Working San Francisco Travel Nurse Jobs: Things You Should Not Miss 

San Francisco is so iconic, it’s hard to know where to start. Are you interested in exploring local landmarks like Alcatraz, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Painted Ladies or seeing the entire city by cable cars? Or are you an experienced foodie, looking for one-of-a-kind dinners and drinks? Or are you an avid hiker, looking to get off the beaten path?  

Places to Visit in San Francisco

San Fran is known for its landmarks and these are some of the most well-known. 

The Golden Gate Bridge—the bridge is called one of the seven wonders of the modern world. It spans just over 1.5 miles and connects San Francisco to Marin County. Have you even visited San Francisco if you haven’t walked across it? But beware, if you’re driving southbound on the San Francisco side of the bridge, you’ll need to pay a toll. 

Cable Cars—San Fran is hilly and the city’s cable cars are a way to get around and explore without trekking up and down massive hills. They’re the world’s last manually operated cable car system and takes tourists through some of the city’s other landmarks. 

Fisherman’s Wharf—where else can you see nearly 900 wild sea lions? Fisherman’s Wharf is home to an unusually large herd of sea lions at Pier 39. They’re more visible in the winter, but there’s a small herd that hangs out all year long. In addition to the sea lions, there’s also plenty of shops to stop in and places to eat and drink. 

Coit Tower—Coit Tower has been a part of San Francisco’s skyline since the 1930s and it offers unparalleled views of the city. Getting up there can be a challenge though. Although the tower has an elevator to take visitors up 13 flights of steps, it’s 90 years old and breaks down occasionally.  

Alcatraz—the famous former prison is a little over a mile from the San Francisco shore and it’s now a part of the National Park Service. Although prisoners haven’t been housed there since the 1960s, visitors can still wander through the building.  

Painted Ladies—if you’ve ever watched Full House, you’ve seen the Painted Ladies. During WWI and WWII, they were painted gray with old Navy surplus paint, but in the 60s, a local artist painted his house blue and green. Although somewhat controversial at the time, some neighbors copied and the colorful Painted Ladies were born. 


Lombard Street—Lombard Street is know as the “crookedest street in the world.” And with good reason. There’s a one block stretch of the road that has eight hairpin turns. Two million people visit every year. The street’s design is intentional and was created to reduce the hill’s natural 27 percent grade. 

Famous Places to Eat & Drink in San Francisco

San Francisco is much more than Rice-A-Roni. From dim sum in Chinatown, to Dungeness crab and oysters in Fisherman’s Wharf, the city is known for its food. Here are some recommendations from locals. 

  • Cioppino (an Italian tomato seafood stew) at Cioppino’s or Scoma’s 
  • Dungeness crab at Fog Harbor Fish House or Franciscan Crab Restaurant 
  • Sourdough from Boudin Bakery & Cafe 
  • Burritos from La Cumbre Taqueria, El Farolito or La Taqueria 
  • Dim sum from Yank Sign or Hong Kong Lounge 
  • Ice cream at Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop, Bi-Rite, Mitchell’s and Humphry Slocombe 

Looking for a cocktail or craft brew? Check these out 

  • Martinis were invented in San Francisco. Grab one at Tony’s Pizza Napoletana and Original Joe’s 
  • Martuni’s in Castro was named one of Esquire’s Best Bars in America in 2020. The bar is known for its martinis 
  • ABV and The Interval also received recognition as two of the Best Cocktail Bars in America  
  • Smuggler’s Cove was named one of the 13 Most Influential Bars of the 21st Century by The pirate-themed tiki bar shouldn’t be missed 
  • Bartlett Hall’s chocolate and honey beers need to be on your list if you’re a beer lover. Both placed at the California State Fair’s brewing competition 
  • If an IPA is your thing, head over to Magnolia Brewing. The brewery with locations i Haight-Ashbury and Dogpatch is known for its Proving Ground IPA 
  • 21st Amendment is a familiar face at the Great American Beer Fest and its American-style cream ale has won both a bronze and gold medal 

Neighborhoods to Check Out in San Francisco

San Francisco is known for its unique and vibrant neighborhoods. To truly experience the city, check out each one during your travel nurse assignment in California. 

Presidio—The Presidio is a former military base that’s also home to the Walt Disney Family Museum, a can’t miss attraction for anyone who loves all things Disney. Nearby Richmond has a variety of eats, including dim sum, Korean, Thai and even Russian.  

Marina/Pacific Heights—Looking for the perfect backdrop for a share-worthy Instagram post? The Marina District’s Palace of Fine Arts is it. It was built as an art exhibition in 1915 and still stands today.  

