What to do for Memorial Day Weekend in San Francisco

Memorial Day weekend in San Francisco is the perfect time to enjoy a fun-filled getaway. With so much to see and do, you’ll never run out of options for entertainment! From the iconic Golden Gate Bridge to the vibrant culture of Union Square and the Mission District, sunny San Fran is the place to be! Memorial Day weekend in San Francisco is sure to be an unforgettable experience that you will treasure for years to come, with much of the city transforming especially for the big weekend!

Meet Skittles! Golden Gate’s New Fur Baby

If you haven’t heard yet, Golden Gate Hotel has a new fur baby! Some of our previous guests might remember him fondly. We miss Pip loads. He was a legend and brought plenty of smiles and joy to a lot of our guests, but we really wanted to get a new rescue cat again. It was about time, so we did! 

Meet Skittles! Golden Gate’s New Fur Baby

We’re so excited to have Skittles as a part of the Golden Gate family. She’s been living here since December, and she’s already made quite the impression on the other staff members and guests alike. 

Skittles is a sweet and charming 3-year-old tabby cat adopted from the San Francisco SPCA. 

Last December, we did a giveaway on Instagram to help decide her name, and @jodi_goatcher won the giveaway! She was treated to a 2-night stay with complimentary continental breakfast and afternoon tea and cookies for two at our hotel for her tremendous help! It’s not easy finding your fur baby a name, and we wanted our guests to be a part of the experience. 

Skittles has settled right into her new home with us here at the hotel. We absolutely love her, and she’s already grown to become a very important member of our family. She’s been spreading so much happiness around, and she’s been a big part of making our guests feel at home.


A Little History

We’ve long been known as a pet-friendly hotel in San Francisco and we’ve always had a cat. They were always a part of what made our hotel place special. Our guests love having them around to cuddle, and play with their own fur babies too. 

Our first cat was a rescue named Captain Nemo. After he passed, we got a new rescue again, and through a contest with hotel guests, we called him Pip! 

Pip was an institution himself here at Golden Gate Hotel. He was a massive part of the Golden Gate family. We even have guests from around the world who always stay with us because they can’t get enough of Pip, and new guests coming to stay too because they’ve heard of him. 

He was very special to all of us at Golden Gate. 

He was just the sweetest! He would accompany guests for breakfast and tea… help give them a tour of their rooms… and greet them with kisses, too!

Sadly, Pip passed a few years ago. We know that some of you have been asking about the cats lately and why there hasn’t been one roaming around anymore. It’s because we’ve been trying to look for the right time to adopt again. It’s not an easy task. But now we’ve made the move and we have Skittles. <3


Learn more about San Francisco SPCA

We worked with the San Francisco SPCA to make adopting a new cat happen. Why buy when there’s plenty of animals out there who need love and shelter? We absolutely love what the organization does and support their causes. We also can’t thank them enough for helping us match with Skittles.

The San Francisco SPCA is a nonprofit organization that works tirelessly to improve the lives of animals in need. Their mission is “to ensure every companion animal has access to quality medical care, compassionate shelter, and a loving home,” and they do this by providing a safe haven for homeless animals, as well as high-quality veterinary care and adoption services. They are also a huge advocate for animal welfare laws, and they help educate the public on responsible pet ownership. 

If you’re looking to add a furry friend to your family and, or if you’d like to make sure your current pet is well taken care of, make sure to check out their website to know more about what they do, how you can adopt from SF SPCFA and avail of their veterinary services.


Golden Gate hotel is a pet-friendly hotel in San Francisco

At the Golden Gate hotel, we love pets as much as you do. When you stay with us, you can bring your four-legged friend along with you—and they’ll be treated like royalty, just like Skittles! We know how much you love your furry friends, and we want to make sure they have a home away from home while you’re in San Francisco.

