San Francisco Vacation Rentals: Ultimate Guide for Your City Escape

Discover San Francisco

Traveling to San Francisco promises an immersive journey through a city that seamlessly blends history, innovation, and natural beauty. As you traverse its iconic streets, you’ll encounter landmarks such as the majestic Golden Gate Bridge, an architectural marvel that spans the entrance to San Francisco Bay. The city’s vibrant neighborhoods offer a kaleidoscope of experiences, from the bohemian vibes of Haight-Ashbury to the bustling energy of Chinatown and the eclectic charm of the Mission District. Whether you’re captivated by its historic cable cars, enchanted by its fog-shrouded vistas, or inspired by its spirit of innovation, San Francisco offers a captivating and unforgettable experience for travelers of all interests.


Best time to visit
Best places to visit

Three Fun Facts About San Francisco


The Crooked Charm

Ever heard of Lombard Street? This peculiar road is famed for being the “crookedest street in the world.” Imagine cruising down its eight hairpin turns, surrounded by beautiful flowers and Victorian mansions—including the postcard-perfect Painted Ladies.


Golden Gate Park

Golden Gate Park is even larger than New York’s Central Park. It sprawls over 1,017 acres! You could spend hours roaming around, stumbling upon hidden gardens or even a herd of bison—yes, real bison! Also, don’t miss the stunning Conservatory of Flowers with its exotic blooms.


A City on the Move

San Francisco wouldn’t be the same without the charming clang of its cable cars. These moving national landmarks date back to 1873—so when you hop on for a ride, you’re cruising in a piece of history. Remember, San Francisco is one of the few places in the world where you can ride these historic cable cars.


Must See Attractions

See all

Golden Gate Bridge

Wineries & Vineyards

Visit this iconic landmark and walk or bike across the bridge for stunning views of the San Francisco Bay and the city skyline.

Alcatraz Island

Speciality Museum

Take a ferry to Alcatraz and explore the infamous former prison, which once housed notorious inmates like Al Capone.

Fisherman’s Wharf

Shopping & Dining

Wander along this bustling waterfront area, where you can sample fresh seafood, visit attractions like Pier 39 and the Aquarium of the Bay, and watch sea lions basking in the sun.

Lakes Near San Francisco

Looking for a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of the city? You’re in luck! The San Francisco Bay Area is more than just an urban sprawl; it’s a stone’s throw away from some truly tranquil lakes. Let’s make a splash into your options, shall we? With these natural beauties just a short drive away, you’re bound to find the perfect spot for your laid-back or activity-filled day out. Don’t forget your sunscreen and a camera to capture the scenic views. Ready to set your out-of-office reply and trade those city sounds for some nature vibes? Happy splashing, folks!

Lake Merced

1 Harding Rd, San Francisco, California 94132

Just a hop, skip, and a jump from downtown San Francisco, Lake Merced is a freshwater lake where you can enjoy fishing, jogging, or even a calming picnic by the water.

Distance from San Francisco: 11 miles
Fishing, jogging, picnics

San Pablo Reservoir

7301 San Pablo Dam Rd, El Sobrante, California 94803

A little drive east will bring you to this reservoir. With its fishing spots and picnic areas, your day by the water is sorted!

Distance from San Francisco: 24 miles
Fishing, picnics, boating

Tomales Bay

Marshall Beach Rd, Inverness, California 94937

Fancy some water sports? Head out to Tomales Bay for kayaking and catch a glimpse of the local marine life. Plus, its close proximity to Point Reyes makes it a perfect combo of beach and bay.

Distance from San Francisco: 54 miles
Kayaking, marine life viewing

Secret Fishing Destinations Near San Francisco

Hey there, angler! Are you ready to cast your line near the fabulous San Francisco Bay Area? Whether you’re a seasoned fisher or just getting your feet wet, the City by the Bay has some beautiful spots teeming with marine life just for you. Don’t forget, the Bay Area boasts more than just fish; it’s a marine ecosystem rich in wildlife, so keep your eyes peeled for seals and dolphins! Ready to make a splash? San Francisco awaits with its rod-at-the-ready and fish aplenty. Grab your gear, pick your spot, and let the Bay’s bounty make your day! Happy fishing!

