Best Lodging: San Francisco,CA (North Beach)

Expertise Provided By: “Frommer’s San Francisco”

The most popular tourist area in San Francisco and a haven for “hopeless romantics, foodies, wannabe novelists, coffee houses, and peripatetic insomniacs,” says Frommer’s guidebook. The Beat Generation occupied North Beach as its home base, with the City Lights bookstore, still owned by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, at its epicenter. The scene included Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassidy, and others who paved the way for the flower children of the 60s.

Argonaut Hotel

Originally built as a warehouse for the California Fruit Canners Association in 1906, the building features spectacular view from many rooms, cheerfully decorated to resemble a luxury cruise ship. Very family-friendly.

Sheraton Fisherman’s Wharf

Clean, modern, well-equipped rooms, even more so after a recent $33 million renovation. Four-story contemporary hotel built in the 1970s offer a floor reserved just for business travelers and a rarity in San Francisco, a heated outdoor pool.

Washington Square Inn

European-style B & B offers a quiet, peaceful environment in the midst of lively North Beach. Décor mixes antiques with flat screen TVs. Light breakfast in the morning, hors d’oeuvres and wine in the evening.

Best Western Tuscan Inn

“Like an island of respectability in a sea of touristy schlock,” writes Frommer’s. Clearly outclassing the competition in the immediate vicinity, the Tuscan Inn also offers excellent food at the adjoining Café Pescatore.

Hotel Bohème

Classy and intimate boutique hotel with striking rooms. Spiffy but tiny bathrooms. Close to all the action on Columbus Avenue.

San Remo Hotel

Cozy European-style bargain in a quiet North Beach neighborhood. Former Victorian boardinghouse with small but nice rooms and shared bathrooms. Consider stepping up to the lovely penthouse with its own patio.

The Wharf Inn

Pleasant, standard, no-frills motel right in the heart of Fisherman’s Wharf. Family-friendly with free parking, a hard-to-find amenity in San Francisco.

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