Built in 1913, our historic property is one of the oldest and best hotels in San Francisco. It has been renovated to maintain its original charm while adding modern touches like Wi-Fi and LCD TVs. The hotel exudes a retro vibe decor with antique furnishings and distinctive artwork, plus a vintage bird-cage elevator.

All our 23 guest rooms also have their own distinctive design and décor. No two rooms are alike in our hotel in San Francisco Union Square! From adjoined family rooms with shared bathrooms to private European-style rooms with en-suite bathrooms (many of which have original claw-foot tubs), our family and pet friendly hotel in San Francisco guarantees a restful sleep for you and your loved ones. 

Centrally located up the hill from San Francisco Union Square, between Nob Hill and just a few blocks from Chinatown, our  location is perfect for exploring all of San Francisco’s attractions.


If you come to stay at the Golden Gate Hotel, make sure you meet Skittles and bring your fur babies with you!

The Perfect 3-day Itinerary for Your Romantic Getaway in San Francisco on Valentine’s Day

There’s a reason why musicians often write about San Francisco. The city is steeped in love-story lore, and it has a way of making those who visit feel simply at home, happy, and ready to take on life. With its quaint streets filled with an eclectic mix of Victorian and modern architecture, spectacular views of the bay, and the conveniences of a metro city, it’s no surprise that San Francisco on Valentine’s Day is a renowned destination for couples. 

Continue reading “The Perfect 3-day Itinerary for Your Romantic Getaway in San Francisco on Valentine’s Day”

Things to Do in San Francisco this Holiday Season 2022

Christmas in San Francisco is a magical experience!

 The city’s beautiful weather, rich history, stunning architecture and waterfront views, vibrant nightlife scene, and diverse culture make it a perfect destination for anyone looking to enjoy the holidays. 

If you want a little extra holiday spirit, there are plenty of Christmas-y things to do in San Francisco, too! Catch the San Francisco Ballet’s Nutcracker at the War Memorial Opera House. Check out the San Francisco Symphony’s shows at the Davies Symphony Hall. Or meander through the Christmas light displays at Union Square. Whether you’re looking for an exciting adventure or if you’re looking for a nice, relaxing time, you’ll find it in San Francisco. 

Continue reading “Things to Do in San Francisco this Holiday Season 2022”

Make a Memorable Thanksgiving 2022 in San Francisco

“Every man should be allowed to love two cities: his own and San Francisco” – Gene Fowler 

There is nothing quite as magnetic as seeing the fog roll in over the hills of San Francisco. The city by the Bay is one with many faces and has a majestic appeal in all of its moods. A windy summer day brings sailboats out in full force, showing off their speed as they race under the bright red Golden Gate Bridge. A brisk winter sunset lights up the sky in a rainbow of colors and makes the magic of the city lights even more romantic. San Francisco is unlike any other, making it the perfect destination for an unforgettable Thanksgiving weekend getaway.

With its large diversity and eclectic neighborhoods, there is something for everyone in San Francisco — and finding a slice of home is an easy thing to do. No matter where home is! Whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving 2022 with family or friends, the city has much to offer for visitors of all ages. Read on for a list of must-do Thanksgiving activities in San Francisco.

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The Best Things to do in Union Square San Francisco

Whether you’re coming to the city for business or pleasure, visiting San Francisco in the fall can be delightful. Our Hotel, located in San Francisco’s popular Union Square neighborhood, is a great place to stay while you’re in town. We have a great guide to helping you enjoy all the best things to do in Union Square San Francisco, not to mention more great ways to enjoy the best of this city in the fall.

While you’re enjoying walking the beautiful streets of San Francisco, shopping ’til you drop in Union Square, or exploring this vibrant city by neighborhood, there’s no better place to stay than our Hotel in Union Square San Francisco. The Golden Gate Hotel has recently reopened under new ownership, and offers the perfect blend of retro decor, modern amenities, and comfortable accommodations.