Fort Baker Pier

Fort Baker Fishing Pier, San Francisco Bay Area, California 94608

You don’t have to go far to find a good spot. Try the piers around San Francisco; they’re publicly accessible and no fishing license is required—how awesome is that? Pack a picnic and enjoy a day surrounded by the stunning views of the Pacific Heights and beyond.

Fishing: Pier
Striped bass, halibut, rockfish, perch, kingfish

Tomales Bay

12938 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. Inverness, California 94937

Situated north of San Francisco, Tomales Bay is a secluded estuary known for its abundant marine life and pristine waters. Anglers can kayak or fish from shore for halibut, bat rays, leopard sharks, and Dungeness crab. The calm waters and scenic surroundings make it a peaceful fishing destination.

Fishing: Shoreline, kayaking
Halibut, bat rays, leopard sharks, Dungeness crab

Lake Berryessa

5520 Knoxville Rd Napa, California 94558

Located east of Napa Valley, Lake Berryessa is a hidden gem for freshwater fishing. The lake is home to a variety of fish species, including bass, trout, catfish, and crappie. Anglers can fish from shore, boat, or kayak, and the lake’s secluded coves and inlets offer plenty of opportunities to explore.

Fishing: Shoreline, kayaking, boating
Bass, trout, catfish, crappie

Best Hiking Trails 1 Hour Away from San Francisco

Looking for a hiking adventure just a stone’s throw from the bustling streets of San Francisco? You’re in luck! The Bay Area is chock-full of trails ready to charm your hiking boots. With these trails, you don’t have to stray far to find natural beauty. So, what are you waiting for? Lace up those hiking boots and hit the trails!

Lands End Trail

Lincoln Park, San Francisco, California 94121

Why not start at the highest peak in San Francisco? The Mount Davidson Trail offers not just a chill hike but also a panoramic view of the city that’s to die for. Trust me, your Instagram will thank you.

Distance: 3.4 miles
Type: Loop
Difficulty: Moderate
Elevation Gain: 168 m
Time to Complete: 2 hours

Diablo Summit Long Loop

1700 Castle Rock Rd, Walnut Creek, California 94598

The Diablo Summit Long Loop is a challenging and scenic hiking trail located within Mount Diablo State Park in Northern California. Along the way, hikers encounter diverse ecosystems teeming with wildlife, including oak woodlands, chaparral, and grasslands. The Diablo Summit Long Loop provides an immersive outdoor experience for avid hikers seeking both physical challenge and natural beauty amidst the pristine wilderness of Mount Diablo State Park.

Distance: 19.8 miles
Elevation Gain: 
1,421 m
Time to Complete:
11 hours

Lands End Trail

680 Point Lobos Ave, San Francisco, California 94121

Wave ‘hello’ to the Golden Gate from Lands End Trail. With the beach as your final destination, it’s a popular hike with locals and travelers alike. Tie your laces tight—this trail has treasures at every turn!

Distance: 3.4 miles
Elevation Gain:
168 m 
Time to Complete:
1.5 hours

Best Golf Courses Around San Francisco

Hey there, golf enthusiast! Fancy a swing on some of San Francisco’s finest greens? You’re in luck because the City by the Bay offers a variety of top-tier golf courses that cater to every skill level, from beginners to pros. When you’re looking to tee off in San Francisco, remember that there’s a course for every type of golfer out there. Whether you’re here to soak in the history or just for those postcard-perfect views, the green is calling your name. Why not answer the call?

Presidio Golf Course

300 Finley Rd, San Francisco, California 94129

Looking for a course that challenges your precision? Presidio Golf Course has you covered. With its starting fees at $85, it’s a steal for the quality you get. Nestled in a national park, this historical gem dates back to 1895 and stretches 6,449 yards. Despite its length, it plays longer due to the hilly terrain and the city’s signature chilly air. Remember, those elevation changes aren’t just for show – they’ll test your mettle!