Fisherman’s Wharf—Fisherman’s Wharf is home to Pier 39 and its colony of sea lions and it’s the most-visited attraction in San Francisco. From here, you can take a ferry to tour Alcatraz and then return for a dinner for Dungeness crab. Save room for dessert though and grab a sundae at the original Ghirardelli chocolate factory. 

Nob Hill—If you’re a fan of the iconic cable cars, Nob Hill is where you want to be. You can learn all about the history at the San Francisco Cable Car Museum on the way to Lombard Street, the World’s Most Crookedest Street.  

North Beach—Despite its name, North Beach isn’t actually a beach. Instead, it’s a neighborhood with a strong Italian American neighborhood. If you’re looking for Italian food, you can’t go wrong in North Beach. 

Embarcadero—The Embarcadero neighborhood really took off during the California Gold Rush of 1849. Since then though, the area has become a place for families with the Exploratorium and the Wells Fargo History Museum favorite destinations. Make sure to take some time to check out the great views of the Bay 

Chinatown—San Francisco’s Chinatown is the country’s first and largest. The neighborhood boasts pagoda-style buildings and ornate lamp posts—you might just feel like you’ve stepped into another country. Make sure you come to Chinatown hungry because there are authentic restaurants throughout the neighborhood.  

Fillmore—The Fillmore is San Francisco’s Black hub and where the city celebrates Juneteenth each year. Then a few weeks later in July, Fillmore hosts the Fillmore Jazz Festival. Tour the African American Freedom Trail and stops at Bethel A.M.E. Church, First A.M.E. Zion Church, St. John Coltrane African Orthodox Church and Third Baptist Church. 

Japantown—San Francisco’s Japantown is the oldest Japantown in the country. If you need to relax, visit the Kabuki Springs and Spa for Japanese-style bathing and a Shiatsu massage. Don’t miss the food too. You’ll find sushi, ramen, manju, matcha and more.  

Central Market—Central Market is the tech area of San Francisco, even as tech offices are cutting workspaces. Meta, Open AI, Salesforce, X and Zendesk all have office space in Central Market. If you’re a Broadway fan, you’ll probably find yourself at the Golden Gate and Orpheum theaters.  

Union Square—Need some retail therapy while in San Francisco? Union Square offers brands like Louis Vuitton, Valentino, Bloomingdale’s, Apple, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Macy’s.  

Civic Center/Hayes Valley—Civic Center/Hayes Valley is home to City Hall, War Memorial Opera House, Davies Symphony Hall, the Asian Art Museum and the main branch of the San Francisco Public Library. 

Haight-Ashbury—Haight-Ashbury is home to the original hippy and flower power movements. It’s where you can find vintage consignment shops, record stores, tattoo parlors and cool restaurants. It’s also where the former Grateful Dead and Jefferson Airplane houses are, but don’t plan on going inside because they’re both privately owned homes.  

SoMa/ Yerba Buena—SoMa (South of Market) is one neighborhood with all the ritzy hotels—here you can find The Four Seasons, the W, St. Regis and Hotel VIA. It’s also where the Giants play baseball so if you’re a fan, consider taking in a game this summer. If you’re interested in a Michelin-star meal, make a reservation at Luce. 

Treasure Island—Treasure Island is just across the water and offers a stunning view of the entire San Francisco Bay. Getting to the Island is easy, with buses and ferries running on a regular schedule throughout the day. 

Castro/Noe Valley—Castro is probably one of the most famous LBGTQ neighborhoods in the world. It’s especially lively in June when Pride events take place and in October for the Castro Street Fair. Hundreds of local artists, vendors, craftspeople and organizations all celebrate the diversity of the neighborhood the first Saturday in October each year. Nearby Noe Valley is full of charming Victorian houses, filled with a mix of hipsters and families. 

Mission District—The Mission District is home to everything trendy. Boutiques and restaurants are all over and the area is particularly known for its mission-style burritos. Also, don’t miss Mission Dolores, a church that dates back to 1776. 

Bayview—Known as the sunniest neighborhood of San Francisco, Bayview is home to 35,000 residents. It’s one of California’s oldest business districts with a great legacy of Black achievements. While exploring the area, don’t miss seeing the shorebirds along Heron’s Head Trail and the Bayview Opera House, built in 1888. 

What’s your reason for taking a healthcare travel job in San Francisco? Looking for an assignment? Check out our allied and travel nurse jobs board or connect with a Triage recruiter so you can get on the road to the City by the Bay.