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FAQs About the City

Does San Francisco ever have shorts-and-T-shirt weather? 

Yes, but we can’t tell you exactly when, so come prepared. Our marine climate means mild year-round weather. August through October are usually the warmest months, but weather can change by the hour, so pack layers and a light jacket or coat for cool evenings. Temperatures seldom rise above 70°F (21°C) or fall below 40°F (5°C). Morning and evening fogs roll in during the summer months but rarely persist.

What’s the norm when it comes to tipping?

The average restaurant tip is 15–18 percent of the total check and is not included in the check. The average taxi tip is 15 percent of the fare. And airport and hotel baggage handlers should receive $1 per bag.

What is the sales tax rate? 

Sales tax is 8.75 percent; hotel fees in San Francisco include 14 percent occupancy tax and 1–1.5 percent Tourism Improvement District assessment (depending on the location of the property).

Where can my clients smoke? 

Smoking is permitted only in designated smoking areas. It is illegal to smoke tobacco products in any public gathering space in California, including parks, restaurants, bars, stores and office buildings.

I’m booking a wedding for my clients — what do I need to know? 

Individuals younger than 18 must have written consent from at least one parent (or legal guardian) and permission from a California Juvenile Court judge to marry. Blood tests are not required. Both partners must be present and submit a legal photo ID when filing for a marriage license. The license is valid for 90 days from date of issuance. Wedding ceremonies are performed by appointment only. Visit the San Francisco County Clerk’s Office website at www.sfgov.org/countyclerk.

Can San Francisco Travel help me find a hotel or facility for my meeting? 

We provide a free lead service to help you locate guest rooms and meeting space. All you need to do is fill out a simple form at 
sanfrancisco.travel/meeting-planners. A sales manager will contact you within 24 hours.

How do I get venue pricing and availability? 

It’s super easy: Just fill out the “Find a Venue” form at sanfrancisco.travel/meeting-planners. Our convention services team will contact you with any questions and get the site selection process started. Partners will respond individually with pricing and availability.

Can I get a list of the restaurants within walking distance of Moscone Center? 

Many restaurants — especially those in South of Market and Yerba Buena — are a short walk from the convention center. Union Square is farther away but is also within walking distance for Moscone Center attendees. Visit sanfrancisco.travel/dine to find more information.

How big is San Francisco? 

Surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay, the city’s compact 49 square miles (125 sq. km.) crowd the tip of the San Francisco Peninsula. The city is built on 43 hills and is the hub of the Greater Bay Area, with a population of 805,463. It is the second most densely populated American city after New York City — and the metropolitan area is the nation’s fifth largest.

How far is Moscone Center from Union Square and fisherman’s Wharf? 

Union Square is just four blocks from Moscone Center. From there, it takes approximately 25 minutes to get to Fisherman’s Wharf if traveling by cable car.

Can I have a list of important phone numbers? 

The area code for San Francisco is 415. The 510 and 925 area codes encompass Alameda and Contra Costa Counties in the East Bay; area code 650 encompasses San Mateo County and airport locations. 

Emergency Service:  911
California Road Conditions:  800-427-7623
Visitor Information Center:  415-391-2000
San Francisco Travel TDD/TTY:  415-227-2619

San Francisco International Airport
Ground Transportation:  800-435-9736
Transit Service Information:  511 (Bay Area) or 510-893-8729
City Services: 311 (Bay Area) or 415-701-2311 or 415-701-2323 (TTY)