Holes: 18
Designer: Robert Wood Johnstone

Visit their website for more information

TPC Harding Park

99 Harding Rd, San Francisco, California 94132

Perhaps you’ve heard of TPC Harding Park? It’s a course that’s witnessed the greats in action and might just bring out your inner champion. It’s within arm’s reach of the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, so if you’re looking to pair up some sightseeing with your golfing adventure, this is the spot.

Holes: 18
Designer: Willie Watson, Sam Whiting

Visit their website for more information

Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay

1 Miramontes Point Rd, Half Moon Bay, California 94019

For a luxurious twist, there’s the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, where the vistas of the Pacific Ocean complement the exquisitely designed courses. The Ocean Course is a particular highlight, known for its 6,700 yard layout and tight fairways designed by Arthur Hills.

Holes: 32
Designer: Arthur Hills, Arnold Palmer

Visit their website for more information

Tips on Renting a Vacation Property in San Francisco

Start Early

Begin your search for a vacation rental well in advance, especially if you’re planning to visit during peak tourist seasons or major events. This allows you to have a wider selection of available properties and better chances of securing your preferred dates.

Set a Budget

Determine your budget for accommodation and stick to it. Keep in mind that rental prices in San Francisco can vary widely depending on the location, size, and amenities of the property.

Check Amenities and Policies

Before booking, review the amenities offered in the vacation rental, such as Wi-Fi, parking, laundry facilities, and kitchen appliances. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the rental policies regarding check-in/check-out times, cancellation fees, security deposits, and any other rules or restrictions.

Document the Condition

Upon arrival, take photos or videos of the vacation rental to document its condition. This can serve as evidence in case of any disputes regarding damage or security deposits.

image 392
image 401 1
Jet Skiing

Hey there, you’re planning a San Francisco getaway, right? Before you start dreaming of the Golden Gate, let’s get you up to speed on locking down that perfect vacation rental. San Francisco’s got a spot just for you, whether you’re after a chic apartment in SoMa or a cozy Victorian in the Painted Ladies’ neck of the woods. Ready to explore the eclectic mix of experiences that San Francisco, California, has in store for you? Let’s take a quick tour through some of the city’s iconic spots and unique neighborhoods.

Location, Location, Location

First things first, decide on your vibe. Want to be steps away from the beach or nestled by the Presidio? Check out properties based on their walk score and proximity to public transit.

Golden Gate Bridge: Start your adventure with a selfie at the majestic Golden Gate Bridge. Did you know it’s one of the most photographed structures in the world? And it’s not hard to see why, with those grand towers reaching proudly into the sky.

Union Square: After you’ve had your fill of those striking views, dive into some retail therapy at Union Square. Whether you’re hunting for big-name brands or unique boutiques, this shopping haven has it all.

Chinatown: In the heart of the city, you’ll stumble upon vibrant Chinatown. It’s a feast for the senses—colorful murals, tantalizing smells, and the hustle and bustle of the oldest Chinatown in North America.

Fisherman’s Wharf and Pier 39: Craving some seafood? At Fisherman’s Wharf, why not treat yourself to a delicious clam chowder? Make sure to swing by Pier 39 to say hi to the local sea lions lounging around.

Ghirardelli Square: Got a sweet tooth? Ghirardelli Square is your go-to for a decadent chocolate fix, housed in a landmark building with a rich history.

Fillmore Street: Yearning for a cultural experience? Japantown’s peace plaza and Fillmore Street in the Western Addition neighborhood are perfect spots to soak in some local culture, with plenty of shops and eateries to explore.

Lastly, don’t miss the chance to ride the iconic cable car to get a sense of San Francisco’s unique character. And for an enjoyable day, the Academy of Sciences in the Richmond District offers a wonderful waterfront experience with a side of education.

Whether you’re here to indulge in shopping or to soak in the sights and sounds of bustling neighborhoods, San Francisco invites you to dive in and enjoy its diverse offerings. What will you discover first?

Must-See Attractions Outside of San Francisco

Hey there! Planning to explore beyond the bustle of San Francisco? You’re in for a treat. The Bay Area is surrounded by gems that promise adventure, culture, and breathtaking scenery. Let’s check ’em out, shall we?

