San Francisco Tourism Information
You can get San Francisco tourism information from the San Francisco Visitor Information Center at Market and Powell streets, on the lower level of Hallidie Plaza, near the Powell Street BART station.
If you’re driving, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on the traffic reports, as things tend to get hectic around rush hour. When parking, look out for permit-only areas, bus zones, colored curbs and street-cleaning hours, and remember to curb your wheels on hills. The City’s Parking & Driving page has more info. In the city, it may be better to take Muni, BART or a cable car.
Helpful Phones and Area Codes for San Francisco Tourism
The area code for San Francisco and Marin County is 415, Peninsula cities use 650, the East Bay is 510, eastern Contra Costa County is 925, and San Jose is 408.
Drinking and Smoking
Liquor laws allow the sale of beer, wine, and liquor from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m. daily, although some places are only licensed to sell beer and wine (including sake). It’s illegal to smoke in bars in California. Also, if you take one of the interesting tours of The City, bear in mind that smoking is not permitted. You may find some exceptions since there are loopholes (and lawbreakers), but be prepared to smoke outside which, by the way, is not permitted everywhere as well. Please beware!
Some San Francisco Tourism Pointers
It’s always been so that if you referred to San Francisco (or the City, the preferred term for it) as “Frisco”, it would only signal you as one of those ignorant rubes. Over the past few years, however, we’ve seen a quiet and small revolution going on to liberate “Frisco” as a sort of term of endearment, more in the sense like gay folks have taken more or less complete ownership of the pejorative term “queer”, especially in the Bay Area.
However, if you would say “Frisco” when you’re referring to The City or San Francisco, is not mainstream yet (and probably will never be) so here’s some good advice: just don’t use the term “Frisco” and stick to “The City” or simply “San Francisco”. Read also this post about San Francisco’s other nickname, Weird SF, which explains a lot, I’d think.
San Francisco Tourism Top Seasons- Arts and Events
Well, San Francisco has a colorful reputation to uphold so you will find a very interesting festival and exhibition offering in the City. Shows are available practically year-round in the city and you can find all sorts of things like the Cable Car Bell-Ringing Challenge (June and July), Halloween Night Celebration in Castro Street, Shakespeare performances, Opera shows and concerts, or the legendary Blues in SF’s parks during the upcoming summer months.
San Francisco boasts also many great museums. There’ll be something for everybody in this fascinating City by the Bay. When you visit The City and spend some time in the great museums here, you’ll surely make your travel to San Francisco very memorable.
San Francisco Dining
For a city graced with rich cultural diversity and a wildly imaginative spirit, it comes as no surprise to find the cuisine available in San Francisco echoes its innovative cosmopolitan air. Experience superb examples of the finest global fare from authentic Asian menus in China Town to the ever-changing thoroughly modern Californian seafood specialties. Spanish/Mexican classics, with all you can eat tariffs and the traditional USA ‘surf and turf’ grills are in abundance in the city that rarely sleeps. See also this post with San Francisco Highlights.
Many café bars stay open for twenty-four hours. Sometimes choosing what to eat is not as difficult as deciding where to eat. Many restaurants boast spectacular views of the bay and beyond. With impeccable, seamless service the norm, every San Francisco eating experience should be as pleasing as the city itself.
If you have the chance, go check out the Berkeley Saturday Farmers’ Market. Every Saturday, you can enjoy this interesting market full of local produce where you can get everything you need for a good and nutritious meal. It’s great fun to get there and all of the food is local, organic, and super fresh. These organic farmers aren’t using synthetic fertilizers or pesticides so their food has fewer (or no) toxins.
When you visit San Francisco in the summer months, chances are the weather will be nice but San Francisco weather is unpredictable! In the winter months (and perhaps also in spring and fall), however, be prepared for some cold fog, rain, or more unpleasant circumstances, The City is surrounded by water, to the east by the Bay, to the west by the Pacific, so make sure you’ll get dressed accordingly!
San Francisco Tipping Advice
Service charges are not included in restaurant bills throughout San Francisco like all across America. A standard gratuity of between 15 and 20 percent tends to be the norm. For other service personnel such as doormen, valets and baggage handlers, a tip of at least two US dollars per service is recommended. As a guide, adding 15 percent onto taxi fares is acceptable.
What we haven’t listed here is checking out probably San Francisco’s greatest icon, the Golden Gate Bridge but our website is full of information about one of the most iconic bridges in the world. If you want to learn more about the bridge’s history, check out this post.