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Jenna Brown is a senior staff travel writer and presenter for
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Exploring the wonders of California for the first time, our travel journalist, Jenna Brown, explores some of the best that San Francisco has to offer…
After much research, we decided that San Francisco was the perfect City to start our 2 week road trip around California; and we were not wrong! Known for its hills and breath taking land marks such as the Golden Gate bridge and colourful Victorian houses to an endless variety of Shops and exhilarating rides on the famous cable cars, this ‘City by the Bay’ has it all.
Where to Stay in San Francisco?
Having never been to San Francisco, we wanted to stay in a central location. Although we visited to San Francisco at the start of a road trip holiday, we weren’t collecting our car until leaving San Francisco so staying in a good location for exploring was key!
Once we had decided we wanted to stay in the heart of this bustling city, we decided upon Marriott Marquis San Francisco; and can honestly say we couldn’t have made a better choice! The Marriott Marquis is perfectly located in downtown San Francisco and was within walking distance to some of the city's best attractions, including Union Square shopping, Moscone Center, the Yerba Buena Gardens, and AT&T Park, home of the Giants.
Being just a 4 minute walk to the famous Powell Street also gives you easy access to the Cable Cars; which will take you to all the other areas of San Francisco such as Fisherman’s Wharf.
The SF Marriott Marquis is a luxury 4* hotel consisting of 1500 spacious and comfortable rooms which feature a stylish interior. All rooms have air-conditioning, a minibar and tea and coffee making facilities and boast floor to ceiling windows. During our stay, we were lucky enough to stay on the top floor of the Hotel and the panoramic City views were truly spectacular. We could even see Alcatraz Island; the site of the notorious former prison, from our room which was not a sight to be missed!
When staying in the San Francisco Marriott Marquis, I would highly recommend upgrading your stay to include complimentary access to the M Club Lounge. In addition to providing complimentary soft drinks and hot beverages throughout the day and being a perfect place to unwind with a glass of wine and complimentary Hors D’Oeuvres or a complimentary dessert at the end of a busy day, the breakfast buffet within the Lounge is not one to be missed! Offering a vast selection of hot and cold American breakfast options; from a hot buffet breakfast to fresh fruit, Bagels and pastries, this was a perfect way to start a day full of exploring!
The View Lounge
As if the hotel and location itself isn’t enough to rate this as our top choice for the best place to stay in San Francisco, it is also home to The View Lounge! This iconic Lounge is famous for its domed floor-to-ceiling starburst windows; which showcase an unrivalled panorama of the Bay Area and beyond. What better place to enjoy a hand crafted cocktail?!
Exploring San Francisco Attractions
As a first-time tourist to San Francisco eager to explore the best of what the City has to offer, we didn’t want to miss out on anything! After some research into the sights that we wanted to visit, including Fisherman’s wharf, the legendary cable cars and a Circle Line cruise around Alcatraz and the Golden Gate Bridge, we came across the San Francisco CityPass.
We had previously used City Passes when exploring New York and therefore we knew they’d be a must when exploring San Francisco; and they didn’t disappoint! The City Passes are extremely good value for money by providing access to a range of attractions within the City, we also had unlimited access to the Cable cars for the whole 3 days we were exploring San Francisco. As well as being the best way to travel around San Francisco, the experience of riding a Cable car is truly unique! With the mechanisms having hardly changed since 1873, remember what goes up all 338ft of San Francisco’s Nob Hill must come down!
From Citypass.com you can buy an easy to use ticket booklet; which provides you with admission into the best the tourist attractions that San Francisco has to offer. With so many sights to see, the CityPass gives you the freedom to explore the City at an extremely good value for money. Not to mention the discount vouchers contained within the booklet including 15% off both Macy’s and Bloomingdales… It’s hard not to treat yourself!
San Francisco has so much to offer and there are endless possibilities when deciding where to eat, where to shop or what show to see but the central location of the San Francisco Marriott Marquis combined with the freedom of the CityPass, San Francisco is the perfect city break to explore and enjoy!!!
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The famous bridge, surrounded by cloud on my visit
Love the San Fran cable car!