San Francisco, CA

Lightmatter sanfrancisco.jpg
CC BY 1.0, Link

Welcome To San Francisco

Known to be one of California’s primary economic centers and the centerpiece of the Bay Area, San Francisco is known worldwide for its iconic landmarks and distinctive culture. Its liberal community, hilly terrain, Victorian architecture, scenic beauty, summer fog, and great ethnic and cultural diversity are only just some of what makes the City By the Bay so unique. One of the city’s most unique sites is the Golden Gate Bridge, which spans the channel connecting San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The city is also a hub for LGBTQ and alternative culture, drawing tourists from worldwide who wish to experience San Francisco’s open and accepting culture.

EXPLORE San Francisco

From the Golden Gate Bridge, to Fishermans Wharf, to being the city by the bay, San Francisco's widespread range of events complement one another to create a vibrant city, which shines through in the area’s events and the people who attend them. You'll see everything from top developer tech conferences to freaky street fairs to cultural parades. San Francisco is packed with eclectic advenures. Search for top events in San Francisco

San Francisco's Districts:

Each district of San Francisco carries its own unique and distinct culture. They are as diverse as they are fascinating. Here is a breakdown of what you will find, notable things to know, and hotspots unique to each neighborhood.

Castro District - The notorious mecca of colorful life and center for the LGBTQ community holds not only a whirwind of fun nightlife with a handful of gender-bending bars, but is also home to excellent bakeries, boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. Some other Castro unique events are Pride Parade, Gaydom, and Film Festivals at the Castro Theatre.

Chinatown - "Dragon's Gate" will take you to one of San Francisco's most bustling and tighly packed areas. It is chock full of all the Chinese restaurants, shops, temples, street vendors, and culture you could ever hope for.

Cole Valley - If you are searching for a more quaint neighborhood with some of the best Bay Area dining spots, Cole Valley is your place. Mom & pop businesses are popular around here as well as some great dramatic city views on top of Tank Hill.

Financial District - Aptly named for its collection of modern and historic headquarter buildings, the “FiDi” has a lot more to offer than just office buildings. The Embarcadero Center shopping mall is a popular spot, as well as the Ferry Building and Crocker Galleria. There is also no shortage of ritzy places to grab drinks where corporate bigwigs often flock.

Fisherman’s Wharf - If you’re looking for a typical touristy San Francisco experience, head here. Fisherman’s Wharf is a waterfront neighborhood which encompasses Ghirardelli Square, Pier 39, and the ferry launch to Alcatraz Island, as well as a plethora of seafood restaurants and souvenir stores.

Haight-Ashbury - Home to the center of ‘60s psychedelia, the stretch of eclectic shops have no shortage of liberal San Francisco culture. It definitely still retains its hippie reputation with its funky vintage thrift shops, piercing parlors, anarchist book stores, and local artsy coffee shops and bars.

Hayes Valley - Close by to downtown, Hayes Valley houses some of the best Bay Area restaurants, shoe stores, cool boutiques, and quirky furnishing stores. It is also close to the San Francisco opera, symphony, and theatre district perfect for any cosmopolitan traveler.

Japantown - Packed with tons of Japanese culture, architecture, and food, Japantown is a lively destination ideally suited for the busy adventurer. Shop around the colorful Japan Center, eat sushi and ramen, and join in fun local Japanese culture events.

Lower Haight - Unlike its hippie-eclectic sister, the Lower Haight is much more of a hippie turned punk rock scene. On the weekends, spirited barflies fill out the bustling nightlife around the neighborhood. However, weekdays are much more quaint with cool organic food shops, boutiques, and coffeehouses.

Marina - Where the chardonnay is flowing and the young aristocratic professionals flock, this north-side San Francisco neighborhood is noted for its gorgeous views of the Golden Gate Bridge and its elite atmosphere. Mingle on the elegant Marina Green or cruise through the posh shops on Union Street.

