A Brief Guide on Where to Stay in San Francisco

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Attention Women 2.0 Conference SF 2014 attendees! Here’s some tips and hints on where to stay in San Francisco.

By Jasmine France (Contributing Writer, Women 2.0)

If you’re planning on attending the Women 2.0 2014 Conference, chances are you’ll need a roof over your head in San Francisco. For those that haven’t spent a great deal of time in the city by the bay, this could be a daunting task. Luckily, you’ve got this veteran SF resident to help. Check out the mini guide below for information on where to stay and what to expect from the neighborhood you select.

SOMA/China Basin: Up Close and Personal

The venue is located on the southeast end of SOMA, so if you want to enjoy less transit time and more productivity, this is the place to stay. Note that SOMA is huge, though, so keep your search to street numbers higher than 4th. Also, SOMA is the least “neighborhoody” option on this list, so amenities like cafes, restaurants and markets are more spread out, although Folsom between 7th and 8th has a good collection of eateries and watering holes.

Airbnb Standouts: 2BR Townhouse, Executive 1BR w/ Office & Balcony, Spacious Loft w/ Parking

Hotel Recs: Holiday Inn Civic Center, InterContinental

Avoid: Anywhere within a block of Mission and Sixth.

Mission/Potrero Hill: Grit Turned Hip

The north side of Potrero Hill and Inner Mission areas are also very close to the venue, and you can easily find a place within walking distance. There are also several bus lines that go through the area. (Check out the new Muni+ app for getting around.) These neighborhoods are flush with indie coffee shops such as Four Barrell and Blue Bottle, and there’s an endless array of renowned restaurants at which to get your grub on. If you’d rather make use of your rental’s kitchen, there are some great local markets such as Rainbow Grocery.

Airbnb Standouts: Potrero Hill Garden Getaway, 3BR Mission Charmer w/ Parking, Hip & Cozy 2BR Cottage, Potrero Hill Spacious 3BR Flat

Hotel Recs: The Inn San Francisco, The Parker Guest House

Avoid: South of 24th Street and the south side of the Hill.

Hayes Valley/Lower Haight: Victorian History

This area has been heavily gentrified over the past decade and is perhaps the nicest neighborhood on this list in terms of “street appeal.” It’s also not as convenient to the venue, as it requires two buses on public transit or more than a mile walk (though it is flat). UberX, which recently lowered its fares by 20% in the Bay Area, is a great option for transportation if you elect to stay here. Both neighborhoods have some stunning Victorian architecture that survived the 1906 quake–walk up Oak Street and you can see the construction dates of some houses on plaques. There are also lots of restaurants in the area, as well as multiple parks and outdoor pop-ups (such as Biergarten) in case one of those warm California winter days rolls through.

Airbnb Standouts: Sunny 3BR in Heart of SF, Fun 2BR 2Bath, Centrally Located Victorian Studio

Hotel Recs: Hayes Valley Inn

Avoid: Price gouging.

Civic Center/Polk Gulch: Politics and Partying

This area is very convenient to the venue in terms of transit; Muni line 19 comes straight down Polk, past Civic Center, and drops off less than half a block from the venue. It also wouldn’t be a stretch to walk the distance (during the day). There are plenty of cheap and excellent hole-in-the-wall restaurants to get your SF foodie fix without breaking the bank (recommended: Swan Oyster Depot), and an abundance of drinking establishments at which to enjoy a relaxed and casual happy hour. Aside from SOMA, this is where you’ll find the most hotels.

Airbnb Standouts: Corner Apt with Two Balconies, Sunny Top Floor Bird’s Nest

Hotel Recs: The Phoenix Hotel, Hotel Carlton, Hotel Vertigo

Avoid: The square west of Larkin, south of O’Farrell, east of Taylor and north of Golden Gate.

Do you have any good suggestions on where to stay in San Francisco?

FB-3About the blogger: Jasmine France is a travel-addicted, food-obsessed Bay Area writer with a decade of experience covering consumer electronics, digital music, mobile apps and cloud computing. Follow her on Twitter @WeirdEaredJas.