San Francisco Attractions

The San Francisco attractions below are some of the best choices for our guests staying with us. Each of these attractions are either walking distance or by Cable Car, Street Car, Bart or Muni.

San Francisco has so many great attractions you would need a few weeks to see them all. There is something for everyone in the great city, see the sights, great museums, the wonderful San Francisco parks, or take a tour to get a quick view of the city.

SF Tours – To view and book tours of San Francisco and beyond.

Chaperon Multilingual Guide – To view San Francisco Guide in multilingual.

Union Square – 0.1 mile (1 block from the hotel)


Union SquareUnion Square is the central shopping, hotel and theatre district in San Francisco, California. It also refers to the 2.6 acre park bordered by Geary, Powell, Post and Stockton Streets. The name Union Square is derived from once being a popular area for rallys and support for the Union Army during the Civil War [1] Today, this one-block park and nearby area, is the largest collection of large department stores, swank boutiques, tourist trinket shops and salons in the Western United States continues to make  Union Square a major visitor draw and a vital, cosmopolitan place in downtown San Francisco. Grand hotels and small inns, and repertory, off-Broadway and single-act theaters also contribute to the area’s dynamic, 24-hour character.

Cable Car – 0.3 mile (3 blocks from the hotel)


Cable CarThe San Francisco cable cars are the only moving National Historic Landmark, and 9.7 million people take a nine mile per hour ride on them each year.

The three current operating lines are Powell-Mason, Powell-Hyde and California lines. The first two start at a turntable at Market & Powell street and the last one starts at Market & Drumm Street. The Powell-Mason line runs over Nob Hill, Russian Hill and ends at Aquatic Park, Ghiradelli Square. The Powell-Hyde line runs over Nob Hill to Fisherman’s Wharf. The California Street line runs from the Financial district over Chinatown, Nob Hill to the Van Ness Avenue.

China Town – 0.4 mile (4 blocks from the hotel) or Powell-Mason / Powell-Hyde Cable Car Line (China Town stop)

Website | Cable Car Route Map

China TownChinatown is the quickest trip you will ever make to Hong Kong’s present and past. A residential area includes authentic markets and fantastic/inexpensive restaurants. Parking here is particularly unavailable so consider taxi’s & buses. You can enjoy a great (& filling!) meal in a Chinatown restaurant and purchase imported wares. Take a trip to the Far East in Chinatown!

Worth about 1-2 hours of your time; good to combine with a walk through North Beach’s nearby Italian section by the end of the China Town.

Lombard / Crooked Street – 1.4 miles via Powell-Hyde Cable Car Line (Crooked Street stop)

Website | Cable Car Route Map

Lombard StreetLombard Street is San Francisco’s and America’s crookedest street. What does this mean? The steep, hilly street was created with sharp curves to switchback down the one-way hill past beautiful Victorian mansions. The street is paved with bricks and is an amazing site to see as demonstrated by the photos.

The best place to photograph the street, is from Leavenworth Street, at the bottom – looking up. You will see cars headed down slowly, daring souls walking up, and down the sides, while the flowers and buildings provide dazzling color. It is truly an incredible sight.

Ghiradelli Square / Aquatic Park – 2.1 miles via Powell-Hyde Cable Car Line (Last stop)

Website | Cable Car Route Map

Ghiradelli Square / Aquatic ParkOver a century ago, Ghirardelli Square was home to the eminent Ghirardelli Family’s chocolate, cocoa, mustard and box factory. Today, Ghirardelli Square features an international collection of over 50 remarkable restaurants, galleries and specialty shops, breathtaking bay views and beautifully landscaped plazas.

No trip to San Francisco is complete without a visit to the Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop, which dishes up Ghirardelli’s world famous hot fudge sundaes. The establishment also features original chocolate making equipment in operation.

Fisherman’s Wharf / Pier 39 – 2.2 miles via Powell-Mason Cable Car Line (Last stop) or F-Line Street Car from Market Street (Pier 39 stop)

Website | Cable Car Route Map

Fisherman's Wharf / Pier 39Fisherman’s Wharf is San Francisco’s most popular destination. Known for its historic waterfront, delicious seafood, spectacular sights and unique shopping, Fisherman’s Wharf offers a wide array of things to do for everyone. Its’ fabulous location in the ‘City by the Bay’, puts you within minutes of the Maritime Museum, Alcatraz, Coit Tower and everyone’s favorite, the world famous San Francisco Cable Car lines.

Fisherman’s Wharf offers some of the most incredible views of the San Francisco Bay, the Golden Gate Bridge and the cityscape.