Mission District - The heart of San Francisco's Latino neighborhood is 24th Street, a vibrant area known for it’s authentic taquerias, Mexican bakeries, produce markets, and breathtaking colorful murals. At 16th and Dolores, Mission Dolores is the oldest structure in San Francisco and two blocks away on 18th, is Dolores Park known for its weekends where locals throw down a picnic blanket, crack open beers, and hang out with good friends.

Nob Hill - One of the most iconic neighborhoods of San Francisco, Nob Hill has a well deserved prestige of swanky style, privileged lifestyle, and holds a large cluster of landmarks. With some of the most famous hotels such as the Fairmont, chic cocktail lounges, upscale boutiques, and sassy dive bars, Nob Hill is a go to place for style and class.

Noe Valley - This neighborhood may fall short in terms of busy nightlife, but makes up for it with cute cafes, coffeehouses, and a quaint family atmosphere. Well known for being the best family friendly neighborhood to live, Noe Valley is chock full of parks, strollers, and golden retrievers.

North Beach - North Beach is a dense Italian neighborhood packed with loads of festive Italian cuisine, bars, and strip joints. Also nestled in the neighborhood is the Beat Museum that feature Memorabilia, letters & post WWII culture artifacts from Jack Kerouac & other Beat Generation notables.

Pacific Heights - One of the more exclusive neighborhoods, “PacHeights” has it’s share of mansions and gorgeous parks with alluring views of the Marina, as well as upmarket shops and boutiques on Fillmore Street. Local bars and restaurants will give you a good mix of upper elite San Francisco and local family community.

Panhandle / NoPa - Named after the lush Panhandle park nestled in the neighborhood, it is a peaceful spot filled with loads of gorgeous Edwardian and Victorian homes. There is also a handful of cute coffeeshops where you’ll find USF students, whimsical businesses, and easy access to Golden Gate Park.

Potrero Hill - Having a much slower pace being isolated from most of the city rush, Potrero Hill bears cute houses with little gardens, clean streets, and a chill ambiance. It does host a selection of charming stores, as well as a diverse variety of restaurants and nightspots.

Presidio - Having a national park within the city boundaries, the Presidio is a lush escape with hiking trails & creeks, a lovable neighborhood sprinkled with restaurants, historical military structures, and gorgeous old former officers’ homes. Enjoy Baker Beach with an astounding view of the Golden Gate Bridge in the background or eat your heart out at Off the Grid on the Main Parade Ground, where all the local food trucks come every Sunday.

Richmond - Even with being predominately residential, the Richmond district does hold a few local hotspots that make for a great evening out. Vietnamese, Malaysian, and Tibetan foods make up most of the restaurants around. You’ll find the hustle and bustle on Clement Street and Geary Boulevard just a few blocks south.

Russian Hill - Being rather bohemian just 40 years ago, Russian Hill has shifted to be way more of an upscale neighborhood with an isolationist artistic vibe. You can find stunning views of the city, charming cafes, and expensive condos.

Sea Cliff - Being the most prosperous neighborhood of them all, Sea Cliff is the home to not only many affluent business executives, political moguls, and a handful of celebrities, but also the most gorgeous multi-million dollar homes with breathtaking landscapes. Many tour buses are banned from this area to keep privacy, but travelers can drive themselves around the luxurious neighborhood.

SOMA - The industrial warehouse nature of this area is perfect for urban warriors, dance hungry hipsters, and hole in the wall dwellers. Drawing a hugely diverse crowd, (So)uth of (Ma)rket street has everything from discount shopping to warehouse clubs to risqué drag bars.

Sunset - Being a family friendly neighborhood in San Francisco, the Sunset offers cute family housing, a large surfing community, and fog-laden streets at all times of the year. Travel to the outer Sunset for fun on Ocean Beach or the inner Sunset for delicious asian cuisine.

Tenderloin - Noted as one of the more seedy and gritty spots of the city, it’s charm holds true to the boho and hobo dwellers. Definitely not for the faint of heart, but excitement does attract a large gathering on Polk Street with loads of bars and delicious Pakistani food joints.