Fall is a golden time of year with nature’s hues changing colors combined with cozier, crisp evenings, clear nights, and mild days. Whatever brings you to town, let us treat you to a memorable stay in San Francisco. Book your room at our Union Square San Francisco Hotel today! Continue reading “The Best Things to do in Union Square San Francisco”

10 Amazing Restaurants near Union Square San Francisco

Summer is a spectacular time to visit the world-renowned city of San Francisco, especially when you stay at our newly reopened Union Square San Francisco Hotel. Though there are plenty of great things to do in San Francisco this summer, you’ll want to make plenty of time to try all the fantastic restaurants near Union Square San Francisco.

The Union Square neighborhood is a fantastic part of San Francisco, home to various great shops, restaurants, and attractions. It’s also walkable to places like Chinatown and downtown San Francisco, making it one of the best places to stay in San Francisco. That’s particularly true when you choose to stay at our newly reopened hotel in Union Square, San Francisco.

If you’re looking for a great, centrally located place to stay in San Francisco, Union Square is it. Not only is there great shopping, theater, and more in the area, but there are also some truly incredible restaurants near Union Square San Francisco. Having fantastic restaurants nearby is a definite plus in a city with so many excellent food options!

There’s still plenty of time to enjoy the best of San Francisco this summer – including these fantastic restaurants near Union Square San Francisco. If you’re ready, book your room at our hotel in Union Square today! Continue reading “10 Amazing Restaurants near Union Square San Francisco”

5 Overnight Trips from San Francisco

While there is plenty to do in San Francisco, sometimes it is nice to get out of the city and discover the other beautiful places in Northern California. With its location, there are many overnight trips from San Francisco that make for a quick, yet relaxing, escape. So, pack your bags and plan for an overnight getaway to these nearby locations.


Home to the famous Monterey Bay Aquarium, Monterey is just under two hours from the Golden Gate Hotel and is one of the best overnight trips from San Francisco. This small coastal town is also home to several wineries, plenty of scenic views, whale watching, and the famous historic Cannery Row. Visit the Monterey peninsula’s south side and explore the artful Carmel-by-the-Sea. Stroll white sandy beaches, wind-carved bluffs, and Point Lobos State Park, plus visit a piece of history at the Carmel Mission. Both Monterey and Carmel offer a variety of restaurants, shops, and galleries.


No trip to California’s northern region is complete without a visit to wine country. Between Napa and Sonoma Valley, you have what seems to be an endless supply of wineries and tasting rooms. Both Napa and Sonoma Valley are home to just over 400 wineries. Napa Valley is a bit more touristy and more expensive. Sonoma Valley cares less about tourism and more about wine and tends to be less expensive, overall. Napa is two hours from San Francisco, and Sonoma is slightly under two hours from San Francisco.


For those who seek the outdoors and are looking to soak up a bit of mother nature during their vacation, then a visit to Yosemite National Park is a must. Right at three hours, the trip to Yosemite National Park is one of our favorite overnight trips from San Francisco. Discover ancient sequoia trees, the massive Bridalveil Falls, and the impressive granite cliffs of El Capitan and Half Dome. Plus, be sure to stop in at the Yosemite Museum and Ansel Adams Gallery, where a collection of Ansel Adam’s photographs are displayed.


For some of the greatest unspoiled beaches in Northern California, visit Point Reyes National Seashore. Discover natural beauty less than an hour outside of San Francisco. With 11 miles of rough coastline free of buildings and no development, all you will find is just beach and ocean. Be sure to visit the Point Reyes Lighthouse, Drakes Beach that features sheer, white cliffs that tower over the Pacific, and the Cypress Tree Tunnel – one of our San Francisco bucket list items.


Enjoy the surf, old carnival rides, and one-of-a-kind vintage shopping in the quiet beach town of Santa Cruz. With wide, flat sandy beaches and a beautiful surf, Santa Cruz makes for a great beach destination away from the city. Due to its decent surf, the shoreline of Santa Cruz is often a great place to spot local surfers catching a wave. Be sure to also spend some time along the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. The mile-long boardwalk offers shops, restaurants, carnival games, and an amusement park. Santa Cruz is about a 90-minute drive from San Francisco.



