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San Francisco Travel Guide and Popular Attractions

The San Francisco Bay Area is truly a beautiful region filled with exciting activities, and the Marriott San Mateo / San Francisco airport hotel is centrally located making it easy to sample the best of the Bay Area and Silicon Valley. Also be sure to visit the famed attractions such as Alcatraz, Union Square, the Golden Gate Bridge and Fisherman's Wharf for the full San Francisco city experience.

Below is our quick guide for San Francisco travel ideas and attraction information.

Art & Culture

  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
  • California Academy of Sciences
  • Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
  • Exploratorium, Palace of Fine Arts
  • De Young Museum

Day Trips & Wine Country

  • Napa Valley Wine Country (within two-hour drive)
  • Ferries to Sausalito
  • Muir Woods (Ancient Redwood Forest)
  • Skiing at Lake Tahoe (within four-hour drive)
  • Monterey, Carmel & Coastal Towns
  • Six Flags Discovery Kingdom - 50 miles

Local Attractions

  • Half Moon Bay - 10 Miles
  • 49er Stadium at Monster Park - 11 Miles
  • AT&T Park (San Francisco Giants) - 21 Miles
  • Golden Gate Bridge - 25 Miles
  • Union Square Shopping - 21 Miles
  • San Francisco Chinatown - 22 Miles
  • Alcatraz - 24 Miles
  • Downtown & San Francisco Attractions - 20 Miles
  • Paramount's Great America - 26 Miles

Union Square

  • Downtown San Francisco features historic Union Square. This mecca of shopping and dining includes names such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Coach, Cartier and Neiman Marcus.

Alcatraz

  • Just a 10-minute ferry ride from Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco, this infamous prison, in the midst of San Francisco Bay, once held prisoners such as the Birdman of Alcatraz and Al Capone. Today, you can tour the prison (book early as tours are very popular), which is part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

Golden Gate Bridge

  • The famed vermillion hues of this bridge are one of the most photographed images of San Francisco. Renowned as being among the Seven Wonders of the Modern World for its engineering feats, the bridge features a walking path for a close-up look.

Fisherman's Wharf

  • This is the most popular place to be in San Francisco. Savor fresh seafood at the waterfront restaurants, browse the shops and stroll the fishing pier. Hop on a ferry to scenic Marin County, or walk to Pier 39 which features a festive market atmosphere, area ferries and glimpses of sea lions in the marina.

Weather in San Mateo and the San Francisco Bay Area


San Mateo, part of the San Francisco Bay Area, enjoys moderate year-round weather with abundant sunshine.

MONTH   AVG HIGH   AVG LOW  
Jan 56F 43F
Feb 59F 46F
Mar 61F 47F
Apr 64F 48F
May 56F 43F
Jun 67F 51F
Jul 71F 55F
Aug 72F 56F
Sep 73F 55F
Oct 70F 52F
Nov 62F 48F
Dec 56F 43F