Union Square - A shopaholics dream come true! Union Square contains the top fashion brand stores, amazing food from all cultures, as well as fun holiday events and street performers in the heart of The Square.

FIND EVENTS IN San Francisco

Weather Forecast for San Francisco


A 20 percent chance of showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 52. Breezy, with a west northwest wind 21 to 24 mph, with gusts as high as 30 mph. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.


A 20 percent chance of showers before 10pm. Mostly clear, with a low around 41. North northwest wind 8 to 13 mph.

Washington's Birthday

Sunny, with a high near 55. North wind around 14 mph.

Monday Night

Mostly clear, with a low around 41. North northeast wind around 10 mph.


Sunny, with a high near 54. North northeast wind 9 to 11 mph becoming west northwest in the afternoon.

Tuesday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 43.


A 20 percent chance of showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 54.

Wednesday Night

A chance of showers. Partly cloudy, with a low around 44.


A slight chance of showers. Mostly sunny, with a high near 53.

Thursday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 42.


Sunny, with a high near 54.

Friday Night

Partly cloudy, with a low around 44.


Mostly sunny, with a high near 55.

Locals Tips

Unusual gems are hidden within San Franciscos bustling neighborhoods. Get all the best tips on the obscure native events known to SF locals. Read more

San Francisco News and Events

Scattered showers follow stormy week across Bay Area

The relentless rains of the past week gave way to occasional showers in the Bay Area on Sunday, with the sun finally coming out for longer than a quick peek. Scattered showers will fall Sunday in the Bay Area but, with less than a tenth of an inch expected, they will be really scattered. Were definitely on a decreasing trend, as far as showers go, said Weather Service meteorologist Will Pi. Looks like a high pressure is going to push the storms inland, and well have a drying trend. Northwest wind gusts of up to 30 mph will blow any remaining the raindrops around, meteorologists said. The chance of showers will fall to 20 percent on Sunday night and winds will decrease.

'A dangerous situation': Fights break out as stranded Sierra travelers overrun Pollock Pines

Intermittent closures of Highway 50 in the Sierra as a result of a series of snowstorms led to hours-long treks to South Lake Tahoe and foothill communities becoming inundated with travelers.

Pollock Pines was among the towns hit hardest Friday as skiers, snowboarders and cabin-goers sought the Sierra for the long weekend.

SF moves to help Hong Kong Lounge II and others after gas line explosion

As the National Transportation Safety Board continues to investigate the circumstances behind the Feb. 6 gas line explosion on Geary Boulevard, the city is working to get two beloved businesses back on its (collective) feet: Hong Kong Lounge II and Huckleberry Youth Services.

Confusion over medical emergency at S.F. Hamilton show sparks brief panic

Confusion over a woman suffering from a medical emergency in the crowd of a Hamilton musical performance at the SHN Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco prompted a brief panic in the audience on Friday night, sending many fleeing outside and causing several injuries, including a broken leg. Several crowd members detailed the confusion on social media, stating some theatergoers misunderstood what was going on as the woman was being tended to near the end of the show. Some posted that theyd heard the word gun uttered, scaring people and causing them to flee. The frightened patrons were all calmed down when emergency officials arrived.

From Texas to Virginia, winning wineries span the U.S.

While a majority of wines entered in the annual San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition hail from California, each year more and more national wineries submit their prized bottlings. Its a badge of honor and an excellent marketing tool to have the panel of more than five dozen professional judges sample and score the wines. This year, three out-of-state wineries took home the most coveted awards of all, the Sweepstake medals. These are wines selected in the competitions final tasting for the best of the best. Along with five California wines (plus a California wine that won the best label category), Sweepstake winners came from Texas, New York and Virginia.