Make the Golden Gate Hotel your home base for exploring the city and these overnight trips from San Francisco. Choose from 23 cozy and comfortable guest rooms that are uniquely decorated with antiques, original art, and welcoming hospitality. Guests enjoy a complimentary breakfast every morning, afternoon tea, convenient parking, and more amenities to make your stay the best it can be. Start planning your getaway and book your stay with us today!

Top Scenic Viewpoints in San Francisco

In a city defined by its hills, panoramic vista points, city lights, and oceanic landscapes, San Francisco paints the backdrop to many scenic viewpoints. While at most any corner or street you find yourself on, there is a beautiful scene laid out before you, but there are certain places within the city that provide some of the best views around. We’ve gathered up a few of our favorite scenic viewpoints in San Francisco to enjoy during your next visit to the Bay area.


With 360-degree views, one of the highest scenic viewpoints in San Francisco is the summit at Twin Peaks. Named for a pair of peaks that rest in a remote residential area of the city, Twin Peaks is a popular spot for hiking, dog walking and taking in beautiful views of the city. A 64-acre grassy park sits at the top, ideal for a day at the park. Access the summit either by driving to the top or hiking one of the several trails leading to the summit.


Hawk Hill is a 923-foot peak that rests in the Marin Headlands, north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Located within the Golden Gate National Park Recreation Area, Hawk Hill features a series of lookouts providing some of the best views of the Golden Gate Bridge. Not only is this one of the best scenic viewpoints in San Francisco, but it is also the best place to see the fall raptor migration.


Bernal Heights Park is a hillside park that offers plenty of green space, towering trees, hiking trails, and a beautiful viewpoint that provides one of the best spots to enjoy a sunrise in San Francisco. This park’s views stretch across the sprawling suburbs in the foreground and the skyline of the Financial District and the Pacific Ocean in the distance. Bernal Heights Park is a great alternative to Twin Peaks with its similar views and fewer crowds.


Both the Golden Gate Overlook and the Pacific Overlook were built in 2012 to celebrate the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th anniversary. Each of the overlooks provides the most iconic vantage points of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Pacific Ocean, and a stunning landscape that makes up the city’s coastline.


Located in the Corona Heights and Castro neighborhoods, Corona Heights Park boasts a hilly landscape, a signature red rock, which makes for the perfect spot to take in scenic views of San Francisco. This park features a nearby museum, grassy park, tennis courts, dog park, playground, and more – ideal for a family day at the park.


A bit of a hidden vantage point, Tank Hill captures much of the city’s views as the popular Twin Peaks does but without the crowds. Tank Hill is located near the intersection of Clayton Street and Twin Peaks Boulevard. The rock outcropping doesn’t offer a 360-degree view but does provide scenes of downtown San Francisco, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge. Access the top of Tank Hill via a wooden staircase or a dirt path.



As the highest natural point in San Francisco at 928-feet, Mount Davidson is found in the center of the city, which provides stunning 360-degree views that can’t be beaten. The 40-acre mountain-top park provides ample hiking trails all within the middle of the city and is also a great place to see Twin Peaks, Sutro Tower, and downtown skyline.


Take in these scenic viewpoints in San Francisco and complete your experience with a stay at the Golden Gate Hotel. Located near San Francisco’s Union Square, our hotel offers an excellent location for exploring the city, coupled with old-world charm with friendly surroundings. Choose from our 23 boutique-style rooms that provide a charming atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else in the city. And to top it off, guests enjoy a complimentary breakfast and afternoon tea-time to complete your relaxing vacation. Start planning your San Francisco vacation and book your stay at Golden Gate Hotel today!

Your San Francisco Bucket List

Can’t decide on what to do when you visit San Francisco? With so much to do and see, it can be a bit overwhelming to cram it all in when you are on limited vacation. To help, we’ve created a San Francisco Bucket List for you to use when planning your trip.


