay's sea lions whilst dipping in and out of the many trendy boutiques and eateries. Or head to Union Square for the most serious shopping alongside trendy galleries and stylish restaurants.

      For the best views, travel to the top of Twin Peaks for a magnificent view across the Bay or take an evening cruise to watch the beautiful last rays of the sun as it sets over the Bay.

     Revel in the outdoors in Crissy Field Marsh or the Golden Gate National Recreation Area or ride out to sample some of northern California's magnificent shoreline.

      For culture, take in the awesome designs at the deYoung Fashion and Arts Museum, the four-storey living rainforest at the California Academy of Sciences, incredible artworks in the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and watch the world go by in Golden Gate Park.

     San Francisco is foodie heaven so from freshly caught seafood to sky-high ice cream, craft beer, baked goods and fresh produce straight from the Ferry Building Farmer's Market, you can expect quality artisan foods packed with flavour. You'll also find America's oldest Chinatown as well as Japantown and endless fine Italian foods.

      Don't forget to take a trip over to one of the numerous islands that sit in San Francisco's waters. If you fancy a drive, take a road trip out to nearby gems like Napa Valley or Yosemite National Park which are only a couple of hours away.

     From luxury waterfront San Francisco vacation rentals to luxurious holiday apartments by the marina, holiday homes in the hippest parts of town and vacation rentals with private pools, find the perfect luxury San Francisco vacation rental for your stay complete with all the top facilities and stunning views you desire.

Browse luxury San Francisco vacation rentals

Best things to do in San Francisco:

      There's two things you're guaranteed to want to do as soon as you arrive in San Francisco – get the perfect picture of the Golden Gate Bridge with your face planted firmly by its side and ride a cable up a very steep for no particular reason.

Golden Gate Bridge

     The Golden Gate Bridge is a magnificent sight, standing at over 227m high. Get a clear shot from Crissy Field, Fort Point, Baker Beach or whilst travelling over the bridge yourself. For the cable car ride you'll be surprised to know that there are only three routes left in operation.

     Hop in one and do all you can to refrain from hanging from the side of the cable car whilst recreating a scene from your favourite movie!

San Francisco Botanical Gardens

     There are lots of parks in San Francisco – chief above all others is Golden Gate Park. Spread over 1000 acres, you'll find all sorts of plants as well as many museums, attractions and garden features. Other notable San Francisco parks to visit include the Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco Botanical Gardens and the Japanese Tea Gardens.

     As you would expect from such a creative and dynamic city, there are lots of great museums to explore. At the top of your list should be the Exploratorium, the California Academy of Sciences, the Cable Car Museum, the Musee Mecanique and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

San Francisco Symphony

     Soak up more cultural delights at the San Francisco Symphony where the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra play along live to the Hollywood blockbuster you're watching on screen. You should also make a point to experience the striking sound sculptures at the Audium Theater of Sound or take in all the glorious flowers and fauna at the Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park

     Don't forget to see the Bay's resident sea lions at Pier 39 or take a boat out into the Bay to spot the humpback whales and blue whales that journey through the waters for much of the year.

Alcatraz Island

     Explore some of the islands that surround the city. The two most popular San Fran isles are infamous Alcatraz and Angel Island.

     Alcatraz Island was once home to Alcatraz Maximum Security Prison, the island residence of some of America's most dangerous prisoners. You can take a tour of the prison and learn all about its inhabitants or if you're really taken by the site you can tour it at night - if you dare!

     And that's just the tip of the iceberg for this colourful, creative and buzzing city.

Best restaurants in San Francisco

      Great food is just about everywhere in San Francisco. From oyster bars to craft breweries, artisan bakeries, fresh produce, top restaurants, Italian goodies, food trucks, Mexican delights and Chinese favourites, it's hard to stop eating!

Fog Harbor Fish House

     Top San Francisco restaurants include Fog Harbor Fish House where you can enjoy succulent fresh fish dishes as you take in the views across the Bay.

     Liholiho Yacht Club's Hawaii-inspired foods are legendary and the caramelised pineapple Baked Hawaii dessert is not to be missed! A fusion of classic French and precise Asian cuisine earnt Benu three Michelin stars and a reputation as one of the hippest restaurants in the city.

     Birdsong is another exciting eaterie serving up wood-fired Pacific Northwestern cuisine.

Del Popolo

      You can't help but eat lots of delicious Italian food whilst you are in San Francisco and Acquerello has long topped the lists as the city's favourite Italian restaurant. Another favourite not to be missed is Del Popolo where mouthwatering wood-fired pizzas are served up alongside exciting side dishes.

     Other notable San Francisco restaurants are: Nopa, Rich Table, Sotto Mare and Quince.

Best places to stay in San Francisco

     San Francisco is America's second most popular city after New York so there are lots of stunning luxury vacation rentals to choose from.

     Whether you want a house in the Mission District or a condo by the Bay, you'll find luxury vacation rentals in the best locations all over the city, guaranteeing easy access to all the top attractions and great views.

     Whether you're travelling with friends, a partner or your family, here's our top picks of the best places to stay in San Francisco complete with all the top facilities you expect.

Discover more luxury San Francisco vacation rentals

or call us to discuss the best luxury holiday rentals in San Francisco to suit you and your family

Holidays in San Francisco: Why go?

     Find out more about the top attractions in San Francisco:

Nearest airport to San Francisco:

     The nearest airport to central San Francisco is San Francisco International Airport.

When is the best time to visit San Francisco?

     San Francisco is one of America's premier cities so it is understandably teeming with people during the summer when schools are on holiday. During the summer months, temperatures stick around 20°C.

     However the warm weather lasts well into October so September to October are great times to visit - you'll have lovely weather and much less people. If you don't mind highs of around 17°C, you may even want to visit San Francisco in early to mid November or March.


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Meet Your Expert Travel Consultants

Our Story

In 2005, John Paul Donnelly, began his luxury villa journey. He spent three years building resorts and holiday apartments in Alanya, Turkey, along with his brother, Joe. The concept was to create the most luxurious villas on the Turkish coastline and provide clients, along with their family and friends, the opportunity to enjoy exclusive holidays together.

By 2008, after the successful development of 3 resorts, JP had well and truly fallen into the world of villa rentals. With a portfolio of 6 villas and a desire to explore new places, he decided it was time to take the villa rental business outside of Turkey. He wanted to give his clients access to beautiful holiday rentals in destinations across the globe.

The expanding villa rental company was rebranded in 2011 to 5 Star Villa Holidays, and today 5 Star Villa Holidays offers over 4,000 luxury villas around the world.

JP and his partner, Helena are currently travelling the globe, devoted to hand selecting the best villas and property management companies, and giving them their stamp of approval! 5 Star Villa Holidays' ambition goes beyond being an ordinary holiday rental company. It is a marketplace for luxurious and exclusive villas around the world.

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