San Francisco is a great place to vacation as a family. With iconic sights like the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf and Lombard Street, plus exciting activities like cable car rides and ferry boats, the kids will have just as much fun as the adults in your clan. Fortunately the City by the Bay has many hotel options that cater to families within a range of budgets. Many of these hotels are also pet friendly, so you may just want to bring Fido along for the vacation.
The Best Family Hotels San Francisco Has to Offer
You've settled on visiting San Francisco with your family, so where do you stay? Many hotels in the city offer special amenities for families, including kids activities, kids menus for room service, adjoining rooms and even babysitting service so the parents can have some time to enjoy the city by themselves. Looking at a hotel located near a kid-friendly attraction, such as Fisherman's Wharf is a good option to start your hotel search.
Union Square has great shopping, access to San Francisco's famous hills and a cable car line, which goes all the way to Ghirardelli Square. It is also adjacent to the theater district and Chinatown.
- Four Seasons San Francisco provides toys for small children and chocolate chip cookies in the room upon arrival. The concierge will arrange any family-oriented activity you'd like, from taking a boat to Alcatraz to taking a city tour from the back of a red fire engine. The restaurant goes beyond the kids menu to include a do-it-yourself sundae bar, and what kid wouldn't love that? The hotel also has babysitting services. Located on Market Street, the hotel has easy access to public transit, including the antique F Streetcar, that the kids will love to ride up and down Market Street.
- The Grand Hyatt Union Square combines family-friendly accommodations with four-star amenities. However, nothing beats the location right on Union Square. You will be steps away from the cable car and great shopping with easy access to fascinating sights around the city. The hotel's Babies Travel Lite service will deliver diapers, food and anything else you need for your little one. Babysitting service is also available.
- Guests at the Marriott Union Square say the hotel's Junior Corner Suite is perfect for families; it comes with a king bed and a pullout couch. Hotel staff will help arrange any tours and activities for the families, and the little ones will marvel at the stunning views of the city from the higher floors.
- Handlery Union Square Hotel has adjoining rooms and a heated, outdoor pool. Refrigerators, cribs, and rollaway beds are available in all rooms, and room service has a children's menu. Babysitting service is available, and the hotel also welcomes dogs, so you can truly bring the whole family.
- Hilton San Francisco makes a point of welcoming your kids. Not only does the hotel have an outdoor pool, it also provides kids' activities as well as complimentary cribs, high chairs, and rollaway beds.
The kids will never tire of Fisherman's Wharf and nearby Ghirardelli Square. From barking sea lions to crab fishermen to boat rides off Pier 39, there is a lot to see and do in this part of San Francisco.
- The Argonaut Hotel sets up a nautical experience. With plenty of room choices and suites available, families will enjoy the proximity to local attractions and the nautical-themed restaurant, the Blue Mermaid. Pets are also welcome at this hotel.
- The Fairmont Heritage Place at Ghirardelli Square offers a free continental breakfast, which comes in handy and saves money when traveling with the family. The hotel also has a billiard room, and it's just a stone's throw to the old chocolate factory.
- Across the street from the Hyatt Fisherman's Wharf, you can catch the cable car that will scale the steep hills of San Francisco and drop you at Market Street near Union Square. The hotel has an outdoor pool, as well as suites and larger deluxe rooms. Cribs are available at no charge, and rollaway beds can be supplied for a small fee.
- The Radisson Fisherman's Wharf has a wonderful heated outdoor pool the kids will love. The grounds open up to Fisherman's Wharf, so the family won't have to go far to take in the nearby attractions. The pool area has a firepit and a cabana bar. The hotel is 100-percent smoke free, and it offers free Wi-Fi for guests. Rollaway beds are available for an additional cost, and the hotel welcomes pets with a one-time cleaning fee.
This posh, historic part of San Francisco allows for breathtaking views of the city and the Bay, and its hotels are top notch. Centrally-located Huntington Park has an outdoor play area and grass for picnics and a game of tag.
The Fairmont San Francisco is one of the best family hotels in San Francisco. Connecting rooms are available, as well as cribs and rollaway beds. The hotel offers a family package, and it caters to the little ones by providing child-sized bathrobes, children's' shampoo and soap, as well as diaper genies, potties and highchairs. Nanny accommodations and babysitting services are also available. The hotel's Tonga Room and Hurricane Bar, where it rains from the ceiling every half hour, provides a children's menu. Kids will enjoy seeing the hotel's culinary garden, which is home to a bee hive.
Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach & Presidio
San Francisco has wonderful green space in its two main parks. Golden Gate Park stretches from the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood to Ocean Beach, and the family will have fun exploring its botanical gardens, playgrounds and looking for the herd of bison. The Presidio on the north tip of the city offers beach access, hiking and a chance to glimpse old military bunkers and the Golden Gate Bridge. Ocean Beach stretches along the western edge of the city and is great for surfing, looking for seashells, or building sand castles.
- The Stanyan Park hotel is located at the eastern edge of Golden Gate Park at the tip of the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. The hotel's suites are perfect for families since they include a kitchenette, sofa bed, living room and dining room. The location is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of the downtown neighborhoods, but with convenient access to public transit, it is easy to get to Union Square, the Embarcadero, Nob Hill, Chinatown and Fisherman's Wharf. Cribs are available at no cost, and rollaway beds are available for an additional fee. The hotel also offers free Wi-Fi.
- Ocean Park Motel is a great family getaway located near the San Francisco Zoo and Ocean Beach in the southwestern end of the city. The historic Art Deco hotel has a hot tub and a children's play area outside. Families can relax and spread out in one of their family suites, which include multiple bedrooms and either a kitchen or a microwave and refrigerator. Guests can access the hotel's free Wi-Fi as well. Public transit heading downtown and to other points of interest are easily accessible, and the beach is just steps away. The hotel welcomes dogs for an extra daily fee.
- Inn at the Presidio offers accommodations in a park setting which is located on the old U.S. Army base that faces the San Francisco Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge. The Presidio offers easy access to beaches and hiking trails. Families can relax by the outdoor fire pit or on rocking chairs on the front porch. All rooms come with free Wi-Fi and a refrigerator. Board games are also available. Families can take advantage of the free daily continental breakfast and evening wine and cheese reception. Dogs are welcome, but be prepared to pay an extra cleaning fee. The hotel's king suite has a separate sitting room with a sofa bed.
Importance of Location
When it comes to finding the best family hotels in San Francisco, location is as important as the hotel itself. However, you will want to take advantage of the public transit system to get around since there are so many things to do and see in the city . The kids will love riding on the electric buses and streetcars, or taking the cable car up and down those steep hills. Remember that the summers in San Francisco can be quite foggy and chilly, so dress in layers and be ready for anything.