The San Francisco cable cars are one of the most iconic landmarks in the city. Whether you use them for your mode of transportation or for a fun afternoon activity, they are an enjoyable way to get around the city.

Read here for more about the history of the cable car.


Less than half a mile from the Golden Gate Hotel is the Ice Cream Museum. This immersive art experience features imaginative, multi-sensory installations all centered around ice cream and its universal power to connect us all.


Visit the Point Reyes National Seashore and take a walk through the Cypress Tree Tunnel. It’s like something out of a fairytale.


Walk amongst green space and an urban oasis atop the Sales Force Transit Center. The 5.4-acre park features trees, gardens, and a walking path. There is also a gondola that will take visitors from street level to the rooftop garden.


The Golden Gate Bridge is an iconic landmark of San Francisco. Gain a different perspective of the bridge by walking or biking across to get a better understanding of what makes this bridge so special and unique.


While a visit to Chinatown during your stay in San Francisco is a must, eating dim sum is one of the best ways to experience the culture and food of Chinatown. Check out the Dim Sum Bistro or Hang Ah Dim Sum Tea House to start your dim sum journey.


Named as the “crookedest street in the world,” Lombard Street is one of the most photographed streets in America and is an iconic San Francisco attraction. The street is famous for its steep, one-block section that challenges drivers with eight tight turns. The original design was intended to reduce the steep grade of the hill, which was originally too steep for most vehicles to drive.


Designated a historical landmark, the colorful homes of Alamo Square’s famous “postcard row” is a beautiful representation of Victorian homes from the Queen Anne era. Spend the afternoon relaxing in the square and admire the details of what makes these homes so unique.


As part of Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39 is a must-add to your San Francisco bucket list. Home to the famous barking sea lions, Pier 39 is also home to restaurants, shops, and other activities – making for a great afternoon outing.


A San Francisco tradition, Bob’s Donuts is open 24 hours a day, every day, so grab a donut anytime.


For those rainy, foggy San Francisco days, curl up with a book at the quaint bookstore; City Lights Booksellers & Publishers.


Visit the Presidio and enjoy an enchanting and relaxing walk through Lover’s Lane. As the oldest footpath through the Presidio, dating back to the 18th century, today it is filled with joggers, walkers, bird watchers, and those seeking a bit of peace and quiet away from the city.


Golden Gate Park is home to two windmills within the park grounds. The 115-year-old Dutch windmill and the 15-year-old Murphy Windmill are located at the western end of the park.


The infamous Alcatraz prison is one San Francisco attraction that is best experienced with a tour. Take a ferry ride over to Angel Island and discover the secrets of this once maximum security prison. Find out more about tour information here.


Get your exercise and view beautiful artwork all at the same time. The 16th Ave. steps are famous for their colorful tiled steps that make a stunning pattern of shapes and symbols. The Lincoln park stairs are another great option for a colorful walk.


No need to leave the city for a trip to the tropics. Stop in at the Tonga Room & Hurricane Bar for a Mai Tai or your favorite tropical drink, all while you enjoy the sounds of a rainstorm at the tiki bar.


The Labyrinth is a beautiful display of rocks set in a maze-like pattern just off Mile Rock Beach. The walk is about a mile long and offers beautiful waterfront views.


Spend the day shopping at your favorite stores at San Francisco’s Union Square. Home to the classic Macy’s flagship store and plenty of high-end retailers, Union Square also offers restaurants and other activities to complete your shopping experience.


Complete your San Francisco bucket list with a stay at the Golden Gate Hotel. Located just a few blocks from Union Square, our boutique hotel is conveniently located to many San Francisco area attractions. Our 23 guest rooms are uniquely decorated with antiques, original art, and comfortable surroundings. Enjoy a complimentary breakfast every morning, afternoon tea, and modern amenities to complete your stay. Start planning your San Francisco getaway and book your stay with us today!