Weekend Wanderings: The Quick Travel Guide To San Francisco

Weekends are there to be discovered. Making the most of your time off each week is the perfect way to travel further, expand your horizons and see a little more of the country. While jetting off to an exotic location might not be exactly in your remit, there are tons of places in the local vicinity just waiting to be discovered.

When it comes to wonder spots, there are few places as well kitted out as San Francisco. Offering up its fair share of city hangouts, seaside spots and hiking zones, the city has a little bit of something for everyone. Culturally vibrant and packed to the rafters with foodie spots, San Francisco is just begging to be explored over the course of a weekend. All you need to do is pack your bags, note down your favorite travel spots and get exploring!

Hotels come in many shapes and sizes in San Francisco and there is something to meet any kind of budget. In terms of budget spots, you might be hard pressed to find anything quite as luxe as the Mayflower Hotel. A family owned establishment, the hotel dates back to the Victorian times, boasting a more than impressive history. Inside, rooms are vintage and plush in style, kitted out with all of the essentials for an overnight stay.

If, however, you’re choosing to go a little more upmarket with your sleep spot, San Francisco is a real melting pot of different spots. The Parker Guest Hotel is a fantastic mid-range budget spot, offering up airy rooms with an impressive amount of space. The hotel is within a five minute walk of the Mission Dolores Park, giving you a great excuse to get out early and explore the local area. Hotels on the higher end of the spectrum don’t disappoint, either, and if you’re going to spend a little more on your stay, you should do so in the vicinity of The Fairmont. Within walking distance of all the essential districts, the hotel makes getting around a real breeze. If you don’t want to spend a night in the hotel, you can still get the Fairmont experience by popping in for an afternoon tea experience.

Hotel sorted, it’s time to cast your net a little further and get acquainted with what the city has to offer in terms of entertainment. Riding a cable car is a great activity to undertake just after having arrived in the city. The transport is cheap, spans most of the city’s essential districts and is quintessentially San Franciscan. If you’re heading to the bay, you have to stop in to take a look at Pier 39. While it might be one of the more touristy places in the city, the area serves up all the best parts of bay living, helping you kick back like a real local.

Culture is high on the cards in San Francisco and there are plenty of spots worth checking out. If you have a little more time on your hands, a trip to Alcatraz Island should be high up on your list. Make sure you plan your trip ahead to get the best out of your experience and take a good pair of walking shoes with you. You can also try taking your wanderings a little off the map with a trip to Chinatown. The largest of its kind outside Asia, San Francisco’s Chinatown is buzzing with life at any point in the day, serving up a whole other sort of local culture.

Rural spots abound in the city and if you’re looking to kick back, there are plenty of picturesque walks to be had. While you might want to head to the Muir woods for a stroll amongst the trees, you would do just as well to take a peek at the Sutro Baths. A local favorite, the baths are located at the end of a picturesque coastal walk, letting you take in all the marine beauty that the city has to offer.

Eating is just as a big deal in the city, so make sure you have all of your foodie facts before heading out into San Francisco. If you’re on the lookout for a few sweet treats, heading to the Tartine Bakery should be high up on your list. Kitted out with a fantastic selection of pastries, breads and baked goods, the spot is the perfect place in which to sip on a morning coffee. If on to go food is more your thing, try turning your attention to The Mission area of the city. Delicious street food abounds in the area, so make sure you have plenty of cash to take with you. You also can’t leave the city without taking a visit to Hog Island Oyster Co. A classic San Franciscan seafood experience, the restaurant is bursting with local goodies and always worth a try.

San Francisco is a city waiting to be discovered and whether you have just one day or a long weekend, you can really lose yourself in the coastal Californian spot.

Think Fast: How To Plan A Last Minute Getaway

Jetting off into the sunset is the thing of dreams and yet, with a busy working life and social commitments, you might have let this year’s vacation fall by the wayside. How can you get your share of sun? Never fear; it’s not too late to plan a summer trip and even if you want to go over the next few weeks, there are a ton of ways to make your vacation happen.

If the stress of life is getting too much a last minute getaway could be the very thing that you need and by following these simple steps, you can really make the most of your summer break.

Stop Being Picky

Ok, ok, so you really want to spend 2 weeks in an Italian villa, but unless you have a wad of cash saved up, it’s unlikely that you’re going to make it last minute this year. Luckily, however, there are a whole range of things available at your fingertips and by casting your search net out a little further, you can stumble across something truly great. The trick is to refine your options and go from there. Do you want a city break, or a beach holiday? Are you looking for somewhere really hot or do you prefer a cooler stay? Once you have refined what you’re looking for, you can head over to websites like Skyscanner to compare flights to numerous airports. Make sure you do your research before you go; your dream holiday is out there but it’s up to you to find it.

Tap Into Flight Alerts

Want to keep up with all the latest travel news? It’s time to tap into flight alerts. There are a number of different travel websites out there that each offer up to date news on your customized flight alerts, helping you to stay on top of any deal that might suddenly pop up. Websites like Airefarewatchdog and Kayak are amongst some of the best, making it easier for you to keep your nose to the ground while doing other things, too. Don’t be afraid of looking for something last minute; there are a load of deals to be had if you remember to look in the right place.

Call Up Your Friends

Do you have a long list of buddies living around the world? Now could be the moment in which to give them a call. Using your trip as an opportunity to catch up with an old friend or family member can help to you recharge your batteries and save the cash on a hotel room. If your loved one doesn’t have any spare room at their place, consider asking if you could crash with one of their friends nearby. Having friends across the world can be a gateway to a whole range of new cultures; it’s up to you to tap into them.

Think About House Swapping

If you’re really short of cash then jetting off into the sunset hardly feels like the responsible thing to do but incredibly, there is always a way to find your dream vacation. House swapping is a great way in which to get away, save money and experience a new place like a local. Places like Home Exchange and Home Link can provide you with everything that you need in order to get set up and make the most out of your trip. Even vacation rentals through sites like Airbnb can be cheaper than a hotel room and will help you to feel more settled in the new place.

Be Prepared For The Unprepared

Last minute travel can be one of the most exhilarating experiences out there and as long as you’re prepared to make things up as you go along, it can be incredibly successful. While not having a plan can feel like the scariest way to find yourself in a new country, it can also teach you things you never knew about yourself and help you to become stronger on your own. Your trip is a chance to see a new part of the world, interact with a foreign culture and potentially meet new people. Embrace whatever comes your way and never forget what you learn!