South San Francisco CA

Known by the locals only as “South City”, South San Francisco isn’t part of San Francisco at all, but rather it’s own separate city. Shielded by the fog, this city offers fantastic bay views and new offerings, thanks to the Oyster Point Park and Marina. Located on San Francisco Bay, this new recreational pursuit offers a place to launch your boat, cast a line from the fishing pier, set up a picnic or stroll along the sandy shores of Oyster Cove. Visit beautiful South San Francisco CA today. For a list of all the great area beaches, click here.

Weather – When to Visit South San Francisco

The best time to visit South San Francisco CA is from September to November. Believe it or not, fall offers some of the city’s warmest temperatures year-round, not to mention fewer crowds than summer. Spring is another good time to visit thanks to its mild temperatures and lack of rain. You’ll find a surge in tourism during the summer as people head west in search of sun, sand and surf. Winter in South San Francisco draws bargain-hunters with lower hotel rates and less people. If you decide to travel in the wintertime, protect yourself from the chilly temperatures with plenty of layers.

South San Francisco Attractions

Filoli Gardens

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Filoli offers unique restorative experiences for the whole family every season. From the historic home and manicured gardens to a vast estate and natural trails, come explore the beauty and tranquility of another time. Guests can visit the café, have a glass of wine or afternoon tea. 

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Coyote Point Recreation Area

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Coyote Point is a regional recreation area that provides a wide variety of opportunities: picnicking, swimming, windsurfing, bicycling, jogging, fishing, boating, and sailing. Stroll along the beach promenade, visit the marina and its breakwater, or explore the saltwater marsh. See shorebirds, colorful boats and windsurfers.

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Oyster Cove Beach

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Oyster Cove Beach is a small sandy beach in Oyster Point Park on San Francisco Bay. The park is part of the San Mateo County Harbor District and has a full marina, boat launch ramp, fuel dock and more for boating enthusiasts. The beach is great for families with safe swimming, shade trees and picnic tables to enjoy.

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San Bruno Mountain State & County Park

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San Bruno Mountain Park is a landmark of local and regional significance, standing as a unique open-space island in the midst of the peninsula’s urbanization at the northern end of the Santa Cruz Mountain Range. The Mountain’s ridge line runs in an east-west configuration, with considerable slopes and elevations ranging from 250 feet to 1,314 feet at the summit. The 2,416 acres of rugged landscape offer excellent hiking opportunities and outstanding views of San Francisco and Central Bay Area.

Oyster Point Marina

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Oyster Point Marina/Park is one of San Mateo County’s most exciting new recreational facilities, with something for everyone; 408 berth marina, boat launching ramp and a fishing pier. Other amenities include a park with hiking and jogging trails, picnic facilities and a 2.5 acre sandy beach.

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Things to do in South San Francisco

University of Surfing

University of Surfing has been teaching since 2004. Their amazing crew of Instructors are all experienced teachers that are patient, kind, knowledgeable, local and safe! They use the right gear at the right tide and fully licensed and insured. Telephone: 650-703-2653 Web: University of Surfing

Kite415

KITE415 is the first IKO certified kite boarding center. Boasting some of the best kite boarding instructors in the world, their staff is trained and registered with both the International Kite boarding Organization (IKO) as well as the Professional Air Sports Association (PASA). Discover your kite boarding passion! Telephone: 415-244-8007 Web: Kite415

California Canoe & Kayak

The West’s finest and most extensive Paddlesports company since 1972! They have been committed to providing safe and enjoyable classes and trips for over 40 years and would love to help you discover and develop your paddlesport endeavors. As paddlers, they will support you on your adventures in and around San Francisco bay & beyond! Telephone: +1 650-593-6060 Web: California Canoe & Kayak

Venture Jeeps

Venture Jeeps is an all inclusive, family friendly, four-wheeling, camping, outdoor experience. What does that mean for YOU? It means for one fee, you are provided with: a modified & capable Jeep, all necessary camping gear* if two day trip was selected* meals, and a competent trail guide in his/her jeep to make your trip most memorable & worry free! Telephone:
+1 888-425-4884 Web: Venture Jeeps

Fly Bay Area

FlyBayArea offers U-Fly SkyTours around the Bay Area in airplanes. Choose from four different SkyTours and get a chance to fly the plane with one of our professional flight instructors. Fly over San Francisco, Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, and the Pacific Coast. A unique aerial tour for locals and visitors alike. Telephone: +1 650-631-2927 Web: Fly Bay Area