Celebrating decades of history at wine competition

In 1982, two wine industry insiders sat down over a glass of Zinfandel and laid plans for the first Cloverdale Citrus Fair Wine Competition the following year. At that time, Cloverdale Citrus Fair board members included Bob Del Sarto,who was the general manager of the historical Italian Swiss Colony winery in Asti, Calif., and Bob Bogner, who was general manager of one of the largest grape grower cooperatives of that day, Allied Grape Growers. Together, they conceived the competition to fulfill the needs of the burgeoning wine industry in northern Sonoma and southern Mendocino counties. The first competition was modest in size 15 wineries entered 45 wines and a single panel of five judges awarded 30 medals.

Cloverdale Citrus Fair benefits college wine programs

The Cloverdale Citrus Fair is one of the oldest fairs in California, established in 1892. Since 1983, the fair has been the home of the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and is a direct beneficiary of any competition profits for operational expenses throughout the year. The nonprofit Citrus Fair is an important hub of many community and business activities in Northern Sonoma County. The leftover wines from the competition are used for volunteer staff purposes and in support of wine and enology programs of some California Colleges notably: Napa Valley College, Santa Rosa Junior College, Fresno State University, Sonoma State University, Chico State University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.

Judges explore Coyote Sonoma at annual dinner

Its tough work, but as the saying (sort of) goes somebody has to be lucky enough to do it. That, it seems, was the mantra for the 65 judges who gathered for the annual San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition this Jan. 8-11. During the four days, the experts tasted and evaluated thousands of wines in broad categories spanning sparkling, whites, ross, reds, dessert and fortified. More than 6,800 wines were submitted for the competition this year from 1,132 wineries across the U.S., Canada and Mexico. To keep things even more interesting, after full days of tastings, the judges were treated to two wine parties. First, they went to a welcome reception and dinner on Jan.

SF's Station 49 employees hit with cease and desist order related to Edna the cat

Employees at San Francisco's Station 49 received a cease and desist order on Thursday instructing them not to discuss the identity of the person who filed the anonymous complaint that led to the removal of the station's pet cat, Edna, on Monday.

Welcome message from The Chronicles wine critic

Syrah from Idaho. Albarino from Texas. A Vermentino blend from North Carolina. Brianna (a hybrid American white grape variety) from South Dakota. These are just a few of the wines that earned gold medals at the 2019 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, distinguishing themselves among more than 6,800 entrants and proving that great American wine today comes from all corners of the country. Of course, our own backyard California had a great showing again this year, with Livermore Malbec from Las Positas Vineyards, Dry Creek Valley Zinfandel from St. Annes Crossing, Yolo County ros from Turkovich Family Wines, and Napa Valley Chardonnay from Castello di Amorosa among the sweepstakes winners. But dont take our word for it.

BART launched its new Early Bird service, but who is using it?

The first day was a bit shaky, but there's more concerning long-term news for BART: the Early Bird Express ridership is at roughly 1000 riders in the first week, down from the roughly 2900 riders taking BART prior to the service change.

Flooding: Levee breaches in Novato; evacuations in Sausalito, San Jose

Heavy rain and punishing winds continued to pummel the Bay Area on Thursday morning, leading to predawn flood warnings, a Sausalito mudslide, a levee breach, evacuation orders for hundreds of San Jose residents, power outages for thousands and multiple North Bay school closures. California Highway Patrol officers are monitoring the Novato Creek after a levee broke around 10:30 a.m. and flooded a field south of State Road 37 between Highway 101 and Atherton Avenue, officials said. State Road 37 was not closed, but officials warned of a shutdown if the water begins to flow onto the roadway. Officials are also monitoring the situation in case residents of Bel Marin Keys and surrounding areas need to evacuate.

Video shows man dive off Sausalito dock to save tiny dog

A man dove into the chilly waters of Sausalito to rescue his dog from drowning.

Schools: Storm forces dozens of Bay Area schools to call off classes

Several schools across the region closed Thursday because of relentless rain and flooding that caused power outages and made roads inaccessible. In Marin County, at least 10 schools were shuttered: Bolinas Stinson School, San Domenico School, Nicasio School, Manor Elementary School, Tamalpais High School and all schools in the Shoreline Unified School District.