Feast your eyes on the City by the Bay and you might begin to understand why so many songs have been written about it. It's a glorious mix of tech-savvy creativity meeting easygoing charm in a show-stopping natural setting.
Icelandair offers regular cheap flights to San Francisco from Europe and the UK for song-writing inspiration in the form of flavor-filled feasts, festivals and fabulous inclusiveness.
Before you sample the urban delights of San Francisco, how about checking out the uniquely wild delights of Iceland? When you book flights to SF with Icelandair, we invite you to add a stopover in Iceland at no additional airfare.
Everyone's favorite sight is the Golden Gate Bridge - more orange than gold, but don't hold that against it. You can capture the perfect photo from Fort Point or Battery Godfrey, then walk or cycle over the bridge to check out more vantage points plus the boat-filled marina of Sausalito. Beware the afternoon fog rolling in!
More Insta-worthy sights await at Alamo Square, where the famous 'Painted Ladies' live. This row of pastel-colored Victorian homes comes with an impressive city-skyline backdrop. At Fisherman's Wharf you can spot sea lions, tuck into seafood, and board a boat to Alcatraz, the infamous island prison. Then tick off more sights: zigzagging Lombard Street, cable cars, Coit Tower atop Telegraph Hill, SFMOMA (the exceptional museum of modern art). There's a lot to cram in!
Much is made of SF's killer food scene - and rightfully so. There are more restaurants per capita here than anywhere else in North America, and outstanding farmers markets. Food trends are born here and there's a world of options, from fleets of food trucks to galaxies of Michelin stars, by way of some tasty Chinatown dim sum and the innovative fusion flavors California is renowned for.
The landmark, century-old Ferry Building is the hallowed shrine to local flavor. Outside is a farmers market held three times a week, inside is a mouth-watering array of producers, plus plenty of places to sit down and feast. More dining decisions come when picking a neighborhood for mealtime wanders. They're all good, but you can't go wrong in the multicultural Mission, the Marina and Hayes Valley.
The shopping spectrum in San Francisco is enticingly broad, from high-end fashion and vintage stores to galleries and gourmet goodies, plus all the music and bookstores a cool city deserves.
Union Square is the queen of shopping districts, offering a smorgasbord of glam department stores and upmarket brands. It's not hard to hunt down quirky mementos of SF, too, and souvenirs that encapsulate the city's brand of creativity. For those, head to one of the distinctive neighborhoods - the Haight is home to free love and hippie relics, while Valencia Street in the Mission has a wealth of hipster haunts and some incredible murals nearby (don't miss Balmy Alley). The Castro is big on LGBTQ flavor, while boutique-lined 24th Street in pretty Noe Valley is fun for browsing and brunching.