Best Restaurants in South San Francisco

$-Inexpensive     $$-Moderate     $$$-Pricey     $$$$-Ultra High End

$$ – $$$ Ristorante Buon Gusto

Ristorante Buon Gusto is one of the oldest Italian restaurants in South San Francisco. They offer  traditional Southern Italian cuisine, an excellent wine menu, and a full bar, all served in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere reminiscent of  the best North Beach & Little Italy’s decades; the Fifties and Sixties. Telephone: 650-742-9776 Web: Ristorante Buon Gusto

$$ – $$$ Cafe Half Bistro

They serve freshly grilled BBQ Yakitori plus Japanese inspired favorites including Omurice, Donburi and hearty curries, perfect for dining in or on the go. They also offer delicious wheelcake, a beloved Taiwanese street-style dessert. Telephone: 650-873-5478 Web: Cafe Half Bistro

$$ – $$$ Cafe 382

They offer chicken & waffles, Bananas Foster French Toast, 6 Benedicts, Fresh Fish, Chicken, Steaks, Salads, House Ground Burgers, Shakes, Fresh Squeezed Juices, Beer & Wine, and much more! Telephone: 650-763-1640 Web: Cafe 382

$$ – $$$ New England Lobster Market & Eatery

This is an authentic east coast seafood experience in San Francisco. Whether you’re shopping at the market or grabbing a meal at the eatery, when you visit you’ll discover live Maine lobsters, dungeness crabs, mussels and more. Diners at their restaurant love the dressed lobster rolls, lobster corn chowder and crab nachos. Telephone: 650-443-1543 Web: New England Lobster Market & Eatery

$$ – $$$ Amoura Restaurant

They are a Mediterranean-style fine-dining restaurant offering ‘farm-to-table’ fresh ingredients and fantastic old-world recipes by their glowingly reviewed chef that are a pleasure to serve. Their full service bar has a wide selection of liquors and beers on tap. Telephone: 650-754-6891 Web: Amoura Restaurant.

Best Nightlife in South San Francisco

The StandBy

They are a classic dive bar with a friendly attitude.  They have 14 beers on tap, and emphasize local craft breweries.  They also have an extensive spirit selection specializing in whiskeys, Tequilas, and Mezcals.  They make cocktails from scratch and only use, fresh fruit, herbs, egg white, and other house made syrups.  Telephone: 650-588-8300 Web: The StandBy

Executive Order Bar & Lounge

Espresso Bar & Pastries on Tues, Weds & Thurs 10am-4pm. Cocktail Bar Open: Tues-Sun 5pm til close. Finger Food: Tues-Sun 5pm-10pm. Telephone: 415-699-6545 Web: Executive Order Bar & Lounge

Hometown Heroes

They are a local sports bar and eatery that specializes in a good time. An authentic sports bar feel with specials going on almost every night. They have the best sports games playing live on TVs so you can’t go wrong.  Telephone: 650-872-4484 Web: Hometown Heroes

Hula Hoops Restaurant & Bar

They specialize in exotic tiki cocktails and island cuisine inspired from different islands of the world. Happy Hour is Monday to Friday 4-5pm. Telephone: 650-952-3255 Web: Hula Hoops Restaurant & Bar

Molloy’s Tavern

Molloys was built in 1883, the walls are adorned with historic pictures of San Francisco and the Bay Area. They are best known for their Irish Coffee, Guinness, & wide selection of Irish whiskey. Telephone: 650-755-9545 Web: Molloy’s Tavern

Best South San Francisco Hotels

AC Hotel by Marriott Oyster Point Waterfront

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This design-driven AC Hotel on the San Francisco Bay is all about modern architecture with wonderful waterfront views. Guestrooms feature sleek furnishings and the most comfortable bed you’ll sleep in besides your own. Complimentary parking and free WiFi along with an indoor pool and fitness center. AC Kitchen serves breakfast, while lunch and dinner is in the AC Lounge. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit the AC Hotel by Marriott Oyster Point Waterfront.

Residence Inn by Marriott Oyster Point Waterfront

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They feature free Wi-Fi, fully equipped kitchens and plush bedding for your homelike travels. Start with a complimentary breakfast buffet serving plentiful hot and fresh options. Our active travelers can maintain a healthy lifestyle at our outdoor pool and fitness center. Challenge your friends to a game of basketball at our Sport CourtⓇ. Need to host an event? Utilize our modern meeting room for your business or social gathering. Before your stay is complete, spend time with loved ones by having a barbecue at our outdoor patio. From check-in to check-out, journey to relaxation at Residence Inn San Francisco Airport/Oyster Point Waterfront. For more information, pricing or to reserve your room visit the Residence Inn by Marriott Oyster Point Waterfront.

