Travel Planning
San Francisco
Travel Planning
San Francisco

San Francisco at a Glance

The City by the Bay doesn’t just stand out among California’s cities – it’s one of the most inimitable places in the United States. It boasts icons like the monumental Golden Gate Bridge, the hairpin switchbacks of Lombard Street and, yes, the trolleys, but San Francisco’s real character lies in its diverse neighborhoods.

From Haight-Ashbury to Russian Hill, characterful houses stand shoulder to shoulder with boutique shops and an endless array of restaurants. Of course, downtown has its skyscrapers and high-powered financial district, too, so business booms not far from counter-culture hotspots. Whether you’re lucky enough to get shipped to San Francisco for a conference or you choose it as your next vacation spot, it’s a city that deserves extensive exploration.

What to Expect
High Season
May - September
Low Season
October - April
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      Getting There
      Major Airports

      Passport / Visa Requirements

      All travelers are required to hold a valid passport; the passport should be valid for six months beyond your departure from the U.S. The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of 37 participating countries to travel within the United States without a visa for 90 days; travelers must have valid Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) approval prior to travel, return travel tickets and a passport with a photo and an electronic chip. Visitors not eligible for VWP must apply for a non-immigrant visa.

      Getting Around
      Considering Driving?
      Distance from Unknown Location
      7,950 miles
      Estimated Drive Time
      145 hour(s)
      Need to Know

      Weather and Seismic Events Severe weather in San Francisco is mostly limited to thunderstorms. Because the city sits on the San Andreas fault, concerns about earthquakes always linger. Unfortunately, quakes strike without warning.

      Safety Concerns Crime rates can vary by neighborhood. Taking general safety precautions is wise, e.g. using extra caution at night, avoiding dimly lit streets and areas not frequented by travelers, wearing inconspicuous or very little jewelry and carrying small amounts of cash.

      Health Concerns Drinking water is safe throughout the United States. Health concerns are more likely to come into play during hiking, trekking or other outdoor exploration, during which insect-borne diseases (lyme disease, West Nile virus, etc.) and wildlife encounters can be an issue.