Many of the city's leading tourist attractions are located at the port, including Hyde Street Pier, Fisherman's Wharf, PIER 39 and access to Alcatraz. These attractions draw more than 15 million visitors annually to San Francisco's northern waterfront.
It is a good 20 - 30 minute walk from the Embarcadero station to the cruise terminal or take a cab at the Hyatt .
A new terminal just opened at Pier 27. It has everything a cruise ship might want. It has electric shore power so the ships don't have to run their engines in port, boarding areas with heating and air conditioning, a specially designed $3 million passenger elevator and a ton of other amenities.
On occasion other piers are use which are all close by.
Printable map to take along
Check here for festivals and events in San Francisco when you are in port.
Watch a destination video.
The most attractive of American cities and regularly voted the best city in the USA, San Francisco is adored because of its colorful history, dramatic setting and its laissez-faire atmosphere, a quality missing from synthetic Los Angeles. It is a regular trend setter in everything alternative, from flower-power to 'free love' and gay liberation; it prides itself on being individualistic, down-to-earth and cultured.
Streets roller coaster up and down the hills, and when not swathed in the city's trademark fog, there are superb vistas of San Francisco Bay, spanned by one of the world's most famous sights, the Golden Gate Bridge. Surrounded by hills and urban development, traversed by bridges, dotted with sails and 14 small islands, including the notorious Alcatraz, the bay is the largest inlet on the Californian Coast. Fisherman's Wharf at the edge of the bay is a popular place to eat, stroll and shop, with its resident seals a favorite photographic subject.
Within the surprisingly compact city are distinct neighborhoods that reflect the cultural background of diverse communities that were attracted to San Francisco by the discovery of gold in 1848, and the promise of a new life for those desperate to escape their harsh circumstances. Most of San Francisco's residents were born outside the city and this mix of cultures is reflected in the dragon-studded temples of colorful Chinatown and Japantown, the characteristic bohemian flavor of the Italian pasta restaurants and cappuccino cafes in North Beach, the old Spanish-speaking Mission District that blends with the nightlife of SoMa, the modern Financial District, the gay center of Castro and The Haight, characterised by the memory of the hippie movement of the 1960s.
There is much to see and do in San Francisco and a good guide book is indispensable so you can plan your siteseeing.
Down town SF is very walkable, all though streets can be very steep, use the famous cable car where you can. The main cable car station is at Market and Powell St.
Different loops San Francisco Hop-On Hop-Off Double Decker Bus Tour.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
Admire the Muir Woods Redwoods, some of which are more than 800-years-old and 250-feet tall!
Explore Sausalito, a quaint Mediterranean-style village, which is home to art galleries, boutique shops, fine dining and home to some of San Francisco's rich and famous.
San Francisco offers some of the best shopping in the world, so it is no wonder that tourists and serious shopaholics alike want to spend some time and money in San Francisco's varied shopping centers, districts and malls. Union Square, Hayes Valley, upper Fillmore, the Mission, Sacramento Street, Chinatown and downtown's San Francisco Shopping Center offer a unique style with one-of-a-kind shops, each mall and neighborhood with a distinctive feel suited to any shopper's mood, from urban sophisticate to funk fantastic.
Nearby Pier 39 is a bustling marketplace boasting more than 110 stores.
The official U.S. currency is the United States dollar (symbol: $). ATM's everywhere.
Major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard are widely used and accepted, even for transactions worth only a few dollars. In fact, in some cases, it may be the only way to make a transaction. Note to overseas visitors: Prices of goods and services always seem lower than they really are, as taxes and gratuities are seldom included.
Most states have a sales tax, ranging from 2.9% to nearly 10% of the retail price; 4-6% is typical. Sales tax is almost never included in posted prices (except for gasoline, and in most states, alcoholic beverages consumed on-premises), but instead will be calculated and added to the total when you pay.
Tipping in America is widely used and expected. While Americans themselves often debate correct levels and exactly who deserves to be tipped, generally accepted standard rates are:
The U.S. has no official language at the federal level, but English is by far the standard for everyday use. Several states have declared their official state language as English. Spanish is also official in the state of New Mexico, where it is widely spoken; French is official in Louisiana and the Hawaiian language is official in Hawaii, but neither approaches the use of English and are official for primarily historical reasons.
In major metropolitan areas like New York and Los Angeles, many drugstores and supermarkets are routinely open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, while department stores, shopping centers and most other large retailers are typically open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and often with shorter hours on Sundays - generally 11 a.m. or noon to 5 or 6 p.m. On holidays, the tendency is to remain open (with the exception of the most important holidays like Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day where stores are generally closed)
Holidays in the USA
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