Napa Valley: Wine Lover’s Paradise – Ready to sip and swirl? A short drive north and you’ll hit Napa Valley, an oenophile’s dream with meticulously manicured vineyards and over 400 wineries. Tasting tours are a must here; after all, it’s not every day you get to taste world-renowned Cabernet Sauvignon right from the source.

Monterey: Coastal Charms – Coastal vibes more your thing? Monterey is a scenic drive away from San Francisco. Visit the acclaimed Monterey Bay Aquarium or take a stroll along Cannery Row. Don’t miss the 17 mile drive for some of the most picturesque ocean views in California—whale sightings are a bonus!

Santa Cruz: Boardwalks and Beaches – Craving some sun and fun? Santa Cruz offers the quintessential Californian beach experience. The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is a historic amusement park right on the sand. Catch a wave or two, or just enjoy the laid-back beach town atmosphere.

Oakland: Urban Excitement – Just a hop across the Bay Bridge, Oakland is buzzing with energy. Check out Jack London Square for dining and shopping, or catch a game at the famed Oakland Coliseum. Culture enthusiasts will enjoy the Oakland Museum of California, which offers a dive into the state’s rich history.

San Jose: Silicon Valley’s Heart – Techies, this one’s for you! San Jose is the capital of Silicon Valley, boasting the Tech Interactive museum, where innovation meets fun. But it’s not all circuits and software; the vibrant Downtown San Jose offers a plethora of dining and entertainment options.

Remember, these destinations are just the tip of the iceberg. Every spot has its own unique flavor—perfect for creating those unforgettable memories. So, go ahead and make the most of your Bay Area adventure. Happy travels!

Dig into the Details

– Bedrooms: A family affair? Ensure enough snooze space for all.
– Bathrooms: Queue for the shower? Nope, let’s aim for enough bathrooms!
Amenities: Craving a private suite or need that dedicated workspace with a desk?
– Space: More the merrier or a romantic getaway? Size up your space needs.

Review the Reviews

How do past guests rate cleanliness? How’s the host’s response rate? Reviews can reveal a lot—like if that smart TV really is smart.

Price and Availability

– Got flexible travel dates? Better deals might be a calendar flip away.
– Fix a budget but remember, that marble bathroom might be worth the extra cash.

What’s in the Rental?

– Kitchen: Need that breakfast bar or just a spot for your morning joe?
– Parking: Bringing a car? Don’t forget to confirm if parking’s included.

Going with a furry friend? Look for pet-friendly spots but check if any extra charges apply.

Found a gem? Always chat with the host first. Get a feel for them and clarify any grey areas. Then, take a moment to review the cancellation policy. San Francisco weather can be unpredictable, so it’s good to know your options.

Seal the deal and start packing! Remember, the rental’s just the start—your San Francisco stories are waiting to be made.

Frequently Asked Questions about San Francisco

Absolutely! Many listings cater to longer stays with discounted monthly rates. You’ll find fully furnished homes ready for you to live like a local for weeks, or even months, at a time.

Oceanfront rentals offer breathtaking views and easy beach access. Imagine waking up to the sound of the waves in areas like Ocean Beach or Marina District—the experience is priceless.

Yes, booking directly through owners can often cut out service fees charged by rental platforms. Browse owner-listed properties to potentially get more bang for your buck.

To snag a good deal, time it right by avoiding peak tourist seasons. Consider staying in neighborhoods a little outside the city center, like the Outer Sunset or Richmond districts, for better rates.

Craving a touch of opulence? High-end districts like Nob Hill and Pacific Heights are known for luxury rentals. Check out specialized luxury rental websites for exclusive properties with upscale amenities.

Scouting for a place where your pet is as welcome as you are? Use filters on rental platforms to zero in on pet-friendly accommodations. Some listings may require an additional fee or deposit, so keep an eye out for the details.

Rent a Property

Looking for a cottage in San Francisco?

Find a Property

Become a Host

Want to list your San Francisco cottage? Get started here.

Find a Property

Sign In


Reset Password

Please enter your username or email address, you will receive a link to create a new password via email.