Hampton Inn San Francisco Airport

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Whether you’re visiting for a business trip or a getaway in the City by the Bay, enjoy this San Francisco Airport hotel’s comfortable guestrooms with free high-speed internet access and 37-inch flat-screen TVs. Plan tomorrow’s itinerary at the large work desk or convenient lap desk. Relax on the clean and fresh Hampton bed®. If you’re traveling with the family or prefer extra space, reserve a one-bedroom suite. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room, visit the Hampton Inn San Francisco.

Hilton Garden Inn San Francisco Airport

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Enjoy the free shuttle service to San Francisco’s BART and Caltrain Stations for easy travel around the city. Work out in the Hilton Garden Inn’s fitness center. Great American Grill, located on site, serves contemporary cuisine for breakfast and dinner. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit the Hilton Garden Inn San Francisco Airport.

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La Quinta Inn & Suites San Francisco Airport

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La Quinta Inn & Suites San Francisco Airport North is stocked with a coffee maker, iron, WI-FI Internet and dataports, and brand new flat panel televisions with HD programming. You can stay on your workout schedule in our well-equipped fitness center or instead lounge by the seasonally heated pool. Free Bright Side Breakfast® and 24-hour guest laundry and/or valet service. For more information, pricing, or to reserve your room visit the La Quinta Inn & Suites San Francisco Airport.

12 Comments

  1. Daniella

    Hi Matt,

    I’ve never been to South San Fransico and now that I read this post, I will certainly visit this place. We are planning a trip with the whole family next year. Now I have all the information to plan our trip. We love venture jeep and kayaking. Also, I see there are affordable restaurants where we can enjoy dinner.
    Are there casinos in this region? My husband loves to gamble, only when we are on vacation luckily:)
    Thank you!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Daniella, thanks for your visit to my South San Francisco CA review. Unfortunately, there are casinos in California and fairly close to South San Francisco. You can visit here for a list of the available casinos. I know you will still have a great time. You can drop hubby off at the casino and then the rest of you can head out for your adventure 🙂

      Reply
  2. Stella

    You truly have a site to bookmark.
    So much valuable info on the city and that area.
    Only have heard a lot of San Francisco but now you have given me an insight into the lovely city. Especially South San Francisco.
    I am ready to pack my bags!

    Thank you
    Stella
    Bush Lady

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am glad you enjoyed reading my South San Francisco CA review. Hopefully you can vacation to this wonderful beach community soon! Thanks for stopping by beach travel destinations.

      Reply
  3. Abdul Waheed

    HI Leahrae. I must say that you are one the best in sharing the vast knowledge to the readers like me. I have been following you for a long time, and every post that you share is very informative and this is is one of your masterpieces. I am going there for sure.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Great, you will have a blast! Thanks for visiting beach travel destinations and for taking the time to leave me comments.

      Reply
  4. John

    Leahrae,
    My brother lived in Oakland during the 70’s and 80’s. I made several trips to this area during this time. The south San Francisco area is very inviting place to visit. The only time we went close to the beach was to watch the wind kites flying off the cliffs.
    The weather is not quite as warm for beach wear, I think I still have a sweatshirt that I purchased when I was there last.
    Are there any fishing boats to book for a half or whole day trips. I like doing this when in the Florida area.
    John

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes it can be chilly here for sure, but also very nice. Watching the kites flying off the cliffs was an amazing sight I bet! There are several, so I want to refer you to this link for the top fishing charters in the area. Hope this helps, and please let me know if you have any additional questions.

      Reply
  5. Demi

    South SanFrancisco truly is an amazing place for everyone from children to adults. I live in bay area and mostly over weekends love to travel to SFO. I’m looking forward to some hiking with friends in Oyster Point Marina soon.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are so lucky you live so close Demi! Hiking at Oyster Point sounds great 🙂

      Reply
  6. Danny Barley

    Very informative article and I got a lot of interesting facts from this region of San Franisco. Had a lot of nice beaches, places to eat, hotels to stay at, and it also had a lot of interesting activities to do while you visit there.

    You did a great job with your website and article.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks so much Danny. Glad you enjoyed visiting my South San Francisco CA review 🙂

      Reply

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