San Francisco is an American city we love for its year-round mild temperatures and family-friendly activities.
Flexibility is very important when it comes to traveling with points and miles. So, let’s see how to visit this beautiful city of “San Fran” with points.
In a second time, we will reveal to you the must-see places in San Francisco: thanks to our resident friends who shared their favorite addresses with us!
Getting to San Francisco
Reservation of the airfare to SF
OnAeroplan’s side, you can get return tickets for 30,400 Aeroplan points + $83 CAD in economy class. The same ticket costs CAD 1,079 at the public rate at the same time. Points can be a great way to save money when cash tickets are very expensive.
In my experience, points are often a good option for travel to San Francisco during busy periods and it is not difficult to find better prices with Aeroplan.
Earn Aeroplan points
In fact, some credit cards grant a welcome bonus with Aeroplan points, as with the TDMD AeroplanMD Visa Infinite* Card. You could get two round-trips from Montreal to San Francisco with this huge boost to your points balance!
Otherwise, with everyday expenses, it is also very easy to pick up some. For example, the American Express Cobalt® Card will earn you 30,000 Membership Rewards points after $6,000 at the grocery store (or forgas and Amazon – think gift cards).
As demonstrated above, airfare to San Francisco is over $1,000; getting a $1,000 flight out of $6,000 every day is a great return on your purchase!
Hotel reservations with Marriott Bonvoy in SF
What’s more, the value of points is very high, and it’s easy to earn them with American Express.
Here is a map of available hotels for these dates in San Francisco:
There are 17 Marriott Bonvoy hotels in downtown San Francisco such as:
- Hotel Adagio – Autograph Collection
- San Francisco Marriott Marquis Hotel
- The Westin St.Francis Marriott San Francisco
The advantage of a reservation with Marriott Bonvoy points is that it can be changed/cancelled up to the day before the stay!
Here are reports on some of the hotels in San Francisco:
Get Marriott Bonvoy points
The best way to earn Marriott Bonvoy points for free stays at more than 8,000 hotels worldwide is with the Marriott Bonvoy® American Express®* Card (and/or the Marriott Bonvoy® Business American Express®* Card).
In addition to the great welcome bonus on both cards, you’ll earn 2 points per dollar on all purchases and 5 points per dollar at Marriott locations. And each year, you’ll earn a certificate for one free hotel stay (35,000 point value) and 15 Elite nights toward your Marriott Bonvoy status.
Our list of must-sees in San Francisco
Things to do in San Francisco
When visiting San Francisco, it would be a shame not to visit its iconic places! Here are the must-haves:
- Stroll through the oldest part of the harbor, Fisherman’s Warf, and visit the Bay Aquarium if you’re with kids, meet the sea lions at Pier 39, or just eat and store.
- For science lovers and children, there are interactive exhibits and activities at the Exploratorium, at Pier 15.
- Take a ferry from Pier 33 to Alcatraz Prison located on an island in front of San Francisco Bay. It’s a striking place that has become a national park full of history, and will give you an insight into the daily lives of prisoners.
- Go to the Golden Gate Bridge and cross it, on foot, by bike or by car, for a panoramic view of the bay, on your way to Fort Point, Sausalito or Vista Point.
- Once in Sausalito, take the opportunity to visit Muir Woods National Park and discover its giant sequoias or the Bay Area Discovery Museum for a great family day out. It is possible to have a picnic.
- Take a cable car to Golden Gate Park, the city’s largest park, and visit the California Academy of Sciences, one of the largest natural history museums in the world.
- Be sure to watch the cars drive down Lombard Street, San Francisco’s steepest and most winding road (zigzag).
- Check out the colorful Victorian row houses on Steiner Street known as the”Painted Ladies“. Some of you may recognize them from the TV series”Full House“. Mrs Doubtfire’s house is on the same street, further down the road.
- Finally, take the pulse in the Union Square area where you will find major shopping centers, museums and art exhibitions.
For wine lovers, the north is famous for its Napa Valley wine regions. Some establishments offer tastings in sublime locations.
Restaurants to try in San Francisco
The best bakery in San Francisco, Arsicault Bakery, is run by French people and attracts a lot of people, so you’d better get up early to make sure you get in!
For a very good brunch, we go to Tartine Manufacture, a trendy young professional place, with atmosphere.
Fancy some dumplings in SF? The best are at dumpling time. The best part is that they are affordable, so you order and treat yourself!
Fancy trying a Michelin-starred restaurant? Mister Jiu’s is just the place, located in Chinatown.
When it comes to burgers, Roam Artisan offers the best! Our friends recommend you to take the small fried zucchini and onions with it.
Niku Steakhouse is a restaurant that can cost you a lot of money but the American meats are quality. The trick to reducing the bill and still enjoying it, is to order from the butcher’s section to take away.
Other activity ideas
As always, we recommend that you use the Ulysses Guides as a guide for planning your activities and travel itinerary:
For excursions in SF, Viator offers reputable tours in the city of San Francisco that might interest you:
We took a guided food tour with San Francisco resident Stuart.
Search for ” SF Native Local Food Tour ” on Viator. We had a wonderful time eating everything in sight, immersing ourselves in the different neighborhoods and learning about the city’s history. Stuart was an amazing guide, cool and gives you plenty of tips for the rest of your stay in San Francisco.
How to get around San Francisco?
In addition to the classic means of transportation such as cabs, buses, subways, rental cars, or even bicycles, the most authentic way to get around San Francisco is by streetcar or cable car.
So you can travel to San Francisco, feel the ocean breeze and pay with your Reward Points!