Alcatraz Island from Fisherman’s Wharf – 2.2 miles via Powell-Mason Cable Car Line (Last stop)

Website | Cable Car Route Map

Alcatraz Island from Fisherman's WharfOut in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, the island of Alcatraz is a world unto itself. Isolation, one of the constants of island life for any inhabitant – soldier, guard, prisoner, bird or plant – is a recurrent theme in the unfolding history of Alcatraz. The island offers a close-up look at a historic and infamous federal prison. Visitors can explore the remnants of the prison, and learn about the Native American occupation of 1969 – 1971, early military fortifications and the West Coast’s first (and oldest operating) lighthouse. These structures and the island’s many natural features – gardens, tide pools, bird colonies, and bay views beyond compare, are being preserved by the National Park Service. The views from Alcatraz are incredible.

North Beach / Washington Square – 1 mile via Powell-Mason Cable Car Line (Washington Sqaure stop)

Website | Cable Car Route Map

North Beach / Washington SquareNorth Beach is that rare thing – a neighborhood that manages to be a perennial hit with tourists, and also to remain beloved by San Franciscans. It’s best known as San Francisco’s Little Italy, with its high density of check-clothed ristorantes, cafes and Old World delicatessens. It’s also a popular pilgrimage for fans of the Beat movement seeking the old haunts of Kerouac and Ginsberg. However, North Beach is no relic, and it has much to offer beyond pasta and poetry.

This vital neighborhood is home to some of the liveliest nightclubs and bars in town. Though Italian restaurants appear to dominate the dining scene, there are plenty of other good spots to try once you’ve had your fill of lasagna, with menus featuring Japanese, French and contemporary fusion cuisine. Then there’s Broadway, buzzing with neon adult stores and strip clubs and adding an incongruous dash of sleaze to all the culture and history.

Embarcadero Waterfront Plaza – 1.3 miles via Powell Street BART stop (Embarcadero stop) or F-Line Street Car from Market Street (Main & Drumm Street stop)

Website | BART & Street Car Route Map

Embarcadero Waterfront PlazaSpanning five blocks in the heart of San Francisco’s prime commercial district, Embarcadero Center is one of the largest mixed-use complexes in the Western United States.

Known for its diverse business and entertainment facilities, the Center features more than 100 retail shops and restaurants, a five-screen cinema and services to meet your every need. Not only is the Ferry Building the gateway to San Francisco’s Financial District, it is also a jumping off point to many local destinations — many within walking distance, others accessed by the famous Cable Cars that run through the streets of San Francisco.

Pier-7, near the Waterfront Restaurant on the Embarcadero, is said to be one of the better fishing piers in San Francisco. At 840 feet long, Pier 7 is the second longest fishing pier in The City.

San Francisco Ferry Building – 1.3 miles via Powell Street BART stop (Embarcadero stop) or F-Line Street Car from Market Street (Ferry Building stop)

Website | BART & Street Car Route Map

San Francisco Ferry BuildingWith the recent renovation of the Ferry Building and the Ferry Building Marketplace, there’s lots to do within steps of departing the Ferry Boat. The new Marketplace has shopping, dining, a year-round farmer’s market (Sat/Sun/Tue/Thu), plus free tours of the Ferry Building on Saturdays, Sundays and Tuesdays at noon.

Soaring historic architecture contributes to the super clean and orderly impression at Marketplace in the Ferry Building. Over 30 shops and restaurants provide products and services for commuters heading for the ferries, out of town shoppers and the many fortunate San Franciscans that live nearby.

The Embarcadero & Ferry Building is a popular gathering spot on New Years Eve. It’s a great place to watch the annual fireworks display with the Bay Bridge in the background.

Cliff House / Ocean Beach – 5.8 miles via Geary Street #38 Muni from right outside the hotel (Last stop)

Website | Muni Route Map

Cliff House / Ocean BeachFour different variations of the Cliff House have stood on the cliffs overlooking Seal Rocks, at the Northwest corner of San Francisco. Two earlier versions were rather modestly small in size, especially when compared with the elaborate eight-story Victorian building which stood on that spot from 1896 to 1907 as the third Cliff House. And when that ornate version of the building burned down, the fourth version to be built was designed more like the first two: simple, and made to blend in with the ocean and cliffs surrounding it. That fourth version is still standing today.

The Cliff House has held restaurants, dance halls, gift shops and vista points. From the windows of the building, a person could see for miles down the coast. They could also sit at their table and watch any ships that might be sailing in or out of the Golden Gate. Regardless of which incarnation of the building a person is visiting, they always have a spectacular view.

April 24, 2017

News & Events

Launching New Web Site


Union Square Plaza Hotel is pleased to announce the launching of  it’s new web site. More…

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